Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
It's the arthritis again.
Beth's joints (both knees and left ankle) didn't seem to worsen during the first 16-18 days she was off all medicine, due to her July 10 tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. The medicines increase the risk for bleeding so they have to be stopped ten days before and ten days after any surgery.
At the very end of the hiatus I thought I detected a little extra swelling, but I expected much worse. Overall I was elated, praising God for this little miracle. I even wondered if she might be close to remission (in the back of my mind).
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
We resumed her arthritis medicines--methotrexate and an anti-inflammatory called meloxicam--on July 21. With each passing day I noticed a little more swelling, but I held onto hope, knowing the chemo drug methotrexate would kick in soon to back up the auto-immune response. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease, but acts somewhat differently than the adult version.
To my horror, the worsening has continued; this week I'm begging God for mercy and healing every time I look at her knees, especially the left one, which was always her better one. The progress gained in the last six months on methotrexate has been nearly erased, except for her range of motion, which is still good. Pain and stiffness have returned in the mornings, but no limping yet and she doesn't complain.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
We started the methotrexate last December and in March it finally became therapeutic, with even more improvement seen in June, the six month mark. Her physical therapy sessions gradually reduced from once weekly to once monthly.
She really needed the surgery, as her breathing was labored and disordered with no end in sight. The tonsils were nearly touching and weren't going down on their own, and the swollen adenoids were causing constant congestion.
But oh, that surgery was costly and God knew. He knew he wanted me on my knees. And now I'm there, interceding for Beth, clinging to all the Hope and comfort in the Bible, seeking grace like rain while my daughter's knees continue to swell.
On my knees. It's a good place to be.