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Friday, May 28, 2010

In our California home

It hasn't worn off yet. I look at Gabriella and am just in awe of the last 2 weeks. She is doing so well, and every time I look at her and try to add into my thoughts what happened to her medically, I cannot even convince myself it is real! To think that just 11 days ago, Gabriella was cut open, her heart removed and a new sparkly heart put in is unbelievable still.

I quickly posted on Tuesday that her biospy went well and showed no rejection! They grade rejection on a scale from 0 to 4, four being total rejection. Gabriella graded a ZERO! Not only that, but her medication levels were already reaching accurate ranges for where they want her to be. Normally, the balance of meds and warding off rejection are the key points after transplant... and Gabriella has just breezed through those effortlessly! God is so good, and we know she would not be doing this well if it weren't for His protection. I know he has used her transplant and recovery over the past 11 days as an example to everyone that He STILL performs miracles. She is a vessel He used to reach others. I am so proud of her....

We were discharged and had to spend one night at the Ronald McDonald main house. Our long term home was not ready for us to move in to yet, and we got clearance for Gabriella to eat in the room instead of going into the public area of the house for meals. We got back to the house at about 430p, and by 445p Gabriella and I were sound asleep. I guess everything caught up with us! Paul did laundry and watched some basketball in the dining room while we slept. We woke around 815p!!! Dinner, a movie on the computer and we went back to bed. Before we knew it, our long term housing was ready in the morning and we moved Wednesday morning! We have been referring to this place as an apartment, but it is really a duplex owned by the Ronald McDonald house. They have 3 long term housing solutions, one being a 2 bedroom freestanding house, and the other 2 the duplex behind the front home. It is so nice being a half mile from the hospital!!! The house is nice, with a living room, kitchenette, bathroom and large master bedroom that has a Queen and Twin bed. We have a roll away bed for PJ when he comes next week that will fit in the bedroom as well. This area is so beautiful and quiet, not to mention the amazing 73 degree temps! We are blessed by this housing opportunity, and I plan on helping as much as I can while I'm here by helping clean the other 2 long term homes when people move out, making meals for the big house and being on hand if they need someone for something.

Thursday we had Gabriella's first clinic appointment! Everything went by so quickly. She had ECHO at 730a, vitals and blood work, meet with the pharmaceutical doctor, nutritionist and cardio doctor, then an Xray. Overall it took 4 hours. They made no changes to her meds and said she was doing wonderful! She still has a slight pericardia rub, which is caused by swelling of the heart due to surgery. It is very common for anyone that has any kind of heart surgery and they are treating it with Motrin, which makes her med count 8. After clinic we came home to eat some lunch and headed back out for an afternoon "out". Since Gabriella's exposure to the public needs to be limited, we got out of the house and just drove around the area. There are some gorgeous places in California, just a short drive away. We found some local shopping areas we will need over the months and got a feel of our area.

Friday, we had a visit from some of the members and Pastor of Restoration Covenant Church, who also brought lunch. They found out about us by one of the members brothers, who we know from Chandler. It was awesome to have spiritual support so quickly start here in 'foreign land' where we know so few people. The Pastor and his wife were the coolest people, and the 3 others that came were great people- one of them a nurse on the unit Gabriella was on at the hospital! A young, lively preview of their church! We are so excited to visit their services when Gabriella stabilizes a bit more!

This weekend we plan to hang out more, which will be a constant activity here in our California home. The weather is too amazing, so we will probably pack Gabriella up in her stroller with her mask and go for more walks. Gabriella has been eating amazing, and even had 2 dinners tonight! Her speech is making strides like no one would believe. I wish so much I could afford to bring Mrs Lisa, her speech therapist, here with us so she could see her progress and grow on it! I am absolutely convinced that the increase of oxygenated blood to her brain is assisting in creating new pathways for speech. Her ability to transitions sounds within a word and mimic a word with minimal effort is something we have watched her struggle with for 8 months, until now! And the retrieval issues we were starting to notice over the recent months seem to not be an issue now. It truly is amazing what a "change of heart" can do.

We are probably the luckiest people ever to have had such wonderful family we trust wholly to take care of PJ these past 2 weeks. It is so comforting knowing he is with our family, that I don't ever seem to worry about him, I only miss him. He is mostly staying with Paul's sister and has been having a blast, but tonight she called and said she was starting to get sick. We are hoping she gets better soon, and even more hoping PJ does not catch anything! Paul heads home next week to get PJ and bring him here to us, but might have to stay home a bit longer than planned to let him get better if he comes down with the summer cold. Please be praying that regardless what happens, no cooties make their way here! (not that they stand a chance... I am sanitizing, mopping and cleaning way more than I probably need to... lol)

My mind has been invaded with thoughts of Gabriella's heart donor. I have a lot of 'business' things I need to tend to like getting our health insurance covered in California, therapies set up for Gabriella and other general things. For some reason, I cannot seem to buckle down and work on any of it because all I am thinking about is what I am going to put in my letter to her donor family. I need to start just writing... as any of my readers have probably noticed by now, I write and write and spill my guts. It helps me release more than it helps you stay updated... lol. I am praying for Gods direction and sensitivity in my words. So I am going to start writing and see where God leads the keys of my computer.

And finally, can I just include you ALL in a blessing for a safe and fun weekend. The long weekend means you can spend extra quality time with your families.... something that is so easily taken for granted. Thank you for being there for us over this journey!

1 comment:

Corey~living and loving said...

Loved this detailed update. I am just uplifted everytime I ready about Gabriella. ♥