Friday, July 23, 2010

After the Rain - A Rainbow ...

Hi To All,

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I can't believe that Jessica and I have been in the apartment one month already.

It has definitely been a big transition for her and I am still amazed at her strength, strong will and fierce determination to one day be the way she was years ago.

We are both still adjusting from "in-hospital life" to "out-of hospital life".

I am also still trying to figure out everyday life in Mexico. From the simple things of going shopping to the local H.E.B. (which is like a Stop n Shop or Publix) and then trying to navigate the local WalMart and Costco (Yes - they have these stores here in Monterrey - thank God!)

For Jessica - she is still trying to take those "small steps" towards her ultimate recovery. This past week was a bit rough in that we had problems with her hospital bed, as well as problems with her PCA and medtronics pump - all while Dr. Cantu was away. Dr. Cantu came back from his vacation with his family and not a moment too soon for us! Michelle is still here with us and it certainly feels a little more like "home" having her with us in the apartment.

The other day as I looked out of the window that overlooks the Sierra de La Silla mountain, I was awestruck with the beauty of a most magnificent rainbow. The kind of rainbow that extended from one side over to the other; but this rainbow stretched above the mountain - "framing" the mountain and all of its majesty!
When I think of a rainbow - for me it is a sign or promise from God. I came across this poem on the internet:

God's Rainbow

Rainbows appear after mighty storms,
When things look their very worst,
Just when the skies are darkest gray,
Look for the rainbow first.

The rainbow is a sign of God's promise,
That He will guide us through any storm,
That He will see us through all our troubles,
No matter what their form.

When you feel battered by life's storms,
And you are filled with doubt and dismay;
Just remember God's rainbow is coming -
It's only a prayer away.

In Christianity, after Noah's flood the Bible relates that the rainbow gained meaning as the sign of God's promise that terrestrial life would never again be destroyed by flood (Genesis 9:13–17):[27]

"I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth".

After Hurricane Alex and all of the mini-storms that Monterrey has had since then, it is so fitting that such a magnificent rainbow would appear in the sky and above the majestic mountain that is such a symbol for this city and for its people.

I also think that the rainbow is a promise from God that in whatever "Mighty storms" we may encounter in life, whether it be illness, death, or tragedy - we must remember that God is ALWAYS with us - through the storms (bad times) and also through the good times. It is His mighty love and His protecting hand that comforts us, protects us, envelops us, and hopefully heals us!

Thank you all for your continued prayers for Jessica and I as she continues to take her "small steps" each day and as I try to navigate life in Mexico. This has certainly been an amazing journey - filled with many ups and downs - many stormy and sunny days - many miracles - and yes --- so MANY stories to tell...

We pray that you ALL see that "rainbow" in the sky and realize the "promise" that it sends to all that look upon it and believe in a God that is so wonderful, so omnipresent, and so majestic!

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

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


Fern said...

I am always mesmerized by the rainbows I see! God uses them to remind me of how much he loves me - no matter what! It is a true comfort. I am glad to hear that it is also a comfort to you!

A whole month already!? Where does the time go? I know I missed the regular visits in the hospital by you but this is definitely a step forward for your family.

You continue to be in my prayers daily and I am in awe of the strength your family shows each and every day!

Keep smiling

Anonymous said...

It is good to hear that things are progressing. Thanks to all who saw my little post that I needed prayers to solve a problem. Wow-within 12 hours God sent me two new angels to help with the problem.
Mexico and the stores are interesting. It is a comfort to have Walmart and Costco. It is fun to try new foods.
My sister's adopted premature twin girls are developing at a rapid pace. one is almost 8pounds the other almost 10.
Enjoy the time together.
Love from Saratoga,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder as to who God is!

May you and your family continue to feel His presence, His protection and His many blessings!

Jessica, your courage encourages me to keep on going! Small steps = HUGE advances!

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Harv and Kathy said...

Thanks for another post on how things are going over there. Amazing that 1 month has passed already! Congratulations on 1 month living out of the hospital. That is another accomplishment.
We will continue to pray for healing, strength, patience, and God's blessings of rainbows and other signs of His love and care for you,
Kathy and Harv

Anonymous said...


Rosemary & John said...

Dear Jessica & Sarah Gina,

You always inspire us when it is we who should be inspiring you! Thank you for a beautiful story. It is good that you are surrounded by such beauty as it shows you there is a world outside of RSD. God is with you always and He will carry you over that mountain and bring you home in peace, joy and in health. Our prayers are heard and He will give you the strength you need to continue taking life one day at a time, in baby steps, He will bring you home. Until then, we hold you in our daily prayers, very close to our hearts and think of you always with love and many gentle hugs. Love, Rosemary & John

Nancy said...

Hola mi Amigos! Rainbows are wonderful! Thanks for the beautiful picture you have painted for all of us.

May each day bring you all more strenght and health to bring you back home to all of us that love you so. Praise be for Dr. Greenshirt!
Love Nancita & Jose

Anonymous said...

Daniel 6:26-27

26 ...
"For he is the living God
and He endures forever;
His kingdom will not be destroyed,
His dominion will never end.

27 He rescues and He saves;
He performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.

He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions."

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Romans 8:25, 32

25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

Romans 5:5

5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Anonymous said...

It is easier to get than to keep it.......................................................................

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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!