On Wednesday, June 24th Mackenzie had her quarterly check up with Dr. Hoetzel at U of M. It was, in this moms opinion, the best visit yet.
Her appointment was early in the morning so we went to Ann Arbor the night before. To the girls this is an “adventure” because we eat out and stay in a hotel. We picked daddy up after work and made our way to Lansing for our first stop….dinner. We had a good dinner at Cheddar’s in Lansing and the girls love the big aquarium so of course we had to check it out before we left. Then it was on to Ann Arbor where we had tried out a new hotel, the Ann Arbor Regent. Turned out to be a really great hotel for us. The beds were comfortable and the staff was terrific. Then it was on to Wednesday and the real reason for our travels.
Mackenzie had a mission in mind when she went to her appointment….she was going to “chat” with the Dr. about how much the Enbrel injections hurt. The visit began with the usual routine checks, weight, height, blood pressure, temperature, current medication and allergy reviews and then it was on to the Dr. visit. When Dr. Hoetzel did his exam including range of motion Mackenzie fought him for the first time ever and not because it hurt but because she didn’t hurt and didn’t want to have her legs moved all around unless she was in control. The Dr. was very happy with what he found which was nothing! No active arthritis! Her strength and agility are visibly improving and she is feeling great!
Outcome: We continue as we have been meaning we continue the weekly injections of Enbrel for another quarter. In September we go back for another check up. If at that check up she is still doing as well or even better then we will begin the process of weaning her off of her Enbrel. In September she will have been a year with no active arthritis in her joints upon exam. While she has had some flares he feels that they are not significant enough to be a sign that the arthritis is gaining strength. He said that even though there is no active arthritis in her body she will potentially have some occasional discomfort at times (especially around big weather changes). And to be honest I think we were told this way back at the beginning of this journey but these flares are still nothing in comparison to the pain she suffered from in the beginning.
This idea of weaning of the medication is both an exciting and scary thought for us. It’s very exciting that she could finally be looking at getting off of all meds and gaining remission but it is also extremely scary thinking that if the process doesn’t work then we have no idea how long this may go on.
So for now we go on just as we have, continue to pray for a cure, continue to pray that she stays healthy and continues to do so well and look forward to seeing what happens come September.
We thank all of you for your continued support and prayers. They are working so please keep them coming! We couldn’t get through this without all of you!