There is a lot medically going on with me. I got an MRI of my spine report and it made my rheumatologist groan. It's bad. Really bad.
And there is also the fact that my trial on Orencia was a complete fail. We are now down to one drug that I have not tried. The doctor has not wanted to try it before because when I was on a similar TNF Blocker I had an infected heart valve (endocarditis) and also pneumonia. But Remicade has always piqued my interest because it seems that it has helped so many of my friends with RA. It is an infusion which means I will be heading back the Infusion Center in the Cancer Building at ORMC; back to the care and concern of the lovely nurses who work there. It carries a lot of risk....not only for infection but also for allergic reactions. (and I am a veteran of allergic reactions).
I love my rheumatologist. He is not afraid to go "boldly where no man has gone before" in administering drugs that other doctors have refused to prescribe out of fear of infection. He knows that my life is not worth a hill of beans with the degree of disability and pain that I have. He knows that I'm game for a risk...and he is too.
When he saw my MRI of my C-spine yesterday he said "you have a LOT of pathology going on here." and proceeded to read the list and explain it to me. Stenosis. degenerative disk disease (herniations), osteophytes (bony growths), slippage of the vertebra, narrowing of foraminal space (the facets which are openings in the bone where nerves travel through to the body.) muscle spasms due to straightening of the spine, nerve roots being cut off, and congenital fusions where the vertebra are solidifying and merging with other nearby vertebra. And there was more but I don't recall it all.
Doctor B then told me about a world famous spinal surgeon (neurosurgen) who only takes on the most difficult and hopeless cases....and he felt that I would qualify. But it's about a 3 hour drive from here....my insurance will likely be a problem. And then I have the whole question about "why???" Why undergo what would probably mean a series of massive surgeries when this Rheumatic Disease is destroying me from the inside out? I have no hope of being pain free or gaining any real mobility again. Would it make the difference between being in an electric wheelchair and a nursing home bed? I suppose if it was a success it might. But I've had 6 lumbar surgeries already and I still have a lot of pain and "issues" there.... Is surgery ever truly a cure for pain? Maybe short term....but after a while pain returns.
Someone said that this MRI report is a huge challenge to faith. I don't feel that way. God has his purposes and I am not going to be the one to challenge them. He made this body. He can break this body. I am his. And that holds no fear for me....because I know he is good. He has blessed me of late, with a new revelation of himself. And it gives me great joy. I was reading this morning the writing of an early church Father, Fenelon. and he said that devotion is doing all of the work God gives us to do....with Love. And because God IS Love it means using God's own power to accomplish God's own will. He bids us go...and then strengthens our legs so that we can do his bidding. He does not demand of me anything that he will not also give me strength for. I don't understand his plan. I don't know why he would gift me and then remove me from utilizing those gifts. Maybe those are my crowns that I will "cast at his feet" ....maybe my pain is an offering.
There really doesn't have to be much more of an explanation than that.