May 2005 - We’re back on the roller coaster! Dr. Feldman started us back on methotrexate and we had the set of joint injections. I would like to say it was a pleasant experience but, alas, I can’t say that!! It was Amanda’s first set of injections when she was older – she is now almost 10 – and she’s old enough to be petrified, which she certainly is! It was almost as if she had never done it before. But, let’s face it, she’d been so small and it was long enough ago that she has no recollection of it all. We had an awesome anaesthesiologist who was very kind and compassionate and tried to get Amanda to relax. She was adamant she didn’t want “the mask” – the gas mask they use to get them sleepy enough they can insert an I.V. needle in the hand without any problems. He assured her that they could put her to sleep with just the I.V. which she was comfortable with. Fortunately, the procedure didn’t change – they allowed me to go in with her while they put her to sleep. She tried her best to put on a brave face but she was absolutely terrified. She clutched my hand as if it was a lifesaver that would pull her out of deep water. They wheeled us into the procedure room and I asked her if she wanted me to sing to her like I did when she was little. That made her smile so I sang what I did the first time we did this together – Part of Your World by Little Mermaid. Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I have a decent singing voice and the anaesthesiologist asked if I’d consider coming in for every procedure to sing! The procedure took a little longer than usual – the ankle is a very hard joint to inject. There’s a joint that makes the foot go side to side and one to make it go up and down. The space where they have to do the injection is very small so they have to be very precise. They had to inject both joints and they wanted to be sure it was done right.
Once Amanda was brought back into the waiting room – really just a ward room where you wait beforehand and where you recover afterwards – it seemed to take quite a while for her to wake up. Fortunately they also gave her some Zofran so she woke up without nausea. Amanda was suffering from a bit of a chest cold and her oxygen saturation levels kept dipping below normal, setting off her monitor beeping. It was a bit scary to have a nurse and the anaesthesiologist hovering over her bed until she could consistently stay within normal range. After about an hour, she was able to breathe much better and she was more alert. Once she was able to take some fluids and we were sure she wasn’t going to vomit, we were allowed to go home. Of course, by that time she was famished so we stopped in the cafeteria to grab some lunch before heading home.
Now the other difficulty we faced was the heck do we do with her for the 48 hours she’s not allowed to walk – she had a joint injected in both legs?? When she was little, we could just carry her around. Well, my little girl was not so little anymore – she was almost 5 feet tall and about 110 lbs. Fortunately Tim is a big strong guy so he was responsible for carting her butt around for 48 hours. For the most part, we got her to stay in our bedroom – close to the bathroom and there’s a tv/vcr/dvd player in there. We also borrowed a wheelchair from my aunt – she belongs to the local Royal Canadian Legion club and they often have assistive devices for loan there. We took a trip to the mall just to get Amanda out of the house. We stopped and had lunch and rented some movies and spent a pretty quiet weekend!