Thursday, June 27, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Joshua! 17 Years!

 Today is my  Josh's 17th Birthday.  My baby is growing up!  I'm sure most of you mothers can relate, but I still feel like he's my baby.  He always will be.  When I look at him, I still see his cute eyes as he was a baby looking at me.  I see his chubby hands gripping my finger, and I can picture him swaddled up taking a nap in my arms.  Time flies is an understatement.
 Josh's birth do I say...painful!  He was born at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi.  I remember the excruciating pain one second, and the very next having extreme joy.  It's just not describable.  I'm so thankful for my son!
 Josh is growing up into a fine young man.  He loves the Lord and loves me and Patrick.  He has been an amazing help to us these past few months of craziness.  He's a blessing.  He preaches once a week for our family and his sermons are excellent.  He knows  that God has called  him to preach, but he's praying about exactly what the Lord would have him to do.  He's also praying about the big decisions he'll be making this upcoming year since he will be a 2014 graduate.  He says that Golden State in California and Hyles Anderson in Indiana are at the top of his list.
I sure do love you my Josh!  You make this Momma proud.  You'll always be my baby, but I'm so proud of the man you're becoming.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Crazy Family

A tradition that I like to do with my children is take their picture around their birthday.  Like  here and here.  So, this morning, I called Beth and Brenna and told them to tell Josh (the birthday boy tomorrow) to be ready at 4:30 for picture taking time.  I knew Beth and Brenna would do a great job.  At about 5 Josh called and said they took a bunch, but only two turned out.  I was excited.  Email them to me!!! So, he did...and this is what he sent....

Yup, they need me!  Then, after making me worry, they emailed me the real pics.  And they are great!  I'll post them tomorrow.  My boy is so handsome.  and growing up.  sniff sniff

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An Update

So many people have been praying about my appointment on Monday.  Thank you!

Monday, Mom and I drove over to Weston to the Cleveland Clinic.  I saw the Rheumatologist and after reviewing my tests, everything came out normal. I have such mixed emotions when I receive test results.  I'm so happy that things are normal.  But, then I realize that we are no closer to finding the source of my problem.  Talk about roller coaster emotions!  It's strange, because even my inflammation levels are down.    That hasn't happened in a while.  But....I still don't feel well.  The pressure is just as strong as ever. And so much more in my neck/jaw area lately. Dr. Elzawawy said that my pain is coming from somewhere that isn't in his expertise and I needed to go back to my Primary Doctor at the Clinic, Dr. Holley.  So, I no longer have a rheumatologic problem.

When I saw Dr. Holley, she told me that she has been waking up at night thinking about me and brainstorming about where my pain could be coming from.  I told her that I have been praying specifically for her to have wisdom and for God to help her to help me.  And that many people have been praying.  It's so amazing to see God working.  I stand amazed every time!

She has a few new ideas of what could be going on.  She doesn't seem to be leaning towards nerve damage any longer.  I'm presenting with symptoms of having a vascular problem.  Even though the MRA looked carefully at my aorta and the blood vessels in my chest area, she wants for me to have an ultrasound of the carotid artery in  my neck.  She's wondering if maybe I have an abnormality there.  Possibly even from birth.  She also wants to check my thyroid.  Even though it is functioning fine, she wonders if there is a cyst or nodule that has been missed and it's sending nerve signals to different parts of my body.  The third thing she wants to do is check my esophagus and make sure it's healthy.  So, I will have an XRay where I have to swallow a liquid and they will watch it go down.  Pretty cool!  I hope it's yummy!  Maybe chocolate flavored? :o)  After these tests, I will see a Vascular Medicine Doctor.  Whew!  That's a lot to think about!

As they scheduled my appointments, I fought back tears.  I'm going to be missing my Joshua's birthday (17 years), my anniversary (19 years!) and Brenna's birthday (14 years).  I called Patrick and through tears told him what I will be missing.  I have an amazing husband.  He knows just what to say.  "We will get through this together"  "The Lord knows what is best"  "We will celebrate when you get back"  "We love you and want you to be well more than anything"  Oh, I love my family!

So, it's more waiting.  Next Monday I head back for my appointment.  Can I ask you to pray some more?  Eventually my posts won't be always requesting prayer for me and my family.  Eventually I will be posting about some quilt I've made, the great things happening while watching our church grow in St. Barths, or the cute things my kiddos are doing and saying.  But, for now, this is what the Lord has brought into our lives.  It's not all that fun and colorful.  But, He does know best and loves me like no other can.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Always a lesson to learn

As I was typing a message this morning to my dear friend, Mrs. Jan, I was reminded of the sweet lessons God is teaching me through this trial.
~He loves me.
~He knows what is best for me and will do just that...because He loves me.
~Patience....hhhhmmm.  I'm always trying to learn this lesson!
~He's the master of this situation, and there is nothing to hard for Him!
~He is always right on time.  My time table doesn't always match up to His.  It's me that needs to readjust.
~He gives me the encouragement from His Word that I need for that day.

     This morning I was reading in Deuteronomy 9 and I came across verse 3  "Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee"    Several years ago I wrote next to this verse, "In St. Barths!"  That made me smile this morning!  But, then I realized, this is true for my health situation, too!  I told Denise last night that if someone had told me last year that I would be having health problems and have to leave the mission field (and my family) for a bit, I wouldn't have believed them.  I've been so healthy! But, here I am.  Away from my family and facing the uncertainty of not knowing what is going on with my body.   This verse was exactly what I needed this morning.  He goes before me!  None of this has taken my Creator by surprise.  And knowing I am in His hand during blessed I am!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Friday, I traveled to Weston with my Mom, Denise, Patrick's brother Marc, and my little Micah Roo.  I was a little nervous about having the MRA and was just ready to get it over with.  I told Mom to just drop me off at the hospital and I would call her when I was done.  I knew Micah was going to love having some time at the park on the swings that Mom found near the hospital.

Have I mentioned how great the people at Cleveland Clinic are?  I told Patrick that everyone I have met there is in love with their job.  They love what they do and are very compassionate.  A big plus in the medical field!  
After getting into my beautiful blue gown, they put in my IV.  If you know me, I've always been nervous about needles.  And an IV?  a little scared.  But, I had the best lady ever to put in my IV.  She was good!  Then, they sweetly explained everything.  The machine is a cross between an MRI and a CT scan machine.  It's open on one end and a little bigger.  After they laid me on the table with a nice warm blanket, hooked me up to the contrast machine, and made sure my heart was in the exact spot on the table, they began to strap heavy magnets on me.  Being strapped to the table with something on top of you was a little nerve-wracking.  Then, the coughing began.  Sometimes when I lay flat the pressure increases and I begin to cough.  They propped up my head and I was much better.  Then, before they pushed me into the tunnel, they asked if I would like some music in my headphones.  Sure!   I told them I like Classical or Conservative Christian Music.  They found the perfect calming music station for me.  Oh the power of good music!

I was inside for an hour.  Many times I had to take deep breaths and hold it when asked to.  They realized I just don't have the lung compacity right now to hold it for the full 25 seconds.  strange for me.  I'm used to having contests with my kiddos to see who can sing out a note and hold it the longest.  Not to brag...but I usually win! :o)  I don't think I'll win that contest at the moment.  So, they ended up having to do shorter intervals for me, since I couldn't hold my breath that long.  In the end the technician said that he has some "very beautiful pictures"  Thanks!

Monday we head back for all the results.  Patrick and I are praying for answers.  The hardest part is not knowing what is going on with my body.  Would you pray along with us?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Being loved from afar

Yesterday I received a sweet surprise at my Mom and Dad's door.

 Patrick knows I love flowers!  And he has been the best husband to faithfully give me flowers.  I knew him for one month when I opened my locker and found a rose in there.  (thinking back it should have been creepy?  romantic?  that he had memorized my locker combination!)  Then, when we were first married he would pick lilacs at a tree on base and bring them home for me.  They made the house smell sooo good!
 The note says, "We love you so much and miss you.  Hope these flowers remind you that you are the love of our lives.  Patrick & Kids"
Feeling so loved about now!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Another Day

Last Friday I went back to Cleveland Clinic for a Nuclear Bone Scan.  For the first time ever my veins decided not to cooperate.  That was a little interesting.  Everything from there on went smoothly and after the test Mom, Micah and I were on the road to head back to Fort Myers.  Mom found the cutest little park to take Micah to while I was having my test.  I think she already has plans to take him again!  He loves the swings!

Sunday I was so excited to be with my Dad for Father's Day.  I don't know when was the last time I was with him for Father's Day!  As I was getting ready for church I started hurting worse.  My Dad saw me use my ice pack and told me I could just stay home.  I hate seeing him worry about me.  I put on my smile and told him I would be fine.  Once at church I was so blessed by my caring church family.  They are amazing.  They faithfully remember me and my family in blessed!  As the preaching started, I had the feeling of falling over.  I thought that I should get up and go to the back, but I couldn't imagine doing that without falling down.  Weird feeling!  Dad said we should just go home and have pizza, but I insisted we go to the restaurant and meet my sisters there.  As the service ended I let everyone file out so I could have a straight shot to the car.  I felt okay then, just a little weak.  Mom held my hand and it was so comforting.

 Dad picked Sonny's for our Father's Day meal.  I love good BBQ!  Half way through my sliced beef and french fries, I felt weak again.  I looked at my tea and thought, "There's no way I can pick up my cup."  I felt like I was going to fall over, I was so weak.  I looked at my Mom and said, "Please take me home."  Right away we left.  (My Dad had to take care of the bill, since we were in the middle of our meal.  Some Father's Day!  He's so good to me!)  As I got home my Mom helped me get into my nightgown and I slept.  I was so exhausted that it was scary.  

Today, I have my energy back....some.  Pain is still there.  Friday I go back to the Cleveland Clinic for an MRA.  This time they will see if the inflammation is coming from my Blood Vessels.  I'm praying for answers soon.   Please pray along with me.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cleveland Clinic Day One

Mom and I decided to drive over to Weston during Micah's naptime.  My poor guy is not used to travelling in the car so long...our island is quite small!  I was so excited when we realized it would work for my two nieces to ride over with us since they had to be in Miami the same day. As an aunt that lives far away, I feel like my nieces and nephews are growing up too fast.  Any time I can sneak in with them works for me!  Kaylie and Kiara are so much fun!  They love to giggle and talk and play games, I just knew the two hour ride would go by in a flash.  But, unfortunately, when we picked them up I started not feeling so good.  I slept most of the ride over :o(  They were so good with Micah, though, and when he wasn't napping he had plenty of fun with his cousins.

We checked in to our hotel, then Mom took us out to dinner at Cheddars.  I love that place!  Micah had the four of us giggling so hard.  I think people were starting to look at us!  For some reason he kept lifting his shirt up so his head would peek out the top.  (like his shirt was his hair)  And then we would say, "Hi Daddy!"  It was so funny and we were cracking up!  And you know boys, do something once and get people to laugh....they'll do it 100 times!

Morning came early and as I prayed that morning I begged the Lord to just be with me today.  I need Him so much and I didn't want to go through this day of unknown without Him.  As I read my Bible I was in Deuteronomy chapter 4.  He mentions in that chapter "if thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him" and "if thou turn to the LORD thy God...he will not forsake thee"  I felt as if the Lord was directly answering my prayer with, "Kami, I hear you, and I will never leave you."  He sure does love me!

Everyone at Cleveland Clinic was wonderful.  They work together and all my info is accessible by their computer systems to every doctor I saw.  Many things went on, but to just give a condensed version:

~My Internal Medicine Doctor is younger than me.  (When did I get so old?)
~The Cardiologist pronounced that I have a healthy heart.  Praise the Lord!
~I do have a "Serious Medical Condition"  that needs to be addressed.
~I do not have Rheumatoid Arthritis.
maybe I should repeat that!
~I DO NOT have Rheumatoid Arthritis!  So glad for this.  I have a dear dear friend that has this and some wonderful family members.  I realize how difficult it can be.  As I've researched RA, God has given me a greater understanding of what they are going through.  The doctor had diagnosed me with this because my Rheumatoid Factor was high.  But, as two doctors told me, this is just another marker of inflammation.  So, now I have three tests coming back marking inflammation in my body.
~There are some tests ordered that I have never had before and the doctor said he wants to find WHERE the inflammation is coming from.  Maybe my bones, maybe my blood vessels.  They just really aren't sure.

So, today I go for more testing.  My next test  after today isn't until next Friday :o(  I told Joshua last night that it looks like I won't be there for his birthday.  Talk about a hurting heart!  But, the Lord truly knows best, and my boy is so understanding.  I told him that since I feel guilty that he'll probably get extra gifts!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thursday is the Day.

I received confirmation from the Cleveland Clinic in Weston Florida today that my appointments will begin on Thursday.  I will meet with 3 doctors on that day, and then they will chart the course for what needs to happen next.  My Mom and I (and of course my Micah Roo) will drive over to Weston (about 2 hours away) on Wednesday evening so I can be ready for my Thursday morning appointment.  Please be in prayer for my doctors to have wisdom.

  I'm missing my family so much already.  I'm so thankful for email and the pictures they send me of their adorable faces.  My family here in Florida has been so wonderful as usual.  Since we came in late Saturday night my sister, Keela, had came in earlier in the day and prepared my room and turned the covers down in my bed.  My room (it's acutally the guest room, but Micah was born in there, so I'm claiming it!) was so inviting and my tired body climbed right in to bed.  Then I remembered that I had a queen bed all to myself and missed my Patrick even more.

Healthwise, I'm feeling the same pressure and pain.  So, Thursday is the day. Each email and note has been so encouraging to our family.  To know God's people are praying for me and my family is so humbling, yet the feeling of being so blessed far beyond what we deserve is indescribable.  Thank you seems not quite enough to say.

Much Love and Thanks,

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Safe Arrival

Thank you to everyone who prayed for our trip yesterday.  We left the house around 7:15am to catch our ferry to St. Martin.  Praise the Lord for answered prayers of a calm sea.  The waters were flat and beautiful.  Perfect day for the ferry trip!
 2 minutes after leaving the dock, I decided to take one last peek of my St. Barths.  I turned around, and there stood my husband on the dock, that came for one last peek of his wife.  Waving to him made me feel so loved.  I miss him already!
 Micah took his morning nap on the ferry.  It was so relaxing for us both.
 After taking the taxi from the ferry to the airport in St. Martin, we had quite a wait.  My parents helped me keep Micah busy.  He walked the entire place!  And even made a new friend.
My little guy did pretty good on the plane.  He slept for most of the flight.  After we landed we hit the road for our drive to Fort Myers.  We arrived in my parent's driveway at 10pm.  Whew!  What a day!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Going Back Again

After much prayer and leading from the Lord, it's time that I go back to the States for more medical care. I've enjoyed my parents visit,  but it  was clear to us that I am not getting any better.  Each day seems a little worse and the pain is increasing and spreading.  The hardest times are when the fatigue sets in and I sleep and sleep.  Unfortunately, this happened some this week with my parents visiting.  They were so understanding and played and entertained the kiddos. They were so patient with me as I wasn't always the sweetest. (maybe even a tad bit grumpy) (did I really just admit to that? :o)   They are such wonderful grandparents and parents.

 My Rheumatologist here and my doctor in Florida have done all that they can and have recommended that I head back to the states to be seen by different doctors.  Next week I will have an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida with an Internal Medicine Doctor.  Within a day or two after that I will have tests done and possibly see other specialists.

 Please pray with us that the problem will be found.  I'm ready to be on the road to recovery!  Through everything God is so faithful and patient.  He takes good care of me and is good all the time!

Just a few more from their visit!

Here's just a few more pics from my parents visit.  On Thursday night they took us (Patrick, me, Josh, Elisabeth and Brenna)  (Silas, Callie, and Micah stayed with Mariane and Georges.) out to dinner at Eddys.  It was such a nice evening walking on the harbor and enjoying the amazing food at Eddys.  It was just such a great visit.

We love you Mom and Dad!  Can't wait for the next visit!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Time with Grandparents

It has been great to have my parents with us this week.  My children have loved all of the attention and to be on vacation with them.  It worked out perfect that we finished up school a couple of days before they arrived.  Hello Summer!

 I was hoping Silas and Callie would "warm up" to them quickly.  Sometimes they can be a little shy around people they don't know very well.  Well, I shouldn't have worried.  Within minutes Callie was my Dad's Buddy.  And Silas hasn't stopped talking in since Saturday!

 I haven't been able to quite be the hostess I would like to be with my parents this time.  I've slept quite a bit and have had to take it easy.  But, as Patrick put it this morning, the Lord knew that our children needed this time with their Grandparents and worked out the timing perfectly.  My parents are so understanding and of course a little worried about me, they have taken care of everything!
 Patrick has loved visiting with my Dad.  These two have so much in common and love to be together.

 And my Dad is loving going to the bakery everyday for some french bread!

 We've gone on some walks in our neighborhood.  The  beach is just around the corner, you know! :o)

 My Elisabeth is not real crazy about the beach.  Neither is my Dad.  My Mom said they started hiking along the coast next to the beach they were enjoying.  They loved the hike and climbed over rocks.  What a great memory for the two of them!  Can you spot them?

 Such a great time with my parents.  I love you both!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lots of Excitement!

 There is lots of excitement around the Gimenez Home today!  My parents are arriving on the evening Ferry!  Yipee!!!!  We are so looking forward to a fun visit.
 I can't believe it's been 1 year since Mom and Dad have seen Patrick, Silas and Callie.  There will be lots of hugs going on tonight!
Well, I should get off here and help my family get things ready.  They are as busy little bees preparing everything!