We made it to Friday! Our prediction for this week was one of herxing and debilitating pain. Unfortunately, we were right. Robin experienced some nausea from the Biltricide, but the most notable side effect has been the increased pain in her back and neck.
Today she will have a blood draw to check her immune system function. Our doctor is monitoring this to see if she is a candidate for a procedure called Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG). After years of fighting the infections in the body, the immune system, understandably, needs a break. When this happens, the parasites and unfriendly bacteria go on the offensive. If Robin's lab results indicate an under-functioning immune system, our insurance company should approve her for this treatment. We were told that each round of this treatment costs roughly $15,000. There is no way we could afford that without insurance coverage. Robin is quickly approaching her 26th birthday, so it is imperative that we stay on target with getting the documentation necessary for our insurance to cover this procedure. Our doctor has been told of Lyme patients making amazing strides in their treatment after having this procedure.
So, that is my prayer request to all my readers--if it is GOD's will, the blood tests will indicate that Robin is a candidate for this procedure AND that our insurance company will approve her for treatment quickly!
Let me remind you of the date--it is May 2007. Think back with me to that time. What pharmaceutical product do you recall seeing during every commercial break while watching TV? I am talking about Gardasil.
Robin was urged to have this vaccine every time she went to see a doctor. It was presented as mandatory, that I would be negligent if I did not consent for her to get this vaccine. I read what was available at the time and I had some questions. Robin did not fall into the subset of girls who were at greatest risk, but the pressure from health professionals was intense. David and I discussed the issue and decided to get the advise of someone we trusted, who was a doctor in another state. Her response was that Gardasil is a good product and that her own daughters were having the vaccine. After much discussion and prayer, we decided that Robin should have the vaccine.
The Gardasil vaccination completes the triangle of elements that have made our daughter so sick. I want to share with you the timeline that our doctor and his staff have helped us to develop. It is easy to just accept the consequences of events that you would repeat, such as going on a mission trip to Honduras, or a camping trip with your father. It is not so easy to accept the consequences of a decision made, based on aggressive marketing of a pharmaceutical company and the negligence of government agencies that failed to do comprehensive testing before recommending the vaccine for ALL girls ages 9-26.
Check out some stories of girls who have suffered due to this vaccine. Many of them are similar to Robin's story.
But, as I said, there are three events that put us on this long and arduous journey.
Summer 2006 - Trip to Honduras - swam in unclean water, pulled leeches from abdomen after swimming, rash and low grade fever initially, neck and back pain on-going
May 2007 - Father/Daughter camping trip - over a dozen ticks removed, low grade fever and fatigue initially, neck and back pain increasing in intensity, all over muscle and joint pain
May - Dec 2007 - Gardasil vaccinations - our theory is that because her immune system was already compromised from the first two events, her body had an adverse reaction to the components of the vaccine.
The immune system--so important for our bodies to function as God intended. When it is damaged, we suffer physically, emotionally and spiritually. As Christians, we are not immune to making unwise decisions. If we are not living in a way that supports a healthy spiritual immune system, we are more prone to bad decisions. Was my immune system healthy during this time frame? My prayer journal would indicate that I was too busy to spend quality time in God's Word and prayer. I deeply regret this!