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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Updates Galore and Lots of Fun Times

Oh gosh, once again, I am super behind on blogging!  Life just seems to move so fast! 

I'll start with our not-so-fun few days last week, but luckily these days were followed by an AMAZING weekend, which I will share about too!

On Tuesday Madi woke up having a seizure.  She sleeps next to me in bed because her seizures are usually during sleep and she doesn't make much noise. I'm afraid to miss them, and what it could mean for her, so I keep her close.  She started with her typical rhythmic gagging and I gave her rescue meds and oxygen right away.  Usually it takes me her full dosage of rescue meds and constant oxygen to get them to stop, but this time it was a stubborn one and her full dosage of rescue meds didn't do the trick.  Her seizure protocol is that I call for an ambulance to have her evaluated if/when I get to her full dosage amount.  If she's stable and the seizure has passed, we can keep her at home.  If she's not stable or we can't get them to stop, we head to the hospital.  Usually by the time the ambulance comes she is already asleep and I know the seizure has passed.  We may take her in and check her shunt to be safe (though she's never had a seizure when her shunt failed), but they don't usually admit us.  This time once we got to the hospital she started seizing again and they had to give her more medication in the hospital.  That did the trick, thank God, but then her stats dropped and she wasn't clearing her carbon dioxide well enough.  They thought they may need to put her on b-pap or to tube her, but thankfully her numbers started normalizing very slowly, so they transferred us to the PICU and let her continue to improve there.   We checked her shunt to be safe, but her shunt, blood work, urine, and everything else was fine.  They watched her overnight and then we got to go home the next day.  We had to try out a new hospital here in Tucson (UMC), which is never fun, and we had a hard time getting an IV, so we had multiple pokes which was terrible, but the staff was great with her and we are thankful for the care she received.  David also had a crazy busy few days at work, because everything always happens at once, but luckily my aunt was able to come entertain kiddos while Madi and I were in the hospital, so we are thankful for that!

She's always sad until the rest of the family can join us.  Family makes everything better!

Ramya saw the vision specialist today.  We got a lot of answers to some things we have been noticing with her vision and she starts vision therapy next week.  It is common for kiddos from orphanage settings to have vision issues because of the lack of visual stimulation when they are tiny.  Her eyes have improved a lot since coming home, and we are hoping that this helps remedy her eye issues.  We are starting with 8 one-on-one sessions, but may need 12 total.  Conner has 3 more sessions of his therapy, though he doesn't have as much going on, so he was able to attend group sessions (and save our pocket book quite a bit of money).  Hopefully this will do the trick! 

In other medical news, Deena's leg is healing great and we have our next follow up with the orthopedic surgeon in 4 months.  We are in the process of getting her a wheelchair of her own, but in the meantime, she is able to use Madi's old wheelchair and it fits her well.    We also have her next PAM infusion scheduled for July and we will be able to do an in-home infusion, which is wonderful!

We also had Deena's re-adoption day through our local court.  Though Deena came home fully adopted, we wanted to re-adopt her in the US so that we could get an actual birth certificate for her and make it officially official.  She was really excited for her day and told me all day how this meant it was forever.  Of course when we got in front of the judge she was wearing her super serious face and seemed to either be terrified or didn't care, but she really was overjoyed and couldn't stop talking about how happy she was. 

During our extra time we've been taking the kids on outings and recently went to the zoo.  This time we rode the train and they kids were crazy excited about it.  They had a blast!

We had quiet a few visitors last month, which was really nice.  David's brother, Mark, and his wife, Kim, and kiddos came to spend time with us.  We took them to the Desert Museum and everyone had a lot of fun!  My parents also came for Mother's day, so we were really excited about that.  We took them to Tono Chul park and we all enjoyed our time there.  We also had my aunt and second cousin over for dinner when my parents were here and it was fun to all get together.  Oh, and our friends Darlene and Samuel from homeschool co-op came by to play and visit.  It's always  nice to see a familiar face!!

Conner attended camp for the first time over Memorial Day weekend.  He went with our old Church, North Valley Community Church.  He really, really, really wanted to go; until the night before.  He got nervous and scared and there were tears involved.  We talked and prayed through it, and I reassured him I would come pick him up if he needed me.  He called me every day, but quickly decided camp is amazing.   His days were filled with archery, airsoft wars, swimming, rock climbing, zip lines, and small group.  He told me he can't wait to go again next year!

While Conner was gone at camp we stayed at my parent's house in Phoenix.  We went to a wedding, saw family, and hung out with friends we have been missing.  We also went painting with David's family and celebrated my birthday.  We had a wonderful time!

While we were out painting we also went to eat lunch.  While we were eating Roger, Madi's pilot from the Sky Kids event we attended (read about that here) walked in.  Madi was really excited to see him, and he was excited to see her as well. 

Roger told me he had been meaning to e-mail me and tell me that, at the event, Madi really touched his heart and made his day special.  He was hoping we would attend the next event and he would get to see her, but it hadn't worked out.  We had registered for the event, but hadn't gotten a call that we were accepted until last minute and at that point, David was in Tucson, I was in Phoenix with the kids, the house was for sale, we were trying to find a rental in Tucson and start moving, I was waiting to leave at any point to get Deena home, and we had to miss the event, sadly, because life was pretty nuts.  Roger spent quite some time talking with us (Madi somehow even convinced him to walk over to Ross and help David and the girls shop for a birthday dress for me.  Only Madi could convince someone to do that.  She cracks me up!!!) and Madi was overjoyed.  Long story short, David and Roger talked and Roger offered to come to Tucson to take us up flying.  The kiddos (and David) were crazy excited!  What's even more amazing is he talked to the company he flies for, Transpac Aviation Academy, and they sponsored the entire flight!  He came out this weekend, which was just what we needed after our not-so-fun hospital stay.  He took the kiddos and David and I up in rounds so that each child could help him fly the plane.  The kids all loved it and haven't stopped talking about it.  Madi calls Roger "her pilot" and tells everyone that when she grows up she is going to live in the Taj Majal and her pilot, Roger, will pick her up and take her on vacation.  It must be nice having your own personal pilot, right!?!?!?  Madi kept talking about how awesome it all was, and even sang Roger the "Everything is Awesome" song from the Lego movie while were flying.  The company spoiled us rotten and even sent Roger with hats, lanyards, keychains, and treats for the kids.  We feel so  blessed!

There was a restaurant at the airport we flew out of called Todd's Restaurant at Ryan Airfield.  It's a family-owned restaurant and they were so sweet to our family.  They were the only place with air conditioning at the little airport, so they let us come in and hang out in their kid area for a few hours while we all took turns going up in the airplane.  They chatted with the kids, gave us drinks, and even convinced the fire fighters eating there to pull the trucks up for the kids to see.  The fire fighters turned their lights on and visited with the kids for a bit and they loved it!  After we were done flying we ate at the restaurant with Roger and the food was really, really good.  The husband of the husband/wife owner team makes the food.  He went to culinary school and the food is definitely not your typical diner food, it was really yummy!  The prickly pear tea and prickly pear cole slaw were my favorites.  We will definitely be going back to eat there and watch the planes come in and out.  If you live in the Tucson area, you have to check them out!  The wife also heard that we were new to Tucson and gave us her cell phone number with instructions to call if we ever needed anything at all.  We were very touched! 

I think that's about it for updates for now.  As you can see, our days are busy, but we play hard too.  We all know you are never promised tomorrow, but when you have kiddos with significant medical needs, you realize just that much more how much of a gift every moment of every day is.  We try our best to live life to the fullest and not let the not-so-fun parts of life keep us down.  We are crazy blessed and are so thankful that every day, even on the hard days, our journey is filled with joy!


Unknown said...

Miss you Jamie! I hope you're taking care of you too :) you are amazing

Unknown said...