Saturday, July 25, 2009

It turns on a dime

It turns on a dime, our life that is. Friday was the perfect example of that. We got to the hospital at 8. Ally's port was already accessed, so no poke! Several things were going our way.

1. Ally was in a great mood! Laughing, joking. Said she wanted to go swimming. Today!
2. Several friends stopped by..Miss Vicki and Miss Betsy who are friends that work at Children's. Both brought gifts and Vicki even told Ally that the nice man who owns the local McDonald's (down by Lowe's) wanted to give her a lifetime supply of milkshakes. woo hoo
3. Her hemoglobin was good (10.5) No blood today!
4. Her platelets were good (57). No platelets today!
5. Dr Broxson had a ton of patients to see in the clinic, he wanted to do her spinal early.

Could it get any better? We were going to be out of there by noon.

And then, the spinal started. She cried and flinched when she got stuck by the needle in her spine. She continued to cry off and on throughout the procedure. She has cried a little before, but not quite like that. At the time, I didn't realize what it could do, but Dr B told the nurse to give her another 10 of verced. (this is the amnesiac drug)

The spinal was done in about 15 minutes. We wheeled her back to her hospital room. As soon as we got in the room, she started throwing up. Also a new thing. She couldn't get up because of the anesthesia, so she was throwing up all over her pillow and (NO!) Bobo. Bobo sits right up by her head for every procedure. Ally has a cold and so we thought it must just be that.

For the next three hours, her heart rate stayed very high. I sat glued to that monitor tracking its every number click. I told Jerad...something is not right, I just know it. He didn't believe me at first, but soon came to realize when Ally started crying every few minutes and asking to go home. We would ask her...what hurts? what are you feeling? headache? anything feel funny? She would seem to get mad at us and just cry and say she just wanted to go home. She has never acted like this. She actually never seems to mind being at the hospital. We make it fun for her. She is like a queen there. She wouldn't eat. She wouldn't drink. She asked for McDonalds, so I ran to go get that for her. She fell asleep and then never ate it. Slowly, her heart rate went back down a little. But she still wasn't acting right. I was so so worried. I kept thinking she might have a seizure..I had read somewhere that 10% of spinals end in a seizure. Once her eyes rolled up into her head and my heart just dropped. I was preparing myself. I had been trained about seizures when my Mom's cancer spread to her brain. The nurse called the doctor back over to check her, but he said she looked fine.

So we just waited and waited for her to come back to normal. I was not going to take her home like this, that was for sure. I was so scared. This was honestly the most scared that I have been the whole time. Maybe I got myself more worked up than I needed to be, but I did not like what I was seeing.

About 3 o'clock, she sat up and started playing a game on the laptop. She just clicked over to normal just like that. Her and I were sitting on the bed playing this game together and she started making fun of her Dad. I knew she was okay. As quick as it came, it left. Ally was back. We were laughing about the game, but I found myself just cracking up. It was relief. I was elated that she was ok. Another bridge...crossed.

I walked out to the nurses station and told Miss Susan that she was ok. We were standing there looking at Ally's charts, and we figured out that the extra 10 of verced was the most that she had ever had. The nurse said it can make them either really giggly or really tearful. We concluded that the verced may have just been too much for her. Dr Broxson called to check on her when I was standing there, and the nurse told him that Ally's mom thinks she is ok now. So we got to leave. Our nice early noon departure was now looking at 4pm. But still time to swim......

We had previously planned to go up to Fox Hill and celebrate Nicki's party with homemade pizza and swimming. Ally said she wanted to go. She was finally freed of her needle and tubes after almost three weeks of being accessed. She was allowed to swim. She did not hesitate very much and went into the pool with her cousin Bella and her friend Madison. They played in the pool a while, then the hot tub, and then I hear that she is going to do the little slide. I was shocked. Wait! I had to grab the video cam so the Army can see! Here she is:


She swam more. I even saw her going underwater. This is huge. I think she was always fearful of getting her port area wet, but she overcame those fears Friday night. Next thing I hear is that she is going to try the diving board. Well, there goes my brave girl! She really is a good swimmer, and she continued to amaze me. Here she is going off the board.

And she finally decided that she wanted to try the 38 foot water slide. With her Dad holding her. They kinda put the brakes on going down, but she did it. And everyone there was cheering for her. You have no idea what it means to Jerad and I to see her being a kid again. To see her not fearful, not crying, not hesitating. Smiling. Jerad and I could just cry a river of tears when we see that.
I thought back to my panic-stricken afternoon. And how did I get from there, with my daughter hooked up to all kinds of monitors..oh yea and she just got two chemos put into her body did I get from that to this. Well, only God can answer that. And I will leave it up to him. As always.


  1. Terri Barnett ShumakerJuly 25, 2009 at 1:53 PM

    So glad she enjoyed her swimming after spending the day at the hospital. It is weird how 1 day can have so many different twist and turns in it and the emotions from one end of the scale to the other, I guess that is why we are suppose to live in the moment, which you know is easier said then done.
    Hope there are more good days to come.

  2. Oh my goodness, I am so very happy that Ally got to just be a kid today! She is one brave cookie. I have goose bumps and tears after seeing her enjoying herself in the pool...God Bless you all.

  3. Amazing and oh how wonderful,it was so great to see Ally in the water, smiling and having a good time. Another wonderful day and I am sure there are many more to come. Great job mom. The postings are wonderful, thank you so much.

  4. Wow. I'm so glad she got to go swimming! Sorry I missed you on Friday. Hang in there. I'm thinking of you guys!

  5. I can't seem to wipe the smile off my face!!! Seeing Ally on the diving board, coming down the slide paddling around in the water...and hearing the joy in your voice as you narrate - :) many smiles today - even though they followed some bad times earlier - the end of the day was great.

  6. Your post brought tears of joy to my eyes. I am so happy that Ally was able to enjoy the water. I can relate so much to your postings and your feelings-- Those ups and downs and what for most people is a small thing (to swim) is such a huge hurdle to us. Thank you so much for your posts and hooray for Ally!