Vacation 2011! And a flare-up…?

Posted by Karen - July 29th, 2011

Posted by Karen

Right now our family is on summer vacation…  Yay!  At present we’re smack dab in the middle of a week long stay with my family in Calgary, Alberta.

We’re staying with my mom and dad at their house, and having a really great visit.  My sister has this week off work too, and as her daughter Ella is the same age as Miranda (age 6), the two girls are having a blast running around together, playing, giggling and generally causing mayhem.  ;-)  Miranda and her brother Owen have also been enjoying getting to know their younger cousins William (age almost 4) and Katie (age 2).

Miranda with her cousins Ella and Katie, in their grandparents' yard.

We’ve done a whole bunch of fun things.   On the first full day, we took the kids to Drumheller’s Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology.  Miranda and Owen love all the dinosaurs there, and my husband Pete and I like that they’re learning about natural history and the evolution of life on our planet.  We’ve also been to a water park, a great swimming pool and a couple of playgrounds, not to mention having eaten LOTS of great food!  Miranda’s and Owen’s Baba (grandma) and Grandpa Mal have been really treating us royally…

Silly girls with ice cream all over their faces!

One thing I always forget about Calgary, though, is that there are some pretty wicked mosquitoes here.  And I further forget that for some reason, both my kids tend to develop really, REALLY big swellings – a couple of inches wide – when they get bitten by these Calgary baddies.  Owen and Miranda get much bigger bumps from the mosquitoes around here than they do from the ones where we live in Vancouver.  Not only that, these big lumps are very warm to the touch.  Hey, those of you intimately familiar with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva – does that sound like anything to you?

It so happens that on our second full night here in town, after spending much of the evening outside in my parents’ fabulous back yard, Miranda and I slept over, just for fun, at Auntie Susie’s and Ella’s house.  Very early that morning, Miranda woke me up to ask me to take her to the bathroom (which she can’t do on her own, due to the extra FOP bone which limits her arm movement and makes removing clothes difficult).  In the bathroom, Miranda commented to me that her forehead hurt.  I had a look at it, and sure enough, there on her head was a big swollen bump.

I was dismayed, figuring this was an FOP flare-up.  Miranda had, after all, had a tumble the previous day and had fallen on the floor, but I had thought this was a minor thing because she largely landed on a big stuffed animal and cried only a little bit.  I decided I must have been wrong in thinking Miranda hadn’t hit her head when she fell – this bump seemed to be a flare-up.  I was distressed about this…  Head flare-ups aren’t usually a big deal, causing only a bit of new bone, but there’s always the risk they can spread down the neck and onto the rest of the body.  Also, Miranda hadn’t had any FOP flare-ups in a year, so it was too bad the nice quiet stretch seemed to be broken.

That morning I gave Miranda a Celebrex pill, which is a strong anti-inflammatory, in hopes it would at least help keep the swelling down a little bit and relieve pain.  This is what I usually do when she has a flare-up on her head or torso, as Prednisone isn’t indicated for flare-ups on those locations.  Anyway, I resigned myself to this new “flare-up”.

Later that day, however, I had another look at the bump.  To my surprise, the swelling had gone down quite a bit.  That’s unusual for FOP flare-ups on Miranda’s head, even when she’s taking Celebrex.  I then had a closer look, and realized that she had a mosquit0 bite right where the swelling was.  Hmmm…  I was far from convinced, but did start to think this *might* not actually be a flare-up.

Because I wasn’t certain, we did continue with the Celebrex.  The next day, yesterday, again the swelling was down a lot more.  In fact, it was almost gone.  By today, I think it was entirely gone – except for the red mosquito bite.

So – flare-up?  Now I’m thinking most likely not.  The behaviour of this lump wasn’t at all typical of a flare-up – head flares for Miranda last 3 to 6 weeks, not 2 days.  I tell you though, this sucker looked and felt JUST like a flare-up, it really did…  Anyway, I’m very glad Miranda’s year long no flare-ups stretch is (apparently) continuing.

On with the rest of the vacation!

PS – On August 20, our family will be taking our bikes to do the Canadian FOP Network’s Ride to Cure FOP.  Please sponsor us with a donation to help cure FOP!  To give on-line, go to enter my name, Karen Munro, where it says “Search for a GivingPage”.  Or, you can also send me a cheque made out to the Canadian FOP Network.  Thanks!


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