Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gods Blessings To All!!!

This is my one of my favorite pictures of Jessica. It was taken the Christmas before she became ill. She is in her Christmas pajamas!

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Blessings to our family & friends,

Thank you all for your special prayers for Jessica. She has certainly had her struggles these past four years, and yesterday was no different. The fever she was experiencing seems to have lessened and tests were run to rule out infections and to try to figure out the source. I will keep you all posted. Dr. Cantu put her on a medication to help ease her pain and to help her get some needed rest. Let's hope it works and that today will be a little better for her than yesterday!

What I have come to realize since we have been here is that God does have better things, or more exciting blessings, in store for all of us. For some it may happen tomorrow. For some it may happen next week, next month or even next year. We don't know when. For could happen today! But the beautiful blessings about this journey called faith is that we can count on Him to never lead us astray. He knows exactly where he is taking us. Our job is to trust in Him and obey.

Please pray for Jessica today. Pray also for Dr. Cantu's other patients that are here as well- Justin Brown from Pennsylvania and Elena Cohen from California. Justin is back for boosters, he did the ketamine coma in July of this year. Elena was one of the earlier coma patients, back in 2007. She periodically comes back for boosters as well! Please pray for all former coma patients and all people that are suffering with RSD, as well as those suffering with Lyme disease, cancer, Crohn's and other illnesses as well! Also, pray for the doctors who are working so hard to find a cure! (Especially Dr. Cantu - who is a tremendous doctor with a heart as pure as gold! He's amazing!)

In God's love,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

"I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand".
Isaiah 41:10

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Anonymous said...

1 Timothy 4:9-10

9This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

Anonymous said...

We are grateful to hear that God has lowered Jessica's fever. She really doesn't need another battle. Will send up my thankful prayers. How is the new medication working? Is Jessica getting any more relief?

I have had a difficult time of things the last while. Yesterday, the local news channel was going to come and speak to me for a follow up and to discuss the reasons behind my not getting the boosters correctly. I was concerned about that because I did not want to ruffle feathers just yet, if I can help it. On Tuesday, I will be meeting with my pain specialist to discuss reasons behind the lack of consistency. I am also going to use that time to decide with him about whether or not to return to Mexico for a catch up. Monday will be another booster for me and I am hopeful that it will help.

The weather here has gotten very cold. Although the temperatures are lower across this country, it is always difficult here when it drops below 0 because of the dampness. No snow, much to the German student's dismay. lol. I am glad that it is only slippery in the morning because going down my ramp can be a harrowing experience as the wheelchair wheels slide on the frost and ice!

Keeping you fervently in my prayers for better tomorrows.

Take care

Anonymous said...

Snow, snow and more snow today in Saratoga, NY.
After reading your note for today I thought about the time Barbara had to have surgery and therapy after a ski accident. As she walked into therapy, one person said to another, "remember when we were at stage 1". Please Lord, help Jessica get to the days when she only needs to return once in a "blue moon" for a booster shot. Amen.

Prayers from Saratoga,

Anonymous said...

Sarah Gina,
I can see why you would love that is soooo beautiful!
My wish is to meet beautiful Jessica with that same beautiful smile one day soon.
Always in my prayers!

Madelon said...

Jessica and Gina,
Life has been hectic for me lately,but you both have been in my prayers and in my thoughts. May today bring comfort to you and Jessica through God's love and caring. May Jessica's day be one with less pain and discomfort.
God's blessings on you both!

Anonymous said...

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, [a] saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess,

I am not sure if you remember me or not, we haven't talked for several months. I have been on Dr. Jemsek's Lyme protocol since February now, and heard about your ketamine coma story. I want you to know that you are in my prayers each and every day and have been since the first day we spoke a couple of years ago. You are an inspiration to all of us suffering from Lyme. When you have a changce I would love to hear how you are doing sometime.

Love always and God be with you,
Carly Smith

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica and Gina, I am sorry that I haven't been writing lately. We had a little problem in our basement that needed our attention. We had a pretty big leak in our ceiling that went through our light fixture into the carpet and carpet pads. We have had the insurance company in here with giant fans and dehumidifying machines, and all the furniture is piled up on one side of the basement. There is a big hole cut in the ceiling where the plumber fixed the pipe, and the rug had to be cut from wall to wall in an effort to stop the water from damaging the whole room. A funny thing has happened, though, in all this. I seem to have learned how to look at events differently than I used to, mostly as a result of reading your blog and using your faith and your positive attitude as an example. I feel like my basement problem is not such a big deal, that it will be okay, and that I don't have to get all worked up about it. You have been such a good influence in my life. There was a time not long ago when something like this would have really gotten me down. I want to say thank you for that gift you have given me. Hang in there! Better days are coming. I pray for you every day. Love always, Angel xoxo

Marianne said...

Well said Angel! Jess you are such an inspiration. You and your mom have taught me so much. I try not to stress about the small stuff anymore. Better days ARE coming. I too pray for you everyday. Stay strong! Our God is an awesome God. XXXXOOOO Marianne

Jessica's Journey to Getting Her Life Back

By Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)

As we begin this journey toward renewed health we would like to express our sincere heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick and all the work he has done and continues to do in order to bring patients like my daughter Jessica back to a more meaningful life and restored from this devastating illness. Also, special thanks to Dr. Fernando Cantu and his team of doctors in Mexico for taking on a difficult case like my daughters, Words cannot express the renewed sense of hope that we have that one day, our Jessica, can regain her life that has been taken away from her – God Bless you all!

Jessica’s Story

Once an A+ student who loved school, was involved in many extracurricular activities, played varsity tennis, lacrosse and gymnastics and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, our daughter Jessica has spent the last 3 years incapacitated, paralyzed, unable to sit or walk and eat. She spends her days confined to a hospital bed, wearing sunglasses and noise-canceling headphones, due to severe light and sound sensitivity.

Jessica and her sisters, 2 mos. before becoming ill

The pain she feels is indescribable and all attempted treatments have not even come close to relieving her suffering.

She has seen many doctors, undergone numerous painful tests and procedures, has been prescribed various medications, and has been hospitalized frequently including being intubated and on a ventilator. She is severely debilitated and currently is only 92 pounds. This is certainly no life for a 21 year old young woman!

Jessica is suffering from neurologic Lyme disease and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a severely debilitating and painful neuromuscular disorder. She suffers daily with constant sharp, stabbing, tingling and burning pain; throughout her body; severe headaches; paralysis; intense muscle spasms; gastroparesis; seizures; twisting of her limbs (dystonia); sensitivity to any touch (allodynia); extreme sensitivity to lights and sounds; excessive sweating; swelling; fevers; softening of bones; decreased hair growth; redness and discoloration of the limbs; and painful skin ulcers. The pain is constant and unrelenting, but despite her suffering, her faith in God remains and she still has hope for her future.

Jessica's painful skin lesions

Jessica's journey began in 1999, when she was only 11 years old. She became very ill with Mono and was bed bound for 3 months. She subsequently developed RSD (stage 1) of the lower right leg. She received early intervention and returned to playing sports and enjoying her life.

Jessica, age 15, at summer camp

Four years later, in 2003, while away at a sleep-away camp, she developed a rash behind her right knee, coincidentally in the same leg that previously had RSD!

At the time, the camps nurse & doctor told her that it was “duck rash” – a rash from swimming in the lake with duck feces. However, Jessica was able to obtain photos from camp from another camper which shows the classic “bulls-eye” rash from Lyme disease! It wasn’t until much later and only after developing symptoms and becoming very ill, was the diagnosis of Lyme disease and Babesiosis (another tick-borne infection) made.

Most people (and doctors!) have no idea how serious Lyme disease can become and no clue how to properly diagnose it. Unfortunately, if she would have been promptly diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease, the RSD would not have been triggered and she would not be suffering.

July 2003, Jessica's Lyme disease rash

If it wasn’t for her doctor, Dr. Liegner, and his expertise with complex cases of Lyme, and his determination to try any means in getting her well, by getting a “team” of doctors on her case, we wouldn’t be here today, still fighting. We owe him a deep sense of gratitude for all he does for Jessica!

During these past three years and with the pain becoming more intense and unbearable she has been seeing Dr. Finkelstein for pain management. He has even made house calls to spare her the pain of coming by ambulance to his office. Jessica has been treated with multiple pain medications, at the highest possible doses, as well as an implanted dilaudid pain pump, which delivers potent medication straight into her spine. Many doctors have told us that with the amount of medications Jessica was taking would be enough to “kill a horse”—yet they had little to no effect on her. If it wasn’t for Dr. Finkelstein trying to alleviate her constant, severe, unrelenting pain, I don’t know how she would have managed. He is very special to us as well.

Recently Jessica was transported by air ambulance to Tampa, Florida to see Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick, a world renowned RSD expert. Dr. Kirkpatrick told us that Jessica is one of the most debilitated patients he has ever seen.

Jessica getting into the air-ambulance to go see Dr. Kirkpatrick

Upon his testing and because Jessica's condition is so severe, Dr. Kirkpatrick is recommending the only treatment available that can possibly help relieve her suffering, and afford her some semblance of a “normal” life - the Ketamine Coma Procedure - a clinical trial that is being conducted in Monterrey, Mexico.

During this procedure Jessica will be put into a coma , with the hope that her nerves, brain and spinal cord will “reset” -so that her nervous system sends the correct signals to her brain.

Yes, this is a radical, scary treatment, however, for Jessica, "scary" is thinking that she could spend the rest of her life in this condition, unable to walk, eat, or take care of herself. Since all reasonable treatments have failed to help her, we feel we must try everything possible to help Jessica regain her life.

We understand that due to Jessica’s fragile condition, there is a high risk associated with this procedure. We are also aware that other patients with severe RSD like Jessica's have had success.

Jessica’s goal is to one day become a doctor. Our hope is that with this study she can have that chance. As her Mom, I know that she will be a great doctor because when a patient presents in her office and says “Doctor, I am in pain and words cannot express how bad it is” – my daughter –Dr. Jessica– will be able to say - :I know how you feel, I’ve been there too. So, take a seat and let me tell you a story”….

We are so thankful and feel so blessed to have been led to Dr. Kirkpatrick.

God is good and with his help guiding Dr. Cantu and Dr. Kirkpatrick, our hope is for Jessica to be able to return to us whole again and pain-free!