Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A month of Thankfulness

Wow its been a whole month since Ive updated here. Crazy to think, in the past year and half there was always "something" to post about, but usually not always something good. So fewer blogs means that we are busy enjoying this gift of life :)

This time last year Elizabeth was fighting for her life. November 16 2010, Elizabeth turned blue and was unable to recover, that day set into motion our offical journey to transplant. November has been a busy month, filled with thankfulness and rememberance. The events that happened in November last year, will always be a constant reminder to me to be thankful for each and every day - even the bad ones -, a reminder to be thankful for Elizabeth's strength to fight, thankful for those who fought with us to save her and to be thankful for those who have supported us along the way.


At the beginning of November I was asked to be a guest speaker for Donate Life Tenesseee at their Thanks for Giving Ceremony. I gave a short speech about Elizabeth's story, and explained how transplant has affected our lives, It gave me a chance to thank those families who made the choice to save others during  their time of loss. It was a very emotional day. But I am grateful for the chance to share our story, and let those families know what a difference they are making in the lifes of strangers.

During November we achieved a milestone, this was the first time since Elizabeth's birth that we spent more than 3 whole months at home without being hospitalized. Seems like a small thing to celebrate, but in the life of a chronically/critically ill child, These "long stretches" at home are reasons for celebration and something to be thankful for!

We travelled to visit my sister in Augusta, GA, this is the second time Elizabeth has been there but the first time since transplant. She did pretty well on the 4 hour car ride. Again, something to be thankful for, our first trip post transplant - that didnt involve a Dr appointment.

Elizabeth is doing really well as far as making progress with her therapies and adjusting to our "normal" life,which involves her staying at home alot now that its flu/rsv season. As I have posted in the past few months Elizabeth continued to have problems with vomiting. And after seeking help from the GI Dr and not really getting answers that I thought were benefical. I decided to try something on my own. I had researched blederized diets, and how some families of kids with G-tube/nissen fudoplications had issues with vomiting/retching/ and just overall GI issues. I chose to completely stop giving Elizabeth formula and switch her to a blenderized diet. It basically consists of lactose free milk, baby rice cereal, different baby foods -meats, veggies, fruit, olive oil and honey. Since we started this new feeding her vomiting has almost completley resoloved and her other GI issues have gotten better as well. I am actually pretty proud that we made this choice to switch. She acts like she feels so much better, and seems very happy with this transition. Hopefully it will continue!

Like I said its been a busy month  caring for Elizabeth is almost like a full time job, add that to working full time as police officer - on midnight shift, serving in the Navy Reserves, and just dealing with life in general some days I get very overwhelmed. But I have to stop and remind myself of where we were a year ago. It reminds me to be thankful for all of this stress and to make the most of each day regardless. I am lucky to still have my precious girl here with me and no matter how stressful or crappy the day is, when I see her sleeping so peacefully in her bed, smiling at me, or reaching out for me.. I am reminded over and over - I AM THANKFUL FOR HER LIFE!