Wednesday, July 03, 2013


Two months ago, Anna's pediatric rheumatologist decided that the next best option for Anna's TMJ issues would be Dexamethasone Iontophoresis.  He was agreeable to delaying this course of treatment until July (Anna's schedule was VERY full in June, and our insurance provider changed as of July 1st.).  Because this conversation happened over the phone, and not in an exam room with Anna present and listening to the conversation and asking any questions she might have, Anna was less than thrilled with the described treatment.  (She doesn't like anything about arthritis to interrupt her busy life, and this seemed like it would be an interruption to her summer.)

For the past two months, I've been doing what I have learned to do when faced with challenging situations (like finding a physical therapist with whom we could connect and a having teenager who is not embracing the next course of action)---I prayed and prayed and prayed.  And I continued to take steps towards doing what we needed to do.  I asked friends for any physical therapist recommendations (we could have gone to Hershey Medical Center, but for the frequency of our visits, I really wanted to be closer to home), and I prayed for wisdom and guidance.  A good friend highly recommended a physical therapist just three miles from home, and everything she described about him sounded like just the type of person that both Anna and I would get along well with.

Today was Anna's first appointment with the physical therapist. A new experience for us.  But instead of feeling nervous---I was at peace (except for maybe a pinch of momentary anxiety of how Anna would accept all of this, but knowing it needs to be done)---Thank you, Lord Jesus!   I was thinking this was just an "evaluation" visit (that's what the receptionist had scheduled).  But as the PT evaluated Anna's issues, he found some extremely tight muscles which were not helping her TMJ issues at all---so he spent a good amount of time stretching her neck and back muscles, patiently explained several at-home exercises he would like her to do to help with her TMJ issues and her range of motion in her neck, and actually applied the first dose of Dexamethasone Iontophoresis.  Thank the Lord that we didn't have to stay there for the ninety minutes she needs to have it on!  We went home and then picked up a pizza instead of going to the pizza place to eat.

Anna is connecting so well with this PT!  (Although she told me I shouldn't rave about him, since we have only met with him once!)  She did say that if we know anyone who needs physical therapy, we should recommend "Bob."  She said that all that stretching felt so good afterwards, and she's already doing some exercises to improve her posture (which will help her TMJ issues, Bob says).

I am so glad that we can eagerly anticipate this treatment (maybe nine more over the next 2-3 weeks), and that we should be able to do some of them ourselves at home.  We can move forward without dreading the reluctance of a teenager!

I am so grateful for all of the support and prayers that our friends and family provide.   THANK YOU!