Well, we're home. It was quite an ordeal...if not realistically...it was inside. It is not easy to see your child hurting and going through Emergency visits and unknowing issues?! Ethen's diagnosis is: Poststreptococcal Reactive Arthritus (PSRA) w/ Erythema Nodosum (EN). Quite a mouthful huh? Basically, he got strep throat (type A) and his body over-reacted in fighting the strep and some of the effects are the arthritic tendancies, mainly in his joints. The EN is a rare association with the strep reaction.
So, what all that means is that he HAD strep, his body fought it off, then it went overboard and he got the other things. He has red bumps throughout his body, but they are not necessarily internal (only in the fatty layers of the skin). He looks kind of unsightly at times depending on where the rashes are, but he is NOT CONTAGIOUS in any way. It is all WITHIN his body.
I know that this all sounds wierd, and it is, but is is a rare, but known result from the strep. The bad news is that because of the severity of all of this (mostly the strep) he has to get penicillin shots one time per month to prevent this from coming back like this. Hopefully none of our family members are carriers. I've heard there is a test you can take to find out if you are a carrier?! So, 3 medicines a day and some revised activity levels and we are good to go! Because of the red bumps (EN) we probably won't be too publicly active. I don't want him getting teased or stared at.
If you're wondering how Chris and I are doing with all of this...well, just ok. We are finally so happy to have a diagnosis. We are very grateful to have such a great team at Emanuel Children's Hospital to figure this out and empowering us to go home and recover on our own. It was a lot more scary and emotional for me than Chris. It was pretty hard on my heart to see Ethen in pain; seeing him get an IV; seeing him have to take meds, vitals taken, laying in a hospital bed, etc...that's hard for a mommy. I cried quite a bit, but overall, I know that I can trust God and the doctors and specialists to do their best for us! He is a good God! We are in a good place.
Here are a couple of pictures from our experience that sum it all up. The first is of Ethen in bed playing with his toys. Although he is sick, he still loves playing with action figures. The second is of the team of doctors and specialists meeting to discuss Ethen's issues, diagnosis, and treatment plan:
* Here is a link for the Poststreptococcal Reactive Arthritus and Erythema Nodosum. You can certainly google it for yourself though if you want.