One Year Ago…

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of Isabel’s unifocalization surgery. I can remember it like it happened last week.

  • Jen and I walking across the pedestrian bridge to the hospital at 5:45 in the morning.
  • Not wanting to let Isabel go back with the nurses even though we knew she was in the best hands possible with the nurses and doctors.
  • Waiting for what seemed like days in the waiting room.
  • The surgeon finally coming out and telling us that she is doing well in the abstract way that surgeons do.
  • The smile on Jens face when Isabel opened her eyes.
  • Cringing when Isabel started to crawl across her crib a few days after surgery.

That day will not be something that I ever forget. I am thankful to everybody that said an extra prayer for Isabel.

So a year later, how is she doing?

Isabel is talking, walking, running, crying, EATING, and drinking! She is very close to no longer needing her feeding tube. She is no longer on oxygen and we have reduced the number of medications she takes throughout the day. Her last doctors appointment went well and we are working with the doctors at Duke to figure out when, and where, her next Cath is going to take place.

If you are interested in learning more about Isabel’s story you can check out the posts about Isabel’s Birth.

A Family Trip

Last weekend we went to my Grandparents house in Smyrna, South Carolina. I haven’t been their in over 15 years. When I was growing up we used to pile into the car for 16 hours from Houston. I hated the drive but I always loved spending time at my Grandparents “Country Home”.

I had a lot of fun showing Jen and the girls all the neat things around the house. My grandfather had multiple gardens that I would point out, even though they are just grass fields now. The different sheds were still filled with all the old junk he would save because you never know when you might need it. My grandfather died my sophomore year of college. This was the first time I had been there since his passing. My dad was driving down the street and told me that were were going to see the church my parents were married in and the same place I was baptized in. I didn’t even realize that it was the same place that my grandfather was buried. I walked back to his gravesite with my mother and It was a much more emotional walk then I thought it would be. There are a million things I wish I would have gotten to talk to him about as an adult. He would tell us stories about his life but I was too young to pay attention and learn like I could now. So many questions I would ask him… I am sure that is the same thing everybody thinks when they have lost somebody. I have been lucky enough to not have to go through it much, but I also realize as I get older that is going to change.

On a happier note, it was a great trip. More emotional than I thought it would be when we headed out that morning, but we got some good pictures of the girls and I was able to share a little bit of my childhood with my family. I haven’t gotten all the pictures together yet but will post them when I do.

Social Media Cleanup

Over the last few months I have seen people asking things like “What kind of stuff do I post to Twitter?” or “Why do I need a Google Plus account?”. I decided this would be a great time to explain each network and how I suggest to use them.

Social Media Posting Rules

I have a few rules that you should follow when posting to any social media network (or you know… life…).
– Treat other people as you would want to be treated.
– Don’t Feed The Trolls.
– Read your post before publishing it.

Facebook

I use Facebook to follow people that I don’t talk to anymore. It has been a great way to catch up with old high school friends and to learn about what is going on back in my hometown. I post links, photos and try to use my Facebook account to keep people updated on what is going on in my life.

Facebook Groups

We have a Facebook Group that we created very soon after Isabel’s birth. It was a private group that we used to share information with family before we were ready to start sharing with our friends. It really worked well. Since then we have made the group simi-public in order to allow other parents that have children with CHD to see our story.

Facebook Pages

Facebook pages are for businesses mostly. I have one for Kindred Web Consulting and don’t post to it as much as I should. It is a very good way to put out information to your customers. I use it as a way to let my customers know about new services and neat WordPress news.

Google Plus

I was all in when Google Plus stated. After the first few weeks, I started to lose my enthusiasm for the platform. My biggest problem was that I had 5 google email accounts and each one of them had their own Google Plus account. It was a little overwhelming. I have now narrowed it down to one account and will be posting the same information to Google Plus as I do to my personal Facebook page. My goal is to give my friends and family all the information they might want/need from me in the format that they like.

Google Plus Pages

Google Plus Business Pages are a must for every business. This is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get listed as a Local Business when people search on Google. It is what sets your image on Google Maps and allows your business to show up in more often and higher in search engines.

Twitter

Twitter is great for quick updates. You have 140 letters to share whatever you would like. I use it to post quick links and some neat quotes I find.

LinkedIn

I am only on LinkedIn because it gives me a place to keep all my business contacts. I like the idea of LinkedIn but in small business it isn’t like you are going to link to the other 500 employees like you would in a large organization. It is a great place to have people recommend your business to others in their network. You can extend your network very quickly on LinkedIn with just a few recommendations from others.

I hope I have been able to give you a better idea of what each social network is and how it can be used. This isn’t an exhaustive list but it is a good start. How are you using the different social media platforms? Do you use them more for business or pleasure? Is there something you see on social media that really bothers you? Let me know in the comments.

Isabel’s First ER Trip in North Carolina

Isabel had her first trip to a North Carolina Emergency Room. She woke up around 3 in the morning screaming, which is very unlike her. She had a very fast respiratory rate and was running a fever. After about 2 hours she still wasn’t calmed down. We tested her o2 stats and they were low as well. We have always been told that a fever, high respiratory rate, and low o2 stats mean a trip to the ER.

ER Trips are always interesting for us. This time Jen described the doctor as the “kid” who looked at Isabel. It is kind of funny when we describe Isabel’s condition to an ER doctor. You can see their eyes go blank and they start trying to remember back to med school. This time the doctor started off on our bad side saying that she probably just got upset and it wasn’t anything. I normally trust doctors but we know Isabel and this was not a baby just getting upset. There was something wrong. They took a chest x-ray and tested her for FLU and RSV which both came back negative. They released her saying that her diagnoses was an “UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTION”.

The next day we took her in to see our pediatrician. After giving Isabel the normal once over they asked if the ER doctor looked in her ears. Jen told them yes and the pediatrician laughed at the incompetence of the ER doctor we saw. Isabel has a double ear infection! They gave her some antibiotics and she should be getting better soon. I am just amazed that the ER doctor didn’t see it. Is it possible that the infection was so minor that it was easy to miss in the ER but when we got to the pediatrician it was that obvious? I am not a doctor. I don’t know, but it really makes me wonder about the service we will get at the ER next time.

It’s Been a Busy Week

Isabel was 1 week post op from her first open heart surgery at this time last year. It is crazy to think about how much has gone on in a year. We are very blessed that she is as healthy as she is right now. The picture is from her Heart-aversary party!

It was a busy week for us. Isabel had her first cardiologist appointment in North Carolina and the initial visit with the early intervention people. The cardiologist said that she was doing excellent for her condition. It was our first time seeing this doctor so I don’t think anybody really knew what to expect. He was a little too non-conversational for us at the beginning but after he started to realize that Isabel was doing well he started to loosen up. The early intervention visit when well too. The ladies we worked with in Colorado set the bar very high so it was important for us to be comfortable that she will be getting as good of, if not better, care than before. They were very nice and had some fresh ideas to help Isabel with her eating.

Isabel has been adjusting to the lower altitude very well. She is keeping her saturation levels high enough to not need O2 during the day. We still need it at night while she is sleeping but it is very nice to not have an oxygen tube laying around everywhere.

We are getting settled in as well. Addison and Isabel are sharing a room now. Addison loves having her sister in the same room as her at night. I am hoping we will have their room pretty much unpacked and setup by the end of the weekend. There are still a lot of boxes to unpack but we will get to those as they come.

I was not planing on making this a summary of our week each time. It worked well this week with how busy we were and the fact that it has been almost exactly a month since we left Crested Butte. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday we were having fun day Friday pizza with our friends and then other times it feels like ages ago. It sucks that we had to leave so many of our friends behind but seeing Isabel already being off oxygen makes it all worthwhile.