Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Together again...

I forgot to update the blog last week, but I didn't want to leave anybody in the dark! Joe came home from the hospital last Friday--an unexpected 2 week stay! But we're so happy to all be home together again.

I have been lacking in posting new pictures of Ellie lately...I will try to get some tomorrow. Ellie absolutely LOVES the outdoors! She always tries to get her coat and my coat because she wants to go outside. If she doesn't get her way (aka I am busy with something and can't go outside at that second,) she will just throw a fit until I give in. I realize that this is typical 1-year-old behavior, but I'm still learning how to deal with her (and not give in all the time). :)

8 days until ACTIVATION!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Ellie

I got my Ellie back today! She has been at her Opa and Oma's house (my parents') since Monday! (So that I could be with Joe at the hospital.) Her reaction when she saw me was priceless. She was still in her car seat, and I peeked my head out of our house. When she saw me, her jaw dropped and she shook with excitement. :) She does this thing that when she is so excited, she tenses up and shakes really fast....so cute!

It was so fun to have her back. We played for awhile, she had a snack, and went to bed. I love routine. :) Now we just need Joe to come home and we'll be one big happy family!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Project: Be A Good Egg

Local artist, Mary Claire Thomasma, is painting Easter eggs to hang on doors. She calls it project "Be A Good Egg." She is generously donating $5 of every egg sold to our family to help out with medical bills. Eggs are $45 and can be picked up at her house. To order one or get more info, you can call her at 616.940.0400. She has many different designs...but this is the one I have for my door. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pictures of the Incision

Okay, so I know I said I wasn't going to post pictures of her incisions, but I just can't believe how good it looks after only a little over a week. So here they are! Last Saturday, March 13

This Saturday, March 20

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stitches are out!

I took Ellie to the Dr. to get her stitches out today. She sure didn't like that! It's not that it hurt so much...but rather being held down...that she didn't like so much. She even cried when the nurse came back to put a sticker on her shirt--as soon as the nurse got close, she balled! Poor girl has been traumatized in the last week. :( BUT, the incision looks a ton better now! Her ears are still gooped up with blood (yes, that is the medical term for it.) So I am putting drops in twice a day to moisten the blood and hopefully clean out the ear.

I will try to post pictures as soon as I get a chance....I've just been running back and forth from the hospital to piano lessons to pick up Ellie to home, etc. I did get a chance to go for a walk today with Ellie and my nephew, Carter. It was so beautiful out! Ellie is such a teaser, though, because while Carter is falling asleep, she is next to him trying to hug his neck, touch his face, pull his hair...anything to keep him awake! So instead of speaking "sternly" to her, I always have to stop the stroller so that she will see my "mean" face and know that she is being naughty. (yes, I do have a mean face...I'm sure she's terrified of it.) :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Back to "Normal"

I titled this "Back to 'Normal'" because Ellie really is back to her own happy self! But "normal" is not so normal because she has been living at my parents' house more than our house. Not that she minds...I'm sure they're pretty accommodating to her. :) She slept at home last night, but I took her back to my mom's this morning so that I could go back to the hospital to be with Joe. She is actually getting pretty steady on her feet...I don't freak out about her knocking her head on something now every time she tries to walk.

It's so good to see her happy and laughing and winking. She likes to play a new game of peek-a-boo where she goes behind my back and peeks around to see my face. She thinks it is so hilarious! It's so cute how she makes up her own little games. :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bandage is off!

We took the bandage off this morning...It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I don't think I will post a picture of the incisions, though, because it is a little graphic. Ellie had another good day today (for the most part.) She threw up her milk this morning right after I gave her the steroids, but immediately felt better. After cleaning up that mess, my parents came over to help me cut the bandage off. Then they took her back to their house so that I could go to stay with Joe (my husband) at the hospital.

For those of you who don't know our family well, here's a quick little background....Joe is on dialysis because his kidney failed last year. To make a long story short, he is at the hospital because he got an infection (peritonitis) which needs to be treated with antibiotics.

So, needless to say, I was not with Ellie very much today. She went to my parents' house and is there overnight. My mom said that she was very happy again today. We switched her over to regular Tylenol, which seems to be controlling any pain that she has. We are so grateful for friends and family that are so willing to help out! Joe's mom came over to our house last night when Ellie was in bed and I had to bring Joe to the ER. (Thank you so much!) And we have had others that are so willing to help with Ellie or anything else we need. Thank you!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Great Day for Ellie

This picture says it all...today has definitely been a good day for Ellie. She has been very happy for the most part. She's not eating a whole lot yet, but more than yesterday. We kept her bandage on because we felt it was maybe safer to keep it for one more day. (I'm also kind of dreading seeing the incision/stitches/shaved hair.)

Last night we had to switch her pain medication because she was so itchy. She tore her stomach apart! There were scratches all over. :( So Dr. Daniels gave us another prescription which has been working well.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Home Again

We are home again! We got home around 12:00 today. Last night went pretty well...Ellie slept quite a bit of the time. She woke up and cried a little bit every once in awhile, but around 3:00 am, she was definitely in pain, so I asked the nurse to get her some morphine. As soon as she got the meds, she fell back asleep. We continue to give her pain meds on a regular basis for today. All in all, I think she has handled such a huge surgery very good...she hasn't been nauseous at all! We want to thank everybody again for all of your prayers! Here are some pictures of our day yesterday and today...

I went back to the Operation Room with Ellie until she was asleep.

This is the recovery room...she wasn't awake yet here. Her breathing was very raspy, so I tried to hold her up a little bit.

This is right when we went back to the Recovery Room...kind of scary to go back there and see her like this. :(

In our room this morning...sleeping soundly.

Home and trying to eat a little lunch...she didn't eat ANYTHING yesterday!

Ellie was so happy to be back home and playing with her toys again! The bandage "helmet" has to stay on until tomorrow evening, although I think we might keep it on for an extra day due to her clumsiness.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


She just woke up about 10 minutes ago. She was sad at first, and then just kind of groggy. She did give us a couple of winks. (That's her new thing.) :) She was only up for about 5 minutes, but it was enough for the nurse to consider her up from sedation. Now she is sleeping again, and I think I will see if I can get some sleep (before she wakes up completely and realizes that she hasn't eaten in over 24 hours!)


We are still waiting for Ellie to wake up from the sedation. Dr. Daniels said they gave her a "boatload" of sedation, so it could still be a little while. We got her to open up her eyes for about 5 seconds....she was not happy! But it was good to see her eyes. We are going to wait until 11:00 pm (40 mins) and then call Dr. Daniels again if she is not yet awake.

All Done!

Dr. Daniels just came by to let us know that he is done! She is still waking up, so we will be able to go back there soon. I will update again tonight after I see her and she is settled. Thanks again for all your prayers....we have felt them!

1 ear done!

We just got a call from the Operating Room...her right ear is implanted and looking good. Now they are beginning to work on the left. As soon as both are done, the girls from audiology will hook up the implant to the processors to make sure they are functioning and the auditory nerve is stimulated. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I just wanted to quick post to let everybody know what time surgery is tomorrow for Ellie. We are planning on arriving at Spectrum at 11:00 am, and then surgery is scheduled for 1:00 pm. I'm sure Ellie will be soooo hungry when she wakes up! She can't eat anything tomorrow morning, and can only drink clear liquids until 9:00 am. Luckily, she's not a big eater in the morning anyways. :)

Joe took Ellie to see Dr. Daniels yesterday. We were concerned because she has a very runny nose...usually along with that, she gets fluid in her ears. Thankfully, he said there is no fluid in her ears yet. Hopefully tomorrow will be the same. Dr. Daniels also said that if one ear is clear and the other one isn't, he will still implant the one good ear.

We are both feeling kind of nervous for tomorrow, but at the same time very excited to begin this new path. We will be very relieved to have Ellie back in our arms after surgery tomorrow!

Here is a picture of my baby....please say a prayer for her tomorrow afternoon!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Activation Date!

We received Ellie's activation date in the mail this week! The big day will be April 7--that's when they turn on the cochlear implants.

Ellie has been feeling good lately. No cold/cough or anything! I took her in to see Jack (the audiologist at Shawnee) on Monday...he looked in her ears and said that everything looked good. :) So we will take Ellie to see Dr. Daniels this coming Monday to make sure everything is good to go. Then next Wednesday will be surgery day! Please pray for everything to go smoothly for Ellie and the doctors/nurses. Thank you!