Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Unexpected tests and such

I swear, sometimes I jinx us.  Just the other day I posted on new research that points a bigger finger towards developing Scleroderma for patients with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease.  The funny thing is that, while she has had the sclerodactyl hands and some wrist involvement with the skin on her wristsfor years now, it hasn't really been brought up at all by our current rheumy group.  Until yesterday.  And it wasn't that Dr. S was saying by any means that this is turning; it was more like, "we need to run these specific tests every year so that we catch any disease progression just in case it turns into Scleroderma."  Now, I know that having MCTD puts her at a much higher risk of pulminary fibrosis than almost anyone else, but this is the first time that Scleroderma has been brought up.  So, last night she had a chest CT with contrast, and an EKG.  She had an echocardiogram a little while ago, and she's supposed to be scheduled for another Pulminary Function Test.  It was just surprising.  She did NOT like the echo.  I truly didn't think it would be a big deal, but she said that the ultrasound probes hurt her. She didn't like the contrast for the CT, either.  She spent quite a long time in tears about that, despite my explaining that it was just a dye.  At least they are both over now, done for a year or so.

Leaving for the hospital, I knew that there was something important that I was forgetting.  I knew we had another concern to bring up but I could not remember what it was until after the doctor left.  Her hearing!  Lately we've noticed that her hearing is not that great.  There are many things that she doesn't hear correctly.  I know that, while it's very rare, there are actually joints in the ear that can cause hearing loss.  I believe that it could be the sinus pressure is starting to build once again.  I can't believe that we forgot about that!  I did have a chance to ask the immunologist about it (because he is the one covering for rheumatology today).  He didn't say too much about it because he couldn't see any problems.  But, he does feel that we should schedule a hearing test.  I assumed that would be the case.

The other thing that we were curious about was her current rash.  She's had one like this before.  It starts out with one or two areas that look like mosquito bites, but more keep coming.  They are just red spots.  When she itches a lot, the middle gets a little speck of blood.  They don't respond to Benadryl.  I hadn't even thought to try cortizone on them.  Dr. S agreed that it is likely an autoimmune rash.  He said that often with rashes that are associated with an autoimmune disease that is being treated, they don't look the same as they would in non-treated disease, so it is more difficult to know what to attribute it to.  MCTD'ers are more likely to break out in different types of rashes than people with JA or RA alone.  She's had more vasculitis-type rashes on her face and hands, too.  She gets spots that look like small pink blotches in those areas.  On the bright side, he was showing a medical student what he looks for when looking for dermatomyositis.  He explained that he can't show her much because he sees no active disease!  That made my day!  :)  At onset, she had the speckled capillairies, the pink elbows and knees, more spots on her hands (they didn't look like Groton's Pauples to me, but I guess they were), and she had the classic heliotrope rash around her eyes.  Right now, she looks darn good! 

I am not used to her needing Zofran before Methotrexate yet, and we both forgot about it! So at 1:30 A.M. she was still awake with a sore tummy.  The nurse called the doctor, who added Zofran in.  She was able to sleep after that, at least.  Of course, respiratory came in at 6 to give her Symbicort, along with vitals every 4 hours.  She's tired, and she just wants to go home but she's doing well.  At least now we're in the home stretch.  She's got her Remicade going now; when it is done, we are free to leave.  I had originally thought we would be home by now.  Ah, well.  At least she's got chips and TV.  She's comfy, so it's all good. 

Due to the holiday, I'm not sure when we will have her test results, but I will post more once we have some answers.

1 comment:

  1. Danielle, I so miss you and the family. I am just now reading and catching up on what is happening with Em. Sorry you are at the hospital but I love how thorough Dr. S is. He also has such a great way of explaining things. Love that about him. Plus he loves the kiddos. I hope you are out soon and home so you can rest. Love you girl.