news that Anna's eyes remain clear of inflammation. Because Anna has been back on her medication regimen for just six weeks, the retina specialist does not want to rush to make any changes. We'll continue with one Pred Forte eye drop daily and Prolensa eye drops twice daily, plus the weekly Methotrexate and then Remicade every four weeks. When Anna sees the ophthalmologist in early November, we may be able to stop the Pred Forte eye drop at that point. The first priority is to get her off the steroid drop.
I sometimes think back to 2014, when Anna's uveitis flared so badly because she failed Humira after five years. (It was this time last year that we flew up to Boston to have a consultation appointment with Dr. Foster regarding Anna's prolonged eye inflammation and resulting macular edema.) It's very likely that Anna's system built up antibodies against Humira at the end of 2013, and there's no guarantee that this will not happen with other biologics over time; in fact, it is likely. However, we will take things as they come and be thankful today that her eyes and joints are quiet and that she continues to heal from surgery. She did find out that her face is still rather tender when she went to rub foundation onto her skin in preparation for homecoming (she doesn't usually wear much makeup). She still has one area of numbness, but most of the rest of the numbness has subsided. She tried biting into a Pita cracker recently, but she found that to be difficult, and decided that crackers will need to wait. She WAS able to bite into a soft meatball sub this week, and she attempted to eat chips. That took a while, but she did it! Anna has also been making progress with her bassoon. She returned to her private lessons this past week, and for now, she practices for shorter periods of time to build up her strength and stamina.
Even though the reconstruction surgery was a major circumstance in our lives this year, it feels like we're on the downhill trek of a very tall mountain. But life is full of mountains and valleys---of hard times and circumstances and easier times when we can relax and take a breath. For now, we are appreciating some time to breathe a little easier, to enjoy the time when we are not needing to process so much new medical information and weighing the opinions of different specialists. A time to enjoy some of the normal things of life---like autumn breezes and homecoming football games and times around a fire pit with friends.
I've been working on knowing God's Word better, and even though my brain is older and memorizing is more difficult than it used to be, I've been working on that, too, as various verses and passages speak to my heart. Over the past few months, I've been working on memorizing one passage in particular. This is encouragement for all aspects of life, whether it's a chronic condition, or other difficult times (we all deal with hardship and messes in life!) Whatever your circumstances, remember this:
"Be on guard.
Stand firm in the faith.
And do everything with love."
1 Corinthians 16:13-14