Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Long Road....

As many of you know, my mom has been battling a liver disease for years.  She has been on the transplant list for about four years.  The transplant list is more complicated than I ever thought!  It is based on your meld score which has to be at a certain level to put you at the top of the list.  Meaning, you are quite ill before it is "your turn".  Well it was finally mom's turn!  My dad got the call on a Friday night after they spent the afternoon in Door County with us for Adam's birthday!  

My mom has spent the summer in the hospital and rehab center as she fell in June and broke her hip.  The hip surgery was hard on her liver and "helped" raise her meld score to where it needed to be to put her at the top of the list!  A blessing in disguise?!?!

So, on July 28th at about 7:30 mom went in for a new liver... came out 9 hours later with a new lease on life!

This picture was taken about 36 hours after her transplant surgery!!  Can you believe that...sitting up in a chair, smiling!

 Mom spent about two full days in ICU before she was moved to a "regular" room.  More smiles!!  She is so strong!

 Three short  weeks later, she was HOME!  A first since June!  Dad got her a new chair and she is loving it!

Never did I imagine that this is something we would go through as a family.  But I have learned a whole a lot this summer both medically and personally! 

1. I have the most amazing family!  We can handle anything!
2. My mom is such a fighter, never giving up and always trudging forward!
3. My dad is rock and the most amazing husband/dad you could ask for!  Seriously!
4. Hospital food really isn't that bad!
5.Modern medicine combined with the human body is truly AMAZING!

(some of this I already knew, but it was reaffirmed this summer)

We have hit a little bump in the road this week (our first since the transplant).  Mom had a small infection in her hip near the replacement.  The Orthopedic surgeon decided to reopen the incision to check it out and flush it out. When he did they found that the bacteria had reached the prosthetic.  They decided to do a complete redo of her hip replacement, removing any bacteria that may have been stuck to the prosthetic.  So, not what we were hoping for, but...we will get through this!  Like I said before, my mom is the strongest lady I know, always fighting and moving forward.  I know she will be home before we know it!  

Thank you to everyone for your kinds words, thoughts, prayers, cards and flowers!  We all truly appreciate everyone who has helped us through this amazing event in our lives! 

 I have to say a special thanks to my mother-in-law!  She dropped everything to stay with Elle so that I could be with my mom immediately after surgery.   Maureen, I am so lucky to have a mother-in-law who treats like her own daughter!  Thank you!

I also need to thank my husband.  Being pregnant, my hormones have been off the wall - to say the least!  He has always been there to listen, talk or just to hold me!  Thank you David!  I am so lucky to have you as my husband!

Sorry it has taken me a while to update the blog.  I have been back and forth to see my mom along with still chasing a two year old, play dates with friends, trainings for school, doctor appointments for baby and just regular old life!  Thanks for stopping by and checking in!  

Keep reading, I posted an update on our annual camping trip to Door County!

The County of Door

Our annual camping trip (30+ years) started with a bang, well more of a squirt...  I was closing up the house, David was hooking the bikes on the car and Elle was...squirting sunscreen ALL over the inside of my car.  All I can say is thank goodness for leather interior, it wiped off a little easier than I think it would have it we had cloth interior!  After a little clean up, we were on the road  - 5 hours to Door County!

Once we arrived, we set up camp!  This year we borrowed a friends camper, it was nice to have our own space!  We are hoping to buy (this one) or another camper this fall! 

As many of you know, we spend most of our time on the beach.  We eat breakfast at the beach, lunch at the beach, nap at the beach...get the point?
Ashton was borrowing Elle's sunglasses...
Playing with Landon in the sand, she loves older kids.  Landon loved her too!
Adien sleeping on the beach!  Swimming and playing in the sand wears a little man out.
Grandpa came up to stay with us for the first weekend.  He bought ALL of the kids light up shoes so we could see them at night!  Elle was very excited and had to put them on right.away!

Elle enjoyed the campfires, but rarely sat still....
Landon and Elle played trucks,
and read books... too cute!
Breakfast of champions, donuts on the beach with doesn't get much better according to Elle!
Elle chased the seagulls, everyday!  If you click on the picture, you can see the seagull taking flight in front of the bike rack.  It was so stinkin' cute!  She would run and run and run after them!
Not sure how this started, but Elle would move her chair in front of the CD player and dance....

Grampa also bought this HUGE tube that had a spot for all three kids!  Aiden was chillin in the "cooler"! 

We had great weather and spent most of our day in the water!
This is fun...
Okay, maybe not so much!  :)

Wrestling daddy.

It is only about 90 degrees and Elle decides to put on David's socks and shoes...

Elle's turn to nap on the beach.  She only did this one day.  She was too worried she might miss something!

Every other day, she would fall asleep in the burley on the way back from the beach!
Door County is a beautiful setting for the sunset.  We watched it numerous times during our stay.
The crew...
After the sunset, we would walk to the park and play!


Busy day on the beach!
Elle actually let me put her hair in a "big girl" pony!  She looked so cute!
Chloe, Jace and Cami came up to visit!  The girls are only one month apart!  It was so fun to watch them play.  Thanks for making the trip again this year!  Hope we continue the tradition!

Tired girly napping in the camper after a day at the beach.
Chalk time...

We moved campsites after a few days to be right next door to Adam, Amy and the boys.  That is all I am going to say about that....
How do we get everything to the beach??  WAGONS of course.  The boys were troopers (with beer in hand) and would haul ALL of the chairs, coolers, floaties, towels, and snacks to the beach every day! 
Nana Kathy (Amy's mom) brought up balloons.  David might go into the clown business...he was making dogs and hats!  I told him to keep his day job...

Look closely...who do you think put her shoes on??
Another sunset!
You would think we have never camped before.  We went to see the sunset and forgot to put the garbage up...well we had visitors.  Amy and Ashton got back to the site first and she said there had to be about 10 racoons in the site...stinkers!
Elle got to make her first smore...

Playing on the road.
oops...Elle fell right throw the hammock!
Another tradition is a trip (or two) to Wilson's.  Wilson's is an old time ice cream parlor that has been around more than 100 years! 

More music...
Our last Friday was Adam's birthday.

Elle took this picture...she actually got Adam between her fingers..
Dancing with Grampa...

Elle helped Adam open his gifts, actually all he had to do was open the boxes...sorry Adam!
Gramma and Grampa came up for the afternoon.  We ordered pizza and ate it at the beach!  It was a great way to celebrate Adam's birthday and we were so glad that Gramma was able to join us!

Another year in the books!  It was a little different this year as Grampa only came up for a weekend and Gramma came for an after noon.  We missed them everyday, but know they will be back next year!  We still had a blast!  It is all we look forward to each summer and it goes so fast when we are there!  Next year should be interested as baby #2 will be 10 months old.  So that means crawling, not walking = lots of dirt!