This is My "Real" Blog: May 2010

Angie's Blog!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Well, so much for posting more often. . . .

A few weeks ago, I believe I made a pledge to try and post more often. Unfortunately, I haven't lived up to that pledge in recent weeks. I have a few good reasons. Here they are, in no particular order:

Back in February, Mark received an official summons for jury duty. . . .federal jury duty. This is a 4-month obligation. He has faithfully called in each Friday afternoon, to see if he was to report the following Monday. And, until a couple weeks ago, there were no reasons to report. But we knew a case was on the horizon. . . and someone famous. . .

. . . would be headed to Knoxville for the trial concerning the hacking of her email account during the 2008 campaign. To be honest, we figured Mark wouldn't end up on the jury. We couldn't have been more wrong.

. . . and yes, we are very, very glad the trial is over!

During that time period, Caroline went to the dentist for the first time. And she did a GREAT job!!

Gina, our hygienist, wasn't able to polish every tooth, nor was she able to count every tooth, but she was able to get in there, and at least get her used to the idea of going to the dentist.

So -- yay, Caroline!

The next day - totally out of the blue -- we wound up at UT Hospital - by way of Children's Hospital. Caroline's pacemaker broke. Actually, the lead wire going from the pacemaker to the ventricle is what broke. . . or fractured.

How did this happen? We have no clue.

On Thursday night, the 22nd, Caroline was at the house with my mom. Mark was downtown for a concert (he stayed around after jury duty) and Edison and I were at the church for a band rehearsal. Sometime in the middle of rehearsal, my dad's cell phone rang. It was Mom. She said that Caroline had passed out, and was generally lethargic -- not typical behavior for Caroline.

After we talked, we agreed that Mom would bring her down to the church (5 miles closer to the hospital than if we'd have back-tracked to home) When they arrived, we decided to go to Children's Hospital - to have her checked out. Mark was called - and he planned to meet us at the ER.

When we got to the hospital, the triage nurses determined that she needed to be examined right away -- and I could tell by their expressions that something was wrong. Her heart rate - which should have been around 80 or 85 was ranging between 39 and 45.

Something was wrong.

A check of her pacemaker and an x-ray helped determine that the lead wire had fractured. An external (skin) pacemaker was attached, and we were off in an ambulance to UT Hospital. On Thursday night/Friday morning, she underwent a heart cath-like procedure, where a temporary lead was placed through her groin - into the heart. Once surgery could be arranged on Friday (or Saturday, if necessary) a new lead would be installed -- and possibly a new pacemaker.

We learned on Friday morning that her surgery would take place sometime after lunch. . . and those vague terms were fairly correct. It was after lunch. . . well after lunch!

This picture was taken while we waited for them to take her into surgery. . . .

. . .and yes, I cried a good portion of that day. I was scared. The doctors weren't sure whether or not they would have to crack open her sternum -- and of course, we didn't want them to do that. So, as I signed paperwork allowing them to do whatever was necessary, I silently cried out to God to heal her body without a highly invasive procedure.

. . . and He proved himself to be very, very faithful. The surgery was completed - and her sternum was left intact! They did, however, replace the pacemaker as well as the lead wire -- and they promised to pro-rate the cost of the new pacemaker because she still had 3 years left on the old one.

To which I politely replied: "Whatever."

After surgery, she was still pretty groggy for a few hours. But on Saturday morning, she was ready to rock & roll. . .

And then, on Saturday afternoon, after she munched down on chicken planks and french fries, we were outta there! Our instructions were that she should lay out of school for two weeks -- and no P.E. for the rest of the school year.

Seriously--this is Caroline two days after surgery. Can't hardly tell, can you??

(Her followup appointment was yesterday - and the surgeon says everything looks great!)

That's right. . . some kids ask for ponies for their birthdays. Our girl got a pacemaker! And, you'd never know that anything was done - except for her new scar. She's asked us to remove it, and of course, we would if we could.

Mark's parents arrived a couple days after we got home from the hospital - and have been so very, very good in helping care for her while I've gone back to work. And, now that Mark's case is over, having him around on a more regular basis is very nice.

I'm forgetting something. . . .

Of course - the birthday!! Last Thursday, the Princess turned six. I can hardly believe that six years has gone by so quickly. But it has. It's been a great, amazing, wonderful six years -- and other than the hormonal attitude issues, I can honestly say that I am really looking forward to the next six years -- because this little girl just brightens our lives in so many ways!!

On her actual birthday, we had birthday cake - and let her open a few presents. . .

Why yes, that IS a Dick & Jane card from her "Uncle" Doug in Illinois! She loves Dick, Jane, Spot, Puff, Tim, and Sally. Funny, funny Sally. . . .

Then, this past Saturday, we had her birthday party/cookout at our church. We thought torrential rain and storms were headed our way, so we "bugged out" to the church. Turns out, we would have been fine having the party outdoors -- but this was nice, too.

It was a Strawberry Shortcake Birthday party for our girl. And yes, that IS bright pink, red, and green. Thank you for asking. . . it was delicious!!

This little lady was part of the cake topper. Have I mentioned how much FUN little girls bring to our lives?!?!?

Yes, this would be Edison and his girlfriend. The last month, I have had to grapple with him actually liking a girl -- but then he took it (and me) to the next level by "going out" with her. And no, they're NOT allowed to go anywhere. Remember those days?!?!

Here's a better view of them. . . and yes, he is giving a thumbs up. What a silly boy.

People often wonder about children with Down syndrome, and whether or not they will look like family members. Caroline does have many traits which resemble me. But this trait, she shares with my sister. Thank you, Aunt Lori -- this is definitely a gift!

Proud? You betcha!

That's it for now. . . thanks for prayers and birthday wishes for our princess. She has had an interesting sixth birthday -- but we rejoice in a chance to celebrate her -- and the amazing little girl she is. She brings us joy that we never imagined -- and she constantly reminds us that God is good. . .He loves us. . . and He has a very special purpose for every individual on the planet.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you hope. . .and a future."