I was able to get in to the rheumatologist this week (my appointment wasn't until the end of March, but she kindly came into the clinic to see me!). Unfortunately... there's not a lot that she can do. Let me back up a little bit...
My MRI showed that I still have one abscess. *Sigh.* It's just 4 cm or so, but I also still have an elevated white count. So essentially, my body has walled off that area of infection in my belly so that it can't spread throughout my system. That's good, but it also means that the antibiotics I've been taking can't really penetrate into the infection to make the last abscess die. The MRI also showed that the abscess is basically connected with the area where my colon used to be... hence the passing of blood. It also showed some other possible fistulae - things connecting that shouldn't be connected.
My GI Dr. emailed me the results of the MRI... but no comment on what, if anything, needs to happen now. I emailed him about it last Monday, but I have not gotten a response yet. So I'll start calling on Monday.
So... because I still have active infection, Rheumy cannot give me most of the medications that she thinks would be the most helpful for reducing the inflammation in my joints. I'm not supposed to take extra steroids because of my adrenal problems, so that's out, too. I've had adverse reactions (pancreatitis) to another med we could consider. So I am going to try a different anti inflammatory med to see if it will allow me to, you know, straighten my legs again. ;)
Rheumy felt my joints and asked me if I thought that they felt "boggy." I'd never really thought about applying that particular term to my joints... but sure, they are boggy, I guess! ;) Maybe that means swollen?
It's easy for me to get bogged down with the frustration of not being healthy yet and continuing to have all these interconnected issues. It feels like I'm at a stalemate with a lot of things - the abscesses won't go away, but we can't do anything about my joints until they do. I can't taper off steroids any more until the infection is completely gone, but being on steroids means that any surgical procedure to fix the abscess/fistulas would likely result in complications.
Thankfully, life is so much bigger than these issues. God is so much more powerful than all this. It doesn't really matter what happens to me... what matters is if I honor Him with my reaction to what happens to me. It's not about my circumstance, it's about my God. "For this momentary light affliction is producing in us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison..." II Cor 4...