Sunday, September 13, 2015

High Vagal Tone

In the words of mom:

Allie came home safe and sound on Thursday! Brandon and I waited for her at the airport and watched the clock count down to 7:02. I don't recall that my hands have ever sweat out of nervousness to see one of my children, but to be honest, I was so nervous! I certainly did not know what to expect. I expected her to be in a somber mood, rather as she walked down the escalator I saw humility. She made her way to me, my hands cupped to my mouth as the tears started to flow. We embraced much like at the MTC, and we wept. In many ways I can look at the blessings that have come from this. Not many parents get the opportunity to be reunited with their missionary during the 18 or 24 months, (a sneak peak if you will;) but I'm not sure it's going to be easy to let her go either.  Allies mood was lifted and her spirits were up. What a relief. She admitted that she had cried it all out in Nicaragua.

Arriving to Wellsville, we drove directly to the Stake Center where we met a member of the Stake Presidency. He shared with us amazing insight and words of encouragement. We knelt in prayer as Allie was released for a time from her missionary status. Allie removed her name tag and the tears ran down. Brandon embraced her in a most special father-daughter embrace and he wept with her. He's been there before. Being released is surreal. Being a missionary is simply who you are and what you do; living a life of complete dedication to God and returning to the 'real' world can be frustrating, to say the least.

Friday afternoon was met with encouragement as we met with a local cardiologist.  Through a combination of medical reports and verbal explanation he simply diagnosed Allie with a 'high vagal tone'. Well.... let me explain;) The nervous system has 2 parts, the Sympathetic and the Para-sympathetic nervous systems. The Para-sympathetic nervous system has the Vagus Nerve that begins at the base of the brain stem and runs in front of the ears and down the side of the spinal cord and branches off to various organs including the heart.  The Vagus Nerve  "provides parasympathetic innervation to glands of mucous membranes of the pharynx, larynx, organs in the neck, thorax, and abdomen". It is the nerve that is causes one to faint when they see the sight of blood or needles. The nerve causes the heart BP and rate to decrease due to stresses related to the organs and functions that the Vagus nerve supplies.  One of the many symptoms of an overractive Vagus nerve can be IBS, overractive bladder, chest pressure, ear ringing, neck and throat pressure (excessive salivation) etc . ALL of which Allie experiences. In light of this all, it is VERY GOOD NEWS! It explains so much!  Now, the question of the day? What can they do to fix this condition? We have no idea. Haha! As for now, Allie has been cleared and given simple instructions that when this happens (low heart rate and BP) to take it easy, lie down if needed, and to stay hydrated. The future may lead us to visit a neurologist, but for  now.... Allie is OKAY!

Tonight, a retired Cardiologist that serves with the Mission department called and talked to Allie. As he sat and looked at her records he agreed with the diagnosis from our cardiologist.  Tomorrow we will consult with our Primary physician to see if a Thyroid or Sleep apnea test (the two tests that she was sent home for) are needed. We doubt it ;)

Our next step is to receive word from the Stake president. She will then write a letter, as well as the Stake President, along with a medical statement clearing her for service. This will then be sent to the church head quarters where she will receive her new call.  Because of a lack of good medical care in Nicaragua, she may not be sent back there, but we are keeping our fingers crossed! She is happy to serve wherever the Lord wants her to!

 LDS missionaries serving a medical mission. So grateful for their love and support to Allie and for bringing her home!

 On our way home! Still can't believe she is by my side!

 Friday morning after 4 hours of sleep. We stayed up til 2 am just talking!

 Saturday morning. It didn't take much for Lindsie to convince Allie to go on a horse back ride!

Best Friends Forever!! Allie and Heidi!

She's coming home


Update: Intinerary for Allie Jackson:

In the words of mom:

Allie will be arriving into the SLC airport Thursday evening around 7 pm (Only Brandon and I will be picking her up;) and she will be going home with us that night. We are trying to arrange an appointment for her with a local cardiologist on Friday. I had a 3 way conference call toay with a Mission Dept. Rep. and the LDS Dr. in Guatemala that will be traveling with her. He said that even tho Allie's condition is SO much better and she is... completely stable, the mere fact that she had a heart rate of 31 bpm and a low blood pressure is enough to cause alarm for them, to the point that she needs to be seen by a U.S. Doctor. Nicaragua is simply not equipped to handle these types of incidences with the speed needed to do so. That is simply why they are sending her home. This does put her for a higher risk for the possibility of not returning to Nicaragua, however the odds are in her favor that she will be able to go back out and finish her mission in a country that can provide better medical care, or within the states. 

We will get her home and take it one day at a time. I know that this is going to be hard for Allie. Her heart is in Nicaragua and it won't be quite the "party" it would be if she was completing her mission. I assume that she is going to be attending the temple, seeking out the quiet moments and maybe take a horse ride or two to clear her thoughts. Hopefully she gets back to the mission field in a short amount of time and won't have to keep herself too extremely busy.
I know that she will be happy to have visits from close friends and family, but please message me or text me for the best times to come and see her. (We may be at the hospital;)
Again, no words can express my gratitude for the prayers and fasts, both here and in Nicaragua, on Allie's behalf. We have had a tremendous outpourring of love and support. It means the world to us! Thank you! XOXO!

 Allie didn't get a P-Day this week, so the tender mercy came while she was in the hospital. She recieved the package that we sent her. Thru this I know that she could feel the love of her family and the love and support that we were giving her.


 Adios hospital room! Heading to President and Sister Russell's home. 

       Sister Russell and Allie. Brownie's and ice-cream!

             Brother and Sister Lynn. Medical Missionary Doctor and wife serving in Guatemala!

Labor of love!

9/07/15 (Labor Day;)

In the words of mom:

Well, we have an official update on Allie.
I was blessed to be able to talk to her and hear her sweet voice for 15 minutes today. Allie is doing MUCH better. There are a couple of issues that they are still not exactly sure about. 1. Thyroid. She may have some issues and I believe she is being medicated for it with some thyroid boosters (?) and 2. She has Apnea. When Allie is sleeping, she sets off all of the alarms to her machines while her heart rate and blood pressure dr...op into the 30's at times. (Sleep apnea has been a bit of an issue for Allie since she was little, just never on a medical level). They give her a medication that boosts her heart rate back up and while she is awake during the day, her heart rate and her BP are normal, without medication.
SO...... with that said, Allie will be returning home on Wednesday to have further testing done at the University of Utah. We have been informed that they are ready and waiting for her arrival. Allie was heart broken, yet she is in good spirits and has great faith in her Heavenly Father and where she needs to be. I assured Allie that we will do all that is possible to get her a clean bill of health so that she can return to the mission field ASAP! At this point we are not sure that it will be to Nicaragua, but wherever she goes, is where God wants her to be.
As for all who have prayed and fasted for Allie, I have no doubt that she is in our Heavenly Father's care and he has a plan for her. For whatever reason, Allie was in the right place at the right time to find out that there was a problem. The area that she was serving in, Rivas, is 3 hours away from the hospital in Managua, where she is currently. Even tho Allie was feeling better they made a Dr. appointment for her stomache issue, just in case. Had she not gone to that appointment who knows but that she may have had an issue while in Rivas, 3 hours away and may have had an even worse outcome. God blesses us in many ways that are hard to recognize. I know that He is watching over my sweet girl and that she is being protected, I have no doubt of that.
At this point Allie will be accompanied home by the LDS Doctor and his wife that are serving in Guatamala. We are thinking that she will be escorted directly to the U of U and that she will be admitted. I do not have her intinerary yet to know just when she will be arriving at the SLC airport. I am not sure if Brandon and I will meet her at the airport or at the Hospital.
I am truly grateful for the outpouring of love and support for Allie. I will continue to keep you updated because there are so many of you who genuinely love and care for Allie and her well being. Thank you all!

Sunday morning Allie was able to get up and get showered without any assistance! She is starting to get back to her Allie self! Just after this picture was taken, President Russell came in and told her the news that she was going to go home for some further testing. My poor baby was devistated and cried. President Russell had informed me the night before, Sunday, that she would be coming home. I asked him to give her the news before I talked to her again, because I would need to be able to comfort her. We cried together. Allie's Dad cried with her and told her how proud he was of her and that he was so sorry that she was going though this, and how much he loved her.  As a former missionary, he could understand. 

Allie's Medical Update


In the words of mom:

UPDATE: We just talked to Allie's Mission President. Her heart has been given a clean bill of health. She is still in the hospital and they have possibly found an issue with her thyroid that may be causing such a low heart rate and blood pressure. They are going to get her on some meds for her thyroid and BP to see if she stabilizes. At this point we are having a special fast for Allie tomorrow. It is our prayer, thru the fast that Allie will recieve the medical care that she needs to be able to stay on her mission. It would break Allie's heart if she had to come home. We are so grateful for the loving care that she is receiving from her Mission President and his wife and her mission companion. Thank you all for your special messages and comments of love and support for our sweet Allie Jackson.

                                                                 Look who's smiling!!

 When the cafeteria staff heard that there was an American girl in the hospital they made her pancakes, omelets and fruit with OJ! ;)

The mission nurse, Hermana Greenhalgh, stayed with Allie for several nights in the hospital. So glad she could catch up on some much needed sleep!

 Sister Greenhalgh and Allie grew very close during this time and we are so grateful for Hna. Greenhalgh's love and kindness towards Allie during this ordeal. She couldn't have done it without you!

Just a little Hiccup!


In the words of mom:

My phone rang tonight at about 6:30. The number on the caller ID said it was coming from Florida. I said Hello and after a long pause, the voice on the other end said, "Is this Angie Jackson? "
I said, "yes".
"Hello Sister Jackson, this is President Russell of the Nicaragua Managua South mission".
My heart sank and every emotion flooded thru my body. What was wrong with my baby girl?
President Russell asked if my husband was available and if we could be on speaker phone with him. He then proceeded to tell us that Allie had been having some pain in her stomach that she thought may have been related to her previous hernia Surgery or possibly from the virus that she had had just the week before. She made an appointment earlier in the week to see a doctor, at his office in the hospital. When she arrived and was examined, they found her blood pressure and her heart rate, both, to be dangerously low. They ran some tests on her heart and put an external pace maker on her, just in case. They sent the tests to an American LDS Doctor in Guatemala and then to the University of Utah. The LDS church has a highest of quality medical networking team for missionaries. I assume they will be awaiting the results. As of right now they have given Allie meds to get her heart rate and BP back up and she is resting comfortably. Allie was able to call us and talk for about 5 minutes and she assured us that she is being well taken care of. 
Friends and family please keep her in your prayers. I will be waiting to hear of further results as well. I will keep you updated. Thank you all!

Hermana Ajqui (Allie's Companion), Hermana Jackson (Allie),
and Hermana Russell (the wife of President Russell) 

                                                                        Allies EKG
After Allie got home and was able to explain to us what happened she explained to us how they hooked up an external pace maker to her. As they hooked up the device they spent a couple of minutes, every few seconds, shocking her. It sent a large jolt thru her entire body leaving her unable to move or to speak. It wasn't until tears started running from the corners of her eyes that they realized how much it was hurting her and they turned it off. This hurt my mama heart so much to know that Allie suffered this pain.  However, in pure Allie form she can say, "I can look back now and laugh!" That's my Allie girl.

Nothing can get her down, that's for sure! What a smile in every pic!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 6: Multi Mission: President Nelson

(In the words of mom):

I couldn't be happier or more pleased that Allie is feeling better and is happy and healthy! What a blessing! If you know Allie, she is a HUGE journal writer. I told her that I want more info! I want details! haha! I think she is  hiding it all in her journal! She said that she may have to send it home for me to read!  I know that she wishes that she had more time to write, but she only gets about an hour on Mondays to read AND write her emails. Her testimony  never ceases to amaze me! Enjoy!

(In the words of Allie (Hermana Jackson):

I'm sure you're all wondering about the title. ;) On Saturday, we woke up at 2 am to head to Managua for the Multi-mission Conference. We waited for the bus outside and.. there were peple randomly hanging a pig upside-down killing it, and skinning 3:00 in the MORNING!!!!! What the?? Only in Nicaragua!.. Poor piggy. :( Anyway! We got to hear from President Nelson! :D And I got to shake his hand!! :D :D Such an inspiring man! I have no doubt that he is called of God! He talked about how we need to make sure that the first person we convert is ourselves. He told us to enjoy the ups and downs of the ride because that's what gives us the experience! He talked about tithing, and that if we want to break the cycle of poverty here in Nicaragua, AND if we want a temple, we have to teach the law of tithing. He taught us how to work more effectively with the members. Also, he spoke on eternal families, and that has been one of my most favorite principles to teach while here on the mission. :) I'm sooooooooo grateful that I have been sealed to my family for time and all eternity! That has been the one thing that has got me through all of the rough times on my mission!

Thursday: I got Chikungunya. It was awful, but I'm doing tons better now! :) I couldn't go out and work, but it was a miracle that it only took me down completely for one day! (in the words of mom: she said that she had the rash, high fever and she felt like her back was going to break in half whenever she walked- That's what I mean about wanting more details! haha!!!;)

Sunday: 7 of our investigators came to church! :) Ana, Valesca, and Valentine all arrived on their own! :) They're so positive, and they love the church!! Angela and her 3 children all arrived as well. :) At first she was very closed off and didn't want to talk with us, but she now is praying that she will be able to overcome everything and come to church:) I love them all so much! The work is great! :) 

Sorry, not much time left!! I love this gospel, and I am so grateful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He gave His life for us! If we have faith in Him, repent, are baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end, we will be able to make it back to the presence of our Father in Heaven. :) Stay strong and don't give up! I love Doctrine and Covenants 50:40-44. Look it up, y'all! :) Que tengan una semana increible!

Sinceramente y con amor,
Hermana Jackson:)

 A ravine that I cross frequently!
 Twinners! We are 'gemelas'!
 After a torrential downpour!
 Platanos fritos! (Fried platanos) Allie said that she loves them, but not too many!
 Sshhh! Don't tell Lindsie! Her Birthday is in October ;) Haha!
 Grapes in our investigators yard!
 Look MOM!!! I'm eating healthy! Shakeology! ;)
 Soup from Hermana Cony! (When I had Chikungunya) :(
 My first 'naca tamale'!
 Hermana Evans and I at 4:00 in the morning!
 Subway YO!!
 Elder Jensen, Hermana Evans and I!

 Elder Copeland, next to me, is the "daddy" of our District! ;)

D&C 50:40-44

 40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
 41 Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me;
 42 And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost.
 43 And the Father and I are one. I am in the Father and the Father in me; and inasmuch as ye have received me, ye are in me and I in you.
 44 Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall.