Wednesday, September 2, 2015

the diagnosis details

Clearly, we have been a bit busy over the last week. Little Oaklee is doing well. Her brothers LOVE her, except--of course--when she needs my attention and Daddy's not home and their little worlds crash around them a bit.

I'm here to share an update on Clementine's health. I don't have much, but after learning last week (details here) that her swollen throat led to a diagnosis of TB, I did get a bit more information about what we were dealing with.

While the TB caught us off guard and made us yearn to have her here to care for her, I can't say that the diagnosis overwhelmed me with worry. If I have learned anything in the last 2+ years of this adoption and the difficult one before it, it's that worry fixes absolutely nothing. And, yes, it might have actually taken me 2+ years to actually get that through my scull. Worrying has drained me and controlled my thoughts often over the course of my lifetime. While I still worry about certain things, I can say with confidence that God has shown Himself to be faithful and steadied my mind in situations that would otherwise derail me.

We received chest X-rays from our adoption agency, and I don't understand a thing about them. It looks like there is a cloud around her chest cavity, which I'm assuming is the TB (although I truly have not had time to research). I have also communicated with a few adoptive moms whose kids have had TB, either while in DRC or after coming home. One mom whose son had it while in DRC said her son responded well to treatment, probably because kids in DRC aren't often exposed to antibiotics. Another mom's son had a more difficult case, and he even came to the States with an Emergency Medical Exit Letter because of major swelling. He is doing pretty well with treatment in the States, but he is also monitored by a social worker to document his progress for the CDC.

I have contacted the CDC to ask about TB in combination with the MMR vaccine, because there is currently a measles outbreak in DRC and it's recommended that all children be vaccinated unless they have compromised immune systems. The CDC said she should not get the vaccine until her TB treatment has been initiated and stabilized, sooo...

For now, she is getting two tablets (not sure what) each morning, and after two months she will be switched to new medicine for at least four more months. If she is not treated with diligence, there is a chance the TB will become more aggressive (more resistant) and cause more permanent damage and possibly mess with the brain and other major organs). I believe Clementine's caretakers LOVE her and will treat her like their own in providing medical care. What other option do I have?

And that's all I know. Meanwhile, Brad is going to be tested to TB since he was there with her in June. (Not cool if he has any trace of it, since there's a newborn in the house and two other young kids!)

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