where are we again?
So, we have been busy. And sorta nomadic. Doctor's appointments and seeing friends and family which I just cannot say no to since I am saving up chats and laughs and hugs for the sweaty and sometimes lonely days to come. We all went to Chicago for more doctor appointments and seeing some friends from college and we had to make time to just walk around our city a bit even if it was frigidly cold. The girls and I saw Jason for about a day before we headed down to Champaign too see my all grown up and graduating college sister last weekend and J headed back to Chicago to spend much needed time with some guys. Then we all headed to Iowa where we are currently residing for a couple weeks. All this motion has us feeling a bit unsorted and scattered. But I think a lot of that has to do with the latest on Miss Evy Imani.
Since I last posted about her medical care we have been back, researched a bit, talked to people, gotten more test results back, prayed, and met the doctor as a family to talk through our options. She has been seeing a pediatric specialist at Rush Medical Center in Chicago. He’s the director of pediatric infectious disease there, and has some experience with tropical medicine as well. More than all that he is a great guy and has been going above and beyond to help us out.
Miss Evy has been through a number of medical tests, including 11 vials of blood drawn, an EEG, a chest X-ray, and ultrasound of her chest/vascular system. The overall diagnosis from this doctor is a string of “bad luck” and that he does not see any underlying immunodeficiency or health concerns. This is the main reason we, in the end, came home. We wanted to rule out epilepsy or any auto-immune disorder so that we could have peace that we were not allowing something serious to hurt her without knowing. We needed that peace and we felt God gave us permission to seek it after the last few months.
But we are having to learn to live with some not knowing. And we felt that might be the case even the night we prayed as a family and the girls and I flew from Africa. That there might not be "answers." So where we are now: Due to heightened enzymes in her liver, the doctor initially thought we were dealing with Hepatitis, but subsequent tests ruled this out. All of her blood tests consistently show irregularities (high whit blood cells, platelets, liver values that are off,etc). But even though tests that come back "abnormal" are not making us feel psyched to return to the land of limited care we are grateful we have ruled out some major things.
Kids get sick and sure there are nasty bugs in Africa but she is strong and fighting. All the tests seem to indicate that her body is fighting off these infections. So for now we still have no real diagnosis and we are praying through this and trying to discern what is next. Because of the slightly enlarged heart that was mentioned from a chest x-ray (that was slight at best since the tech thought it was but the Dr. did not agree) we had them do an ultrasound of her entire heart cavity just a few days ago to rule out a heart infection which could cause the other symptoms. The initial result was that there is nothing wrong there but we are still waiting to get more news this Thursday or Friday.
Last week Evy came down with a fever and diarrhea, and we thought maybe this cycle was starting itself back up again. However, this has since cleared up (and could have been a reaction to the measles vaccine she got 10 days earlier), so she has not been sick again since we’ve been back. This makes it hard but we know God is with us and our healthy, naughty, vibrant, smiley little girl is doing great. We are in Iowa now and in the process of trying to see another doctor out here to get a second opinion. We know He is in this. All of it. Thanks everyone for prayers, calls, emails. so grateful for the support and love that surrounds our family.