Our Great God!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

24 hours ago, I wouldn’t believe where we’d be just a short time later!!

Who is like our God?
“Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
You will increase my honor and comfort me once again
Psalm 71:20

We have felt the comfort of the Lord in such tangible ways!!  He has acted mightily on Evie’s behalf yet again, and the prayers of so many have carried and encouraged us!
Are you ready for this….?

Since my last post, we have seen nothing short of a miraculous turn around!  Evie had a restful night (after such a crappy and painful day!) and woke the next morning with a little sparkle in her eyes that we haven’t seen in a long time.
Anyone who has seen “Frozen” will get a giggle from this…we got her propped up in bed sipping on some juice and in a little raspy voice, she started trying to sing:
For the first time in forever, I don’t feel any pain!”
Music to our ears for sure!

Doctor approved a liquid diet which she tolerated fine all day with no bouts of vomiting and nausea.  We got her up, pushing her IV pole around, (amazing when she couldn’t even sit the day before!) and even left the ward for a slow loop around the hospital.  As she was taking huge strides and improving, the doctors began talking about perhaps switching all her meds to oral instead of IV and releasing her the next day if the trend continued.  But then, when she blew her IV mid afternoon, we took that as a little prompt that she was ready!  Rather than inserting a new line, the doctors OK’d her discharge!!

We didn’t tell the kids back home, but we rolled up in a taxi and got to surprise Izzy just in time for her birthday dinner!  My sweet friend Cecilia got a cake for our girl, a weight off my guilt-ridden mommy shoulders!!  Thank you friend!

Evie is moving a little slow, is on a soft diet, we are administering 14 doses of medicine round-the-clock, and doctors expect it to take a full 2 weeks to completely heal, but we are so grateful to be home where she is surrounded by those who love her and can continue healing and get the rest she needs.  Man, hospitals are not the place to rest!!

Can we ask you to keep the prayers coming just a little longer?…
We returned to the hospital 16 hours after being discharged to have Eden checked by our pediatrician after a fitful, sleepless first night back at home.  We found out he has bronchitis and possibly RSV.  Figures I guess, after a week in the hospital.  There is no way to “baby proof” a hospital room and there were so many germs he came in contact with!  The flu is also running through our family with crummy tummies and fevers going round.  We are all pretty exhausted and run down and need to heal and recover!  Thank you for continuing to lift us up and pray for full recoveries and for sleep!  We have precious friends who have brought in some meals which we are incredibly grateful for!  And the emails and prayers from so many have blessed us immensely!

Gigi was singing “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do” yesterday at the dinner table.
Amen to that!!

“My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”
Psalm 73:26


‘Aint No Sunshine When She’s Gone

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Nearly 10 years later, and this child is still baffling doctors and giving her parents grey hair!  We’ve been in the hospital for a week now with a pretty sick girl who has largely left doctors mystified as to the source of her pain.  We were admitted for suspected appendicitis – chronic lower right abdominal pain.  But, as the days an symptoms have unfolded, batteries of tests have been administered and specialists have been consulted, they’ve identified other culprits as factors in her pain.  It wasn’t until day 5 that they found growth of not one, not two, but THREE different strains of E.coli bacteria in her system!  Additionally, a partial intestinal blockage is believed to be trapping feces and retaining infection in her body and causing inflammation.  Her pain has ranged from moderate/constant, to fever pitch acute pain.  But in a week now, she hasn’t had a moment pain-free!

We thought we were on the right course treating with a cocktail of mega doses of broad spectrum antibiotics, anti-parasitic meds, anti-inflammatories, probiotics and laxatives. We’d even begun to discuss with the doctor the possibility of moving to oral meds and going home if she improved enough.

Then Sunday night she nose-dived!  A new symptom of nearly incessant vomiting throughout the night and into the morning left her absolutely wrecked with pain.  Doctors became concerned this might be evidence of a complete intestinal block requiring emergency surgery and began prepping her for yet another CT scan (we’ve had mega doses of radiation CT’s/X-rays and ultrasounds this week!!).  The anti-nausea meds couldn’t touch it and she was dry heaving for hours!  For a child already suffering from stomach pain, this was agonizing!

The culmination of pain, stomach spasms, depletion from not eating for days and exhaustion from not sleeping sent Evie into (what we now believe was) a full blown anxiety/panic attack – but at the moment, no one knew what was going on.  She very quickly became disoriented and couldn’t communicate clearly. Was just panting “Mommy, I can’t breathe….do something….Im scared….help me“.  The nurses began swarming into the room taking vitals and trying to assess what was going on.  But she couldn’t communicate.  Gasping, hyperventilating, eyes darting around the room, cold shaky extremities, writhing in pain, tears streaming down her face….it was agonizing to watch and traumatically, all Evies sisters were in the room for the episode!  Its amazing how quickly your mind can go to a dark place.  I was flooded with memories of another hospital room with nurses frantically trying to gage what was going on!  Sometimes “God be near” is the all you can breathe as you look into the eyes of your suffering child!

Evie was put on oxygen and sedated.  Sad to watch, but honestly the best thing for her.  She’s languishing and just needed SLEEP!  The rest of the day, she seemed to decline with no energy to even stand.  Even after sleeping off the sedation, she couldn’t keep her eyes open.  Then being asked to drink a liter of contrast fluid before the CT was awful after nothing on her tummy for days and 16 hours of vomiting.

CT last night ruled out some of our biggest fears leading doctors to continue the current course of treatment….addressing the infection, controlling the nausea, and giving her time to heal.  The thought is that the infection triggered Irritable Bowel Syndrome and that colitis may have left ulcers which are not going to feel better immediately even if the infection is gone.  They are talking about this healing process taking weeks!

We are weary.  C was out of the country most of this week and Abi has just left for a month.  Evie’s spirits are down from just sheer exhaustion and being confined to a depressing hospital room.  Mommy guilt plagues me at times with the children at home being neglected – especially today on Izzy’s 11th birthday!!  Ive been home a total of 3 hours in the past week.  Thankful that the hospital is walking distance from our home so they can visit often!  Spending time yet again in Psalm 139 – Evie’s verse!  He knows the intricacies of her frame and has ordered her days and cares even more for her than I do!

~ Pray specifically that we can get out of the hospital soon!  We need marked improvement before we can switch to oral meds and take our girl home to heal.  As Eden and I (mommy) have been her constant companions, we’ve come down with a nasty hospital bug and have crummy tummies too (no not the same as Evie – but just generally miserable!)

~ Pray for wisdom for doctors if there is anything we are missing.  They hope to see a gradual trend toward less pain.  If not, the next thing they will do is a colonoscopy and have even talked about exploratory surgery which we are very uncomfortable doing here in Thailand!


6th Birthday Dollhouse Party

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A long and time honored tradition culminated last week.  We celebrated the fifth and final little-girls-6th-birthday-housewarming-party of our family!  Turning 6 is a big deal around here.  30 years ago, my grandfather (who is now 97 and watching this tradition carried on to the next generation) started something special that left an indelible memory.  A beautiful Victorian Dollhouse was toiled over, constructed, adorned, painted and presented to me on my 6th birthday.  My mother jokes that the box they purchased with instructions suggested 40 hours for assembly.  Grandpa put in 80!!  Using Grandma’s earring studs to create tiny door knobs and and laboring in his tool shed to perfect and improve the design, his masterpiece exceeded the manufacturers labeled photograph and the structure has withstood now three-decades of play.  Each of my sisters received the same gift on their 6th birthday developing a little “neighborhood” in the playroom of my childhood home.

C took on the baton and purposed to create the same special memory for each of our girls on their 6th birthday.  Abi, Britain, Izzy Evie and now Gigi each have dollhouses that hopefully they’ll get to pass on to their daughters some day!  We could have a whole little “village” if all the big sister dollhouses weren’t packed up in a POD back in the USA!!  🙁

I told her she can stop growing now!  6 years old is old enough!  Have loved every minute of your little-girlhood my Gigi!  Your spunk and sass and sweetness.  I love that chocolate still works to bribe you to take a nap with me and that you still love to sneak down in the middle of the night sometimes to snuggle.  I love your obsession with hairbows and high-heels and lime drinks and bubble tea.  Our coffee mornings when all the big kids are at school and the way your hand fits just right in mine when we walk to pick them up!  Your crazy mess of curls and the Fancy Nancy quote you say to me every day that keeps me wrapped around your little finger…..”I adore you….really, I do!”
I adore you too my girl.  Happy 6th birthday to our little hot mess!

This sweet little dollhouse cake brought to us by Cupcakelicious U!  Yum, yum, yum!!  What a masterpiece of its own.  Delicious lemon cake and cream cheese frosting under all that fondant amazingness!  And the best part – they deliver!  Bangkok friends – check them out for your next event!!