Archive for May, 2010

1 week down… 5 to go.

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

princess on cast

Princess sleeping on izzy’s cast…

I keep thinking, “a week ago we were…”  Like now, a week ago we were trying to go to sleep on the pull out couchish thing in izzy’s hospital room.  Her catheter had just been removed and we were wondering how the night would go.  So glad we are home.  When last Saturday went so wrong it made us wonder if our worst fears would come true and we would be held captive at the prison hospital.  So thankful God was with Izzy, with us all really.  Home Monday as scheduled.  It’s hard not to be intimidated by the huge orange cast… or how to handle sweet Iz in the huge orange cast.  There has been swelling in areas that you wouldn’t expect… and days so calm you have to be concerned and then days she is so unsettled it is tense for all.  Yesterday (Saturday) was a tense day.  From beginning to end Izzy was uncomfortable and let us know.  She pretty much cried or moaned all day.  Terrible.  We tried all the meds prescribed as much as we could and it just didn’t seem to help much at all.  I decided today to try to not use the lortab, it makes me feel horrible, so maybe that was the problem?  That’s one of the toughest things with Iz, she has not problem communicating what she feels to me, just hard to know what is causing it!  Today she had the minimum dose of lortab only one time. 

Paula (matt’s mom) sent a box of shower cap hair shampooing thingy’s.  Emelia tried it out on Iz this morning.  It seemed to work and we gave her a nice wash down.  She seemed to enjoy it except the part where Emelia worked on combing her hair. 

Matt has been off work since the surgery day, and will go back tuesday since tomorrow is a holiday.  He did the moving of iz the first day or two but has stepped back so I can get used to doing it while he is away.  It was nice to have a helper… and he’s made breakfast for us everyday!  Yes, Matt has been cooking.  Weird.  The kids all get up when they hear him cooking, and it is really nice to all have breakfast together. 

Wednesday we go back the the doctor’s office.  They are doing xrays to make sure all is well.  That should be an interesting day.  Hopefully we won’t get Iz stuck in or half way out of the car this time.  We have a plan 🙂 …

I mentioned before that Izzy’s teacher Melanie, past teacher Barbara Shafer, and pt Camilla came by last week.  They are all so sweet and helpful.  Melanie  dropped off some things later this week that Izzy used at school and Camilla called our equipment people to see about a loaner reclining wheelchair after she heard about our rented wheelchair fiasco.  I also have to brag on Melanie… she made a bag of snacks for me to take to the hospital, it was perfect.  From raw almonds to antibacterial wipes and kleenex, just perfect.  Matt and Emelia found it while I was out of the room and even Matt said what a great bag of snacks.

school’s out … for summer.

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

sleeping

This is day three at home.  First night went pretty well.  Not quite as much sleep last night.  We are learning to handle the cast, hoping it becomes easier when pain isn’t so much a factor in lifting Iz.  I have figured out a way to get her upright enough to feed her… and today she ate what she did before surgery for the first time.  Things are working out.  I worried a little when we first got home because I wasn’t sure where she would be comfortable or how I would get her fed and meds given etc. but decided to take it day by day and it is coming together.  She is quite possibly the toughest little girl I have ever seen!  Amazing. 

Yesterday she had some visitors from school… her teacher Melanie, previous teacher Barbara, and p.t. Camilla came by.  They brought a sweet doll named “princess Isabella.”  Izzy loves these three and although she slept through much of the visit, she enjoyed having them take turns sitting beside her and visiting with her. 

Today was the last day of school… Next year we’ll have a second grader, a 7th grader, and a junior!  Also a sophmore at OU!  So proud of all the kids! 

Happy Summer!!!

surgery.

Monday, May 24th, 2010

The last few days have been full of roller coaster emotions – up and down, up and down…  Just when you think you can’t take it anymore, something changes and it’s okay for a while.  Don’t misunderstand, God was with Isabelle and protecting her. We felt His presence and even though you know that you know that you know it will all be okay there is still something so difficult about watching your own child suffer.  Immediately you wish that you were the one suffering rather than them.  Knowing you cannot, makes it even harder.

Friday morning after only a few hours sleep we loaded Izzy up before daylight to check in for surgery.  A double hip reconstruction which involves incisions said to be lined up end to end about a total of 6 feet, released tendons, and a spica cast.  The dread was heavy on our shoulders that early morning, but had we known what we were in for, I think we may have stayed home. While in the pre-op room the surgical head nurse asked us our color preference for her cast.  We had to say orange!  It’s her favorite color.   Here is sweet little Izzy ready to go back. 

preop

I was allowed to go with Isabelle to the operating room, until she was given gas to put her to sleep.  After dressing in a yellow gown and blue hair cap I held her hand and swallowed tears.  She was being so brave I couldn’t let her see my fear.  I looked around that operating room and thought about what would happen in that room over the next several hours and shuddered.  A soft kiss on her sleeping cheek and a whisper, “I love you,” in her ear and off I was escorted to the family waiting area reserved for us. 

I must admit, the waiting area we were given was spacious and comforable.  It defintely made the next 8 hours more tolerable for our entire family.  Matt and I settled in and then mom, Amanda, Emelia, and my dad showed up.  A little later Matt’s mom and her husband John came.  Miki came by and brought bagels and green tea… Preacher stopped by while we were getting lunch and when he lefts said, “There’s no problem too big for God.”  How many times have I heard these words from his mouth, both in passing and from the pulpit.  There is no problem too big for God.  I agree. 

The nurse called the phone in our waiting room hourly to give updates on surgery.  We watched the clock for the next update.  She mostly said, “She’s doing fine,” and then mentioned what procedure they were working on at the time.  Finally we recieved the call she was being casted and that Dr. Herndon, her surgeon, would be stopping in to visit with us soon.  He came and joked about her orange cast.  Up to this point it was all pretty pleasant for us, not so much for Iz…

first view of cast

(first view of the cast)

Matt and I were allowed in the recovery room.  What a place to hang out for 2-3 hours!  Children and babies one by one being rolled in screaming and scared.  Keeping it together when I first saw iz was really tough.  The cast was overwhelming, and her face was swollen.  She was crying silently and I wasn’t sure what to do. After they had some tiny issues with oxygen postponing our ride to the 9th floor to her room, we finally left surgery. 

The first room we went to was about the size of a small closet. Ha!  Since both matt and I planned to sleep in with her we asked if there was a larger room available.  (thankful for the suggestion by the recovery room nurse!)  A few hours later they took us to a room much bigger and we settled in.  They left an epidural delivering a dose of narcotics into Izzy’s back hourly.  They mentioned there would be “break through” pain and for that they would give her morphine in her iv every two hours.  If there was pain over this they would give her .5 cc morphine every thirty minutes.  In addition, valium and benedryl were on her list of medications.  We were awake pretty much all of Friday night with bells ringing because her heartrate was high.  She was scared, in pain, and not a happy girl.  The nurse was helpful and brought in meds when time to deliver them. 

Saturday morning she had been given pretty much all the meds listed.  She was finally looking restful so Matt and I both relaxed a little and watched her sleep.  The pulse ox on the machine started beeping and was going into the 80’s.  Normally this is because she is pressing on the sensor or yawns, something simple.  I walked over and patted her.  It just kept dropping.  At 62 I ran to the nurses station.  Matt stayed in the room.  Nurses ran into the room and worked with her.  Matt said he saw the pulse ox go down to 14.  She looked green and I cannot describe how terrifying this was.  We almost lost her, again.  She was finally given a shot of an anti narcotic that brought her “out” pretty much immediately.  We crumbled. 

cast in bed

After that scare we sat and watched her pulse ox.  and watching. and watching.  For a moment I seriously thought, “I’m done with this.”  Too much to deal with.  But then life goes on and Izzy aka the little trooper was fine.  Her pulse ox was fine.  We stopped the morphine and suddenly the epidural seemed to be enough. Melody stopped by with a trio from the Wedge (my fave!) and some fun goodies like a book about finding what makes you happy 🙂 . Later my brother Mike and Bailey stopped by to visit and took me away to eat for a bit. 

me and ba at teds

When all our visitors left for the night Isabelle began running fever.  I was so happy to get her to take some ibuprophen by mouth and watch the temp go away.  Matt insisted I leave late Saturday night to sleep at home and take back some things to make room for the rental wheelchair that reclined.  After seeing she was doing really well I agreed. Also Emelia was a pretty good little nurse and was insisting she needed to stay. Driving away I felt a mixture of guilt and also freedom, like breaking out of jail! After I got home and had a chat with Amanda, a cold shower (because bailey took a really long hot one right before me!) and then my glorious bed!  It seems silly to complain.  We spent so many weeks in the hospital with iz after her near drowning accident.  This had only been a couple of days, and the biggest reason of all was that she was the one who should be complaining! 

em hosp

This is Emelia’s late night happy helper face 🙂 !

I woke up bright and early and headed back for another day of unknowns at the hospital.  Izzy had a good night!  Yay.  (this was one of the ups)  Mom, Dad and the kids came and brought lunch to the hospital.  After they left we noticed izzy looked flushed.  She was running about 103 temp.  (downer!)  I gave her ibuprophen again and then sat beside her bed and prayed that her fever would go away and she would be able to eat a little by mouth, knowing that was necessary for her to come home Monday. Sweet  April and her son Weston from church stopped by to say hello.   

We also figured out that reading to Isabelle calmed her more than pain medicine so whenever her heart rate would increase, Emelia would grab one of the books her sweet teacher Melanie gave her and read until she fell asleep.

reading

iz in hosp

We discussed options regarding removal of the epidural and catheter and came up with a plan to turn it off Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m., take catheter out at 10:00 p.m. and then start lortab by mouth as needed.  We honestly thought this would be a hard night for Izzy, losing the medicine in the epidural but seriously, she is the toughest little girl I have ever seen and she slept through times to give her the minimum not maximum dose of pain meds.  We had another few visitors, Pat and KC and Debbie and her 2 year old twins from church dropped by and prayed for Iz.  You know visitors are a nice diversion.  After they left we started settling in for the night.   Another criteria for leaving was she had to tinkle without the catheter which they said could take 8-10 hours after having it so long.  She had a flood of tinkle within an hour of removal! Go Izzy 🙂 !

Monday morning she had the actual epidural taken out of her back which was under the cast.  She wasn’t too thrilled about this… not sure if it was the position they put her in or the pain of removal but she did cry a little with her quivering chin. We saw it as one more step home!  Discharge papers in place we loaded the car, filled Rx’s and said goodbye to room 9168.  What an experience. 

In the parking garage after two failed attempts to get her and her cast in the car (and get the door closed) Matt said a prayer of thanks.  So thankful to God for bringing us through this weekend, for bringing our sweet girl home, for protecting her from the calamities of the hospital… whew.  We were free. 

home in cast

Now sitting beside Izzy writing about the experience seems like a bad dream.  The next six weeks will be interesting… figuring out how to handle her with the giant orange cast!  How to feed her in a very reclined position… how to position her to keep her comfortable.  For now we are just breathing and happy to have at least this leg of the spica journey over.

one more day.

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Isabelle has had a fabulous week, her final week in first grade.  With theme days and crafts galore, she has been smiling and having so much fun.  Monday she came home with monkeys, tuesday was flowers, today she learned about frogs… and saving the best for last, tomorrow is princesses!  I watched her scoot down a fun hill in pt Tuesday afternoon.  She seemed to really enjoy that!  Little daredevil! 

Because she loves to be read to I bought a few new Junie B. Jones (1st grader) books for us to take to the hospital.  I’m not sure if she will feel like being read to or even be really awake while we are there, but we will have junie b. ready.  Mom and I went to the mall and found soft, cute nighties at gymboree and a fun ladybug pillow.  We’re all set.  Almost.

Last minute errands and lists to complete tomorrow then Friday morning we are off!  I imagine we’ll be leaving before 6 a.m. to get all checked in.  It doesn’t seem possible that time has gone by so fast and we are finally here.  I was thankful to have some email conversations with Abbie’s mom, Tiffany.  Abbie had the procedure done about a year ago so her mom gave me some good information. 

So our plan is to have a wonderfully successful surgery with no complications, to go to a normal room and keep her comfortable, and come home Monday without incident.  I know God is bigger than this surgery, bigger than any situation we have so I know it will all be fine.  I also know I am a mom whose heart breaks to think about sending my baby in for such a lengthy ginormous surgery.  I am trusting God to get me past that.

ready or not.

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Izzy.

We visited with Dr. Herndon this week at Children’s… He answered questions about the upcoming surgery which is scheduled for next Friday.  We then had to go to be pre-admitted to the hospital.  Everything is set to go…

Some questions I asked:

Will she be in PICU?  answer: Hopefully not.  Because it is a long surgery they will decide if she needs to go to the PICU for closer observation following surgery, but the plan is to go to a regular room after surgery.

When will surgery begin … and end? answer: It will begin at approx. 8:30 a.m.  We have to get admitted at 6:30 a.m.  They are hoping to finish around 3 p.m.

Can I go back with her and be with her until she is asleep? answer: yes.  They will usually let one parent go back until they are asleep.

When will she be able to come home? answer: Probably Monday.

We spoke about incisions and different procedures that will be done.  It is a little overwhelming to hear all of the details…

So in one week the surgery will be over. 

Bailey.

Started his new job this week at Braums… and is working an extra night tonight.  The manager mentioned to him last night that he could work tonight if he wants and stay as late as he wants.  He decided to do it.  So he will have worked four nights this week.  He has stayed late every night.  I think he will like it more when he gets used to it.  He says he has no desire to eat ice cream after dishing it out all evening!  ha. 

Amanda.

Has been texting me grades this week.  She got an “A” on her spanish final, and is pretty sure she will have all A’s in calculus, personality, psychology and spanish!  She starts her new job as a makeup artist at Ulta Tuesday.  She starts zoology in a couple of weeks.  She moved out of the dorm today and her room is about waist high.  Lots of sorting to do.  She is back at OU tonight because she volunteered to help disabled students graduate. 

Emelia.

Emelia has had a busy school week… a choir concert last night, a field trip to a rope’s course today and skating tonight.  I think when she slows down just a little she will sleep for a long time! 

Matt and I watched Faith Like Potatoes last night.  It’s a good movie!  We watched Avatar tonight (I only saw part of it, but enough to get general idea 🙂 )…  It was pretty good.  Maybe better with 3D?

it is may.

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

iz and wy

Izzy with Wynona, Matt’s sister Jane Ann’s latest new fur baby she adopted last week. 

First, I have to brag about my awesome kids! They were so sweet this Mother’s Day. I visited my friend Melody’s house a week or so ago and we sat on her screened in back patio while eating our salads from Jason’s Deli… I noticed her beautiful rose bush and she told me it was Joseph’s coat. I mentioned really liking the color of the roses so Emelia was determined to surprise me with a Joseph’s coat rose bush for Mother’s day. She spent all the money she earned helping papa mow Saturday and then called all over OKC to find somewhere to buy it. Turns out they were pretty popular this year so she ended up finding it at Marcum’s Nursery which wasn’t exactly a close drive. Mom and dad took her to buy the rose bush and she was so excited to surprise me! When mom asked her if she was sad that it took all her money, she said, “NO! I’m just excited to find it.” I thought that was sweet and remembered a year when Amanda was about her age and did the same thing but bought a topiary flower tree that my brown thumb killed… hope I can keep the rose alive. Chances are better for the rose, we have one other rose bush that is blooming now that we’ve had for over 15 years! I told her every year when I cut roses and put them on the kitchen window seal it will be a reminder of her sweet present. Amanda brought a gift certificate to the spa for a pedicure which I will really enjoy! It’s so nice to be remembered on Mother’s day, but the best part is knowing how wonderful each of my children are. They are a blessing!

Bailey is recovering from his oral surgery this past Friday. He had all four wisdom teeth cut out. OUCH. I was amazed at how quickly they did the procedure (about 20 minutes)… but he has been really sore and swollen. I took him soup, ice cream, pudding, and apple juice all day Friday and Saturday he was able to eat some pasta. I am so glad the worst part of it is over.

We now have two employed children! Amanda is employed at Ulta as a makeup artist … She has finals this next week, but will start the job the following week. I think it will be a great part time job for the Summer. She will be taking Zoology this Summer too. Bailey got a job at braums which is only a mile from home! He starts Tuesday. I hope his cheeks are not swollen by Tuesday! 🙂

Izzy had a better week last week, but still very uncomfortable. She’s such a trooper. I am so thankful for Melanie, Michele and Camilla. They work so hard to keep her as comfortable as possible and do as much school work as they can with her. It’s hard to believe we are less than two weeks away from surgery. When I realized it was May last week I felt heavy, like when you put on those lead jackets for x-rays, the weight was just resting on my shoulders, but now I feel better about it and the weight is lifting. I think the hardest part is imagining her body being cut and all that will go along with it, but I am resting in the knowledge that God will be with her and protect her. I think about the Israelites who grumbled and complained for forty years, if they would have just looked to God and praised Him, how long would their time in the desert have been? When I get that black cloud/sad feeling I just say (to myself 🙂 ) … “No, I am looking up, to God. And thanking Him for all the blessings.” This week will be one of preparation for surgery, a few pre-op appts and blood donating by Matt and Amanda for her.

Mother’s Day weekend is ending and it is full of nice memories… I’m so happy to have the best mom!

Tomorrow – the gym to work off all the treats from the weekend (like John’s pasta and the red velvet cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory tonight!)