As of tomorrow, June 10th, I will have been in Toronto with Ava for a month, I can hardly believe it. I just wonder how many more months we will be here… I wonder.
I realized today that Ava has spent over half of her short life in the hospital… and it makes me sad. Especially when we compare Ava’s life to our four healthy children’s lives and I’m just glad that she won’t remember any of this time spent in hospital. Today we were joking today that she needs her short-term memory erased, because right now she is hyper-sensitive to people touching her as she’s afraid she is going to get a poke, or her nose suctioned and she flips her lid multiple times a day, my poor baby.
Last night didn’t help – the turkey pulled out her ng (nasal gastric) tube around 3:00 am and thankfully she pulled it all the way out, because if she had pulled it only 1/2 way out she could have aspirated as she is on continuous feeds. And even though I slept over with her last night I didn’t hear a sound, the nurse just found her ng lying on her chest in a puddle of milk when she came in to check on her. So they had to reinsert the ng and she hated every minute of it. But thankfully this week I am already slated to attend a g-tube (gastrostomy tube) class, where I will learn all about how they insert a tube directly into Ava’s stomach through her tummy so we can feed her that way. And then I get to learn how to change the bandages and care for it…. yahoo! Well, not quite. But it will be a relief to have her ng off her face, but I’m not sure I’m going to like a tube into her tummy any better. But the girl needs to eat, and she still isn’t strong enough to do all her oral feeds herself, although now that she is starting to feel better, we are going to try her on solids this week which is kinda exciting.
And we finally had a test done and heard good news from it which was another blessing! Friday Ava had her GFR renal study (glomerular filtration rate (GFR) renal study) to check her kidney function as a test needed for her transplant work-up. All she had to do was lie on a board so they could take pictures of her kidneys, but I think she got it into her head that she was being restrained for an IV poke because she freaked out. But eventually calmed down and fell asleep… good girl. And the next day on rounds we heard that her kidney’s are functioning fine, praise God. Which probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s a huge deal for us because we feel like we only seem to hear bad news about Ava as far as tests are concerned. However, they also did a kidney ultra-sound and it seems that Ava does have some reflux coming up from her bladder, which can cause kidney damage and urinary tract infections. So that wasn’t nice to hear, but she is now on more meds to prevent infections. My baby, the walking pharmaceutical company.
This week might be the week where Jason and I can sit down with the transplant doctor to find out if Ava is indeed a good candidate for transplant, and then we need to decide what direction to take. I read today something that I had already heard… but it said that a heart transplant is exchanging an acute heart disease for a chronic heart disease. Nice and reassuring huh? Meaning that a heart transplant is NOT a cure all. It’s just another journey that will involve anti-rejection meds for life, lots of clinic visits and a heart that will hopefully beat the odds to last more than 20 years.
So please keep us in your prayers as our family is happy to be together, but missing home and are not quite looking forward to a summer in the big city. Thankfully we get to do this journey day by day (not month by month) and by God’s grace and everyone’s support, we can face another week ahead with all it’s unknowns and uncertainties.