My 9 year old son was diagnosed with oligio JIA when he was 6 years old. At the time, one knee and 3 ankle joints (in the same ankle) were affected. We were advised to put him on methotrexate, but told we could try steriod shots first - which we did. The knee cleared up within a few hours and the ankle took 7 weeks to come right.
We have been blessed with 2.5 years of remission. Every time we went for a check up, they assured us that the nearer we get to 3 JIA free years, the less likely it is the condition would return.
On Friday, the unpredictable condition that JIA is raised its head once more, tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me of the grip it has over my boy and how it can torture us all at will. Put simply, my boy came to me and said his knee hurts - and sure enough it has blown up. Hot, swollen, painful - the lot. And I am devastated. Remission makes you feel normal, makes you forget JIA, but the longer it lasts, the deeper the fall you feel when JIA returns. All the old anxiety and uncertainty is back. We were so full of hope it would never come back. What will it do to my boy this time?
My question to you all is simple: What is a flare really like? Does flare always mean a full blown episode needing full intervention (such as steroid injections)? Can flares ever be dealt with just with anti-inflammatories (he is on Naproxen)? Are we back to square 1? Any shared accounts of flares would be much appreciated.