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!