He is once again faced with such challenges and difficult choices. Today, we officially withdrew him from school. After having a conversation with his doctor, we felt that this was the best decision for where he is at and he is going to concentrate on his health. This was as much his decision as it was ours and the doctor’s. But even though this was the choice he made…it doesn’t make it easy. He is, of course, keenly aware that he will not graduate with his classmates and will be re-entering the ninth grade next year. He tried with all his might to go back to school this year, but his systemic disease has just been too hard on him and once again he is absent more than he is present.
This week he started acupuncture. It was quite painful when the doctor put needles in his ankles and we thought he was going to give it up. But then Parker suggested to maybe try a different location since his ankles are his worst joints. The doctor, who is both an acupuncturist and pediatrician, was so thrilled that he was willing to try again. She then went into his back and also added electric current and heat and he really liked it. We even noticed that he seemed to have a little more energy that night and next day. He will continue to get weekly acupuncture and we will see how it goes, be we are hopeful that it will help his pain.
Sometimes, I wonder if the Rilonacept is working well enough anymore, but it has been the best biologic he has tried. As we are adjusting and reducing some of his meds, it has been quite hard on him. He has so much pain and is incredibly fatigued. He is also having his rashes and fevers again, a classic systemic JA symptom. I just hate how this disease seems to outsmart the drugs. We have also increased his PT from once a week to twice a week. And we hope to continue with some auqua therapy, if we can get in a heated pool with the winter months coming up. We are still researching heating our pool or getting a hot tub. And he is periodically going to counseling. The counselor has a gift for helping him process all that he is going through.
We are considering bringing him to NIH (National Institute for Health) in D.C. We discussed this a bit with his doctor and it feels like this is possibly the next best option. However, with the government shut down, there is little we can do right now.