Tuesday, November 09, 2010

We Couldn't Make This Stuff Up...

It's early morning on Tuesday and we're sitting at an Affordable Dentures clinic in Jessup, MD. I believe we are here because the universe has a sense of humor - or at least is trying to ensure we keep ours.

Yesterday, our second day home from the hospital, my Father-in-law woke up sick to his stomach. He got sick in a bucket and my Mother-in-law quickly cleaned everything up flushing the waste down the toilet. What she didn't know was that he when he got sick, his lower denture dropped into the bucket as well. Bye bye denture... flushshshsh. All I could picture is a fish swimming around the Bay with a great smile - can you see it!?!

So, today we're getting a new, full-set of dentures for him. I've joked that my M-I-L will 'accidentally' flush her's now so she can get a new pair too. This is an interesting arrangement where we can get a new set for him in just one day - Ha!. So far they've taken impressions of his upper and lower gums, and then an additional impression of his bite. Now they are creating a wax mold with teeth to test the fit and bite. We're hopeful that that will happen soon, and that the fit is good. If now they adjust and possible re- impress, and we re-impress for the bite. We will come back this afternoon form the final fitting of the laytex cast, and then on to solid food!

This has been an interesting couple of weeks focusing on not-eating, special diets, and a variety of stomach ailments.

I'm looking forward to going back to work to get away from it all at this point. I was to leave for Miami on Sunday, but guess I was meant to be here instead - there Re certainly a good nuk er of folks depending on me, so I'm glad the it worked out this way for everyone.

Sophie is doing better every day. I'm still waiting for her rosy cheeks to return, and with rest they will come.

Rest, that's what we all need at this point. I'm looking forward to getting back to our daily routine and to getting fa ull night's sleep - Thanksgiving is right around the corner, with good friends and family, and long weekend - ahhhhhhh.

Happy Tuesday e eryone! Peace.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig...

So, yesterday was full of events that brought us home-sweet-home this evening. Following the 'pfffttt heard round the ward' yesterday, Sophie finally had another little 'movement' letting us know that things are working as intended. This was, of course, met with cheers and adulation from the nursing staff and residents - similar, but louder than the pfffttt party the night before.  Dr. Chahine stopped by and even declared Sophie fit to eat anything she wanted.

Being given the option of anything was a little daunting, but she quickly honed her request to a greek salad, chicken tenders and fries. We quickly reviewed out delivery options and settled on Manny and Olgas - an old-time favorite.  She could hardly contain herself as we waited for our dinner to arrive. Finally, sweet satisfaction as we got her all fixed up and she dug into the salad, dipped into her fries, nibbled the chicken, and eyed my steak sandwich with increasing interest - who could deny this child anything? I made her a small sub and she downed it like a champ. Stomach pain, who, Sophie?

This morning she sent me out to get oatmeal and fruit salad from Starbucks. Gotta love her tastes, so grown-up, and so yummy.

We stuck around the hospital today to work on a painting and to help with a promo video being created by the Starlight - Mid-Atlantic Foundation. Starlight provides events and activities to sick children and their families to help them find time together away from doctors, procedures or any of the other medical considerations they have to deal with every day.  We have participated in many of their "Great Escape" activities and have made many friends among the other families, and among the Starlight Mid-Atlantic staff.  The opportunity to give something back, even if it is just our words, was tremendous.

After the hubbub of the Starlight, we were discharged and sent on our way.  And that brings us home this evening.  Wonderful friends brought us dinner and took Zach to spend some quality boy time with their three boys, and another lovely friend brought ice cream and pie - yum yum!  It's so wonderful that Sophie can actually enjoy all of the food and being home.  Mike's parents are still with us and have been hugging our little princess whenever they can. I've been kissing her face so much she's actually pushing me away.  I just can't help it I'm so happy she's well and home.

We will spend the next week at home resting and regaining stength to return to school the following week.  The time home will be good for us all.  Thanks you to everyone for your well wishes, prayers, positive thoughts, phone calls, and gifts for Sophie.  We are so incredibly grateful and humbled by your love and friendship.  Peace...

Friday, November 05, 2010

Pffftttt... Woo hoo!

For those who are don't know what a pfffftttt is, let's just say it relieved a little pressure in Sophie's tummy, and a great deal of worry from the Doctor's and our minds. We were just sitting around making clothes pin dolls and Sophie announces, "Hey Mommy, I just tooted!". This was of course followed by a woo hoo from me, the childlife intern, then, as I made the grand announcement, the nurses, and residents. The surgeons were so happy the ordered her NG tube to be removed, and gave Sophie permission to begin passing clear liquids past her lips. Much to Sophie's delight, this included Popsicles!!! Yeah!

So, we are firmly on the road to recovery. We'll see how she does tomorrow. I'm sure it will be similar to today, but more active, playing with the other patients, doing arts & crafts, playing games, and just coping with the confinement. Maybe we'll even get outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air.

We're hopeful to go home this weekend. More updates tomorrow (and I hope pics too :). We've had a couple requests for visitors - we'd love to see you, but please call first so we can make sure we don't have too many people here at one time. We'll also be home for about a week after discharge, so you can visit at the house as well if you like, whatever is easiest.

Much love to everyone... PEACE.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

One step at a time...

So, today was filled with hope.  We started and stayed well throughout the day.  I knew it would be a good one when Sophie told me she was bored this morning.  After seeing all of the doctors and nurses and therapists and such, Sophie took a stroll down the hall to the ChildLife playroom.  There she made gak with Georgetown chemistry students, made a volcano erupt, and played with home-made quicksand - all before creating two awesome, glittered paintings.  She returned to the room a few hours later tuckered out to say the least.  After a bit of rest she geared me an a volunteer up to string beads and make some jewelry.  Idle hands you know.

As you can imagine, we're thrilled to report that her progress is positive and that she continues to get better by the hour.  We're hopeful that she can deliver the essential bodily functions tomorrow so she can have the NG tube removed and start putting at least liquids past her lips again. I'll post more pics tomorrow.  Thanks for checking in and staying tuned with us,and of course your continued prayers and support! PEACE.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Just another block in the road...

Welcome back to our blog.  We hoped to only have updates like school events, and Halloween costumes, but this week, we've hit a little snag with Sophie's health.  Fortunately, it's not related directly to her problems of the past, rather a complication of the surgery that removed the nasty tumor.  Here's the whole story...

On Thursday (10/28), the school called me to let me know that Sophie had a tummy ache after lunch, returned to class after a short rest, only to return later with more pain.  I was on my way, but not quick enough, and we agreed that she should go home on the bus and I'd meet her there - she wasn't nauseous , so at the time seemed like a good plan.  Well, apparently within minutes of going on the bus, she threw up :(  So now she was not feeling well and mortally embarrassed. So I rushed to the school and brought her home where she headed to her room to lay down and threw up again.  It was obvious that she shouldn't eat or drink anything for awhile.  We laid her down to rest with bucket and towels and though she was in intermittent pain and threw up a couple more times, she was able to sleep through the night.

An angel on Stonegate grounds!
On Friday (10/29) she awoke feeling better, but still in some pain.  We waited a few hours and started introducing some water every 20 minutes or so and then some plain toast.  Bad idea, very bad.  Within a half an hour she was in extreme pain and then threw up everything.  This was around noon and I'd planned to go to school a bit later to take some pictures of Zach in his Halloween costume at the parade and party. At first she was fine staying home with her Meema (Mike's Mom), but as the time for me to leave drew closer, she started to feel much better, so we decided she could tag along, in her angel costume of course, to wave at her friends and Zach.  We stayed for an hour or so and she enjoyed being out of the house and part of the action - but she was still really tired.  As soon as we returned home, she crashed on the futon in front of the tv for the evening.  She woke up just before dinner and wanted some soup, so thinking it was solids she was having a problem with, we tried some princess chicken noodle soup.  She had a small bowl and a cracker and did well for some time.  Then it started again, but this time the pain was worse and the vomiting was more violent.  This got worse throughout the night with the final, terrible, projectile episode at about 2:00am on Saturday - then she went off to sleep until morning. 

Ms. Thebaud's Halloween Party
By Saturday morning Sophie was not intreseted in eating, but snuck in about a half a cup of water and promptly threw it up. We knew it was time to seek help.  She was so tired she would walk into the kitchen and lay on the floor to rest.  We got organized and drove to the Georgetown Univeristy Hospital ER where they confirmed, through an x-ray, our suspicions that she had a intestinal blockage.  We were admitted to the pediatric floor by 7:00pm and later they inserted an NG tube - very much against Sophie's will and wish - and we settled into C53 for the first time in more than three years.

Sunday was Halloween - tough for Sophie to accept she wasn't going to be able to participate in any of the parties or trick-or-treating that night.  There were any tears that day, but we ended the evening on a great note, reverse trick-or-treating areound the pediatric units, bringing candy to those who could have it - including the nurses :) and little halloween trnkets to those who, like Soph couldn't eat candy.  Sophie dressed in her costume - wings, halo, feathers and cupcake pj's.  She wasn't her bubbly self, but she did smile and really enjoyed helping others to smile that night.

Reverse Trick-or-Treat-ing on C53, C52 & C51
Monday was a bit of a game change.  We thought she was getting better, and really hoped that the blockage would resolve easily on its own.  Following the morning x-ray, the surgeon, a wonderful human being - Dr. Chahine, indicated that Shopie was not only not getting better, but seemed to be getting a bit worse.  We planned to repeat the x-ray at 1:30pm and see if we would indeed, need surgery.  Well, several hours later, we got the word that surgery was imenent.  By 6:00pm we were wheeling into the OR with her blankie, Cinderella and my 'bunny suit' on - cute, right?

In pre-op waiting, preparing...
So the surgery went well, they actually started at about 7:00pm and finally called that they were closing around 9:15pm.  Right on schedule.  About 45 minutes later, a visibly tired Dr. Chahine came by to explain what happened and what we can expect over the next few days.  He recounted that the blockage was quite serious and was likely building over time creating a series of four 'pleats' one folding over and into the other, completely tieing off her small bowel and causing all of the distress.  He said he'd never seen anything wuite like it before.  That's our Sophie, she's one of a kind ;)  Because the blockage was likely there for some time, parts of the bowel were in distress and to distended to save, so they removed about 15 cm of it and thankfully were able to sew the ends together with no addtional intervention necessary - there was a riskthat if the bowel was severely damaged they might need to pull it out, give her a colostomy and then perform another  procedure after several months to bring everything back into her body.  Obviously we are very grateful that this was avoided!

So tonight (11/2), 24 hours after surgery, she is resting comfortably.  The day had it's challenges, but she ended like the trooper she is, insisting that she get out of bed unassisted to do some 'business' and get weighed.  If we didn't already know it, it's been confirmed now - she's tough as nails - don't mess with Sophie!  Tomorrow I hope she'll be up for some art and playing with her new Barbie dolls.  I'll post more as we know more - inlcuding pictures!

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers!  We hope your loved ones are well tonight!  PEACE!