Sunday, November 3, 2013

An Update on the JA Journey…

Update on Parker…  last Friday, Michael took him to his rheumy appointment as I was told I really shouldn’t travel due to my Grave’s Disease.  His doc is about 2.5 hours away.   I phone conferenced in.  The good news is that his joints looked less swollen and his hands had better color.  Parker shared that he is working hard with the physical therapist and that he also thinks that the acupuncture is bringing some relief.

The not so good news is that he is living with a chronic illness and it is by definition, chronic.  It is a daily battle.  The doc paid some extra attention to his left ankle and foot and even called over their PT to look at it too.  She believes that he needs to now see a podiatrist because his ankle has turned in so very much that it is almost hitting the floor and his foot turns out.  It makes me so very mad that no matter how hard we continue to fight that this disease rears its ugly head.
We do believe, however, that we have slowed it down.  The doc said that his blood work looked ok.  Only his vitamin D is still very low (this can cause pain in itself…the symptom is feeling like bones are breaking and anyone who has broken a bone, I am sure you can relate).  So we are doubling his D.  His pancreas is not processing correctly and his insulin is high, most likely due to long term steroid use.  But his other organs seem to be doing ok.  We are thrilled that this disease is not attacking his heart or lungs anymore.  And because the combination of Hizentra (IVIG), Prograf, and Rilonacept are likely the reason for this (in addition to so many positive vibes, prayers, and hard work on Parker’s part) we are not willing to stop Rilonacept yet…it is not stopping the disease but it is doing the best yet as slowing it down.  So Parker’s doc is going to work on the “over-ride”, once again, to get this drug approved for him.  We love her for persisting for him.  He is the only kid in Florida being treated with this drug for systemic on-set juvenile arthritis.  Thank God it has been approved for him.

So, now that he is officially out of school, we are working hard on focusing on what he needs.  This is quite the balance between our work schedules and medical appointments.  But we feel strongly that we must focus on Parker’s health…and we will never give up.
So, the new game plan is to up his physical therapy to three times a week, continue acupuncture, add massage therapy, get new orthotics to help his ankle/foot, increase vitamin D, continue to work with his ten amazing docs, get his wheelchair adjusted, and work with a new pediatric pain management doctor to try and continue to decrease his pain meds.  He is almost off of his tramadol…what a huge step… and he is down to 3 mg of predinose.  We are so thankful for the baby steps forward that he is making.

Michael and I are aware that this disease is going to be a lifelong journey.  We discussed this a bit with his doctor.  And we are all truly happy for his bit of progress.  She is now trying to get him into the National Institute for Health (NIH).  We are fortunate that she knows the lead doctor there and she is personally calling him.  She will be the doctor continuing his treatment but NIH may help lead us in needed directions through genetic testing; again, another huge blessing for our purple playa.
I know this is Parker’s blog for updating…but we are now watching Logan’s JA progress a bit.  It seems that if he does a lot on his feet then his ankles swell.  He is also getting more migraines and the rheumy thinks that it might be one of his meds; so we are making a switch.  We are hoping that the switch helps with not only his migraines, but his swelling as well.  He has needed two infusions these last two weeks.

So it’s a balance…between both our children’s medical needs, along with my own.  My husband is an amazing individual and helps us all.  I love him dearly for that.  So our hope is that NIH may not only help Parker, but our whole family because we have such a mix of autoimmune issues.  Thank you to each of you who continue to check in on us and support us through this journey!
Much Love!


  1. Prayers for your whole family, hoping that they will approve this medicine as it seems to be working well. Continued prayers for you and Logan also. Parker you are definitely one of our heroes! Love you, Donna, Joey, Cassandra and Ashlyn <3 Stay strong and positive.

  2. Sending prayers and Hugs. I am glad to hear of some improvements and I hate when its one step forward but 2 steps back. Keep on Fighting Parker!

  3. Hey! This is Joey, the cyclist last year who stopped at the JA Conference in St. Louis. I was just scrolling through your blog and I figured I would share some recent insights to what I have been learning in my travels. I am currently WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) on a farm in Ilwaco, Washington. The thing that is different about this farm is that Jim, the owner, doesn't grow vegetables 'persay' he grows the SOIL.

    What Jim, and others, have discovered and/or unearthed is that a lot of problems in human health in modern times comes from the food that we eat. Genetically modified food that is basically brought to the grocery store on a stretcher but meant to look healthy and taste great.

    So a lot of people think to switch to organic gardening because it makes better vegetables. True, but the key here is that "better" is not the best. So, Jim, grows his soil because that is where vegetables/plants get their nutrients from. A healthy soil creates a healthy plant. Well, to get the healthiest soils you need mineral balance your soil based on the Base Cation Exchange Ratio (science mumbo jumbo). This basically tells you the mineral balance of what your soil should be 60% calcium and so on so forth.

    Along with the mineral balanced soil you also need to add charcoal or Biochar to your soil. The Biochar acts as the lifehouse for all the micro organisms in your soil. With the increase in worms, fungus and other micro organisms ingesting and then digesting all of the minerals you've added to your soil, you begin to get an extremely healthy LIVING soil. From that living soil, your plants will grow much more nutrient dense i.e. more calcium, maganese, zinc, iron and very importantly an infinite amount of complex proteins. Then, if you ingest these very nutrient dense plants, you will then become a much healthier human.

    I know this is a lot, sorry to post this whole thing as a comment. I just thought maybe it would be a cool thing for you guys to check out. If you have a garden, it is definitely an easy to do process and STILL ORGANIC. is a cool website that can help with most things you would need to know and to get started with. You can send in a soil test to a lab somewhere, then plug the information onto the spreadsheets that website has, and you will get what minerals you need and the amounts your soil needs. then mix it all up and put it in.

    Also, check out The Intelligent Gardener by Steve Solomon (book).

    Mineral Balancing has been around since the 40's and was first brought up by William Albrecht. you can Wikipedia him, if you'd like.

    Alright, that is a lot. I'll end with this. I have been eating these vegetables for about a month and I do feel good, however, I try my darndest to not let my arthritis bother me anyway. I do feel a lot more energetic, and, even after a long day ( I recently did 16+ miles) the next day, my right ankle hardly even hurt and that was unexpected.

    Please, feel free to send me an email if you have any questions! Also, you can follow my new blog if you'd like.

    Go fast, take chances.
    Joey Michels (theraincyclists)

  4. Ayurveda treatment for Arthritis affects the musculoskeletal system, specifically the joints.Ayurveda treatment forArthritis is the main cause of disability among people over fifty-five years of age in industrialized countries.The word Arthritis comes from the Greek arthron meaning "joint" and the Latin itis meaning "inflammation". The plural of Ayurveda treatment for Arthritis is arthritides.There are over 100 types of Ayurveda treatment for Arthritis.

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  6. Ayurveda has effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Ayurvedic treatment for arthritis involves both internal and external medications. The external therapy include includes ayurvedic panchakarma and kayakalpa treatment procedures for detoxification and rejuvenation. Dietary restrictions form the mainstay of treatment, and physical exercises and yoga are advocated at appropriate stages of recovery. The treatment procedures also focus on strengthening digestive and metabolic systems, by cleansing out the toxins. Panchakarma defines a number of treatment methods, for the removal of toxins. This involves both internal and external medications and an ideal diet. In addition to the diet , the stimulating massages and manual therapies are very important in order to stimulate the metabolism and to assist in its detoxification. Good read