Unfortunately, GI Dr never called me back. In retrospect, I should've called his cell phone, but I was afraid he would either send me to the hospital or brush me off. Of course, I ended up in the hospital anyways... oh well. Since the pain is NOT just GI pain, I don't really think he would have done much. But we will need to chat today.
I am so incredibly thankful for my sweet roomies and friends. Little bros messaging me to say they were praying. Melinda texting me uplifting verses. Meggie offering up encouragement. Katey rubbed my shoulders and prayed with me for about half an hour. Devon found me sobbing in the bathroom and pulled me over to her bed and wrapped me in a blanket and comforted me. Courtney came in and prayed such a beautiful, selfless, God centered prayer. Her fiance piled us all in his truck and took me to the hospital. Devon stayed out way too late with me until my mom and dad were able to arrive. My parents were so sweet to just kill their night to sit with me and chat quietly. I am so blessed to have such amazing friends and wonderful, wonderful family...
The sum of the visit was that I need better pain control and some other treatment for the arthritis. What we've been doing is just not working at all. I restarted a disease-modifying arthritis drug after the UTSW hospital stay, but it can take 4 months to have an effect, so we probably need to add in something else. Typically, they would do a steroid burst to destroy the inflammation, but that is a horrible option for me at this point.
Until I can see a specialist (whether it's my GI or a Rheumatologist), I need to do something different to manage the pain outside of the ER. I finally gave in and I'm now wearing a patch that continually releases pain medicine into my body. We think some of the problem is that I don't always absorb the meds I take by mouth. The patch allows us to bypass the GI tract completely. Hopefully, having the constant level of meds in my system will calm things down in a few days. I'm chilling at home with the family so they can keep an eye on me and how I'm responding to the patch.
Please pray that the doctors will have wisdom to figure out what's going on and/or make me feel better.... I am just so very tired of being bounced from specialist to specialist, with no one expressing a willingness to see the big picture. The really super incredibly good news in all this is that Twitchy is actually doing quite well - he's really turned a corner, and while still a little uncomfortable, is healing up!!! The weird thing is that the joint inflammation is supposed to go away as the GI inflammation goes away... so this is all quite mystifying.
In the hospital, my dad and I were recalling some of the challenges God has walked us through over the past few years. Our family has been through quite a bit! The amazing thing is that we can trace God's hand, seeing clearly how God has used very tough times to bring us closer to Him and show us His incredible grace and goodness. And for that reason, I can give thanks in these trials.
"I'm not gonna run from the very things that will drive me closer to Him, so bring it on!"