Celebrating the 32nd anniversary of Rochell's 18th birthday!

Rochell Dickerson

First post: Jan 7, 2018 Latest post: Mar 18, 2018
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The day after Christmas, after a very fun day with close friends, we took Rochell to the Wellstar Paulding ER with severe abdominal cramps.  After several tests (ultrasounds, CT Scans & bloodwork) all came back good, we were released with Rx for pain.  Upon leaving the ER her pain shifted to her back, then head, neck, spine and legs which caused us to return to the ER two days later.  More tests still came back normal including flu tests, more ultrasounds and bloodwork so we were released with yet more Rx for pain and muscle spasms.  These intensified which prompted yet a third trip to a now fuller than capacity ER two days later on Sunday, New Year's Eve.  Three+ hours later Rochell was finally triaged to a room before having a spinal tap and a CTA scan which revealed she had 2 anurism's on her corotid artery and we rang in the New Year just before her transfer via ambulance to Kennestone Hospital where vascular specialists in ICU would assess her situation.  Even after extensive additional testing resulted in a tiny cyst on her kidney and finding out that she has had Fibro Muscular Dysplasia all her life (all unrelated to her current battle, by the way) doctors confess being puzzled with her symptoms and presume posible viral meningitis.  After a few days of pain control in ICU, yet another spinal tap and no improvements, surgeons perform an angiogram finding no brain anurisms but do find some hardening of arteries in her brain (also believed to be unrelated to her current battle).  A cranial ultrasound and Echo Cardiogram both come back normal.  

The last two days she has encountered periods of vast improvements followed by almost complete relapses.  She has had just about every test you can imagine, some multiple times, and has the bruises to show for it.  Rochell normally hides any pain and has always fought nausea to its death.  It's not that I had just never seen it, but Rochell has never even vomited in the 9 years we have been together!  She is a true champ when it comes to pain so I knew that this had to be bad as she was very obviously in pain from the beginning.  She continues to amaze me with her strength in battling this viral infection or whatever the heck it is and I am very proud of her determination to push through it.

As of today, January 8th, 2018, it has been 13 days since the onset of her symptoms and that first visit to the ER.  Today is the 8th straight day we (I won't leave her side) have been in the hospital which gets increasingly uncomfortable the longer we're here and there still is no certain diagnosis, only hopeful treatment of pain while the potential virus runs its course.  

We have no idea what this will end up costing or how it may impact our lifestyle but we do know that our Father in heaven has us right where He wants us and will take care of our every need as He has never failed us yet and His word says He never will.  We believe God is at work in all of this for if it were not for this virus, all of the testing that has revealed a tiny cyst on her kidney (a possible answer to a minor issue that her primary care physician has been mysteriously chasing for 6 years), the fact that she has had a rare disease all her life (FMD) and also has hardening of arteries in her brain, now affords us time to learn and become aware so we can be proactive in potential lifesyle adjustments to minimize risk and maximize life for His kingdom's purpose!  I'm sure there will be ups and downs and moments where fear, doubt and worry creep in, as His word promises that we will be tested even as Jesus himself was tested.  But we know that Jesus will prevail in and through us for His good purpose because He has chosen to make Himself known to us by the power and presence of His Holy Spirit living inside of us.  In the end, He is our everything and the very breath in our lungs and He is all we need.

Many have offered to help out any way we may need it and it is very comforting knowing we have such caring family, friends, co-workers, bosses and loved ones!  Thank you for assuring us that we are not alone!!!

At this time it is too early to tell what needs we may have, if we even have any?  But rest assured that if and when we do have any needs, I will post them here to let all of you know as soon as possible.

Having said that, the thing I know we will always need, because we are human, is prayer.  Please pray that God will be honored and glorified through all of this and that He will keep us strong in leaning on Him for wisdom, guidance and perseverance.  His word says we have not because we ask not, so please pray for Rochell to be completely healed and for a full and speedy recovery!

Thanking each of you in advance,

Larry Dickerson

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