The other evening my sister, nieces, and nephew stopped by the house to gather acorns and other nature treasures for the girls’ upcoming birthday party (The party-goers are  decorating fairy houses.).  Wow. It seems like just yesterday Emma learned to walk and now she’s going to be three!  It occurred to me later on that it was one year ago, after Ava’s birthday party, that we got really serious about all the mysterious symptoms that Jenna was experiencing.  Not that we didn’t take her health seriously before, heaven knows we saw specialist after specialist, ran test after test, and got more and more dismayed that no one seemed to know what was going on — but what happened that day ignited the fire or should I say, firestorm.

That afternoon, Jenna excitedly helped us transform my mom’s back patio into a fairy wonderland and assisted me in finishing up the decorations on Ava’s birthday cake.  As the guests started arriving, she helped them into their fairy wings.  It was a such a great party and after helping with the clean-up we headed home.  Jenna was exhausted and laid down for a nap.  A few hours later, she came rushing out of her bedroom, upset that we had completely forgotten to go and help with Ava’s party.  ALL memory of the afternoon was gone.  While we had noticed she had been having more and more trouble with finding correct words to use, the loss of an entire afternoon was too much to ignore – and I wasn’t going to let the neurologist tell me that it was a “New Persistent Chronic Headache” any more. 

Now, one year and many thousands of dollars later, we’re hoping to wrap up Jenna’s Lyme treatment in the next few months.  I pray that what we have done works and that she doesn’t have too many permanent effects.  She still struggles with words and memory loss, attention/focus issues, and comprehension.  Some days are better than others — like today, when I watched her in the school hallway, dressed in her purple trenchcoat and red polka-dotted rainboots, laughing and waving to friends.  I saw the old Jenna.  That’s when I know that we did the right thing by starting aggressive treatment.  Of course, just like the other day, she could have a narcolepsy attack on the way home, wake up with amnesia, and not remember a single thing that happened in the last 24 hours.  But, for now, I’m not going to think about the fact that yesterday she couldn’t remember the name of the one class she attends or what the appendages at the end of her arms are called.  I’m just going to keep picturing the look on Jenna’s face this afternoon.  It was a source of joy and the picture of hope.


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