Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gift from FL Nana; Visit from NC Family

J received a gift from her FL nana. :)



J with her cousin K--> Couture and her Aunt KaKa

Me and my peeps. ;) I sure missed my son while he was visiting his cousins for the week while J was in the hospital! I've never been away from either of my children that long.


Our nephew....and Bubb's cousin W.

Someone from back at our home church sent us some delicious banana bread...YUM!

Kay Kay and J

Presenting the chocolate from Nana S.

Chocolate heart from her Nana in western NC.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Home; Gift from a Friend

The ride home from the hospital was a little uncomfortable, but tolerable. :) She was just so happy to be going home! :)


Daddy helping our girl out of the car. She is a real trouper and has done remarkably well since her spine surgery on Fri.

Daddy assisting his little girl. :)

He had to give a daddy kiss too. :-D

We got her situated in our living room chair and 1/2 recliner. Lots of pillow behind her back for support. So glad to see her smiling!!!

After a short nap, I asked her if she would like to try a few stairs. All of the bedrooms are upstairs. There are 15 stairs up to the rooms. The therapist said it would probably be 1 week before she could do this...well guess what? She did it the first day home! Also, today she has gone up and down them two times this morning with my assistance, and the gait belt for support. She slept upstairs last night and slept GREAT! She does still need the chairside commode and walker, but she has been walking a lot more without it already.

Later in the evening we had visitors from the youth group J has been attending. They have all been so good and welcoming to her since we have moved here. :)

Also, a friend of ours came from the small town that we moved from...and four of her children. She is a pastor's wife, and she and her husband have been such a support to our family. Wish we would have met them sooner when we were there...but we are still keeping in touch with them.

Here is a view of our guests from upstairs looking down. ( time you are of you and J only! ;)

One of our youth got zipped up and stuck...haha, we got her out tho! :)

Jordan got a surprise in the mail from our friend Drea and her family.

Girlie gifts from our friend Drea and some fun candy from she and her boys.

Thank you Drea!!!

OH, and something else...J gained over TWO INCHES in her height from the surgery. We measured her last night. She is almost taller than me...maybe even a tish taller...


Thursday, January 29, 2009

We Go Home!!!!

The surgeon came in early this morning. J's x-rays came back perfect! No issue with her shoulders, and all is looking wonderful with her upper back.

He removed her dressing....

Removing the dressings, and cutting to remove the drainage tube.

And removed her draining tube....(which by the way she did not even know when he was taking it out!)

Her back is healing nicely...

Looks like we will be going home right after lunch. :)

Telling Nana in FL that she is going home TODAY!!! Woot!

Ok, before I close, I just have to give God some glory here!!! J has done remarkably well for a gal who has 2 large rods, 15 screws and 12 fusions to the end of lumbar!!! The nurses have said to us that they all would fight over her because she was the best spinal patient they have ever had. They could not believe how she never whined or complained to them. When the child life specialist accompanied her downstairs for her x-rays, she said that most of the teens and children cry and whine when the put the board behind their backs for x-rays. She said Jordan was in obvious pain, but she never cried or whined. And for that she got a cute valentines bear from the child life specialist. :)

I only say that not only to brag a bit on my daughter, but to give God the glory because she totally has trusted HIM throughout this whole ordeal. She has a lot of healing yet to do once we get settled in at home, but we know and trust that God will walk with us through this.

Thank you all for praying and I will continue progress updates from home!

1 Chronicles 16:8-10 (New International Version)

8 Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.

9 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.

10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

We Sleep!

David has been sleeping at home. After work, he comes here to see J, then walks to the apartment to get the car. We have dinner together, and I drive home to get a shower. I put in some laundry, take a shower and drive back (all while he and J have some time together) Then I drive back to the hospital...pull into the child hospital drive thru...he comes down and gets in the car...I come back up to stay the night with J.

This has been our routine for the past couple of nights. Therefore, David has been at home the past 3 nights getting good sleep so he will be good for working. Then every morning at about 6 AM he arrives with breakfast for he and I. Then J gets her breakfast tray. She placed her menu the day before. It has worked out great!

Mon and Tues night J and I have not gotten steady hours of sleep. I'm happy to report that last night she and I both got the BEST nights sleep since we have been in the hospital! We both slept from 11 pm until 4 am (when the nurse came to get her vitals and J had to pee so I helped her with that) Then we both fell back asleep until David came at 6 am. Feels GREAT to get some consecutive hours of sleep. :)

Right now it is about 15 mins til 8 am and David is snoozing in the recliner. He always catches a little nap after breakfast and before he heads to work at 8. J and I are watching a designing show on TLC.

We haven't heard anything from the x-rays of yesterday evening. Most likely her surgeon will be in before lunch. Well he just walked in!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Off to Radiology; For Nana...

Radiology arrived for her x-rays to check her upper back because she is having pain in her shoulders/shoulder blade area, (which is not improving and should have been by now).

When they transferred her to this bed, it was like she went on a magic carpet (or hospital sheet) ride. It scared her a bit during the transfer, but the she laughed and said, "that was kinda fun"!

And...these photos are also for Nana. J wanted her to see that she is using the pink blanket that she gave her for Christmas. :) It is really keeping her warm in the hospital. So girlie too!

Started Slow, Finished Strong!

Last night and early AM J did not sleep well. She was restless from about 2 AM on through the morning. Every 30 mins asking to be moved, or feeling itchy with the remnants of the rash. As the morning went on, she was real sluggish. She did not eat a good breakfast. Only a few cheerios, a few bites of a banana and some white grape juice. However, she did enjoy having a few visitors. The Youth Pastor and his wife from the church we are regularly attending...Oh, and papa smurf...(hehe, its an inside joke with the youth. ;)


After lunch she pepped up! She ate a great lunch...her whole grilled cheese sandwich, some baked chips, and sprite. Shortly thereafter Physical Therapy came.

We worked with a different therapist today and he really motivated her to do some things on her own. This gave her a lot of confidence to move forward. She didn't fall or get weak at all. The only complaint was a headache, and her scapula area behind her underarms are still hurting when she sits or stands. The Dr. ordered x-rays to check this area to make certain everything is alright there.

Here are a few photos from her PT session:

She walked around the nurses station which was up the hall and around in a circle and back to her room door:

After she walked, the therapist sat her upright in a wheelchair.
Here is the physical therapist talking with J about how she is feeling, and about attempting the stairs.

Here she is starting her first step up the stairs...hemovac and all! ;)

She got up 4 steps and down 4 steps. It was more painful than it looks, but she did really great!

Here hemovac is draining more today than usual. After this many days it is not usually draining as much, but she did have a very extensive surgery, so the surgeon was not as concerned about this. He is leaving it in another day to drain. She will have x-rays to check her upper back and shoulders either today or tomorrow. She is on the radiology schedule though.

Tomorrow Physical Therapy will work with her on sitting on a commode. They will determine then if she needs one of those taller commode chairs over the toilet.

We are praying every day for her to be stronger and stronger. We may be able to go home on Friday. Party time if she does!!! :)

Learning a New Walk; Visit from a friend

Yesterday afternoon physical therapy came to walk J. She is struggling with getting up out of bed. For one thing, she is very weak because her blood has not built all the way back up to normal levels. The transfusions helped boost her blood, but her system still needs to make more on its own. Her levels went from 19 to about 28, and she needs to be a 35 at least. Therefore she is much weaker, and this will effect her recovery. Now she is eating some better, so this will help her body too.

Physical Therapy said they are pretty much the last word on when they feel a spinal patient is ready to go home. Right now, J is having trouble with balance and bearing weight. She is still unsure about what is in her back...all of that hardware. She told me yesterday that she can feel it through her back, so that has got to be a bit unnerving. Especially in her upper back she notices it protruding when she lays back on the bed. It irritates her. I'm not sure if this is normal, so I am looking forward to seeing her surgeon this morning. She also has an issue with headaches that he is keeping tabs on.

We think part of her apprehension is learning about how her body has been altered and that she is going to have to relearn how to move with these new changes to her body. The PT gals told me that she is basically relearning how to do simple movements, and she won't ever do movements exactly the same way as she used to do before her surgery. J gets frustrated at times because she wants to bounce back quickly and be back to her old self. I am constantly reminding her that her new life will be even better, and try to be patient as she learns to adjust... it will take time. Simple things such as sitting up...this will take more time than we thought. She may need the walker for awhile. At day 5 she is still not sitting completely upright, and it is uncomfortable and scary to her every time they attempt it because she notices the difference in her back. She is tough and works through the pain, yet gets a bit much for her to deal with at times.

Yesterday evening we got a visitor...a Pastor's wife friend of ours, Kelly. She brought J a card and a few girlie items. We didn't even realized she had brought in a gift, until she was down the hall...I turned around and saw it on the tray table. But then again, Kelly is like that and not one to make a big deal out of doing something kind. She lives her life with true humility. J enjoyed her visit with Kelly very much. Thank you! :)




Last night she was restless and could not get comfortable. She kept sliding down off of her pads. Then we would have to log roll her to get her pads. She was itching at her incision site and her back. Also, her pain got difficult to manage in the early am. She did sleep well from 10pm until about 2 am. So she did get a few hours of steady sleep.

Here are some photos from yesterday...

Our girl walked almost all the way around the nurses station, but she got tired. So physical therapy wheeled her recliner out to her. Then they had arranged for the play room to be open for her. When we got there, there were a LOT of younger kids there playing and it was quite full and loud. She just couldn't handle all of the noise, and she was feeling a lot of back pain. She took a pain pill before therapy, but it was a little slow getting kicked in. She wanted to go back to her room pretty soon after being there.

There was a guinea pig in the play room and frogs. :) Lots of younger children were surrounding it and feeding it with carrots.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day Four Walk; Dressing Change

We've had a wonderful morning! Physical Therapy got J up this morning at about 9 am. Here are a few photos from her walk this morning.

She pushed herself up to sitting all on her own:

Once she sat up, she got a headache. She's been struggling with headaches off and on. The Dr. is keeping a watch and the nurse brought her some tylenol to take when she sat up. Here the physical therapist in the black shirt is doing some relaxation techniques to calm her down before her walk...this helped alleviate her headache too:

She calmed down and stood for her daily walk:

Starting her walk around the nurse station:

Guess who she ran into...Daddy who was working and stopped by to see how his little girl was doing. :-D

She made it further around the circle, but not all the way before having to put her in the rolling recliner.

After her walk, she drank some white grape juice and had her bath. Fresh as a daisy after her bath and change of gown. :) It felt good to her to get her hair washed!

WARNING: If you can't handle seeing J's incision, don't scroll past this sentence! :)

She had a dressing change to her incision area (for those who are medically minded or just plain curious;). So again...if you can't stomach it, don't scroll down. :) Her incision site is looking GREAT though! Thank you LORD and we give Him all the glory for her healing and speedy recovery.

Dressing change on her incision...she is even reacting a bit to the paper tapes. Not as bad as the latex adhesives though...

Dressing Change on her incision. Looking great!

A Good Night's Rest

A good night's rest is hard to come by while staying in the hospital, but last night the nurse allowed us to sleep uninterrupted. Woog and I got a good night's sleep. She only woke up at midnight for pain meds, anti-itch meds, and use of the bedpain.

At 3 am she woke up to use the bedpain, and complained of back pain. When the nurse came by (within 5 mins from buzzing her) she had already fallen back asleep, and so did I ...haha. So she never got that dose of pain meds.

When she woke up this morning at around 6 am, her pain level was about a level 6...on a scale of 1 being not much pain and 10 being worst pain. She had been having about 8-10 pain level in between pain meds, and it was good to know that she missed a dose and only had level 6 pain. At about 6 am she got a pain pill and anti itch pill.

David went home last night to get a good night's rest before working today. He arrived about 6:30am and brought us some breakfast. J doesn't feel like eating right now...(she ate a tiny triangle of a mini-pizza last night with some tea last night). This morning she has no appetite yet, but she has been drinking a lot of white grape juice.

Here is a photo from last night. After her two units of blood transfusion yesterday, she was able to have enough strength to stand and walk a few steps into the hallway. When she couldn't go anymore, we rolled the recliner out, and she sat up for awhile in the recliner.

You can tell she is very tired here...


Monday, January 26, 2009

Much Better!

A quick note: The transfusions helped tremendously! She feels like eating a little now, and we are going to try to sit her up a little later this evening.

Life Blood: Let the Transfusions Begin!

Through much prayer we decided to move forward with the transfusions.

J will get 2 units of blood...administered one at a time. This should take approximately 1-2 hrs each unit. Since we received the blood after lunch, we are not sure if we can get them in her, in time to work with physical therapy. Therefore, she may be in bed all day today. :( We were hoping we could get her moving again today. But like I said, this seems to be Woogs hard day.

Double checking blood type match:

Hanging the blood for transfusion:

Blood, do your thing!

Dear Lord you brought life to us by the blood of the lamb, Your Son Jesus Christ, who died for all mankind. Bring life into our daughter through this blood. We trust that you will use this transfusion to bring speedy healing to our little girl. In Jesus name, Amen.

Ephesians 1:6-8 (New International Version)
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.