Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On their way

I was pretty excited yesterday when I opened my email and saw this picture sent to me...
They sent me this photo from the Fort Lauderdale airport.  Patrick and Josh left around 4:30am to head to St. Barths.  Don't they look so cute!  Last night I received a call from Patrick saying they made it in around 6:30pm.  What a day!  I'm thankful for the safety the Lord gave them yesterday.  Last night they made a few visits.  Patrick said it was so good to see his Grandma.  (mama)  He had missed her and she had missed him, too.  Today they will be running lots of errands, making more visits and begin moving our things out of our rental house.  Lots of emotions are happening there and here.  I'm missing St. Barths, but I know God makes no mistakes.  His way is perfect!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Latest on my Health

 It's been a year since my symptoms first started. I've seen two more new doctors this week and I'm faithful for the Lord making His path clear of where I should go and who I should see.  So, here's some of the latest:

Mayo Clinic referred me to an Infectious Disease Doctor to be treated for my latent TB.  My latest tests came out negative for an active infection.  I saw the new doctor here in Fort Myers yesterday.  He was really surprised that the Mayo Clinic is not going to see me for a follow-up.  He knows I'm still and pain and is actively trying to find out the cause.  He wants to review my CT scans and see if the nodules in my lungs give more of an indication of what is going on.  He said they are there for a reason.  He also wants to review my records and see if I am in need of some more antibiotics.

 He also prescribed me the antibiotics to treat the latent TB infection.  I will be taking 2 pills a day for the next 9 months.  He warned me of some of the side effects (this is the reason for the 2nd prescription, to fight the side effects) and wants me to have more blood work in 2 weeks to check on things.  I will see this doctor every 1-2 months during the treatment.

He also referred me to see a Rheumatologist (this will be my 4th!)  When I checked out of the office, the nurse said I was one lucky girl because there had just been a cancellation and I can have the Rheumatology consult the next day!  That's not luck, that's my God!

So, today I saw the Rheumatologist.  He had lots to say.  He noticed the ligaments in my hands are loose.  He said that can cause pain (my hand pain has increased much in the past 4 weeks)  He also said he wants to track my SED rate and see if anymore inflammation creeps back into my blood.  He said that in unknown pain your body is on a vicious cycle  You feel pain, then fatigue, then you have a couple of good days and decide to do everything you can to make up for the past 2 weeks, then your pain starts again, then the fatigue.....It's a cycle that's hard to break.  He said if he can help stop the pain (especially in the night), help me to get some good rest, then we can try and break the cycle.  He said it's so important to pace myself on a daily basis.  Do a little here, a little there, and never too much when I feel well.  He wants me to start walking a small distance on a daily basis.  Then, watch how I feel the next couple of days.  If I feel worse, I've done too much.  I have a few more medications to take and see if they can help.  Whew!  Lots to think about!  This doctor also wants to see me on a monthly basis and try to figure out what is going on.

I am so thankful for the Lord placing in my path 2 doctors that are on the hunt to help me.  It could be these 2 men that the Lord has chosen to use in my life.  I am so thankful!  So, we have a plan!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Medical Furlough....

...that's the official term for what's happening with us.  Following the advice of our Pastor and Mission Board,  we knew the Lord was leading us for a time back in the states for medical care. There was a bit of confusion on all of us. We've been preparing our lives for over 7 years to live in the West Indies, start a church and reach these precious people to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ! 
 At the beginning we almost felt guilty to enjoy the things God is blessing us with during this journey in our lives.  But, then Patrick and I realized that this is God's will for our lives.  Unexpected, but totally the working of God.  We've always taught our children that in the center of God's will is the greatest blessings and most abundant joy through Christ.  Now, it's time for us to live that out for them!  We determined that we are going to enjoy this journey God has brought us on.   God is so good to us, it only makes sense that we should focus on His blessings.

It was a blessing to be able to stay in our Church's Prophet's Chamber.  When a missionary goes on Medical Furlough, where do they live?  What do they drive?  What are they going to wear?  Usually only  just enough clothes are brought back in a suitcase so there can be room to fit schooling.  God has provided for so many things!  My parents are letting us use their van.  Thanks Mom and Dad!  My sister has saved her coats from her kids, so now Silas and Callie have coats for when it turns a little (yes just a little) bit chilly here in Florida.  And my Mam-maw has been shopping for Micah to have a coat, too.

 God keeps providing for us and reminding us that He loves us and has a plan for our family.  When our pastor mentioned that we could live in the house that the church bought, we were thrilled!  It's 4 bedrooms with a pool!  What are we going to do with all this space!  Patrick and Josh have been working and painting and they are loving it!
 I wish I had taken before-before pictures.  There was a yellow on the walls.  It wasn't was just a lot.  We love the new color we picked for the walls.  It's a light greige and makes it feel so clean and airy in the house!
 With a little TLC this is going to be a great Missions House!  Thank you Lord for providing!
As for news from the medical front...I'm still in pain.  I've had a better couple of weeks.  I told Patrick that even though the pain is there and my joints ache,  God is giving me grace to go through each day.  He's making it more tolerable.  We're still waiting for our tests to be finalized, then Mayo will refer me to an Infectious Disease doctor here in Fort Myers.  My doctor told me that Mayo will not handle my long term care of treating my TB, only that they will recommend the best path of treatment for me to my doctor.  We are actually praying for a positive from the tests that will be finalized next week.  If they are positive, then we've found the reason for my pain.  Would you pray with us?  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Learning to be independent

My Silas is 4 and a half and is learning to show a little bit of independence.  He loves to be able to go to the fridge with his cup and fill up his water from the filter.  He's also learning how to get out the jug of juice and pour him a nice cup of apple juice.  Yesterday he came to me with his cup of apple juice and said, "YUK!  I do not like this kind of juice, Momma!"  My poor kiddo....he had poured himself a cup of canola oil!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Latest Update on our Family (from Patrick)

Kami update...and our plans for the near future...
Many of you have asked about an update on Kami.  So here goes....

We really don't have any new information to share as of right now.  We are waiting for the Infectious Disease department's final blood test to be finished by October 21st.  This test will show us whether Kami has an active TB infection in her bones which would be the reason for all of her symptoms.  If the test comes back negative, then the TB is latent and not the reason for her symptoms.  (Our hope is that the test comes back positive for an active TB infection so that we can have a name for her illness and get it treated.)

Either way, she will have to undergo 6-9 months of antibiotic treatments and repeated tests to evaluate the condition of her liver throughout the treatments.  The test will also tell us whether or not she needs 4 antibiotics or just 1 during the treatment.

So for now, Kami has good days and bad days, but none without pain.  She doesn't ever complain but there are times when I see the tears in her eyes from the pain and discomfort that she has been trying to live with. 

I will be going back to St. Barths at the end of the month to pack up our belongings and move out of our rental house.  With the advice of our Pastor and our Field Director, we decided that it just didn't make any sense paying $2,000/month in rent for a house that is just sitting empty on the mission field.  So we will pack-up our belongings, move out, and then see what the Lord has in store for our family once Kami finishes her antibiotic treatments.  So for now, we are taking a medical furlough to be able to get wife & momma back to a place that we can return to the mission field.

Our home church bought a 4-bedroom house about a year ago that needs a lot of fixing-up and tender love.  With our Pastor's permission, Josh & I have been remodeling the house and in return, we will be able to live in it for the duration of Kami's treatments.  After living in the 1-bedroom prophet's chamber here at the church for the past 2 months, the house will feel like a mansion when we get it finished!  This is a win-win situation as the church is getting a renovated house and we will be getting a place to call "home" while we are away from our home in the West Indies.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our family!

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Have you praised Him for it?

This morning during our family devotions we were talking about the amazing verse in Jeremiah 33:3.  It's one of our favorites!

  Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.  
As we were talking about the idea of calling unto God, Patrick mentioned that we need to keep asking and keep asking for the Lord to answer our prayers.  Sometimes He says 'Yes'  sometimes 'No' and sometimes 'Wait'.  We've been in the wait mode for a little while. 
Then he mentioned that the Bible also says that we should count it all joy when times of testing and trial come.  We should rejoice and praise the Lord for the trials He brings along our way.  An easy thing to do?  No.  Especially when you don't see the end of your trial and you don't always understand.
  But, that's where faith comes in.  Do we really have faith enough to say 'Thank you Lord' through our difficult times?  You can praise Him for the difficulties when you know that your tomorrows are in His hands.  Keep crying unto Him!  He will answer you and show you wonderful things!   But, while you're in the midst of your difficulty, Praise Him for it.  Praise Him for keeping His hand on you and for His precious presence.
Lord, I praise you for it!