Saturday, September 17, 2011

Good News!

We got a few really great phone calls this week! 

Frequent calls concerning Abigail's health are not uncommon and they are always a bit nerve racking. The calls are anything from doctor's appointment reminders to important test results and they all pretty much come from out of the blue.  While Abby was in the hospital unfamiliar phone numbers on the caller ID brought a great deal of anxiety.  The calls are less frequent now but still put us on edge a bit.

Call number one happened while we were out to lunch earlier this week. 

"Hello. Yes, this is Stephanie. Uh huh, yes I'm a nurse, I am familiar with those.  Ohhh, wow!"

That's what I heard sitting across from her at the table. Not comforting.  Then her face revealed what the nurse on the other end of the line called to tell us.  Her latest labs showed that her direct bilirubin level had dropped to 1.5

Cause for celebration!
It was a different nurse than we usually deal with so Steph wasn't sure what she wanted at first. The GI specialist had asked her to call and tell us the good news.  That is the lowest her bilirubin level has been since she was about a week old.  A sign that the Kasai procedure is really doing well.  We were pretty stunned and thrilled.  Truthfully we never expected it to be much better than what it had been. Three to Four was where it remained steadily for the last few months.

If you are wondering what that all means.  It means Abby's liver is functioning much better than it had been.  Back when she had surgery on her liver, Abigail - Surgery Day and Liver Problems, her bilirubin level was as high as 17. So, that's pretty incredible! Right? Hopefully it will be a long time before she needs a liver transplant.

As if that wasn't enough good news. I (Jody) had an interview Thursday afternoon and got a call Friday about the position.  I will start Monday morning and I am looking forward to the challenge.

I have been hesitant to mention my job hunt on this blog because it has been pretty rough times for many people lately. Frankly it has sucked.  The architecture field was no exception.  I was laid off about ten days before Abigail was born and have been looking for a job since that time.  

Little did we know how important it was for me to be available to be around with Abigail and Stephanie.  We got to spend the entire time she was in the hospital by her side and that was truly special. I know because I saw countless people that came to visit their sick children after working a full day.  We were very fortunate and we had many people helping to make that not so stressful financially.  So thank you if you were one of them.  

Stephanie, though, had spent all of her maternity leave and had to go back to work right when Abigail was released to go home. It was especially difficult for her but she headed back to work and supported our family.  I am very proud of her! Her job is not easy.  It's physically and often emotionally taxing on top of taking care of us.

I have been the stay-at-home dad and that has been tough but really special at the same time.  Taking care of Abby (as I'm sure any other child) is a full-time job.  I am eager to get back to work but I will miss spending the day with my little girl for sure.

So, praise the Lord for two amazing phone calls!

As things get even more busy in our lives we will do our best to share with you.  Now, hopefully it makes more sense why the blog took a slightly more masculine writing style over the past few months.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Road Trip - West Texas

We just returned from a road trip out to west Texas.  It was another weekend of firsts for Abigail but it didn't come too easy. 

Friday morning Abby had a follow-up appointment with the Ear Doctor (Otolaryngologist, pronounce it really slow and you might get it) Friday morning bright and early.  Our friend Lindi is an Audiologist in the same office and she always helps us out.  She gave us some earplugs so Abby could go swimming.

Dr. Lindi and Abby
Waiting on the Doctor
Being silly
After the ENT appointment we headed over for Abigail's monthly blood draw.  I can't tell you how tough this little girl is.  She took it like a champ.

No more needles
Next, we headed to the pharmacy to get the medication for her liver.  We have to jump through hoops with insurance to get it every month and its a beating.

After the pharmacy trip we headed home to pack things up and pick up Grammy.  Grammy accompanied us and helped out with baby duty often.  Once we got home from the blood draw Abby had a huge fit.  She has a third tooth coming in and I think it was causing the problem.  We finally got out the door and five hours later we made it to Lubbock.  It made for a really long day.

In case we haven't already mentioned it a dozen times on this blog, we love Texas Tech!  We purchased a mini pack this year and headed out there to watch the opening game of football season.  Also, Abby's Uncle Ryan goes to school there now and it makes for a good excuse to visit. 

We ended up staying at the same hotel the team did which was cool.  We watched them go through some walk-throughs in the morning and it explained why we saw about 100 pizzas arriving when we checked in.

The hotel had an indoor pool so we took Abby to the pool for the first time.  She was much more interested in working on that new tooth than swimming but we got a kick out of it.  She did well in the water.

The weather was hot for Abigail's first Red Raider game.  Our seats were in the shade so it wasn't bad at all.  The first half of action was not that hot. We were losing to Texas State who isn't that good.  As the second quarter of the game got going the wind really began to pick up and a huge dust storm blew through.  That isn't uncommon in Lubbock but we went below the stands and watched the game on TV for a while.  We thought it was going to rain so we ended up leaving around halftime.  It didn't end up raining until way later that night but oh well.  We got her to bed at a decent hour and the Red Raiders came on strong in the second half.  Game number one for Abby will be considered a success.


Abigail did great in her carrier and we were surprised to see many more infants at the game.  Really, we thought we were the only idiots taking our child out to a really loud environment.  Abby had her earplugs in and didn't seem to mind the atmosphere.

After breakfast with a friend and stopping by the great-grandparents house, we finally made it back home safely.  The trip was hectic with a six month old but we managed to have a little fun. It was a trial run for another big game we'll go to later in the season and now we know what to expect.

Memaw Spurgin
Papaw Spurgin

Wreck 'em Tech!