Monday, April 19, 2010

Costa Rica.... Round 2

Costa Rica Here We Come 4-9-2010

We made it to Costa Rica!

Both flights went very well.

We got to Dallas about 3:00pm and met up with Julie and Joey for some lunch and soon after Gracie, Jennifer, and Scott made it and we were onto another plane for the long leg of our flight.

All 3 of the kids did amazing and immigration and customs was a breeze!

I had no choice but to start Makenzie's feeds on the plane which I have never done before and she did GREAT! No reflux or vomiting. Amazing! The last time we were here Makenzie puke not 5 minutes after starting her feed and we had to run water for the whole night! It just amazes me how such seemingly simple things can make life sooooo much easier!

When we got into SJO, ICM was ready and waiting. We loaded up into the vans and headed to the hotel. There was some confusion with the reservations but we are all safe, sound, the kids are in bed and I am headed there very soon!

Thanks you for all of your thoughts and prayers! God is so good. Keep praying!

We will have a couple of days to hang out before our first appointment on Monday at 10am with the doctors and then it will be time for the dreaded IV placement! Please keep praying for peace and for a smooth procedure!

Believe... Prayer works!

Lazy Days in Paradise 4-10-2010

Who said therapy trips can't be fun?

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Today Makenzie and I slept in a bit. We had breakfast and then took a bath/shower...there is no tub. It was so nice to just be able to take our time and get done whenever we got done with no impending appointments or other life events.

Around 12ish we decided to take a walk up to Subway to get sandwiches. Other then the language barrier and forgetting to convert our American Dollar to Costa Rican Colones it went great!

We adventured over to the park across the street and found a playground with swings, slides, and even a teeter totter. All of the kids had a great time with lots of smiles and laughs!

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We explored the park a bit more before heading back to the hotel to get ready for our venture to the grocery store.

I did not go to the store last time we came to Costa Rica but to me it looked like a small town grocery with everything in Spanish. We did not find one person in that store who could speak English so we did the best we could. Did you know, apparently Costa Rican's do not eat apple sauce. Yeah... they had no clue what we were talking about, even with the help of our driver who spoke very broken English and a jar of baby food apples in hand.

When we got back we hung out for a while letting the kids have a snack. Makenzie ate a bunch of yogurt. I am wondering if a feeding group would be good for her because when other kids are eating she eats so much better then when it is just her and I.

Then we headed to the restaurant at the hotel next door and had a very nice dinner topped off with chocolate cake, ice cream, a wedding reception, and a mariachi band. Makenzie and Gracie loved it but Joey was not too sure about the whole ordeal.

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Makenzie went right to sleep after dinner and now Julie and I are hanging out playing FB games and blogging! LOL!!!

Tomorrow we are going to try to go to the butterfly garden and maybe out to lunch before our therapy starts on Monday. Pray for safety and good times! We are really having a blast even though there is not much to do. It is so nice to be with such close friends!

I will post Makenzie's schedule for her appointments tomorrow so you can pray for us at those times!

Please also pray for Joey and Gracie! They are amazing!

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I guess it is back to another game of Farkle... or maybe bejeweled!

Believe... Prayer Works!

Butterfly Garden.4-11-2010

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Our last day of rest and relaxation has come to an end. Tomorrow we will start stem cell therapy and ABM. However we had a great day and even did some site seeing.

Early this morning Tayna, our ABM practitioner got in and we enjoyed some breakfast together. Her flight also went very well other then the few that thought a red eye flight should be talked through instead of slept through.

After a bit of hanging out we decided to take a trip out to lunch and to the Butterfly Garden. The food was great and the butterflies were once again beautiful!

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Makenzie loved it when they would fly by her face. She just giggled and giggled! We looked at the beautiful flowers and saw some frogs and turtles as well.

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This evening we hung out all together just enjoying each others company. We got Farkle lessons from Scott and watched the kids play together. They are all so amazing!

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Gracie trying to give Joey a kiss!

Tomorrow we go in for our first appointment at ICM to ask any questions we may have and then it is off to CIMA (the hospital) at 12pm for the catheter placement, Please pray all goes well and that God's peace will cover me because with out that I am going to be a wreck! After tomorrow is over I will feel so much better!

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God is so good! Please continue to Believe....Prayer works!

Costa Rican IV 4-12-2010

Worry.... I am a pro at that.

Makenzie decided that 2am would be a good time to get up this morning. She was very fussy and wanted nothing to do with staying in bed. After about 10 min of trying to get her back to sleep I realized that it was a lost cause.

I decided to get the computer and turn on a movie for her and it worked. She settled down and watched and I went back to sleep. A while later she began to cry again and when I opened my eyes I realized that it was because the computer had died,

I shut the computer and rolled her over and she went back to sleep until about 8am this morning.

I gave Makenzie her last shower for the next 5 days and did her hair. SO stinking cute!

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Another family flew in last and we got the pleasure of meeting them and there beautiful son Brock! We hung out by the pool and talked until shortly before 10am and we all headed to ICM for our first appointment with the doctors.

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Me and Makenzie and Brock and his Mommy!

At this appointment we talked about the many improvements that we have seen in Makenzie. The doctor also noticed some of the same major changes we have seen over the last 9 months.

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We also talked about the IV placement and my concerns. She told me that most of the time they did not allow parents in the OR but have had a few over the years and that we would talk to the anesthesiologist about it.

Worry.... I have been worrying about this day for the last 3 months. I almost didn't book this trip because of this day. The last go around with her being put under was not great and I was terrified but God had something he needed me to learn. TRUST.

We got to the hospital and waited for the anesthesiologist who was running late. He had NO problems with me going back with Makenzie. They wheeled both of us on the gurney in our blue smurf suits to the OR. They let me hold her and the mask so that Makenzie wouldn't be scared. She did great! We sang and rocked and before I knew it she was limp....oh what a wonderful feeling.... and out like a light!

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At this point I thought they would escort me out FOR THE procedure but they didn't. I wasn't sure if this was good or bad.... for me that is! LOL

After I laid her down on the table her oxygen started to drop, her hate rate began to rise, and her chest was rising and falling very strange. This is when I started to FREAK OUT! They told me it was ok and that she was just fighting the drugs. I remembered in that moment who I could trust. I looked at the monitor, turned around, started to pray, and her oxygen level went back up and her heart rate when back down.

I paced the room trying not to look. Trying not to worry, Praying for peace. They blew 3 veins and wanted to try to put the IV in her neck. NO WAY. So they tried her other arm and it worked! They stitched it to her and wrapped it up. I picked her up and crawled back onto the gurney, They rolled us into the PACU where the screaming began!

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Makenzie waking up after her IV

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This time it was still hard but bearable. I knew she would stop. There was only one small gag with a little bit of spit up. We went into the other room where Joey, Gracie, and Brock were waiting for there turn. She stopped and started a couple of times and then it was done. YEAH!

Makenzie has been in a great mood ever since!

I love this girl so much! I miss my boys SO much! I know they are being well taken care of!

Tomorrow Makenzie will receive her first 2 vials of stem cells at 1:30pm. Now that today is over I am SUPER excited!!!

Please pray for ALL of these cells to go EXACTLY where they need to go!

We are ending our night outside with a few drinks under the Costa Rican moon. We are having a GREAT time!

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Gracie and mommy hanging out by the pool playing on the computer.

Believe....Prayer Works!
Healing 4-13-2010
Healing.... lots and lots of healing.

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Makenzie's boo boo.

When we came to Costa Rica 9 months ago. It was hard, stressful, and a bit scary! Back then Makenzie was still vomiting, waking in the night, not eating, choking a lot on her own saliva.

This trip every time I turn around i am reminded of how much better Makenzie is truly doing. This trip has been a walk in the park so far even with the events of the IV placement. Makenzie is love being with her friends and has been so happy. She does so much better with change and has been great with everything we have thrown her way.

I am amazed. It is like we never left but this time I can breath! I love it!

Today we started the day with ABM. Makenzie did really well.

We hung out at the pool for a while, I fed Makenzie at the hotel and then everyone headed down the street for some grown up lunch. We ordered some guacamole and Makenzie LOVE it! She took bite after bite just a smiling away.

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After lunch we went straight to ICM for our first round of Stem cells. There is not much too it but it is still somewhat of an ordeal because Princess Makenzie is a DRAMA queen. The second we started to take the gauze off of her arm the tears came. They stopped here and there but not for long. When all was done I looked at Makenzie and told her that I would stand up and go when she stopped crying. It took about 2 seconds to dry her tears and we were off! What a little faker!

This also was so different then last time. Yes she cried but there was not fear of nor any vomiting. She has healed so much.... did I mention that already? LOL

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When we arrived back at the hotel we camped out at the swimming pool for some drinks and social time. Over 3 hours of social time. Makenzie started to fuss at about 6:30pm so I decided to take her in and put her too bed. Ah yea....she was not going to have anything to do with that idea. The second I hit the door to the room she started crying. I laid her down ti put on her pj's and the alligator tears started flowing. I asked her if she wanted to go back out side and she smiled and then proceeded to cry. I told her that I would take her back outside if she stopped and immediately she was done.

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We went back out and she was happy as a clam. Our little party dispersed about 6:30pm and then it was really off to bed for Makenzie.

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Makenzie and Gracie outside watching Barney together!

She is sound asleep. As soon as I can refill her food bag I will be right there with her! Thank you for all of the thoughts and prayers! Round 2 is tomorrow at 1:30pm! Please pray for God to guide these cells and bring Makenzie healing!

Believe... Prayer Works

Home Sick on Day 6 4-14-2010

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Costa Rica is a beautiful place. There are so many wonderfully caring people here. Many amazing sites to see. However, on day 6 I am starting to get a bit homesick.

We have eaten at all of the restaurants in this area. The food is ok. We went to Burger King today and although it looks just like BK with a play place and all it was a far cry taste wise to the way it is at home. Everything here has a strange texture. The milk is gross and the sour cream is runny. The bread is dry, and even the name brand things we bought from the market still tasted weird.

I have only found two TV stations that broadcast in English and tonight the Internet has been really slow! I am feeling a bit isolated and tired. I miss my boys like crazy, I want to talk to my friends, and sleep in my bed with no one bothering us 2 floors up!

With that said we really did have a great day. It looked much like yesterday. ABM, lunch, stem cells, drinks and laughter by the pool, and now waiting for Makenzie's feed so that I can refill it and head to bed.

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Makenzie hanging out with Tayna doing ABM.

Makenzie has been eating like a CHAMP! After squawking while watching Joey drink some water out of a water bottle I gave in and let her try a little. She LOVED it! She has not yet been cleared for thin liquids on a swallow study but she did very well with it!

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Tomorrow we go in for Makenzie's 3rd stem cell injection at 1:30pm again. Please pray for healing, health and safety!

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More fun by the pool.
Great Time! 4-15-2010
Boy was it ever hot and muggy today in Costa Rica!

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Makenzie and Joey flirting with each other.

Makenzie is doing so well. She was pretty flexed today but I am hoping that once the IV comes out tomorrow morning she will be more comfortable.

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My new favorite food is avocados! Makenzie LOVES them... which makes them my best friend! This afternoon when she was eating she was closing her lips all of the way to move the food down her throat. I personally have never seen her do that before. Go Makenzie. She loves eating with her friends and I really think that it gives her so much motivation.

We did a lot of hanging out again. Had lunch, went to ICM for Makenzie's 3rd round of injections, and then got a tour of the lab. The lab is just amazing! They answered more questions I am sure I have already asked a million times and explained the step by step process. Just amazing!

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Joey in one of his many crazy t-shirts.

We had a really nice steak dinner tonight. It was a bitter sweet dinner being that it happened because Lisa, Al, and Brock will be leaving first thing in the morning. Good byes are always hard. I hope it was not good bye but more like see ya later.... maybe at Wal Mart in the Deli...on the east side...ok that was an inside joke but there are a few who are laughing really hard right now!....sorry if you are not one of them! I just could help it! LOL

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One last group picture.

Please keep praying! We go in for our final stem cell injection tomorrow at 10:30am. After the cells are in and the line is flushed the IV will be coming OUT! YEA!!!!

Tomorrow we are hoping to get out and do a little something before we leave. I am not sure what we are going to do as of yet but I am sure it will be a good time!

Please pray!

Believe...Prayer Works!

ALL DONE! 4-16-2010

Our last day is Costa Rica was great! This trip was amazing. Makenzie did better then I could have ever wished for! She slept well and was in good spirits the entire week!

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Makenzie and Joey both dressed in crazy t-shirts that read "Forget the College fund, start saving for my THERAPY"

Today we started out with ABM. Makenzie did very well holding her shaker and trying to bring it to her mouth while Tayna worked with her lower body. The idea was to get Makenzie to separate her arms from her legs and man did she perform. She was so happy and a lot less flexed!

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Then it was time for the last injection of stem cells. Once again Makenzie was none too happy about the affair. It only got worse when they started to take the IV catheter out. They started by taking the tagaderm off of her skin....oh boy! She held her breath once for a good long while, causing her whole face to turn blue, so we stopped and let her catch her breath but........there was no vomit! AMAZING! When all was said and done I am sure she is happy to have that thing out of her arm. There was a pretty nasty mark under where the catheter sat as well and seems a bit sore and bothersome still.

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Makenzie before they started messing with her.

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And during/after

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Poor Girl!

Then it was Joey's turn. He had his IV in the foot and because he moves his legs so much they put a short blue cast on him to keep him from kicking the IV out. Well there was no cast saw at the clinic so we took another scenic drive back to the hospital ER to get it taken off.

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The ICM doctor met us there, we walked right into the ER. Makenzie and I waited outside and they just went back cut it off and where done. Julie and I laughed because there is NO way that would happen in the states! It would be like taking your family doctor to the ER asking to use their equipment and then taking off! Ha... yeah right!

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The view from the hospital.

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Then it was out to lunch, more ABM, a bit of hanging out, and then to! I feel like all we have done for the last week is eat and sleep!

We are all packed up and ready to head to the airport first thing in the morning! I can't wait to get home to see my boys!! As always the see ya laters will be hard. Please pray for safe travels!

Home Again! 4-17-2010


Today went so well! Makenzie was such a good traveler! I did not hear one peep from her on either flight and she even let me take a little nap which made the flight go by much faster!

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We left the hotel this morning at 7am. What a sight to see. 6 suit cases, 3 wheel chairs, 2 car seats, backpacks, purses, 3 kids, 4 adults, 1 van. I should have taken a picture of that one!

We got right in to pay our taxes so that we could leave the country... yes... airport don't don't leave! When we got up to the counter to check in the attendant was looking a bit frazzled. They had our plane load from the tarmac... no jet bridge. She was trying to arrange a bus to get us to the plane. As she checked us all in she jabbered on the phone with ... well ...who know trying to figure it all out. In the end they where able to change the gate and get a jet bridge.... all for us! WOW!!

We loaded the plane early as they were trying to push us off the gate and the bridge to make room for another plane. It was raining but that didn't slow us down at all. Makenzie was an angel the whole flight. They served breakfast and man where those the best pancakes even. Ok maybe not but after a week of strange tasting food they where!

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We arrived in Dallas almost and hour early. This was good and bad because I was going to meet a friend for a bit and with all of the time changing, customs, and security we did not cross paths! I am soooooo SORRY Jon!

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Makenzie loved the Skylink!

We had lunch and then said our see ya laters and each headed to our gates to depart to all different parts of the country again! Sad!

Our second leg was much shorter and also went very well! Makenzie loves take off and landing! She also loves to look out the window! She was so alert all day and following directions so well!

After retrieving our bags we headed to the car... loaded it up, stopped by my grandparents house to get the boys and for a quick bite to eat and then headed home!

Makenzie was SO excited to see the boys! She did not stop giggling until she closed her eyes around 8:30pm to go to sleep!

My eyes are very heavy right now after a 13 hour day of traveling. I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for all of the prayers! This trip was amazing and will not soon be forgotten! Please keep praying for the new stem cells to bring much healing to Makenzie, Joey, Brock, and Gracie!

Believe...Prayer Works!

What a Trip.... but it Feels Good to be Home!

Rest, relaxation, American food, a soft bed, English TV, DVR, telephone, a fast Internet connection, a bath tub, and washing machine, are just a few things I am super grateful for after being in a different country for a week.

I decided to sleep in a bit this morning and it felt oh so good! My own bed, real food, and my boys!

We ended up going out to lunch with grandma and a few friends and that was great! Home is so nice!

Makenzie rolled around some today which was really great to see because she hasn't done that for a while. She was loose and not as flexed and as always super happy!

The boys are so glad to have Makenzie home and fought over her for a lot of the day.

Tomorrow it is back to school and therapy!

Pray for Miracle's!


Anonymous said...

I'm sad I didn't get to talk to you before you left! We will be praying for each and every one of those cells. Keep us updated. Love you guys!!!!
Jami Poore (Izak's mommy)

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