bum knee

so in true carson fashion, he decides to throw us yet another curve ball in the month of march.  if you don't already know, march is not really my favorite month.  i went into preterm labor march 17 and didn't leave the hospital till i had the boys at 26 weeks.  then three years ago in march, carson decided to start having seizures (thank God we got that under control.  seizure free for almost three years now!)  needless to say, i don't like march.  you would never guess that this skinny, quiet, sweet kid could cause so much stress and anxiety!  about a month ago we noticed that his knee was about three times the normal size.  did we notice because he was complaining?  nope.  he was just at his regular PT session when she noticed it.  we thought it was weird and asked if he maybe fell that day.  sure enough, he took a little tumble in PE.  no big deal, he does that all the time.  he said he got back up and kept running.  just like he always does.  he didn't even go see his friends in the clinic for ice.  so, just thinking it was swollen from the fall we went on with our week.  playing, ninja class, school, etc.  till friday morning when the poor thing couldn't walk.  literally, fell straight to the floor every time he took a step.  so off to the orthopedic doctor we went.  with a quick text to our cousin here in atlanta who is an ortho with children's we were off to see one of his colleagues (if i've said it once i've said it a thousand times.  we are beyond lucky to have dave and kelley here at the best children's hospital.  they have been a godsend to use and our medically "needy" kids!  more on that to come!).

so, best we could tell from x-rays and timing of when his knee was swollen the doctor thought he may of popped his knee cap out of place when he fell.  ouch.  he put carson in a knee immobilizer and told us to ice it and keep him on motrin.  good thing for us, we had the whole next week off of school so he could rest it.  bad news for him, we were going to the great wolf lodge for two days and it wasn't going to be easy to get around.  but as usual he makes do with a smile on his face the whole time!

getting our brace

at the water park...with headphones and his iPad.  this would equal heaven to carson.  he is in his happy place and not being made to ride any water slides.

after a week of immobilizing his knee we moved to a smaller more manageable brace that would let him walk around much easier.  the thing was, his knee wasn't getting much better.  it still was warm to the touch, still really swollen and at times carson really seemed like he was in pain.  going off of some mother's instinct i called the doctor and asked to take another look at it.  he agreed with me that it should be getting much better by now and definitely shouldn't still be warm to the touch.  so, with that, it was off to the hospital to get some labs and schedule an MRI for as soon as possible which turned out to be 6:30 am two days later.  in the meantime, we were just supposed to keep icing and taking motrin.  

carson hasn't been able to do ninja class in 3 weeks but his awesome coach made sure he still got to stand on the podium and get his medal!

ninja brooks.  side note...we love this little program at the gymnastics center by our house.  the boys love bouncing around the gym using all the equipment.

and here we are, post 6:30 am MRI.  we were the first ones there bright and early.  carson did great, i was worried they would have to sedate him but he was able to get it done with just watching a movie.  i was able to sit next to him and he could see me in mirror.  he got a little scared as the machine really got going but pulled through like a champ.  i was so proud of him.  this kid is 44 pounds of pure awesome.  he has had to deal with so much and it kills me to see him in such pain and unable to do all the things he love like chasing his sister around and dancing in between bowls on wii bowling night, and playing on the playground at school.  the other day he was scooting himself down the stairs and i said to him, "hey buddy.  you look so sad.  what's up?"  and he said, "it's just my knee.  it really hurts."  annnnnd heat broken.  to see your kid's spirit broken is by far one of the worst feeling as a parent.  if i could replace his knee with mine i would do it.  just to see him running around again like we worked so hard to get him to be able to do.  no surprise that in this picture he is smiling!

here is a shot of what his knee looks like.  i promise you we feed this child.  he has the skinniest legs i have ever seen.  but you can tell just how swollen his knee is compared to his other boney little knee.

so what did all these tests show?  as i was sitting in the MRI room with carson all i could do is pray that it is something manageable, treatable, something that will get better.  of course my mind had wandered to the worst.  what if...was all i played in my head.  it's not a fun game when it's your kid laying there.  i can say for sure that he is ok.  there is nothing life threatening going on.  praise God.  you have no idea the relief i felt.  however, we don't get to walk away without adding a diagnosis to our ever growing list.  the MRI showed lots of inflammation in his joints which points us to juvenile arthritis.  we don't really know much of anything just yet.  thanks to our cousin kelley who is a radiologist with children's, she was able to get us an appointment at the end of the month with an amazing rheumatologist (the waitlist is up to 6 months...yes, months).  this is a whole new arena for us.  i'm not really sure what she will tell us or what the next steps will be.  i just want his knee to be fixed and to see him back to normal and out of pain.  but even with this bum knee look at this sweet face.  we will go to the moon and back to make sure he is happy and healthy!

"a true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart"
if this is true then this kid is invincible.