tomorrow gabriele receives the third infusion as part of a biologic medication trial study in which she is a participant. because it is only the third month of the study, we don't yet know for sure if she is on the actual medication or just the placebo. based on observing the amount of swelling around gabriele's joints, the rheumatologist seems to believe that she is indeed receiving the drug, though gabriele and i are less convinced. of course, we're not exactly sure what results we should expect from this drug, and sicne it's only been two months, it might not have even been long enough for any overt results to appear.
for her part in the study, each month gabs goes to the rheumatologist's office, gives between 9 and 14 vials of blood, and then sits in a [really comfy] recliner for about an hour while receiving something via an IV drip. the temperature is usually either uncomfortably hot or uncomfortably cold, occasionally varying from room to room, so by the time she actually starts getting the IV (which is usually cold, btw), her body is way out of whack anyway. the people who work in the research area (including the rheumatologist) are really nice and accomodating, which has made the process considerably easier.
this is the second time that gabs has had to attend an appointment alone, which i know she hates. i am constantly in awe of the level of courage and perserverance that gabriele maintains in her approach to everything. we both get tired of hearing the phrase "...and please heal gabriele's body..." each night when we pray together, and admittedly there are nights when i lay there thinking to myself "this is ridiculous; we have been saying the same thing every night for months." but, each morning she fights through the pain and stiffness and gets up anyway, even if it means she only has the energy to shuffle to the couch before sitting down again.