Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hospital Stays and Strawberry Shakes

Well, what we have there is what Noah ate at every meal while he was in the hospital.

A Strawberry Shake

"Why is everything so grim, once the Strawberry Shake is gone?"

-Noah Griffith

When they finally lifted his surgery orders, and let him order room service after not eating in over a day, he was STARVING! The one thing that stuck out from that first meal, was the shake. I told him I didn't care if he ate 100 shakes, as long as he got better. He proceeded to order one with every meal, including breakfast, and I kept my word and let him, as he kept his word and continued to get better.

It has been well over two months since Noah was hospitalized, and to be honest, it has taken me this long to feel good enough to write it all down, and reflect on it. It takes a lot out of a parent emotionally, and even still, we have unanswered questions, but he seems to have recovered, and we will continue to hope for the best possible outcome from here on out.

The long waited diagnosis.....

Noah was very sick with everything ranging from a cold to the stomach flu for a week. He missed his schools Archaeological Dig and camp out that he had so been looking forward to. Sunday night, when we put him to bed, we had a well recovered kid on our hands who was looking forward to returning to school the next day. That was, until 4:00 in the morning.

Gabe woke me up saying Noah is in a lot of pain and I think we need to take him to Primary Children's Hospital. I was confused since he was getting better, and even more scared, because Gabe is the calm one who is always there to tell me things are fine, lets just give it time. Yet, there he was, panicking and saying we need to go....NOW.

Noah was holding his right lower side and crying out in pain. I sat in the back seat with him on the way to the hospital frantically doing a Google search for the symptoms of an appendicitis. That had to be what was happening, the description was dead on. I knew he would have to have surgery, but I kept telling myself it was okay, it is quick, and we would be home in a few hours. I was wrong, so so wrong.

His poor body went through so much that day, with the tests and procedures that gave us NO answers other than the following two things.

It was not his appendix

He has an enlarged liver and fluid is building up around it.

What does this mean? Well, to my surprise, his enlarged liver is directly related to his heart condition. This has been happening since he was 3 1/2 years old after his last open heart surgery. But they said that it is very unlikely that it was at all related to what was happening with him.
Here is a picture later that night after he was finally allowed to rest in his hospital room and get ready for the next day of more tests and possibly surgery, but who knows what for. He was drugged....can you tell?

I can not tell you the amount of confusion I felt. We ranged from "Noah is in Heart Failure, and there is nothing we can do", to, "Well...we will wait and see." He went in for a minor surgery where they drained the fluids that kept building up around his liver, and tested it to see what it was. Later that night was when we received the SBP diagnosis.

He did not handle coming out of anesthesia well at all, which has always been the case since he was an infant. Morphine and Noah are not the best of friends. He was kept sedated to the point where he was not feeling too much pain, but felt like having visitors.

That really put a smile on his face. It was what he needed, and it was what I needed to see.

His best friend Nick brought him a gummy hand.....leave it to Nick to make my kid laugh at the hospital. He also received a huge box of letters and cards from his school. My friend Leanne brought them up and we taped them up all over his room.

Another crazy visitor......

The Wilson's made him a Candy Gram, which everyone wanted, but I informed them that it was all for Noah. Sorry guys.

A gift from friends at work.

The next day he wanted some air, and we were able to get him outside. It was cold, and began to rain, but it felt like heaven. Any place without beeping machines and four walls was paradise to me.

After 5 days in the hospital, the Dr's asked me what I wanted to do. I said I wanted to be home, because I felt like he was feeling better. I layed in his bed every night at the hospital, and every night Noah layed there moaning in pain, and held on to me tight. The night before, he was calm, and he slept well, and even moved around to the point I could no longer hang out in the twin size bed with an 11 year old. They agreed, so we went home, with more appointments scheduled, and hopefully some more answers to come.

But not until his final meal......which although not pictured, included a Strawberry Shake.

(I began writing this last November, then December....and now it is May.)

I know it is out of order, a lot of it doesn't make sense and is incomplete. I am still up in the air as to what it all means, but we do know we have new worries, but pray that he continues to progress and do well.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Half Marathon

I like to refer to this as
'The Race That Almost Wasn't'
Days before I was trying to decide if I should even do this run. Two weeks prior I had ran in The Moab Other Half Marathon, and sooo many things went wrong in that race, that they stuck with me and filled me with doubt. The day before I knew I wanted to run it, even though I would be going the full 13.1 miles without Gabe with me. The morning of, my alarm did not go off, and I was convinced it wouldn't happen. Gabe knew it would haunt me if I didn't try my hardest to get there, so we rushed out the door and headed to Provo. It would require him driving back to Salt Lake and get the kids ready and driving back to Provo again to see me finish, but he was more than happy to do it, in fact, he was pushing me out the door when I was seriously upset at myself for letting this happen and trying to decide how I was going to handle letting myself down. I will give a more in depth blog post on the race on my own personal weight loss blog, but for now, lets just say that I am SO HAPPY that I got my butt out the door that morning and I made myself proud, which isn't something I can say I do very often.

These are the moments I live for. Seeing the face of a smiling 6 year old who thinks his Mommy is amazing, no matter what. I can not explain what it feels like to be tired and worn out at this point of running 12 miles already, only to look up and see my family there holding homemade signs and cheering me on. You feel amazing and happy, and like everything you went through up until that moment lead you to them....just waiting to see you.

It is really hard to get a good picture when you are running,
but this one at least shows my cute Bumble Bee costume.

There are so many reasons this was the perfect race for me.....
Halloween Half Marathon (my favorite holiday)
Wearing Costumes=FUN!!
Letting go of my self doubt for one morning
Beautiful Leaves in Yellow, Orange and Red surrounding me
Crisp Fall Air, but not too cold
THE coolest Race Shirt I have received
THE coolest Finishers Medal I have EVER SEEN
A new p/r....... 2:21:30
What a Beautiful Day!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Lucky Number 13

Gabe and I have been married for 13 years today.
I can not believe I was lucky enough to find my soul mate at the age of 16.
Marry him when I was 21.
And know that we will share our whole lives together,
because I am as much in love with him today,
as I have ever been in our 18 1/2 years of knowing each other.


Seattle Trip-June 2010

I can not believe how far behind I am in update our family blog!! I am ashamed that our amazing journeys have not been documented as they happened. The summer was crazy busy, and not one single weekend went by that we didn't have something happening, I dare even say that most days were at least busy planning upcoming events. I feel it is important to do a re-cap of the main summertime happenings. The problem is, that things are going to be all over the place....different memory cards hold different images from different cameras, so it is going to be a lot of back and forth until I can get my crap together and stay forgive me in advance so for being a flake!!.....

Our ride to the airport. Spencer picked us up in his Father's van. In the big van, there was only one row of seats, which we squished 4 of us on, and I sat on the floor with all the luggage. It made me laugh on the way, bouncing around all over, Noah freaking out I was going to die.

Once in Seattle, we met up with my Uncle Mike and Nikki, and decided that we wanted to take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island and have dinner there, then ride it back at night to see the city lights. I LOVE ferry rides. The only other time the kids have been on a ferry was in Virginia, and they could not even tell we were on the water because it was so dark, that we just stayed in the car. This time we walked onto it so we just just walk around and explore the island on foot.

Oops! This picture didn't make it in the editing process. Just tilt your head. You will get the idea. Z and I.....I wonder how much longer until I can not hold him on my shoulders anymore?? Sad, sad thought. :(

Addie, Nikki and I.

My Girls.....

Zane, Gabe and Noah

My Boys....

A view of the Space Needle from the Ferry.

The sun setting through the clouds. I believe sunsets are one of the most amazing sights to matter where they are.

Fun story for you.....

So Uncle Mike tells us the ferry goes every 2o minutes until midnight. Sounded like a lot to me, but I am not one to question Uncle Mike. He is a smarty pants and carries a schedule around with him wherever we go. Nerd.

We get to the island, walk around for a bit trying to finding a 'Family Friendly' restaurant (dang kids!) Well, it seems like the entire island closes up at like 8:00. No where to really eat. We find a little coffee shop sit and have a snack and decide to head back to the city and have dinner since it is getting dark. We are on our way to the ferry, when we see we missed it by 3 minutes. It is still there, but they have closed everything up and will not let us on. Oh well, we can wait 20 minutes for the next one, no biggie, right Uncle Mike?? WRONG!! The next and final ferry for the night leaves at 11:45, which has us hanging around the ferry station for nearly 2 hours. We have hungry grumpy kids with nothing to do. I remembered there was a little grocery store about a mile away, so I walk down there and find that it is still open for another half hour. Thank God!! I buy some bread, lunch meat, cheese, crackers, yogurts and juice and haul it back to the ferry station, where I proceeded to open up my own little subway shop preparing sandwiches for everyone to get the grumblings out of their poor tummies. Funny what you can create from snagging plastic forks and condiments from a closed down deli. It was an adventure to say the least!
It was freezing and so late....but well worth the sights of the city at night. We didn't end up getting back to the hotel until after 2:00 in the morning, but luckily we are on vacation!

The next day we explored the city after picking up Gabe's race packet for the marathon. Of course we hit Pike's Place, which was a joke and I am sad we didn't hang out there longer, but the 2 cruise ships that unloaded that afternoon made it unbearable to enjoy.

We had a brilliant idea of walking to the Space Needle. I really enjoy walking around and exploring cities on foot. But, we have Mr. Noah, and he has a very hard time after a long period of walking up hills and long distances. I felt so bad that we completely wore him out. There were times he was holding himself up against buildings and lagging behind. He of course did not want to take a break and seem different than anyone else, so I stayed back with him and told him he was doing me a favor by staying back with me to keep me company. I hate those little reminders, that it is his HEART not his SPIRIT that can not keep going sometimes. After we spend time recovering and re hydrating, we took a cab back to Pikes Place to eat some lunch.

Vies from the top.

My Dad displaying his usual camera face....

Gabe with the city behind him.....

My boys playing and climbing...(of course)

Our 3 Ring Circus....

Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon
Number #12 for Gabe

Never forget your camera and rely on the 17 year old daughter to take your family photos. We have more pictures of random strangers with funny mustaches and silly signs than we do of our trip. I brought Gabe some Gatorade while walking up a hill with him at mile 22.
Crap, mile 22....can you imagine?? YIKES!!

I was so worried we were not going to see him at the finish line. We parked by the Space Needle, which doesn't seem far from Q-West Field, but I can assure you when you are walking it and trying to get there at a specific time, it is dang far! We made it, within minutes of Gabe passing the finish. Uncle Marc and Aunt Becky were in town from Oregon, and they were also at the finish line to see Gabe. Sorry, no picture of them....
Addie was in charge of the camera, remember?!?!?!
We did get to have dinner with them later and meet their daughter-in-law Shauna and ADORABLE Granddaughter Matilda. I wish I had a picture of her to show you. Her eyes alone were so amazing, she is just a completely adorable little girl, and you can tell makes everyone around her happy.
The following day we decided to take it easy. Wanted to see the Troll under the Bridge. I guess we didn't realize how many people would be there that morning, but it was packed! There were these 2 girls there that were posing like they were models all over the bridge, and getting annoyed with everyone and their children when they were in the way. So of course, when we found the opportunity to copy their silly poses, we did!!

On our final day before we left, we went to see the grave of Jimi Hendrix.
It was a beautiful monument.
A very touching tribute to an amazing artist.

Afterwards, we just hung out around the sea side waiting before we had to catch our flights.
Gabe took the camera and was being silly trying to take some of the typical pictures Addie and all her friends always do. The camera up in the air, making silly faces.

I think he is getting very good at it!

This AMAZING shot of Mt. Raineer was taken from the airplane as we flew home. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Seattle and promise to be back as soon as we could! Over all the trip was fantastic, and we are looking forward to our next family get away to Moab this Fall...then, KAUAI next summer for Addies Senior trip!