After months of waiting and testing, we finally have an answer to Ashlyn's problem. (Well, as much of one as we can hope for now.) She has been diagnosed with Colitis and noninfectious gastroenteritis (basically the stomach flu that doesn't subside), which is a bit vague as there are more specific diseases in the colitis category, but I'll take it. It's something to work with and something that can be treated with medication. The good news is that she doesn't have Crohn's disease, the bad news is that there are some areas along her colon that are flat and what they call "non-specific" so that will have to be monitored. The next step is starting her on some medications for inflamation and switching her to a more potent acid blocker and hope this eases her discomfort. We also have to increase her 'Ensure' twice a day now, once between lunch and dinner and then again after dinner which will provide her with an additional 700 calories at a time when she is least active (not that there is any time that she is active at this point). I need to take her to the pediatrician to have a weight check every 2-3 weeks and record that. She will have a follow-up visit with the GI doctor in August and we will go from there. They are going to hold off on the immune supression drugs for now (thankfully), but they might have to be introduced after our follow up appt.
I feel better and a little weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I know this is not the end of anything, just the beginning, and there is going to be many more questions and procedures and blood work in the future, but at least we are moving forward and hopefully my sweet girl will get some relief.
On a side note, Kara registered today at one of the local community colleges for Fall quarter. She was so bummed that she couldn't start this summer, but it's OK. She has decided to become a radiology technician and she tested high enough to qualify for the program. She will take her pre-requisites for the Fall and Winter quarters, then by Spring she will begin the rigorous 2-year program. I cannot believe that I have a kid enrolled in college already. *sigh* I am so darn proud of her.
Thanks again for all your kind words and well wishes.
Blessings my friends.