Sunday, August 6, 2017

Release, Sleep, and Recovery

These little princesses are both home and sleeping.

My heart is so happy to have everyone under the same roof.

It was getting rough yesterday (before we knew Grace would be released).  If you've spent any time at the hospital you realize that hospital and sleeping do not go together.  Our nurses and doctors were AWESOME (only one brief questionable one...just truth).  The exhaustion level was at a "getting home with the twins from Ethiopia, throwing up at the airport and then continuing" high.  I started vomiting yesterday morning about once an hour.  No, I don't have the flu.  It's what I do when I'm beyond being able to function (exhaustion).  Thankfully I have an amazing husband and son who changed places with me at the hospital.

I fed the kids when I got home and proceeded to fall asleep on the floor with Hope next to me.

She looks like she was shot with a sleep gun.

It was so neat to see her sweet little smile.  My heart missed her and all our amazing kids so much!

 Only two little ones are in the difficult spot of processing me being gone, first to China and then to the hospital.   The girls feel like they have always been here, with ALL the children easily absorbing them.  It's just when kids have Mommy leave for awhile, upon return it can be a little bit of payback time.  It's not deliberate, but a way a child vents their frustration that they are not able to verbalize (that they did NOT like Mommy being gone).

I looked over at Ben today (very pleased with himself) who was
in this position, scratching his ear with his foot.
I have no words.

So I'm trying to get back into routine slowly, while trying to recover sleep wise (a slow process).

Thank you VERY VERY seriously to those who have bought groceries, meals, and the things we needed/need.   Thank you for the calls/texts asking what you can do.  My brain is mush, so knowing what we need is not always easy for me to figure out.   It's going to take awhile to get back to normal and right now we are avoiding going anywhere until...
1. We know we are not contagious.  H1N1 has a longer period than typical where live virus can be shed.
2.  Hope gets her labs done, so we know where we are at health wise with her.
3.  Grace is 100% recovered.

This will probably mean a couple more weeks.

Again, we appreciate all help.

We are home with Grace and Tamiflu and antibiotics (as very very mild pneumonia MAY have been starting to develop in Grace).

In total sweetness, I had to really work to even get one smile out of our sweet Grace in the hospital, but once she even got in the car, she started full on smiling.  She was ready to go home and not be poked and prodded.

Please continue to pray for health (our family and Amy's), TOTAL attachment of the girls, and sleep.  
Please pray for a successful week for Thomas as he goes back to work (was having to work at home much of the time).  
Also, our medical bills are crazy right now, we appreciate prayers for God's provision to pay them off (and for a small tax issue that was just based on a miscommunication and  can/will be fixed).  
PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR AMY, JOHN, NICK, AND SAM (and family and friends).  With the loss of Jack, this is not a short term prayer, but long term.

Thank you friends!  I'm going to go crash right now as the littles are sleeping now.  I'm going to throw what I can think of when it comes to needs below.  I can't seem to think/brain when people ask, so....


"Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples."
I Chronicles 16:24


1. Meals are still very much a help.  We are not only trying to find our new normal, but recovering from illness, no sleep, hospitalization, and still jetlag.  Thank you friends!
2.  Lawn help temporarily.  It's taking all of us still to keep up with the house and such while recovering.  Our normal lawn mowing teens are pitching in inside (since we are afraid to expose others to H1N1 that have amazingly offered to help with cleaning and laundry and such).
3. Grocery runs (even transportation for a teen with who can bring my card) are awesome!
4.. Transportation for teens/kids to events are greatly appreciated.
5. The girls need one piece footless sleepers (long sleeve) in 12 months and 24 months (a tiny bit big on purpose).  They kick off blankets and itty bitty shirts get hiked up.  It can get chilly and it's the only thing we can think of.
6.   We need bibs that have snaps.  The girls tear off the velcro ones and really need bibs.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Update on Grace ~ Oxygen

We (Grace, currently our daughter Anna, and I) are still in the hospital (for Grace) and aren't sure when we will be heading home.  I appreciate prayers that they will find a safe and healthy way for us to head home tomorrow.

For those of you that don't know, Grace (and my beautiful travel friend Amy) contracted (in the girl's home country) a version of H1N1 that hasn't been seen in the United States since 2009.   It's throughout their country (from what we understand).  Grace was taking no fluids or food (which is how she gets much of her fluids), her oxygen levels were low, and she had a fever that wouldn't break.

Her fever has now broken.  She is eating and drinking (drinking is even BETTER than before).  She now has a junky cough though (which is typical at this point) and her oxygen levels (she had been weaned off oxygen) plummeted last night.

The difficult thing is that we don't know her baseline and she MAY need oxygen at night even at home.  An ENT and sleep study was on our list.  Basically, she won't be discharged until we can get through the night with her oxygen (through the night) remaining at 90 or above.

She also is having many tests run, many of which we expected to do when we got home.  This is a good thing.  They did hear a small heart murmur and took an EKG.  This could mean nothing (probably does).  Ben had that and his heart is very healthy.  Grace's heart looked good in the x-ray, so we are hoping for normal.

We are praying diligently for Grace and her health, but also for our family back home.  We need NO ONE else to get this...especially Hope (with her heart issues).  Thomas is having to be both mom and dad...and working from home.  That is big juggling on his part.  (I'm so glad to be doing this life/parenting thing with him.)  Please pray for those at home and my husband (his health, endurance, and joy for him).

We have been blessed to have a friend/neighbor make a "food tree" for us.  Coming home from overseas is always a bit harder (transition), but add to that a hospitalization and sleep deprivation....and we need our village.  (If you'd like the link to the tree or to help somehow, just email me at 1thomkat (at) verizon (dot) net and I'll try to keep checking email.  We appreciate all prayers and help.)

Our current physical needs are these (and what is listed below in our Facebook status).  Thank you for being our village friends.
1. New bottles for the girls-Grace is doing better out of a new bottle system here at the hospital.
2. Dr. Browns Standard Nipples (for the new bottles)- Level 4 (9 plus months)
3  TWO of Ark's Ultra Bear Bottle Kit to Teach Straw Drinking~ The speech therapist here at the hospital wants us to try these for the girls to try to get more fluid in them.

Here is my most recent Facebook Status.  Thank you for your love and prayers friends!!!

Grace Update #6: Grace's oxygen plummeted again last night. She's back on 1 L of oxygen. She now has a junky cough (a normal stage). She is drinking and eating better in general though. We will be in the hospital until her oxygen levels stay up at night. The hard part is that we don't know her baseline oxygen level. Her oxygen could be lower than typical and we could need oxygen at home at night. They took a lot of blood this morning, so we are waiting on results of her EKG and blood tests. Little Grace is still pretty miserable.
Thank you to any of those aiding us with meals. It's always harder when we first return from out of country, but add the hospitalization to it and we need our village all that much more.
Hope is a bit fearful without me there. Most likely she's not sure I will ever return. Please pray for her sweet spirit. We appreciate all prayer!
1. Please pray Grace's oxygen stays up at ALL times and IF it's God's Will we can go home tomorrow.
2. Please pray Grace continues to eat and drink.
3. Please pray she takes her TamiFlu successfully. It's just not happening.
4. Please pray her fever stays away and for complete and quick healing (for Amy as well). Please pray we may be able to come home tomorrow safely.  It's time if we can get little miss feeling better.
5. Please pray we get the right medical professionals and we get test results quickly.
6. Please pray ALL the rest our family stays well (including the family of Amy). Thomas MAY be trying to catch this. He's not feeling great.
7. Please pray specifically for the protection of Hope. Her heart issues and previous surgery (unknown what surgery or real result) would make this dangerous for her as well.
8. Lastly, please pray Grace (and I) sleep well. She's really uncomfortable.
For those wondering about needs beyond meals...
1. Rides/a ride for a teen to or from the hospital (Anna right now).
2. Items dropped off from house at the hospital.
3. Meals here occasionally at the hospital. We can't order for Anna or I from the room. If I'm alone I cannot leave Grace.
Thank you friends!

We appreciate all of you!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Prayers for Grace and Hope

Update: In room at hospital.  We expect to be here for a few days.
Grace's lungs are sounding slightly junky.  She's on oxygen, without it she's in the low 80's. Her fever won't break and they did decide to try TamiFlu, but she won't eat/drink and it's oral.  She spits everything out.  This pic just shows all the wires and such.  Please pray specifically!
1. Please pray against pneumonia.
2. Please pray her oxygen level goes up and she doesn't need oxygen.
3. Please pray she takes her TamiFlu successfully.  This means she needs to eat (it's mixed in food.)
4. Please pray her fever finally breaks and for complete healing for both she and Amy.
5. Please pray we get the right medical professionals.
6.  Please pray for the protection of Hope.  Her heart issues and previous surgery (unknown what surgery or real result) would make this dangerous for her as well.
7. Lastly, please pray Grace sleeps well.  She's really uncomfortable.

Thank you!  Grace has gained 1/2 a lb since we took custody.   Yet at 3 1/2, 19 lbs is NOT typical.  She's really really sick.  Thank you for standing (and kneeling) with us!"


Oxygen sats went down to 83.  Grace is HATING being on oxygen and showing that little fire in her spirit.  I look away and she tries to pull it off.

Grace is in the Hospital

Grace has a version of the flu the U.S. hasn't seen since 2009 (version of H1N1).  It's in their birth country right now. Most likely it was contracted during  our long flight.  Amy is sick too.  They can't give Grace TamiFlu because it carries too much risk for her.  She will be hospitalized tonight and most likely for several days. She's not eating and that how she gets much of her liquids.  She spits out all meds and we can't mix them with food since she's not eating. 

Please pray Hope and the rest of the family doesn't get it.  Hope will end up here most likely too if so. She has shared everything with Grace, so it will be TOTALLY GOD if she doesn't get it.

Thankfully Thomas is home with the kids today.

Please pray for little miss to have complete and quick healing. Also please pray she starts eating again, which will enable us to take her home.  She is MISERABLE.

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