Tuesday, May 20, 2014

PRS Update~Nearly One Year Post-Revision Surgery

Many have asked about Tatya's recovery from her revision surgery which she underwent last June. How is she doing? Has the swelling subsided? Will she need any more surgeries? How is her health? Thank you to so many of you who have prayed for her this past year, shared encouraging words, and asked questions which show your concern for Tatya. We have been in communication with her surgeon, Dr. John Seibert, and we were happy to receive his recent comments on her recovery and his prescription for the coming year.

Tayta's revision surgery was intended to be her final facial surgery, a follow up cosmetic surgery to remove excess tissue present from her free-flap tissue transplant surgery which took place in August 2012, and to correct the atrophy in her left lip. The surgery was successful, but Tayta has experienced residual swelling (left side) which, though decreasing, is still present.

After viewing the last round of photos of Tayta's face, her surgeon is overall happy with the results. Tatya will continue to massage the affected area a few times a day and may do a couple more steroid shots over the next year. We'll re-evaluate  her condition at two-years post-op, which will be next summer. Tayta was thrilled with this decision and prescription; she is happy with the results of her surgery, the condition of her face, and strongly felt that she didn't want to undergo another surgery at this time--not because it was painful or uncomfortable, but because she feels that her face is still healing and needs more time to recover fully from the last surgery.

 Tayta and friend 

We are all thankful that Tayta has not experienced any other symptoms of her disease, Parry Romberg Syndrome, which is believed to be an autoimmune disease, and thus has no cure. We pray and hope that her PRS is in permanent remission. Meanwhile, we are trying to educate ourselves about autoimmune diseases, as many who suffer from one autoimmune disease seem to be more susceptible to other  autoimmune diseases. Tayta has been working on establishing consistent, healthy life habits: exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and eating good foods. I was surprised at how willingly she decided to drastically cut back her sugar consumption. Tayta has developed her repertoire of desert recipes which contain no sugar and no flour, and we are all enjoying the benefits.

Thanks you to those who have cared for us these past two years by your prayers and words of encouragement. God has blessed us with so much love and support through your care.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Easter Weekend in the Desert

Easter weekend was nearly a month ago, but I don't want to miss remembering what a special and different kind of celebration we enjoyed with our friends in the south of Jordan. At the end of our three plus hour car trip on Thursday afternoon, we were welcomed into the home of our friends and served a delicious dinner. After dinner, Dear Husband, Tayta,  and I walked through the village to the medical clinic at which our friends work, and which serves the local community.

A clinic with a view

Our friends and some local children had colored the eggs earlier in the day, and we added the Sharpie pen embellishments. Tatya, who loves to doodle henna-style, was the most fluent egg-decorator and I copied a lot of her patterns.

Friday was a full day of visiting with our friends and all of their local friends who came to wish them a happy Easter, or "feast day". After the visits ended, we gathered for a delicious chicken dinner, which we ate on the veranda. Dessert was served as we enjoyed the sunset together.

On Saturday, our friends helped us to enjoy more beauty of the semi-arid desert:. First we went out to enjoy the end of a fantastic spring wildflower season. A highlight for me was viewing the Petra Iris, Jordan's black iris of the south, for the first time.

Petra Iris
Iris petrana

Yellow Asphodel
Asphodeline lutea

Egyptian Henbane

Horned Poppy

another desert asphodel

After some very satisfying wildflower spotting, our friends took us on a hike, down into the gorge/valley behind their house. Tayta and I had our first experience of rock scrambling in long skirts and headscarves! I appreciated the headscarf as it protected me from a lot of wind and dust--the long skirt, not so much, but it really wasn't too bad.

And still more wildflowers to be discovered:

Zill spinosa

This was my first spotting of Wooly Saltwort. It first appeared as a field of lavender "fluff" and reminded me of something that might be found growing on the planet Malacandra in C.S. Lewis's "Out of the Silent Planet".

Wooly Saltwort
Bassia eriophora

Another pretty thistle

On Sunday morning we met with friends to celebrate Jesus's resurrection in the ruins of a Byzantine church in Humayma. After the service, the children hunted for chocolate eggs...

...and I hunted for a few more wildflowers. The south was new wildflower spotting territory for me and I was intrigued by the flora beauty to be found in the near desert environment.

A type of Cousina thistle (I think)



Desert beauty