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2/4/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Jennifer has had a Shunt in for several years to help with the pressure in her brain. The shunt has been a bundle of frustrations and struggles since the first one was originally placed. Currently, she is working with a surgeon at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. A new shunt was placed, but now needs removed as Jen has an infection in her spine and disks in her back. Her surgery to remove the new shunt yesterday (Friday) was not completed due to her heart stopping prior to the beginning of her surgery. Jen's body is exhausted. Last night she was placed on a ventilator to allow her lungs to rest. She is unable to be on pain meds due to her lungs and heart needing to gain strength prior to the immediate need for the shunt removal surgery due to the infections. Jen is currently in ICU and off the ventilator. She is talking under the oxygen mask. She is stable and waiting for her heart and lungs to be strong enough to be cleared for surgery possibly Monday. The shunt needs to be removed as soon as possible due to the serious infection it continues to cause. Jen is currently struggling with some serious depression. Often after people have had heart issues (Jen's heart stopped and she was administered several doses of adrenalin to restart it), people struggle with depression as a side effect. She is feeling alone and a burden. She is beyond frustrated with her body and the doctors and medical caregivers who have been somewhat unsympathetic while ignoring Jen's sharing of her symptoms and medical knowledge of her own body. This is a struggle that so MANY patients have to FIGHT in an ongoing basis in our sometimes very broken medical system. The struggles Jen and her mom are having on a regular daily basis, even at one of Americas finest medical facilities, is frustrating to say the least for those of us who understand it and have experienced it to lesser degrees than these two beautiful women have had to for the last 10 years. It is truly impossible to even imagine the extreme frustrations that Jen and Sandy are facing on a daily basis. We can all list the number of incredible hurdles we expect for them to be facing, but then there are 1,000 daily invisible road blocks that should NEVER be in their way. We all have challenges in our daily lives that people do not expect us to be positive through and yet when someone is sick, Americans want there to be a resolution quickly ... when there is not... we start to ignore the fact that our friend or family member's medical situation has not changed. Jennifer and Sandy need our help now more than they ever have before. They both need to know how very much we love them and care about them and NEED them. Thank you to each and every one of you who has continued through the years to do this. We might not be able to be in Baltimore with Jen and Sandy, but we CAN flood them with PICTURES, CARDS, MESSAGES, VIDEOS and LOVE just as they have both done for us during our difficult times in our lives. We can gather here to send POSITIVE messages and love. By doing this away from Facebook, Jen will not have to deal with the negative energy that drains her there. We need to be "Jen's Circle of Healing Hearts" now. We need to support each other as we combine our efforts here to build her back up and let her know that God saved her and brought her back to us because her journey here on earth is not over yet. God needs her here with us still and WE NEED her HERE with us. It's not time for her to let go and give in yet! We need to show her as much and as often and in as many different ways as we can here! And ... we need to support her very strong mom who has done her best to support Jen through all of these crazy medical situations and struggles. We NEED to be pure positive love and laughter and support without taking any energy from either of them in negative ways. Any way that you feel you might be able to give to them or help them positively or help get them through anything negative that might steal their energy, please do it and share with us if there is a way any of us can help you accomplish that! Jen's medical situation has taken so much energy and time from her and her mom. It is a serious condition that so many of us would never even know where to start facing. Her situation has been chronic for over 10 years. She has handled so much more than most of us can mentally comprehend. Jen is braver, stronger, and more brilliant than so many of us are even able to realize. She continues to be strong and supportive for any of us who need it at any given moment in the middle of ALL she has on her own plate! Her compassion for every living thing is truly immeasurable! If there is an injustice going on in the world, Jen is on it! Ready to FIGHT against that injustice! Her heart is HUGE!!!
It is easy to forget sometimes that when a person's heart is that BIG ... it is broken much easier and into many more pieces than the rest of us who might not have that exceptionally big beautiful heart.