Monday, March 15, 2010

Phillipians 4: 4-7

Hello to All,

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Yesterday Jessica was brought down to surgery to have a new central catheter put in due to the other catheter not functioning correctly and to also avoid any infections. She continues with her "small steps" towards recovery. The neurodermatitis on her face and upper body seems less red and angry and she continues on antibiotics and a special antibiotic lotion for that. She also was able to eat 2 french fries and also crumble up graham crackers into her "atole de maicena". This is a warm puddling-like mixture that she has been having for the past few months that she says is really good. We have been recommending this to all the new patients that come- as it is easy to digest and very comforting as well. Translated from spanish it means:"cornflower drink", but it doesn't taste like corn at all!

Also, yesterday, Pastor Long from the Union Church of Monterrey came to visit. He has become very special to us. He brought communion for Jessica and I and he also read a special message to Jessica that he said came to him from the Lord for her. It is from Phillipians 4: 4-7:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus".

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support for Jessica. Please pray for relief from the pain, especially in the right leg and also the headaches. Keep sending us your comments, stories, etc. as I read them to her faithfully each day and they really mean alot to us!

Special shout out to Michelle - my 13 year old daughter back home in N.Y. She is getting her braces off today - after having them on for 2 1/2 years!!! This is a big day for her and I told her I will be with her in spirit today. Her big sister Katherine and her Dad will be going with her to the orthodontist to get them off. Congratulations Michelle --- you did it --- and you will look even more beautiful now!!!(If that's even possible - since you are already so beautiful mooshie!!!)

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

***To Post A Comment, CLICK on Comments Below***


Anonymous said...

thinking of you. always,


Anonymous said...

Reading your blog is like opening little gifts everyday!

I am always amazed to see how God is working in your lives, through His people and in the healing we are seeing in your sweet Jessica.

It was just a short while ago Jessica was enjoying a Hershey's Kiss and NOW she is eating french fries and oranges! Those small steps are starting to really add up!

We are so glad to hear the neurodermatitis is lessening.

There are so many things to give Him thanks for (even in the difficult times).

We will keep praying for you both (and your family back home). Congratulations to Michelle (it is always nice when those braces finally come off).

Hang in there, Jessica! May you feel His peace as you continue to take small steps forward in your journey.

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

In Christ Alone - Michael English

In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For I've been blessed beyond measure
And by His strength alone I overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes
Like diamonds in my hand
But those trophies could not equal
To the grace by which I stand

In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength, my source of hope
Is Christ alone

In Christ alone will I glory
For only by His grace I am redeemed
Only His tender mercy
Could reach beyond my weakness to my need
Now I seek no greater honor
Than just to know Him more
And to count my things but losses
To the glory of the Lord

In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength, my source of hope
Is Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength, my source of hope
Is Christ alone

My source of strength, my source of hope
Is Christ alone

Anonymous said...

Today is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.
I am but it is damp, dark, windy and just an indoor type of day. But I know the sun will shine again and give us warmth and a smile to our face.
May the Lord bring sunshine to you and yours.


Team Jessica said...

Good morning ladies. It's getting really sunny and warmer in Florida. I can see Jessica relaxing on the lani smiling as God fills her sweet body up with his love from the sun! You can hear the kids playing in the other yards and Carol and Ray bringing over oranges and chocolate. I'm there too and we are singing Jessica's favorite song. Can you feel the love!

Today is a busy day. We are getting the invites mailed today for the upcoming Jessica's Journey Fundraiser on Marco Island, at Marco Lutheran Church on the 25th, at 11-2. It will be a light luncheon jewelry fashion show and anyone and everyone is invited. Watch for more details.

You can call me too. 239-394-5051.

Have a wonderful day today ladies as the pain become less and less and you have more and more relief.
Love Nancy & Team Jessic

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica and Gina, I am absolutely THRILLED to hear about your recent culinary adventures!! :) I read about the ORANGE and was amazed. Actually, oranges are pretty tricky to eat, so you should be so PROUD OF YOURSELF Jess!! And FRENCH FRIES and GRAHAM CRACKERS!!!??!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!! AMAZINGLY HUGE STEPS (in small packages!!)!!!!!!!!! And taking the big boosters, and having the catheter surgery- it sounds like a lot is going on down there. We are praying for you up here in GC. You are ALWAYS in our hearts, in our prayers, in our thoughts. Hang in there...amazing things are happening!! Btw, a big shout out goes to Team Jessica down in Florida!! You are such faithful and amazing friends with so much wonderful positive energy!! Take care all!! Big hugs to Jess and Gina!! Love always, Angel xoxo

Marilyn M said...

Hi Sarah and Jessica! I don't often write but I want you to know that I think of you often and you are always in my prayers. Just remember that so many people care and want you to recover and come home. My best wishes and hopes for what I know will be a beautiful, healthy and fully recovered life! I will continue to pray and follow the blog for news of Jessica's recovery! Love, Marilyn

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!