Life is wonderful and difficult... and I am grateful!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Short update- Elizabeth is scheduled to go to the OR procedure room at 6:15ish this morning. After a cleanout at home Sunday- Monday, the team thought she needed an additional aggressive cleanout begining last night. She's had Golightly running all night and multiple enemas but hasn't had much result. I'm praying they don't reschedule her procedure due to this. Anesthesia should be straight forward as usual. Liz will be very uncomfortable and in pain throught the day as she wakes with the tubes in and endures the cramping during the 12 hour tests. Please pray for her. Thank you.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Please Pray

For my Elizabeth Claire-
(click and it will play in a separate window. you will be able to read blog during play)

My girl needs prayers this week. I covet prayer. I ask you mom to mom, friend to friend, please
flood His ears with your prayers. Elizabeth has gone through more than any person should ever have to endure. For years she has tolerated pain and suffering; for years she has kept on even though she has declined in may ways rather than healing. It feels as though she has no physical reward for all of her heroic ways she has endured in the hope that she would get well. How can one go on and continue to go through pain in the hopes that they will be made well?
I struggle with that thought every time I sign each consent form, every time I hand her over to the OR team and each time I allow her to be put through pain. It is a guilt no mother should have to feel and a trust no child should ever know.
Tomorrow Liz will begin another clean out at home in preparation for her hospital admission. Last weeks clean out was terrible with pain and retching. Also tomorrow, she will be seen by GI here in Long Beach because her gtube site has gotten even worse. She is now bleeding enough that she has blood coming out of the actual tube. I am a bit relieved that in the hospital this week we'll be able to have constant care and I am going to ask for the wound team to be in on helping her with the stoma.
On Tuesday she will be admitted to CHLA very early in the morning for more preparation and for IV fluids as she cannot take in anything other than clear liquids for the next few days. Wednesday she will go to the OR procedure room and have probes and catheters placed rectally and down through her nose/mouth. She'll be sedated during placement, but will wake with the tubes in and they will remain for a full day. On Thursday, she will have additional probes placed.This manometry testing is not fun. It will be painful and extremely uncomfortable as they make her colon contract over and over throughout the day for the study. Her GI team has held off on this testing for a year because it is awful and they wanted to spare her if at all possible.
Please pray for Elizabeth's tolerance. She will be in a hospital that is unfamiliar and she will be without the nurses we have come to trust and who care deeply for Liz personally. Also, other than the motility specialist who she has only met three times (and who lacks a great bedside manner), Liz will be without her team of doctors as CHLA is not our home hospital, and while we have met with specialists there before, she will not have her core team there.
Pray for Liz to not have unbearable pain and for nausea to be well managed. Pray that the doctors get the information they need and that the end result of this week of pain will be "worth" it.
Pray that her counts are stable- red and white cells, and platelets.
Pray for Jackson and Kate, too. I will not be able to see them because CHLA is not close to home. They both are already upset that I am leaving. Kate is sick with a horrible cold and I am praying that she is better by Tuesday and that Jackson stays healthy. It is awful to feel torn and want to be with my children when I cannot. Walter will be off of work for five days to help and will go back and forth from the hospital.

Thank you for praying. Ask others to pray. Know that I am grateful.

{Lord, I do not doubt you, but please, please help my Elizabeth and finally bring some healing. Please see how you have used her and touched lives through her, and please bring an end to her suffering}

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be

as long as life endures.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Bushel and a Peck....

 I grew up going to Oak Glen to enjoy a Fall day of apple picking. How fun to continue the tradition with my own family. On Saturday, my birthday, we headed up to the apples. Liz was supposed to begin a bowel clean out, but we held off a day because I had my mind set on a family day in the beautiful weather and nothing was going to stop us. We had the best day!

First stop was to pick pumpkins....

I love them a bushel and a peck.


Fitting because it IS true that Jackson has a big pumpkin head : )

Tractor ride up the hill.....

....and a beautiful view. Thank you God for eyes to see.

I would not let them start picking apples unless I was able to take their picture.

Going up.

Jackson was searching for yellow apples on the Red Delicious tree

I could not have been more happy on my birthday.

One of my most favorites ever of Kate.

Isn't she beautiful?

The tree(s) behind the girls was a set of twins. It was one tree that split in two.
Thanks for duplicating, silly girls!

Yay, a corn maze! Which way to go?

We decided to split up

I see you, mu Lulu

Choosing apples....

....for pressing. Let's make some cider, y'all!

We brought in our muscle girl when it got super tough

It is filling up.

They did it! Teamwork and some sibling arguing makes for great cider.

Kate caught this photo of Jack. After a long day, he was ready for home.

Until next year, Oak Glen.
I will remember this year, this image, especially.


It has been a month since my last post and some have messaged me to ask how things are. It would take many words to fill in on everything that has happened, so I'll post pictures and recap.
We have been busy! Kate's volleyball and the kids' school schedule and homework would keep any family busy. Adding in Liz's appointments and many sleepless nights has made me exhausted and I just haven't had the time or motivation to blog.

Jackson and Kate are doing very well! Jack is making new friends at school and soaking in learning. He was pretty bored in the first weeks of school, but now that his class has been divided into reading groups based on the student's reading level, he is happy to be challenged more.
Kate is happy and my only worry for her is that she is too tired from having a lot on her plate. It is good for her to be busy though and for her to have her own "thing" to keep her distracted and motivated. Volleyball takes up two hours a night after school and middle school homework is intense, so she is falling into bed each night. She loves the sport and has committed to playing Club ball again, so we are hanging on for the ride of another season.

Elizabeth has been struggling. Her Gtube site (called a stoma) has not healed as well as it should. She's been dealing with pain and bleeding along with granulomas. Rather than having to go into the doctor's office each week, I now have been given the supplies to treat her granulomas at home. She's started back on Prilosec to help with the inflammation that is going on around the lining of her stomach and the balloon of the Gtube.
She had a reaction to the internal  stitches used and she has had horrible muscle pain. Normally, a tube is placed more mid-line... picture someone with a six-pack. There is a divot down the center of their torso where there is no muscle. This is where tubes are placed. Because of all of Liz's surgeries, her surgeon had to place her tube to the side, which meant he had to cut through muscle. Painful now, but slowly healing.

Last week she started retching more often, having pain, and she had two days of dizziness and feeling faint. A series of xrays of Wednesday confirmed that she was impacted with stool again, and that was contributing to her symptoms (impaction contributes to dehydration). She went through a clean out at home Sunday and Monday, which has been horrible. Usually she doesn't have as difficult a time as she's had this week and it has been awful to watch and help her through. Our goal is to keep her from having to be hospitalized this week. On top of the impaction and clean out, she is on day 10 of a nasty cold/viral thing and has felt pretty sick with cough, congestion and fatigue. We are praying it does not turn into a sinus infection which would be the worst thing that could happen for her right now.
Next Monday, she will begin another clean out at home and then on Tuesday, we'll head to CHLA for her to be admitted for the week for manometry studies.
She could definitely use prayer.

This is a move Jackson calls the "X-ray" : )

Kate had a visit to the doctor for a physical. She grew nine and three-quarter inches in
just two years! She is strong, healthy and going to be TALL!

Tired eyes but big smiles for us both.

Liz's surgeon. When you pray for her during her surgeries, this is the man you
are holding in prayer as he holds her life in his hands.

Liz has missed the last eight days of school : ( Here she is on a healthy day giving herself
meds through her tube while she does homework.

This touched Liz and she shared it with me.
How amazing is she?