Update on Richard and School Started Yesterday!

I wanted to send you an update on Richard. On August 12th, I posted that he had a type of vasculitis that only 20 to 30 people per million have. Well, we have since learned that Richard is not quite that unique…which is a good thing!

We recently visited his rheumatologist for some blood work and, since Richard hadn’t taken his Prednisone that morning, he was having an outbreak. We arrived just before the doctor was scheduled to arrive. The nurse asked us to wait because the doctor hadn’t seen him actually have an active outbreak. He’d only been able to see photographs. A few minutes later, the doc breezed in, looked at Richard, clucked his tongue a couple of times and said, “I think you have something else entirely.”

He left the room and we could hear him talking on the phone. He came back and told us the dermatologist two doors down could see him right away. He gave us Richard’s chart and off we went. When we got to the new doctor’s office, they sent Richard right into a room. The dermatologist, who was very, very friendly by the way, breezed in and looked at Richard from head to toe. He then asked lots of questions and said he needed to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Awhile later, we had a preliminary new diagnosis of Urticarial Vasculitis. It is far more common than Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis. It will come and go, probably for the rest of his life and, as long as it doesn’t affect his internal organs, he should be just fine. The doctor said, if it was going to affect his organs, it probably would have done so already. Also, the doctor confirmed what I’ve suspected all along, that exposure to sun can trigger an outbreak (that can last for weeks). Other triggers are aspirin (which Richard had been taking nightly for his overall cardiac health – no more!!) and Ibuprofen. They did a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

The doc also increased his Prednisone and will be weaning him off much slower. He also told Richard to stay inside between 10:00 and 3:30 because he’s now considered sun-sensitive. He’s just fine with that. Anything to avoid the itching! Since that day, Richard hasn’t had any new outbreaks!! 🙂

On Monday, Ali started college (sniff). She had a GREAT time! Monday was also the first day of Matt’s very last semester at college (double sniff). Matt will probably be moving south, perhaps to Boston, after he graduates and we are very sad about that. Yesterday, Frank started his junior year of high school and Max started his first day of third grade (still homeschooled, of course).

Each year, we all go out to dinner after the first day of school so we can hear details of how how everyone’s day went. It’s become a family tradition and the children all look forward to our back to school celebration.

What’s lovely is that cool weather has been here for the past several days so Fall is definitely in the air!

This week’s Maxism:

“Am I old enough to be grounded, Mom?”

Hugs to all!


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