Hi To All,
I am happy to say that Jessica and I have left the Hospital San Jose Tec once again!
We arrived safely to the apartment at 7 PM Saturday. We are both trying to adjust to life outside of the hospital once again.
I have an interesting story to tell everyone about our "exit" from the hospital:
The plan was for the ambulance to arrive at 4 PM to pick up Jessica from our room #845 at the hospital. Dr. Cantu called the ambulance company and gave them strict orders on how to handle an RSD patient, as well as instructions on going slow over the bumps and to travel very carefully and slowly with Jessica. So, the ambulance arrives late at 4:30 PM - but this is Mexico and after being here for a year you come to realize that everything goes slower here anyway.
We then all carefully place Jessica on the stretcher and proceed to say goodbye to all the nurses as they wheel her towards the elevator. We then proceed down through the ER and into the waiting ambulance and I notice that it is very hot in the ambulance! I ask them to please put on the A/C (or "climas" in spanish). They then tell me that there is no A/C today-problems with this particular ambulance. So, it is decided that we will exit this ambulance and wait for another ambulance with A/C to arrive. But, because that will be at least another 30 minutes or so, we could not stay down in the ER area(due to infection risk for Jessica) and so we had to go all the way back up to the 8th floor and back into her old room once again!
You can imagine the nurses faces when they saw Jessica coming back up to floor! When I called Dr. Cantu and jokingly told him that we had left the hospital and returned and were back in our old room, I think that everybody could hear his: WHAT????????????? coming out of the phone!
But, here comes the interesting part of the story:.
The new ambulance arrives and Jessica and I are loaded into the back and we proceed to take the trip - slowly - and carefully - back to the apartment. Jessica is laying on the stretcher and looking out of the back doors of the ambulance and seeing parts of Monterrey that she has never seen before. We proceed thru a small tunnel and as we take the main road to the apartment she notices a truck is following directly behind us and it has big writing splashed across the windshield! As she starts to read it out loud, this is what it had to say: "CHRISTO TE AMA".
This truck with this saying, which translated means: "Christ Loves You" followed us all the way to our apartment! God does work in mysterious ways - doesn't he???......................
Here is a picture of the truck that I took because I just didn't think that anyone would believe such an amazing story!
The next blog will be a special one from Jessica to everyone. I just wanted to tell you this story and to let everyone know that Jessica is out of the hospital after another stay and she is doing very well --- Praise God!
In God's Love, always
"CHRISTO TE AMA",
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)***
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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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!