Resting & Friends

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Here's our Princess Patient resting at home today and then entertaining some friends between meds & sleeping.

Discharged & Heading Home

Friday, August 24, 2012

We can take her home,YIPPIE! The PCH staff which included the orthopedic surgeons, our comprehensive care team, case managers, therapists and nurses helped make our transition home as safe and as comfortable as possible. They helped us make all the necessary arrangements once we were discharged, including the follow-up care to ensure her full recovery. Additionally, her nurses and therapists provided us with some home care tips and instructions on what and how to do things once we arrived home.  Our stay was great with really awesome nurses and all the great amenities that came with the new PCH expansion. These are some pretty swanky digs for kids and their families, so we were lucky to experience that.


2012 Olympic Gold Medialist, Breeya Larson from Mesa came to see Briya before she left the hospital today.  We got to hold the Gold Medal, wow it was really heavy.  What an exciting ending to her hospital stay.

Stairs & Crutches & Emotions

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hey y'all, just reporting in on our patient progress... not a lot of pictures today but a lot of hard work and learning how to deal with pain management.  Really a rough, emotional day :(  I had to leave for a very short time this morning to go with Shamesha for her prenatal checkin, so that started the day off a little shaky.  Dad was suppose to be here before I left but wasn't, he was "on his way" and THAT WAS NOT GOOD! One of my main concerns was that the doctor was due to visit at any moment and we had several questions that needed to be asked which I had Sabriya write down, but even as grown up as she looks it's still not something that a 13 year old should have to deal with. Secondly, she's had mom at her side throughout this entire process and I think it was kind of a scary moment to "cut those apron strings."

So, as I was walking out of the hospital with her blessings of course, I called her and she was crying.  Oh my GOODNESS, so I hurriedly texted Santana who had work the night shift to see if she was still at the hospital.  Thank God, she was and that she was able to see the text.  I ask her to run up and sit with her baby sister until dad arrived, can you say with me here "LIFE SAVER." So these are some of the things in that moment that I started praising God for: Thank God, Santana was still at work; thank God she was able to see the text; thank God she could leave her job and go right up;  thank God for Big Sisters; thank God for Santana having a job at this hospital; thank God that Santana was working "that" shift... you get it right?

Enough said about that, moving on... She had to conquered the stairs today, so up and down and down and up she went until she felt comfortable enough with doing it.  She took the wheelchair around her floor to get some practice at driving it and then in and out of the bed multiple times throughout the day. All this activity sent her pain level to it's highest peak and made the day even more emotional.  As if that wasn't enough, she had a nurse shift changed in the middle of the day (1 nurse was taking the 2nd 1/2 of the day nurse's shift) and the take over nurse didn't give her the meds on schedule Oh Boy!  So, she was in extreme pain and we had to do what we were told not to allow to happen: We were told by so many people to keep the meds on schedule so that you always "stay ahead of the pain" instead of trying to "catch up to the pain." 

At 9pm last night we were still very emotional and still very much in pain. God sent us an Angel Night Nurse who worked with her through this until she was comfortable and able to sleep.  Please keep saying prayers for our little girl...

Physical Therapist

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Today the physical therapist came to visit and show Sabriya how to get in and out of bed, and how to use her walker and wheelchair. She did pretty well! Over the next couple of days they will work with her on improving her strength and ability to move & function.  The physical therapist here at PCH specialize in the care of children and have all the specially sized equipment needed to work with them. It is awesome and reassuring to know that in every aspect of this adventure we have been guided by God and all of your prayers to the right place, doctors, etc.

During this time of tension, fear and hope that the surgery will be successful, and now the recovery,  it has been very important and special to Sabriya and us to have the support of so many family members and friends who have prayed us through each and every step. They are spoiling Sabriya with cards, flowers, stuffed animals and us with meals and snacks... Thank you will never seem like enough, but I'll say it anyways THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! XOXO

1st Night & 1st Visitors

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Here are a few pictures from Sabriya's 1st night. We had one scary moment when her blood pressure dropped to 77/35 and more than 1/2 a dozen nurses came running into the room. They loaded her with fluids and by about 4:30am was able to get it back to 97/43. They told us that it was from the loss of blood during the surgery and from the epidural. Thank you for continuing to cover her in prayer even after the surgery.  The 3rd picture is of Sabriya and Nurse Aleena, who so far has been voted by Sabriya as "The BEST Nurse Ever." She was the sweetest person and really spoiled it for any other nurse coming behind her. There's Dr. Karlen in picture #4 checking in on the patient and his handy work.

Her 1st visitors which was kind of restricted to immediate family in order to give Sabriya time to adjust to all that was going on. Picture #1 - Dad & Shamesha. Picture #2 Big brothers Ken & Will. Picture #3 Shanel, Santana, Shamara, Malaysia & Marcus. Picture #4 look who manage to get on the other side of the lens, it's me, mom/Anna/the person always behind the camera.

Admitting, Pre-OP, Surgery, Recovery & Recuperating

Monday, August 20, 2012

Well the day has come, it is time for Sabriya's surgery and just in case you missed why we are at this point of surgery today here is a little bit of what brought us to this point... after several months of doctor visits, MRI's, X-rays, 2nd and 3rd opinions, it was determined thats she has what is referred to as DDH, bilateral developmental hip dysplasia with the right hip being worse than the left. This is my understanding of the issue: the ball of the hip is not properly fitting in the socket which is what protects it and so its starting to wear, causing degeneration on the right hip = PAIN! Basically this is something found in much older adults, very rare for kids her age.  

So here we are waiting before surgery... the 1st picture is in admitting while waiting to be admitted. We arrived about 5:15AM and was checked in and sent up to Pre-OP by 5:30AM.  Surgery is scheduled for 7:30AM.  The 2nd picture is of her big sisters Jenny & Santana who are both nurses here at PCH. They were both still at work when we arrive and came to spend some time with us during the "waiting period." The 3rd picture is of Big Mark "daddy" who says that he wasn't sleeping here but praying over his baby girl :) And then the 4th picture is of Dr. Karlen explaining things to Sabriya and us.

In these shots, they are doing some of the prep work (like the IV) and explaining/answering questions for us... also we have been notified that the surgery has been delayed until 12 noon. Just before 12 we were told that the surgery had been delayed again until 1pm... At 1pm they came in to tell us that everything was almost ready. At this point we have been at the hospital about 7 hours waiting and because Sabriya couldn't eat anything, we were reluctant to eat as well because we didn't want her to feel bad. Aren't we just the best parents? :) and isn't she just the prettiest little patient?
Okay 8 hours after arriving and several delays later it is finally time to go back to the operating room... here we are getting our last hugs & kisses in!  Nurse Sean was really cool, so we had to get him in one of our pictures. Isn't she a brave little solider, looking stronger than her parents in holding it all together. We were suppose to be hugging her, giving her those last encouraging words but doesn't it look like she was the one doing that for us... "Mom & Dad, everything is going to be just fine, I'll see you in just a little while, now go ahead and wait for me where they tell you to so they can get started."
Here's Nurse Sean again wheeling her back to the OR, I just wanted to run, snatch her out of that bed and run for the parking lot... but I didn't, I just watched until she was out of my sight and then I CRIED and we went obediently to the waiting room with all the other families who were waiting for their darling children also in various OR rooms undergoing surgeries.  One of the coolest things during this waiting period was that nurses and doctors kept coming out to the families, giving them updates on how things were progressing in the OR. 
We are waiting here in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) or RECOVERY for our little sleeping beauty to awake.  She did well, the first question she asked when she finally awoke: "Shannon didn't go into labor did she?" I just laughed, she must have had this on her mind before going under, haha! Her other memorable moment was when she admitted that she had thoughts that she might not wake up from the surgery. Oh boy, talk about your own fears being put right in your face... but that's where prayer brought us through.
Taking her to her room... here is a 28 year PCH veteran nurse who gave us a little history of the hospital from it's beginning.  Phoenix Children's Hospital was opened within Good Samaritan Hospital in 1983 where they rented two floors for nearly 20 years and then purchased the old hospital here and began the growth process to the 11 story tower you see today located at 20th Street & Thomas.
Out of the surgical ICU and all ready to recuperate in her room with little to do but sleep, read, watch TV, sleep some more, chat with her visitors, eat and sleep some more. Much of the time, that is.  And when she's short on visitors she will have all the nurses, doctors, specialists, and therapists, each having a particular mission, to keep her entertained.  And you all know those folks in the bottom picture, don't ya?  More big sisters (Shamara & Shanel) and her little itty bitty niece Malaysia who came by to tuck her in for the night.

Malaysia's 1st Birthday

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH... it all began with an idea... and if you haven't figured it out by now then I will share my little secret - I have a passion for planning  parties and making them a little more unique than what you might normally see. And now without further ado, the blog post that you have all been waiting for: a Circus Themed 1st Birthday Party for our little Princess Malaysia! Okay, okay it's only ONE month late but just like the party planning process it takes awhile to put this all together for you all to enjoy but as you know, it's always better later than never.  Since the real circus comes to town rarely, I decided to recreate the fun of a day under the big top for Malaysia and her friends... We will start here with the INVITATION! 

The simply beyond amazing BIRTHDAY CAKE & Dessert Bar! Monabella Cakes designed this fabulous birthday cake, cup cakes and cake pops all circus themed. 

YES, these are cupcakes designed to look just like little boxes of popcorn (top picture) and snow cones (bottom picture).

More pictures of the cake and dessert bar!

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What better way to make a circus birthday party more memorable than with a train ride for the kids and parents...  All aboard the Great Circus Train! The kids loved riding aboard the train, around and around the pasture they went, smiling and waving. This ride was perfect and was a BIG HIT compliments of A Child's Joy!  

The birthday Princess enjoying the Circus Train!

More pictures of the children riding the Circus Train!

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A circus isn't a circus without yummy CARNIVAL FOOD!  Catered by HB Catering/Honey Bear's BBQ there was truly something for everyone... hamburgers, hotdogs, corn dogs, PB & J sandwiches, pickles, fruit, pretzels, apple sauce...


More pictures of the children playing games and choosing their prizes.

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More pictures of the Birthday Girl and her Birthday Cake!

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No party is complete without party favors these days!  To finish Malaysia's Circus themed party, we put together these fun favor boxes filled with toys that kids love: bubbles, stickers, tattoos, a little bit of candy and a stuffed circus animal (penguins, elephants, tigers, monkeys or panda bears) to cuddle and love.


There were lots of friends and family members that came to celebrate this special occasion with us and I hope that we were able to capture at least one picture of each of them here in this post but if we missed anyone please don't feel sad.  We were just thrilled to have such a great turn out and such beautiful weather (even with the big dust storm & rain) on this very special day.  At the end of the day, my heart was full of love for our family & friends and pride for our birthday girl!

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