Blog Archive

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from the growing Harms Family

Merry Christmas! We're celebrating Jesus' birth with our family in California and hope you have a wonderful celebration wherever you are.
Love,
Matt, Sara, Elizabeth, Ruby and Baby Harms #3! (Due in May)
 
 
But an angel appeared and said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people. For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:10-11

 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Give that girl a raise!

Daddy (in a funny voice): Miss Elizabeth, It's time for bed!

Elizabeth (who is completely tickled by daddy's funny voices): Daddy, you are a genious!

Daddy: And what is mommy?

Elizabeth: Mommy is a fox.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!


Good food, good friends, good times. We have so much to be thankful for.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Sweet Ruby!

Sweet Ruby Christine,

We're so thankful for you! You are such a blessing to our family and we're excited to see the little person you are becoming. You are full of life and joy and haven't met a chair or stool or cabinet you won't climb.

You express everything that's on your mind and we never wonder what you are thinking. You are full of compliments and you frequently tell me you like what I'm wearing, or "I love your hair mommy!" You're also a bit of a drama queen...toe stubs and perceived injuries require a kiss from mommy in the exact spot of pain and that lower lip of yours has daddy wrapped around your finger.

You love to dance and sing and do ballet and keep me entertained all day long and sometimes well into the night! Daddy and I frequently wake to hear you singing to yourself at 2 am...only to fall asleep again.

You have brought so much laughter to our family, sweet Ruby. You are, quite simply, the delight of our lives.

We love you!
Love,
Daddy & Mommy

Monday, November 16, 2009

Coping

I received an email today from a friend through a list-serve I'm on for tube-fed kiddos. They're having trouble helping their 3.5 year old to cope with separation after so many hospitalizations and proceedures. In responding to her email, I realized just how much we've learned by walking through these past 4 years with Elizabeth. I know some folks who read this blog might be facing similar circumstances, so I thought I'd post my response here too (names have been changed):

**********************
Elizabeth continues to be hospitalized (3 times since July, and two of them were for 10 days each!) and we continue to process with her all the things you're facing with Eva. While her experiences don't exactly overlap with Eva's (we haven't had to leave her alone in the hospital since her initial 2 month stay in the NICU.) she is close to Eva's age (Elizabeth just turned 4) and has spent most of her life at the mercy of procedures, drs. and nurses and simply doing what has to be done to make her body better even if it traumatizes her little spirit sometimes. It breaks my heart.

While family oriented hospitals and child-centered care are critical...I've become QUITE demanding when it comes to how we handle blood draws, IV sticks, surgery prep and other necessities...we also spend a lot of time at home and on our way to and from the hospital reorienting her.

*We've found music has been a wonderful tool for us. (We particularly rely on our faith and do a lot of scripture memory and sing songs about how much God loves us, how he will always be with us, how we don't have to be afraid and how he will take care of us. There's a Hermie & Wormie CD about being brave that has been so wonderful and she sings the songs when she's stressed or afraid and I know she's doing her best to muster courage.)

*We use our portable DVD player with abandon when she's going to or at an appointment or has to stay in the hospital. We've found that being able to escape the real world and hide in her safe little space has been really better for her in the long run. She never stays there forever....just when she's coping. That said, we're REALLY careful about letting her watch anything even mildly scary...since she seems so much more vulnerable to feeling afraid....mostly just happy, singsongy things.

*she has a silk blanket that goes everywhere with her, (at home it's just for sleeping, but when we do hospital or dr. stuff she gets it all day long if she wants) I also find that if she's having separation issues, having her Kiki (that's what we call it) with her provides her with a lot of comfort.

*We also do a lot of drawing and talking about procedures...playing Dr. with her dolls, (this toy has been so cool) practicing coping techniques with her dolls..."okay, it's time for your blood draw Dora, which arm do you want us to use? okay, I'll count to three...one two three....stick...owie, owie owie...all done! Wow Dora, you did so well! Did it hurt? do you need a band aid?" we do lots of that. As soon as she could handle it (3ish) I started being honest about where we were going and what we were doing...I felt better about not lying to her, and believe it's built a little trust...She's JUST gotten to a place where she can believe me if I tell her something won't hurt, or there are no sticks or we're NOT going to the hospital, only to Target! :) (However if she's already worked up, she'll freak out even for a weight or height check...so we're still in a window where her understanding of what's going on wavers)

*Finally, we really try to reinforce our presence, our constancy, and her safety...we tell her things like "mommy always comes back", "I'm staying right here the whole time" etc. Elizabeth is VERY concrete, so the more "rules" we can give her, the more we structure and order and routinize hospital stuff, the easier it is for her. When she does get beside herself we also do some calming techniques like taking deep breaths, blowing out, counting to 10 in Spanish, and giving her things to repeat...and having her sing her ABCs..."let's sing our ABCs once and then it will all be over". We let her sleep with her comforting songs on CD when she first gets home if she needs them, we also try to give her lots of room to need to control her environment in the days after a hospitalization. We do jump back into structure pretty quickly, because that's how Elizabeth functions best, but we let her wear certain clothes, carry around her Kiki and have a little more say in how the day goes while we ease back into our old life.

You probably are already doing some or all of these things, but hopefully there's something helpful that you can tweak for your purposes.I know some of it is more for inside the hospital, but the more we can minimize her fear and sense of aloneness there, the easier it has been to come home and get back to normal. We also do a LOT of praying for Elizabeth's little spirit to be protected from fear. I don't know how you'd feel about that, but we believe it's helped protect her mind and heart through some VERY traumatizing experiences and allowed her to "bounce" back and feel safe and at peace much more quickly.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Back from Cincinnati

We're back from our whirlwind trip and can call it a measured success. The girls did great on the drive, but 7 hours doesn't feel that much shorter than the 8 it took to get to Kansas 2 weekends ago. We had lovely accommodations and the girls did well with all the schedule changes. The appointment with Dr. B was helpful for some things and not so helpful for others. In retrospect, my expectations were a little high and overall, one of the main messages we took away was very positive: We're managing her care really well and despite not being seen by a "Turner Syndrome Specialist" we've managed to triage most of the major complications that girls with TS experience. We didn't learn anything that dramatically changes what we're already doing, but we are reassured that she's received top notch care from the beginning of her life. We also confirmed that a number of her other medical challenges are not directly related to TS, but that a few of her issues may be exacerbated by TS. So, we have a bit more to think about.
 
Most helpful, he was able to give us some input regarding growth hormone therapy and some direction for pursuing auditory processing and developmental assessments. We could return to Cincinnati in a few years for a developmental assessment with a Developmental Pediatrician who works with all their Turner Syndrome patients, so we'll keep that on the table, but for now, there's no reason for us to return soon and we feel good about that. (Please don't make me take a road trip for a few more months!) :) Fortunately, we can handle by phone any future questions that come up.
 
So thanks for your prayers, we are glad that we went and are thankful to know we're doing our very best to give Elizabeth the optimal care.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We're off to see the wizard!

Okay, maybe not the wizard, and this time we're not even heading toward Kansas, but we're pretty excited to visit Cincinnati Children's Hospital to be seen in their Turner Syndrome Clinic tomorrow by a regional specialist! We've been planning on this for over a year now and the timing is really perfect since we've had more questions come up in the interim months since we made our appointment. Mainly, we're hoping to pick Dr. B's brain to find out what of Elizabeth's medical complications are Turner related. We'd love to have a bit more of a road map as to where we might be heading with her care and are looking forward to getting feedback as to some specific therapies that could help maximize Elizabeth's strengths and mitigate some of her weaknesses. Personally, I'm super excited at the possibility of meeting someone with Turner's Syndrome in person...maybe in the waiting room?? I don't know what to expect, but we have high hopes.
 
So this afternoon we'll pack ourselves into the car for our 2nd road trip in as many weeks and visit 4 states, three of which I've never set foot in...Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Would you join us in praying for a safe trip, a pleasant drive for the girls (and their parents), a peaceful, grace-filled visit with Dr. B and realistic expectations? This past weekend, a nasty GI bug landed Elizabeth back in the hospital for 2 nights for IV fluids and while she's mostly recovered, she's still a little stressed about more procedures, so I'm not certain how it will go tomorrow when we visit a hospital and a crew of doctors she's never seen. Please pray that God would guard her heart and give Matt and I discernment as to how to best help her process the day.
 
These pictures are of the girls after Elizabeth got home (Ruby's wearing a shirt that I wore as a toddler). We've had some beautiful fall weather and the girls can't get enough of the leaves!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Learning to Wait

This is a song I grew up singing and it's a great way to help the girls learn to wait for things...BUT we've gotten into a little cycle after dinner. Ruby is all done, asks to be excused and we say, "you'll need to wait until the family finishes. Have patience." Then she launches into the most annoying version of this song...conceivably to annoy us into letting her down! Too funny.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Our dear girls singing together...nothing sweeter.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Heartland Vacation

Not to make anyone to jealous, but while our nephew Theo was weekending in Spain, Elizabeth and Ruby go to go on their first road trip to THE heartland of America, Hillsboro, Kansas! We enjoyed 15 hours total of car time reading books, playing with stickers, singing lots of songs, munching, munching, munching, and even taking a few naps. We had some wonderful family time with Grandma & Grandpa Harms, a few of Matt's Aunts and Uncles and cousins, as well as some 2nd cousins we'd never met! We saw all the "family spots" and ate some delicious food. We were thankful to get to celebrate Great-Grandpa Jost's 95th birthday in person. What a life he's lived!

The girls had a grand time (they especially loved their second cousins) and we were so thoroughly impressed with their "travel-ability", we thought we'd turn around and drive them to Cincinnati next week for a Turner Syndrome Clinic appointment for Elizabeth. We arrived home Sunday evening, completely exhausted and totally unprepared to start the work week...but really, really thankful for our family...and air conditioning, and in-car dvd players, and a 70 mile an hour speed limit and lunchables, and dr. pepper...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Harms Family Reunion of Sorts

Last weekend Matt's brother Dan, his wife Tia and their son Grayson came to visit all the way from Salem, Oregon. We were thrilled to host them for a long weekend and the girls thoroughly enjoyed getting to know their far-away-family. Uncle Dan kept us entertained with his goofy tricks and Grayson was a great playmate and seriously impressive as he flew through the air as part of one of Uncle Dan's afforementioned tricks. The girls loved having Auntie Tia read to them and all in all we just enjoyed their company. Dan, Tia and Grayson, we loved having you here. Come back soon!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy Day!

Hi Everyone,
Elizabeth got a wonderful gift for her 4th birthday today. Our GI just called, and told us her biopsy results: NO cirrhosis!
We're thrilled of course and so thankful for your prayers. This is very, very good news!
love,
The Harms

Happy Birthday Elizabeth

Our dear little bug, You are 4 years old today! You are such a blessing in our lives and a constant source of joy and delight. You are God's gift to us and we are so thankful for every day we share with you.






We'll love you forever
We'll like you for always
As long as we're living
Our baby you'll be


Happy Birthday Sweet One.
Love,

Mommy, Daddy and Ruby

Friday, October 9, 2009

Successful Biopsy

The procedure went beautifully. It started later than we'd planned because of a backlog in the procedure center, but Elizabeth was a real trooper and didn't complain about not getting any food an water for 16 hours. Matt amazingly had no patients scheduled for the morning so he was able to sit with us...a welcome treat. She came out of anesthesia really well and immediately began drinking and eating...a good sign. She had to lay still on her back or side for 6 hours...and even that didn't take too much coaxing...I think the non-stop TV helped. They admitted us to 8West and we even got our old private room for the night. The night went well, and this morning we got the heck out of dodge as fast as they could fill out our discharge paperwork and went home to the best surprise...Grandma and Grandpa Harms have arrived!
 
We don't expect to hear anything before next week...probably Thursday or Friday, so we'll let you know when we hear something. Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers!
 

 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Elizabeth's Liver Biopsy Tomorrow

Just a quick note to ask you to pray for Elizabeth's liver biopsy tomorrow. When she was admitted to the hospital the first time this summer, she had an ultrasound to rule out any infection in the fluid around her belly. On that ultrasound, they found changes on the surface of her liver that are consistent with cirrhosis. While diagnosing cirrhosis with an ultrasound is about as reliable as diagnosing cancer with an ultrasound, the changes were part of a small trend over a few months and it's worth getting some liver tissue to know for sure. So tomorrow I'll take her in for an ultrasound at 7:00am, and then the biopsy is at 9:00. She'll be sedated and intubated, and then will need to stay in the hospital overnight for observation since she's at increased risk for bleeding after the procedure. Ruby will stay with her friend Sophie all day while Matt's at work, then around midnight Matt's parents will arrive from California to help us celebrate Elizabeth's (and Grandpa's and Matt's) birthdays!
 
Would you pray for a peace-fulled, God-ordered day tomorrow? (and today for that matter as we try to get a bunch of "life" details in order before the procedure) We need heaps of grace as we try to keep all the balls in the air for the next few days. We're asking God that Elizabeth's biopsy would come back clean and that she would NOT have any signs of true cirrhosis. We believe it's possible!
 
Thanks for being "on call" for us in prayer. We rest knowing that the Maker of heaven and earth truly cares about Elizabeth Joy and our little family and has already made provision for what is to come.
We'll email you to let you know how it goes...
 
ps- the picture was taken this weekend at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Elizabeth LOVED petting the cows and we all enjoyed a visit from Matt's cousin Michael and a great day at the Best of Missouri Market.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

HOME!

We're home! A day early! We're thrilled and exhausted and looking forward to sleeping in our own beds tonight. On Thursday Elizabeth lost her IV and it took SIX tries before they were able to place a new one...she was traumatized to say the least and we drew the line and said if she lost another one, they'd have to figure out another option for getting her meds into her. We were able to get the team to agree that if she lost this one, we'd have 7 days under our belts and it was probably safe to go home on oral antibiotics. Then while the nurse was changing her tubing this morning, it clotted off and that was all it took to get the discharge orders rolling! We're so thankful for your prayers, for meals from good friends, for visits and a wonderful arrangement for Ruby to spend the week with her buddy Sophie, for amazing nurses who adore Elizabeth and gave her such gentle (except for the IV incident) care, and that once again God has sustained us with his grace.

Here are a few highlights from the last few days of our stay.

E had 30 minutes in between IVs on Thursday night. We headed to the playroom and she jammed on the guitar.

~Our friend Adam (who's a Pediatrics Resident at Children's) recommended Elizabeth get seen by the music therapist and she had a wonderful time! It was certainly a highlight of our stay and we're thinking of working with her again in the future

~Ruby's super excited to have her sister home

~Part of Elizabeth's fan club...the nurses who've cared for her this week...they fight over who will get her each day, it's pretty cute.

~Elizabeth was ready to go!

Thanks again for your support for our family,
Love, The Harms

What Ruby's Been Up To

This week Ruby got to spend her days with our dear friends the Stewarts. Sophia is 8 weeks older than Ruby and the two are best buds. It's such a blessing to have a safe place for Ruby to play all week. Kristen and Tony & Sophie, thanks for loving on Ruby this week! We love you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Long Days, Good Friends

After two days of being unable to get email access here at the hospital, I have a brief window. Elizabeth's doing well, though it's clear she's getting tired. Today we painted pictures and enjoyed a visit from friends to help pass the morning. At this point, there's nothing exciting to report, just 4 more days of IV antibiotics and this routine and hopefully we'll get to go home on Monday evening. Ruby's having a ball at her friend Sophie's house but has started waking more at night. I think she's wearing thin as well. We're in good spirits, just all pretty tired. We appreciate your prayers. Yesterday the director of the playroom offered to have a volunteer sit with Elizabeth so I could take a break. Apparently I had "that look". :) Thank God for perceptive hospital staff! Okay, my window is closing, gotta run.
If I can get online I'll continue to send updates...
Blessings,
Sara

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday Highlights

We finally got taken off precautions and isolation and made our way to both the playroom and the roof-top garden today! We had a lovely time roaming the halls, and as usual, Elizabeth charmed the nurses, saying, "Excuse me nurse! I need a graham cracker!" and "Okay, I need to go back to my hospital room now, we will see you later."

She really does set the tone of our stay with her cheerful attitude. She jumps right in to make herself at home. Despite the hardship that it is to be in the hospital, away from each other so much of the day and putting our life on hold, God's grace has been abundant. Today, I actually used the words "easy" to describe this stay so far…with friends jumping in to bring meals and treats, care for Ruby and help out with errands…I feel a little spoiled! We're surrounded by such amazing friends, we have tremendous favor amongst the hospital staff and actually feel quite blessed under the circumstances. Call me crazy, but I feel very, very loved right now…And the more I think about it, the happier I feel. God is so good.
I'll close tonight with a Ruby-ism:
Ruby loves sour cream…with anything. She thinks ranch dressing is sour cream and loves to dip anything in it. Unrelated, she also loves Baby Balm, a diaper cream created by a Dr. friend of ours. She asks for it frequently. Over the weekend, as I was getting her ready for bed, I found her lying on the floor, diaper off, self-applying baby balm and saying, "more sour cream on Ruby's Bum??" This child will take care of things herself, thank you very much.
Goodnight and bless you for continuing to lift us up in prayer.
Love,
The Harms Family

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Good Monday

Today was another good day for Elizabeth. Her cultures are still negative and we expect them to be since she's on such strong antibiotics. We're still on contact precautions, which means no trips to the roof-top garden or playroom, but we get to stay in our private room...technically, since her stool cultures have come back negative for anything infectious, we could be off precautions...but we're not going to bring that up to anyone just in case they decide they want our room. Personally, I think the nurses are in on it but because Elizabeth is such a doll, they're just turning a blind eye. My first clue was that even though she's on isolation, a half a dozen of them take turns coming in to ogle over her. She just charms their socks off like it's no big deal.

 

Sadly, Elizabeth lost her IV this morning. They typically don't last more than 3 - 5 days for her before clotting off, so to lose it on Day 4 is not surprising, but it did mean an extra poke today. The IV transport team (they're the ones that escort kids in ambulances and helicopters etc. and thus are really good at placing IVs) was available, so they came and got her set up with a new one in no time...on the first try!

 

We've also learned that once we're done with her current course of antibiotics, she'll go on Penicillin prophylaxis to keep her from getting Strep Pneumonia again. Apparently, this is a common treatment for kids with sickle cell anemia, who also have non-functioning spleens or their spleens have been removed, and it works really well!

 

On the family front, we're all holding up, but the reality of 8 more days here is a harsh one. We're tired already and Matt and I are a little like two ships passing in the night...Please pray for our stamina.and for Ruby's sense of well-being during all the shuffling this week! By way of encouragement, we had a fun afternoon surprise when two sets of friends came, one with coffee, thanks Amy! And one with dinner, thanks Bronners! For a while, the guys took the kids to the garden and the gals stayed in the room and chatted with Elizabeth...it felt normal and really, really, nice.  

 

Finally here are a few pics from today. Ruby realized she could use some Bible Reading time today too...and then thought she could learn a thing or two about parenting from one of my favorite books. We found the cutest toy for Elizabeth...a little girl in a hospital bed, with an IV pole and removable slippers and lots of other fun things...She had a ball playing with her today and even took her to Dora's playground for a treat. I guess she wasn't on contact precautions.

 

Thanks for your prayers, they're our lifeline!  





Sunday, September 6, 2009

Finally....sleep!

I guess the third night was the charm. Elizabeth and Matt both got a full night of sleep at the hospital last night! Thanks for your prayers for that and keep them coming.  
 
In the news for today:  This morning we learned the bug had been identified and it is indeed strep pneumonia. This news meant they stopped one of E's antibiotics and now she just gets Ampicillin every 6 hours. As long as she doesn't spike a fever, we'll start counting from her first negative blood culture (yesterday 9/5) and she'll get 10-14 days of antibiotics. We briefly discussed a PIC line (which would allow her to go home with a more stable IV and I would administer her IV antibiotics every 6 hours at home) but her hematologist isn't very hopeful about that possibility. Because she's clotted off IVs in the past, (and hello, she's got a big fat clot in her portal vein even now) that doesn't bode well for her not clotting off a PIC line, so we'd have to bring her back to the hospital and that rigmarole is probably not worth it. We're disappointed to have that off the table but agree with the decision to play it safe.
 
All in all, today was a great day in Rm. 816. A friend decided to share a Dora the Explorer Lego playground with us and it kept Elizabeth busy literally ALL day. She and Ruby had so much fun making Dora go up and down the slide, and swing on the swings...Sami, thanks for sharing your toys with us! I don't have any pictures because Matt was too busy being a stellar dad to remember to bring the camera with him. I can forgive him, because you should have seen the ponytail he gave Ruby...it was adorable! Jenny brought us a delicious dinner and now I'm home with Ruby for the night. It's my last night at home for a while, as Matt will need to sleep at home to get ready for work which starts up again on Tuesday...
 
We'd appreciate your prayers for LOTS of grace for Ruby as she'll likely feel next week's transition most significantly. She'll stay with her friend Sophie during the day and usually she loves it, but on the heels of our big vacation, she's going to need extra comfort. I'm doing my very best to take things one day at a time, and not bring tomorrows cares into today. Will you also join us in asking God for his continued provision for all the details of the coming weeks? Our whole life is once again on hold (execpt for Matt, who needs to compartmentalize big-time and focus on work for a few days) and we need special grace so we don't forget anything important.
 
Finally, we are so thankful for your emails of encouragement. They mean so much to us and remind us that God is at work in the middle of this beyond what we can even see.
Blessings and goodnight,
Sara

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Family Day on 8 West

Because it's a weekend, things move slowly at the hospital. We still don't have a name for the bug yet, so Elizabeth is getting frequent doses of "broad spectrum" antibiotics. The sooner we know what bug we're dealing with, the sooner they can narrow the antibiotic down to something that will treat exactly what she has, and we'll be able to cut a few doses out, so everyone will get more sleep. Right now she's getting 4-6 doses each of two different IV antibiotics around the clock...that makes for lots of day and night-time activity since each dose sets off an "almost done" alarm, then an "all done" alarm and then requires a flush, which sets off an "almost done" alarm, then an "all done" alarm...which in the middle of the night wakes up both Elizabeth and Daddy and means a call to the nurse to ask her to come turn off the alarm. It's NOT a great way to spend ones sleeping hours. Needless to say, we'd appreciate your prayers for good rest for all of us. In yet another act of mercy, our friend Jesse stopped by and brought me caffeine this afternoon and brought me back from the brink. Thanks Jesse!

E's definitely feeling better, though the antibiotics are wrecking havoc on her GI tract and I think it makes her tummy feel crummy. Our biggest challenge is keeping up with our healthy toddler in a germy, room filled with medical devices! Ruby's got energy to burn and we're looking forward to E being off of isolation so we can all head to the playroom. When it's not raining we'll also be able to take walks in the 8th floor garden.

Here are some pics of the girls (this is the best smile I could get...I was being upstaged by Angelina on the TV) and our game of candyland this afternoon.

The girls don't get it yet, so Elizabeth was more interested in collecting all the "tickets" and Ruby wanted to take her gingerbread man for a walk...

Daddy and I managed a fierce game over their heads and Daddy pulled out a win thinks to his mad skills and mommy drawing the candy cane at the last minute...

...needless to say, there will be a rematch.
Thanks for your continued prayers for rest and wellness.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Mercies

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23
Thank you for your prayers for our family. For the first time in a long time we were really afraid for Elizabeth. She was a very sick cookie. Praise God that after a really rough 24 hours, two strong IV antibiotics and some Tylenol, Elizabeth is doing much better this evening. She's chatting up a storm, asking the nurses for games, reminding mom, "You have to order my food!" and generally charming the part of the world that's revolving around her right now. Her blood cultures have come back positive, so we know she's got a blood infection and will now just wait for her cultures to give us more information about which bug it is. Based on early information, it's probable that it's Strep Pneumonia again and therefore likely that she'll be in the hospital for another 10-14 day course of antibiotics.
In case you've been counting, this is her 3rd case of strep pneumo in 2 years and 2nd case in 2 months! It's most likely due to the fact that her spleen is not functioning properly due to her portal hypertension which is caused by her clot in her liver (portal vein thrombosis). That leaves her at increased risk of developing an infection that most healthy people with typical immune systems fight of without knowing it. After my sleepless night last night, Matt is taking over tonight and we'll have "family day" at the hospital tomorrow.
In the middle of all this, we are praising God for his mercies:
*This didn't happen while my mom was alone with the girls and we were on our trip!
*Someone invented a more painless procedure for drawing blood and placing IVs...it really was much easier with a little shot of lidocane
*Earlier this week I'd arranged a babysitter for the girls for Friday morning, so even though E's sickness was unexpected, Matt didn't have to take time off of work
*Elizabeth got sick on Thursday, after Matt's 3 toughest work days, and before a 3 day weekend...childcare issues are delayed for a few more days!
*We have two friends who are on rotations at Children's Hospital right now, and it was so lovely to see their familiar faces in the middle of all the craziness last night and this morning. Familiar Drs and Nurses are nice, but friends are better.
*My grandmother in California, had surgery for colon cancer this morning and appears to have come through safely
*Elizabeth's symptoms were enough to get us on "contact precautions" and moved to an isolation room...Yay! No roomates! (though our roomate last night was a total peach, and we were the noisy ones for sure)
*Dr. Pepper is a satisfactory short-term substitute for no sleep
*Panera Bread Co. broccoli cheese soup for lunch, hand-delivered by my handsome husband...yum.
*The gift shop had restocked little plush Dora the Explorer dolls so E has a buddy in her hospital bed.
*Emily made a delicious dinner tonight...such comfort food
*Our roommate last night was admitted for complications arising from anorexia. She's 12. Elizabeth is 3 and her feeding disorder is well on it's way to being history. She EATS and grows (albiet slowly) and has a happy relationship with food.
*God truly is good, all the time.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back in the Saddle...I mean Hospital

This is Matt, trying my best to figure out WWSW (What Would Sara Write?)...

Last night Elizabeth complained of abdominal pain and had a low grade fever. This morning, her fever began climbing and managed to get as high as 105! Obviously, we took her to the ER and she's been admitted for another severe infection. It's too early to know where the infection is coming from, but there's no obvious source. The doctors (myself included), worry that she's having another bout of bacteria in the blood stream. Time will tell. After looking very sick for the whole day, IV fluids and antibiotics have Elizabeth looking a little better. She was even strong enough be her brave little self, and thank the nurses who drew her blood. Sara is staying with her overnight in the hospital, and unfortunately, the hospital is full enough that no private rooms are available and she's lost her ear plugs!

In addition to praying for Elizabeth's health, please be praying that Sara will be able to get some sleep too.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Turner Syndrome in the News

Here is a link to a positive informative news broadcast about a girl who has TS and her mom who's written a book entitled, The Miracle of Meghan.
 
When you go to this link....click on the box with the mother and daughter working in the kitchen to the right of your screen to watch the newscast.

 

Monday, August 31, 2009

We're Home!












We arrived home safely early Sunday morning after -in the only snaffu of our entire trip- our return flight was delayed 3 hours. The trip was perfect. We came home feeling so refreshed! The girls had a marvelous time with Granna, E's ear infection symptoms disappeared, and for the first time ever they were both completely healthy the entire time we were gone! Thank you so much for your prayers!

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