In August of 2010, Alannah started walking differently, almost like a teenage shuffle, but she was only 9 and I insisted she really needed to start walking better, she complained of no pains. After about 10 months of watching her slowly get worse and having to struggle to keep up in everything we did, I decided to seek some help locally only to be told in August 2011 that after hip x-rays and an examination there was nothing wrong with Alannah.
She had quit playing soccer, her favorite sport, as she could no longer keep up. It was sad to see her struggling to run. December 2011 we took the train to the city to see the Christmas Tree and Alannah could not walk from the 6 train to Rockefeller Center. She was shuffling along and my husband and I decided we had to find out what was wrong. On the Monday morning I made an appointment to see Dr. Dodwell. I will never forget the day I took her in Jan 2012. She cried the entire time we were there, not because of any pain, but maybe she knew something was wrong.
Dr. Dodwell did x-rays and blood work and when we left I knew that she was going to help us find out what was wrong. I think it was probably the next day she called and informed me that Alannah needed to see a Rheumatologist immediately. Dr. Adams was my choice and once again a day I will never forget.... Alannah has never once complained of any discomfort or pain and here I was watching Dr. Adams examine her to find that this soon to be 12 year old had severe inflammation and damage in almost all of her joints and could hardly move them. Hips, Knees, Shoulders, Elbows, Wrists, Hands, Ankles, Feet... We now laugh that her jaw is the only thing not effected and she never stops talking.
I was devastated, How did I miss that? I too was only just getting a diagnosis from Dr. Bykerk for Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Alannah, however, was not phased by this at all. She has never complained, never refused treatment and is the happiest 15 year old you could ever meet.
After many visits to Dr. Adams, Alannah started Humira injections April 2012, but did not see much improvement. Dr. Adams slowly added Methotrexate and finally she started to make progress on weekly Humira injections and Methotrexate weekly and continues to.
Alannah was having Physical Therapy 3 times a week. Her hands have been badly affected and Dr. Aaron Daluiski had her fingers splinted for along time and occupational therapy started at 3 times a week, now down to once a week and no splints.
2014 Alannah decided that she was going to join the Color Guard Section of the High School Marching Band, We were all a little concerned as to how her body would handle it, but never once told her. Band Camp is 2 weeks, 6 hr days of marching and throwing a 5ft flag!
I think that Dr. Adams is just as proud of Alannah as I am, she never missed a practice, football game, competition or parade. This year she even participated in the Yamaha Cup at Giants Stadium, performed at Rutgers Stadium and marched in the St Patrick's Day Parade March 2015.
We cannot thank Dr. Adams enough for all that she has done to ensure that Alannah can live her life like any other teenage girl.