Monday, September 17, 2012


Time to get back to the blogging world. This morning I re-read my posts from the first year I started writing and was amazed and what all I had forgotten. Time will do that to a person.

Today I have spent too much time on the new background to say much. Blogspot has made some big changes since the last time I logged on. I'm not crazy about change but I will figure it out as I go.

I just realized that time is one of those words that looks really weird after you type it and look at it for awhile. :)

I have nothing inspiring to say today. Just getting back into the swing of writing. May take some time.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

In this particular season of my life, as I quickly approach the big 4-5, (the time that I was born), I know that this is my time to harvest and to heal. My time to build up, to laugh and to dance. It is my time to embrace and to quit searching. My time to mend and to be quiet. My time for love and my time for peace.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I have been reminded of many things and taught some things over the course of the last few weeks with Ava... I am writing them down so I can always remember the good that God brings from the bad...

I was reminded that Jesus likes to show up and show off and I LOVE that about Him!!

My daughter taught me that she is even more amazing than I already thought she was and I love her even more than I knew I could.

I learned that no matter how old you are, you never outgrow the feeling you get when your mom sits and rubs your feet. It is a feeling of peace and comfort that is hard to describe.

Janet Douglas taught me that Ava's name means "fullness of life" and "fullness of joy".. and man is she ever full of both!

I was reminded that there is nothing more powerful than the body of Christ coming together in prayer.

I learned that when Greg Davis walks into a room it fills me with hope.

Facebook taught me that the majority of those names on your friends list aren't just there for show... and regardless of when you talked to them last...when it counts they are there for you. Facebook just might be the best prayer chain ever.

I was reminded that it is possible to physically feel yourself being covered in prayer.

I learned that God tears down walls in the midst of storms.

I was reminded that when I can't find anymore strength... God finds it for me...and he has a never ending supply.

I was reminded of how wonderful it his to have Pat Johnson pray over us and our kids and feel the power in his words, and how much I miss hearing him preach every Sunday.

I've always known how much love my kids have for eachother, but I learned the true depth of it...and it blows me away. They are bonded beyond bonded. That warms my heart more than anything else in this world.

I was reminded that no matter how much I fail God He will never fail me.

I learned how to sum up exactly what I was feeling when Stephanie Powell told me "your ulitmate faith is tested with your children...when we realize we are not in control." That is so true. I tend to be a control freak, and I am so thankful that through experiences like this He reminds us that He is all over it, and we need not fear. All we need to do is let go and let God.

I learned that true strength can come in small packages... and a 34 pound five year old can be stronger than the biggest men I know.

Ava has a long road ahead, but this morning I am full of peace about it all.
Psalm 46... "God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear..."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Home sweet home...

I call this the torture device. Sits mockingly up on the wall and constantly reminds you how long your ordeal is lasting. I kidded Ethan and Austin that we had to get out of there before it hit 100 hours or the room might implode. Missed it by 5minutes :)

SO... most of labs much fever for 24 hours...eating and drinking fairly well... so we are HOME! I can't tell you what a relief it is.

She has four labs still way off... ESR, CK, CRP, and PT/INR. The first three are related to inflammation and the last to blood clotting. That part of the puzzle is still a mystery. She will have those labs repeated in one week. Unless they are down considerably, we will assume some kind of autoimmune disease and probe further.

Unless the fever returns, we will see the doctor next week and go from there. The EE doc and allergy appointments will also be coming up soon. So thankful to be moving in a positive direction. We have known for a very long time things were not right with this little girl.

So once again... thank you all for your prayers and please continue to pray for us to find the all the help and answers we need to make her well. I will post progress as it happens.

Ava asked me to type this for her... "thanks for praying for me and helping me get better. I love you." <3

In Jasper...

Riley. So sick...

Coming around...

Ready to go home...

Monday, March 5, 2012

The latest...

Well the good news is we think we have the answer... the bad news is they "LOST" her blood from this morning... How in the heck to you "LOSE" someone's blood?? I had already promised her no more sticks today. But without that bloodwork we can't finalize it all.

If labs are trending towards normal, the official diagnosis for the acute issues will be severe Adenovirus. That would be responsible for the high fever and her being so so sick and labs being so crazy... They tell me it can take up to 2 yrs to shed the virus completely but it shouldn't affect her like this again and she won't be contagious.

It does not, however, explain her ongoing belly pain. They are still thinking that is from the Eosinophilic Esophagitis and possibly some other undiagnosed problems of that nature. The amazing thing is that one of the nations leading EE specialist is here at Riley and has offered to take her! He has a team that will deal with every facet of the disease.. allergy testing and all. He is going to schedule us with all of them the same day asap so we dont have to make separate trips. He has been so good to us through all this. He is the one that kept looking me in the eye and assuring me they would figure it all out. Just so happens he was here when she came in Friday. ;)

Sooo, IF if the labs are good...and IF the fever stays down.. and IF she is eating and drinking well...we will get to go home tomorrow! I know that is a lot of if's but we are remaining hopeful. This has been a horrible and absolutely terrifying ordeal but we are thankful for every single minute of it because it is getting her the help we have been searching for for over 2 years. I'm sure it was all part of the grand design...everything from the mis-read to that particular Dr. being here for her. Radiologist don't "mis-read" CT scans that badly everyday. Most definately happened for a reason.

There is a big red digital clock up on the wall behind her that started keeping time when we got here and will stop when we leave. Right now it reads 79 hours and 3 minutes. That's not even counting the 16 hours from when she was admitted to Jasper to when we got in the room here. So all totaled it has been about a 95 hour roller coaster ride for us and 95 hours of agony for her. We are so ready for this ride to be over.

Will keep you all updated as we find out more. Thanks to every single person who has prayed for her.. even if only for a minute. It made ALL the difference. Thanks in advance for continued prayers and please... keep praying us home. <3

This is about 5 minutes after the 2nd blood draw... absolutely did her in. :(

Sunday, March 4, 2012


For those who don't know... Ava has been fighting sickness for a month now...actually much longer than that. We hadn't been able to get a definitive diagnosis despite many trips to the doctor. Last Tuesday she was running yet another fever, but this time it didn't go away.

By Thursday I knew it was time to go back to the doctor. Did blood work and told us to come back Friday. By that time her temp was 104 and nothing was bringing it down so he admitted her at Jasper around 4 in the afternoon. They did several tests... one of them being a CT scan to check for appendicitis. The radiologist that read the report said that possibly there was a perforation in Ava's colon behind her liver and there may be free air and infection gathering there. Since that is an emergency situation our doctor decided quickly to transfer her to Riley to be seen by a GI team and a surgical team.

Now I don't know if any of you have ever ridden any distance at all in an ambulance, but I can tell you there is really no other mode of transportation I can compare it to. Never been in anything that rides that rough. Couldn't possibly be a healthy way to transport someone who is sick. Throws you around worse than any wooden roller coaster at Holiday World. Longest two and a half hours of my life! Not to mention my baby girl was strapped on a gurny fastened to the floor.

We were suppose to be a direct admission but we got hung up in the ER. Were there from 230 in the morning until 6 in the morning. It was such a long night. When they finally got us to a room we where so ready to collapse and sleep or at least stop to cry but unfortunately that was not an option.

The doctors here read the CT scan and determined it was a mis-read. No free air, no infection and no perforation. At first, in our exhausted state, we were furious. Thought we had been put through that ordeal for nothing... But I am telling you, God is so in control it's crazy. Didnt take long for us to realize that it was no coincidence there was a mis-read. Had there not been, we would not have been sent to Riley when we were and it scares me to even think what might have happened otherwise.

Alot has happened between then and now but here is the just of it....

She is stable. Alternating tylenol with coedine and motrin every four hours. Takes the fever to around 100 for about 3 hrs before it spikes back up. Last night her temp was 104.7. That was the highest one so far. The coedine is controlling her belly pain pretty well.

Her labs are still all funky. Her pt/inr is high. (that is blood clotting time for you non medical people) Starting her on Vitamin K for that. Her muscle enzymes are highly elevated. Her sed rate is in the high 50's (indicates inflammation) Her white count is 24,000. (indicates infection) Liver function is off. And a bunch of other obscure ones are either too high or too low. Thankfully all four blood cultures have been negative.

She still has the ongoing mid abdominal pain. Always present but definately worse when the fever spikes. Despite that, the GI team thinks this is not a GI issue and that the pain is associated with the Eosinophillic Esophagits that was diagnosed with biopsies she had during an EGD. (scope down the throat) It's basically eczema of the esophagus. Her food allergies are now attacking her GI tract in the same way they have attacked her skin her whole life.

Added to the list this morning was the diagnosis of Adenovirus. So the infectious disease team has been added to the list of docs that are seeing her. This virus attacks respiratory linings, GI linings, causes fever, diarrhea (which she now has) vomiting (which she has done sporadically last few days) conjuctivis (her eyes are starting to get red) and several other things. It gets dangerous if it causes pneumonia so they are watching closely for that but so far her lungs have been clear on xray. Infection Control docs said there are 50 different types of the virus ranging from mild to severe. If she has a severe type it could possibly be the source we have been looking for. Waiting on more tests results to know for sure. That would be amazing.

She is holding up pretty well. As tiny as she is...she is one of the strongest people I know. Bless her little heart. Needle sticks have become a problem though. As soon as someone other than her nurse comes in the door she starts to go into hysterics. Took four to hold her down last night. No sticks today though. More tomorrow morning :( Still entertaining the thought of autoimmune diseases and have yet to really address the esophagus issue. But praise the lord... we have moved beyond the possiblity of anything potentially life threatening.

Thats where we stand at this point. I have to say, this place is as amazing as I have always heard it was. They are all over it. We have had a steady stream of doctors from all specialties in all day long everyday. Everytime the main one comes in he looks me in the eye and assure me that they will figure it out. Right now I am very thankful for being a nurse and for being able to comprehend and sort through the unbelievable amount of everchanging info that is being thrown at us at any given moment. I feel for all the parents here with no medical background. Must be so overwhelming. I can't even imagine.

I am completely blown away at the outpouring of love and support we have received and the amount of prayer we all have been covered with. We feel each and every one and I have no doubt it has given us the strength to endure these last four days and has helped all the doctors to sort through everything and start piecing it together quickly. Please keep praying... for Ava's ability to endure, for clarity for the doctors, for Aaron and I to be able to hold up, and for the boys at home who miss us and need us back there. <3

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Better late than never...

February 4th...which seems like only yesterday even though it was over two weeks ago...Austin turned 16...the big 1-6...SIXTEEN. I say it over and over to myself but it still doesn't seem possible. I don't know where the time goes. I only know that the older I get the faster it goes by.

I had to work 12 hours on his actual birthday so we celebrated the day before and the day after. As usual, per Austin's style, it was a low key event. Date with the gf and a dinner with all his favorites. Doesn't take much to make that boy happy.

I think this is probably the third or fourth birthday post I have written for him since I started blogging a few years ago. Each time I sit down to write it my mind goes back to that place in time. Austin was...well let's just call it like it is... a surprise. :) I remember vividly strapping Ethan into his carseat the day before his first birthday and driving to walmart in the rain. I made just one purchase that day. A pregnancy test.

All the way home I wondered what if... I had one in diapers, how could I handle another? How would Ethan react to no longer being the baby and the center of our world? We were at a big transition point in our lives. Building a house, new jobs, moving, etc... How could another child possibly enter the picture at this point?

I remember placing that test on the bathroom sink and walking to the kitchen to set the timer. I held Ethan on my hip and paced back and forth alone through the house. Half hoping, half dreading. It was possibly the longest three minutes of my life.

Before I even got all the way through the bathroom door I could see the big red plus sign. I fell to my knees and held on to Ethan and cried tears of joy. Even in the uncertainty of the times I wanted him at that moment more than I could have ever imagined.

Seven months later and 5 weeks ahead of schedule, I remember the 12 below zero weather, the ridiculously long labor, and the words "he's all yours," that the doctor said to me as she placed him in my arms for the first time.

That tiny little 7 pound orange-headed surprise is now an almost 6 foot orange-headed wonder. He amazes me with his many talents, his awesome sense of humor, his sensitivity, his empathy, his intellegence, and his pure-heartedness. He has grown into a person of great faith and conviction and I love that about him.

When I finally did get home from work on his actual birthday, we all watched videos of his first couple of years. He and Ethan laughed and laughed at the way they interacted with eachother. It made me so thankful to see that the bond they have shared from the day Austin came home has grown that much stronger over the years. They truly love, take care of and watch out for eachother. What more could a mother ask for.

God knows what He is doing. Our "surprise" was all part of His perfect plan. Happy 16th Bub. You are one of a kind and I love you. :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Moments like these...

Been a long time since I sat down to post. Busy busy as usual. Holidays a blur. January almost over. Gotta soak it all in more. Enjoy the song and pics.