The photograph above is my view of the ophthalmologist's exam room, and I've seen it many times since January, usually every 7-10 days. Something else to be thankful for: the location is about 20 miles away from home. The doctor was mentioning that he has a family who comes every other week from over 100 miles away. And I thought Anna's appointments have been really eating into our schedule--especially her school schedule!
For those readers who, like me, want to know what happens next if the inflammation continues, the ophthalmologist says he'll give it one more month. If it's not any better, then we need to consider a different medication. The rheumatologist had already mentioned "infusion therapy" if the Cellcept doesn't get the inflammation to subside. We've talked in the past about pros and cons of Remicade and Orencia. My guess is that the infusion therapy would be one of those two.
In the midst of all of this, I have just finished up two surgical procedures (3 weeks apart) to fix two significant issues which have been plaguing me since the end of October. Thank the Lord, I've been released from the acute care of two different doctors, and all I really need to do now is get over the "anesthesia haze" which always takes me several weeks to do.
So a lot has been going on with the family! I have been happy, though, to get back into a Ladies' Bible Study, and we are doing Priscilla Shirer's "Gideon" study. This has "homework" which really has us digging deeper into God's Word and seeing what God has called us to do and be, and how He uses our circumstances to accomplish His purposes, and equips us with His strength when the tasks seem hard and dangerous. I've also been reminded that God welcomes our questions, but there are many, many times when we ask questions which He has already answered in His written Word---great incentive to get into and really learn to KNOW His Word.
There are so many times when the Lord has spoken to me, and very frequently through songs which are playing in my head when I wake up in the morning, or one passage of Scripture which constantly pops up in various places and ways during the course of a week or two. But this past week, He was definitely speaking through a clear but soft voice in my head. In my Bible Study homework, we were encouraged to write into one side of a chart the questions we ask God. And then there were a sets of Scripture verses to look up---ones that would answer many of the "usual" questions that people often take issue with Him about. None of them really answered the two questions I put down, but we were encouraged to go back to the questions on our chart, and pray about those questions, and write down what God was saying to us (encouraging us to see if we had answers from Scripture). So my one question was, "Why isn't the inflammation in Anna's eye responding to treatment??!!" Every time that question even hovered in the back of my brain, I would instantly hear, "My grace is sufficient." So instead of the question just hovering, I intentionally talked to the Lord about Anna's eye inflammation. And the answer I knew I needed to put on the other side of that chart was again speaking more loudly in my head, "My grace is sufficient." (That verse was no where in the homework---but definitely in my head.)
So then I go to our weekly Bible Study session (yesterday), where we watch the DVD, and this week's session was powerful and inspirational. As Priscilla Shirer was winding down this session, I was looking in the notes of the book for Session Three, and she had several Scripture references in the notes. I looked at the very last reference in the notes, and it was 2 Corinthians 12:9. Since my memory for Bible verses (at least bits of them, memorized in my childhood and teenage years) is fairly decent, but my ability to remember references is somewhat lacking, I wasn't sure which verse that was. So I looked it up, and KNEW that it was definitely there for me in that moment (thinking about Anna's uveitis all week---or the past six weeks---and anticipating another visit to the eye doctor that afternoon).
2 Corinthians 12:9 (written in red letters in my little NLT Bible) Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
So there it is. We continue to trust God and His purposes and calling on our lives. (When we are afraid, we will trust in Him ---somewhere in Psalms!) The doctors are doing all that they know to do (Dr. M. was going over that out loud with us---explaining that in January he dilated her eyes, even though it was a late appointment and he hadn't planned to do that---he wanted to make sure that there wasn't something else going on in her eye, and making sure that there wasn't something he missed, with such unexpected and significant inflammation after almost two years of quiet eyes). We continue to pray for Anna's doctors and thank God for their wisdom and knowledge. We are continually thankful that Anna so far has experienced very minimal (if any) side effects from the potent medications she puts into her body. We live knowing that we are precious to God and He allows some circumstances in our lives for ultimate good and to show others who He is. He holds us in the palm of His hand. (Now how can we be afraid when we know that?) We continue to pray that the inflammation will go away. Until it does, God's grace is sufficient.