Thursday night, we had the pleasure of spending time with some of Ken's family. Jennifer and Bryan (Mom and Dad Troutman) are in Raleigh for a few days visiting relatives in the area. Abby (Ken's sister) and her husband, Craig, were just passing through. We enjoyed grilling hamburgers and hot dogs in spite of the pouring rain!
Robin was able to come over and spent several hours in conversation. She is still in a great deal of pain, but does feel that the parasite treatments are working.
Abby and Craig will be leaving soon for a two year missionary assignment in China. You can follow their work by signing up HERE. Ken's other sister, Sarah, is already in China with a missionary team. It amazes me how GOD has worked to bring this precious family into our lives. Robin has always had a heart for the people of China. In 10th grade, she chose Watchman Nee as her missionary biography report. It was on our visit to Florida the following summer that David's dad revealed to us that Watchman Nee was a relative of ours. Since that time, Robin's interest in her Chinese ancestry has grown. I will share more on this subject later.
Just a quick update on Robin's condition--insomnia and pain are the biggest concerns currently. She has been on some of the pain medications for well over a year and her doctor wants her to start reducing the dosage. This causes side effects such as irritability and migraines. Managing this along with the pain she has from the Lyme is challenging. My resolve is to be patient, loving and kind--no matter what is said or done. That is most difficult when I am tired, but GOD has given much grace in this area! So thankful for HIS grace!
We received an email from Robin's doctor on Friday and the blood tests done last week indicate that Robin's immune system is in decline since the last time it was checked. This moves us one step closer to becoming a candidate for the IVIG procedure that I mentioned in a previous post. We should know more in a few days.
The summer of 2007 was busy, exciting and confusing! Shortly after graduation, Robin was back in NYC with her youth group, helping a church on Long Island. The group "sparkled" their way through the city, making great memories.
Robin remembers having some back pain on this trip, but was able to keep the pace.
In mid June, we travelled to Roanoke for my niece's wedding. This was an exciting time for our family, as Riley was the first of the cousins to "tie the knot". They had a beautiful venue at a mountain top winery. What a gorgeous view!
My recollection from this trip was that Robin just wanted to sleep. Looking back on it now, this is when I could sense a change in our daughter's personality. Always outgoing, she was beginning to turn inward. It is a change that did not occur overnight, but gradually. She still enjoyed being around people, but was spending more and more time alone.
As the summer progressed, we saw more and more changes in Robin's behavior. We thought she was excited about going to Bob Jones University in the fall, but she was making no effort to get her things packed. David and I worked during the day and on many days we would come home to find her still in bed. She said the pain was horrible, but it was not localized. On other days, she would get up and clean the house or have dinner ready when we got home. Nothing made sense. David and I concluded that Robin was working through some emotional issues that, in our parental wisdom, all teen agers went through at some time or other. Robin had always been very steady and quite mature for her age. This had to be the problem. We decided to give her time to sort things out. We knew she would talk when she was ready.
Our church had a special Sunday evening service in July to celebrate our freedom in Christ. There were fireworks after the service and ice cream and watermelon! Robin's normal Sunday night routine included after church fellowship with the other young adults. There was no way Robin would miss a special night like this! But, she didn't even make it through the service. We were concerned, so we went straight home ourselves. She was lying on the floor crying and rolling from side to side in extreme pain. We were ready for her to see a doctor. But, the pain would subside, so we didn't go. The rest of the summer was marked with these unexplained pain attacks. They would come and go and she had a hard time explaining what it felt like.
Robin seemed to rebound somewhat in August. We were able to take the family vacation we had planned for mid-August. Cincinnati, here we come! This is my favorite picture from that trip!
|Cincinnati Zoo - 2007|
Back home and just a few weeks before the first day of college, and Robin has done NOTHING to prepare. I was a complete nag for about a week and then I surrendered. I did not want my daughter to feel that we were pushing her to go away to college. Maybe she was having second thoughts about leaving home. Maybe she wanted to stay home and attend college locally. Maybe she just wanted to work. When I asked her these questions, she was adamant - "No, I am going to Bob Jones!"
After what seemed like an endless summer of tug of war, Robin packed her bags and was ready to leave when the day arrived. I was relieved but troubled. The summer had been a roller coaster of emotions. One day there was pain, the next day there seemed to be none. There was something bothering Robin, but she was convinced that God wanted her at Bob Jones. So off she goes......