Thursday, January 31, 2013

"Stronger Protection"

Stronger protection.
Trusted 24 hour protection.
Body Responsive.
Maximum strength protection.
Invisible solid.
24 hour odor & wetness protection.
Invisible Dry.
Stay 3x cooler and fresher - even under pressure.

Ultra fresh
Fresh Oxygen
Regular scent
Sweet simplicity
Tropical paradise
Spring cotton
Shower fresh
Shower clean
Sparkling lime coconut

These are just a few of the options that I face daily. Seriously - I have really been putting my antiperspirant/deodorant to the test over the past few months. I feel like when I open the deodorant drawer, they are all elbowing the other guy saying "It is your turn today!" (Yes, I have a deodorant drawer- desperate times call for desperate measures. There are currently 10 different deodorants in the rotation.) I have never been a gal that is brand loyal for any amount of time. In fact, I am the opposite. I rarely even use the same deodorant two days in a row. Lately it has been extremely hard not to choose the "3x cooler and fresher - even under pressure" option EVERY day, but it just doesn't work like that. A girl has got to be able to trust her deodorant. Today was one of those days.

Parson has been having significant respiratory issues the past few days. She is really laboring to breathe & it has gotten worse by the day. This morning, I got up early with her struggling, and I summoned my trusty driver (my Mom). We took off to take her the the pediatrician to get her checked out. After another "spell" on the way to Lufkin, she was is distress when we got to Dr. Fidone's office. Even with supplemental oxygen she couldn't keep her saturation level up where it needs to be. After another "spell", she threw up everywhere & we were off to see our friends to have a chest X-ray. (At this point, I am not sure if I have made the right deodorant choice for the day.)

We signed in at the hospital, went thru the admissions process where I sign all the consents for treatment etc. The nice clerk asked me "do you want another copy of the privacy standards? I'm sure you have them memorized by now." In the middle of it all, Parson had another "spell" and threw up again. Whew. (At this point I am CERTAIN that I did NOT make the right deodorant choice!) I am definitely not feeling "cooler and fresher under pressure".

Long story short- The chest X-ray did not show anything new just the hyperinflation that we already knew about. Her lungs looked crummy, but thankfully no pneumonia today. :) She had a double ear infection along with the respiratory issues. We got the first round of meds in her and here's hoping we will see some improvement tomorrow. Bless her heart - even after everything she could still muster up a smile.

When I got out of the shower tonight, I saw a white flag being waved from my "deodorant drawer" so I borrowed Rodney's deodorant. After a day like today, I will choose my deodorant a little more carefully tomorrow. Today's choice just wasn't what the doctor ordered.

Tomorrow I'm thinking "tropical paradise".

Monday, January 28, 2013

Washing Diapers...

Did the blog title "Washing Diapers" draw you in? Gotcha.  I dearly appreciate all you Martha Stewart, granola, green planet type people - I am so flattered that you would even think that I might be washing diapers.  Don't be fooled because in the middle of "Plan B" there are no old fashioned cloth diapers. I have to confess, I DID wash a diaper but it certainly wasn't intentional -- I washed a disposable size 2 pampers swaddler!

All I could do was laugh. I can't for the life of me figure out how that dang diaper ended up in my washing machine. If I had ever doubted it before-- I gotta give it to my friends at Pampers - they make a quality product. Even after the wash cycle and two spin cycles - that rascal was still all in one piece - "swolt up like a big ole toad". (Whew - Disaster avoided!)

Aside from diapers in the washing machine, things have been pretty "sunny" around our house. The weather has given us a few nice days and it has done wonders for our spirits. In fact, we have been able to take Parson outside briefly for three days in a row. We rolled out an extension cord and gave the oxygen machine some fresh air too.

 "This is the day The Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. " Psalms. 118:24

Darby created a Barbie water slide/park in the dirt pile. Parson enjoyed watching the chickens, dogs, cats & Darby do their thing. Momma cleaned out the very junky "grocery getter" (aka mini van). And both girls really got a kick out of watching their Daddy on his skateboard. The natives get restless if we don't get a chance to get dirty & soak up some sunshine and fresh air every once in a while.

Well, I just heard the washing machine stop, so I am gonna cut this blog post short - I can't wait to see what I washed this time. :)


Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's the Music in Me

You have to know - music moves me. Music speaks to me. For all moods, all times --there is a song.

Some of my greatest memories are related to a particular song. I remember a great ski trip in back in 1983 when we packed into the back seat of the blue suburban and rocked that cassette walkman (one walkman 2 headphones) all the way to and from Colorado. Kimbo, Amy Grant and I sang "Emmanuel" at the top of our lungs. Michael, Van, Troy, Superscription & The Barracuda can testify that we must have hit rewind on that walkman 1 million times. We LOVED that song! (Madonna "Lucky Star" also made a few appearances on that same trip.)

I remember the music from my wedding. I remember the song that played in the delivery room when both of my girls were born. I remember floating down the river while we were "Chillin'on a dirt road". I remember riding to the dump with my daddy listening to the Statler Brothers "Counting Flowers on the Wall" on 8 track. I remember Momma playing Kenny Rogers "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town" on the old record player. I remember the summer I was a counselor at Sky Ranch when I played "The Carpenters Greatest Hits" all summer long. You get the idea - I could go on and on.

I knew I had good taste when I married my husband 15 years ago. He is the best DJ this side of the Angelina River. Rodney can create the best playlists that span all kinds of music, any genre, old and new. He has broadened my music horizons and introduced me to so many new artists. Recently he got a record player and the family has really enjoyed it. Darby makes a morning selection and turns on the record player to get us going in the morning. Lately she alternates between The Commodores "Greatest Hits" and the Michael Jackson "Thriller" albums. (I think she inherited the music gene as well, plus she has got some pretty good moves.)

The songs have become the anthem to my memories. The pep in my step. The blessings in my sorrow. Lately, I can't get enough of Chris Tomlin's new release "Burning Lights". Especially the song "Whom Shall I Fear". In this song he says... "I know who goes before me. I know who stands behind. The God of Angel Armies - Is always by my side." Angel Armies -- are you kidding me??? It doesn't get any better than that. The same Heavenly Father that is commanding the angels is always by MY side. When I can't find the words - they are right there in the music.

I have to admit, there is nothing deeply spiritual about "Brick House" by the Commodores, but Angel Armies - WOW! That gets my heart pumping. In Luke 4:10 scripture says "He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully". My old Pastor Ed Robinson would say "If that don't light your fire, then your wood is wet." It is overwhelming, amazing & comforting to know that nothing is going to happen to me (my kids, my family) that the Angel Army doesn't know about in advance. The God of Angel Armies is always by my side.

So take it from me... The Commodores "Greatest Hits" will do wonders to get your "Brick House" moving in the mornings, but you gotta download "Burning Lights" from Chris Tomlin to hear about the Angel Armies to keep you going the rest of the day - You will be richly blessed.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

All tangled up

I have come to the conclusion that we are all tangled up at our house. Tangled up in "sight words". Tangled up in oxygen tubing. Tangled up in what happened yesterday. Tangled up in what "may" happen in the future. Tangled up in what other people are thinking. And the reality of all the things that entangle me can be completely overwhelming.

Our curly headed tornado (aka Darby) has an amazing auditory memory. If she hears it, she remembers it. This can be a blessing and a curse - better keep your promises. Unfortunately her auditory learning style is proving it especially difficult to learn her sight words that are a necessary kindergarten evil. She is at a loss and so are her parents that are wired to work with jr. high and high school kids who have already mastered sight words. Fortunately we have some amazing friends who are gifted in all things kindergarten and they are helping us to navigate the sight word tangles. There is without a doubt a very special place in heaven for kindergarten teachers - God bless Mrs. Henslee, "Aunt"Ashleigh & Alexa. They are giving us tools and an assurance that The Darbs is gonna be ok.

P Diddy (aka Wheezy, aka Parson) is becoming more mobile and active by the day. She is showing interest in rolling over and loves to "get after it" in her exer-saucer - round and round. She is ready to boogie and I love it- it makes me smile. This is normal activity for babies her age, but this is a blessing and a curse. The challenge is the oxygen tube that entangles her. I have got my work cut out to keep her untangled in the days ahead when she is rolling and crawling. I get tickled with the picture of me chasing behind her as she boogies while I trail with the oxygen tubing.

I find myself worrying about flu germs and Parson ending up in a pod in the hospital again. Worrying if Darby will begin to show interest in sight words and reading. Worrying if a new set of lungs will be available when Par needs them. Worrying why the child of two educators is in math & reading lab for goodness sakes. Worrying what everybody else is thinking about us not having it "all together" and before I know it, I am all tangled up.

Hebrews 12:2 tells us to "shake off" the sin that so easy entangles us. Thank goodness it doesn't stop there. It continues with the challenge for us to "run with endurance the race set before us." Whew. Newsflash just for Jenn - today and yesterday are the training camp that gets me ready for the race that is ahead. But I can't run that race if I am all tangled up. I gotta "shake it off" and get going.

Big Daddy Weave has an amazing song "Redeemed." There is a line in the song that I cling to multiple times each day. The words say to "stop fighting a fight that has already been won." They wrote THAT for me. HEBREWS 12:2 is FOR me. Thank you Lord. The tangles are NOT for me. Shake off the sight words. Shake off the oxygen tubing. Shake off the worries. If God is for me, who can be against me? I have an amazing race set before me. I gotta get untangled and get on my way.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Family Pictures and other goodness

This Momma received the most amazing Christmas gift from an anonymous person - a photography session with Angie N Photography for family pictures.  I cried when she contacted me, but not near like I cried when she posted the sneak peek of these pictures.  Wow - I really needed this. 

Not only has our family been blessed with the gift of the photo session.  We have been blessed when we turn every corner.  Cards in the mail, prayers, love offerings, prayers, phone calls, prayers, anonymous deposits in our bank account, kind gestures, prayers, restaurant gift certificates, and more prayers.  I am absolutely AMAZED!  Thank you Lord for your goodness.  In the midst of "Plan B" I am in complete peace. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

In a Nutshell

Many folks have asked what is going on with Parson, so here it is in a nutshell...

Parson has a genetic mutation that took place in the womb.  This mutation caused nodules to form in her brain that affected her development.  So far the only developmental issues she has are lung related.  She has severe lung disease.  One lung is diseased and hyper inflated which means it is at risk of "popping" (kind of like a balloon that has been blown up too many times).  The other lung is severely diseased and has very limited function.  So both lungs are bad, just for different reasons.  She will ultimately need a lung transplant.  Since transplanted lungs last an average of 7 years, we need her puny little lungs to last as long as they can.  As a result, we must stay away from exposure to germs by avoiding most contact with others.  She receives an antibody injection every 28 days to provide extra protection during cold/flu season.  In addition, she is on supplemental oxygen full time and has a monitor that tracks her oxygen saturation level and heart rate. 

Many people have asked if she is on the transplant list yet.  She will not go on the transplant list until she needs a new set of lungs that day.  So her current condition will determine when she will go on "the list".  Thankfully, we are not at that point yet, but it will ultimately be a necessity. 

When we saw Dr. Mallory, the lung transplant doctor at Texas Children's on December 20th he said her lungs had gotten worse since he last saw her.  He said that he would see her again in February unless she has a significant change or illness before then.  We saw her pediatrician, Dr. Fidone on Monday and he said her lung sounds had diminished in the last month.

She is such a smiley, happy little girl.  It is a shame that I don't get to share her more.  You just have to know you are really missing out on getting to know this little cutie. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Smack dab in the Middle of PLAN B

Everything did not prove to be ok with Parson.  She continued to struggle to breathe.  Rodney and I kept saying "something is not right."  We made another appointment with the pediatrician to get things checked out.  He agreed that she was working very hard to breathe.  After a few more trips to see Dr. Fidone he wanted us to go to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston to see a pulmonologist ASAP.  We got an appointment the next day.  We saw the pulmonologist and he treated her as though she had asthma but didn't make an official diagnosis due to her age.  Her condition continued to deteriorate until we landed at Dr. Fidone's office on September 27th when he contacted Texas Children's and sent us directly to the ER.  When we arrived at the ER, Parson was in significant respiratory distress.  No time for paperwork or introductions, Franchelle the nurse took us straight to Trauma Room A.  After several days, many doctors, many tests, ICU, intubation,  MRIs, cat scans, and surgery for a lung biopsy --the doctors told us on October 2nd that they believed Parson had a genetic mutation related to filamin A that caused periventricular nodular heterotopia.    Hold up, we came in on the 27th with a cough and now this.....This is where we landed smack dab in the middle of PLAN B.

Parson remained in the hospital for 12 days.  During this time, we learned a lot in a short period of time.  We learned all about lungs, genetics, filamin A, PVNH, and met Dr. George Mallory.  He introduced himself and said we would be spending a great deal of time together and explained that he was head of the lung transplant team at Texas Children's. What?  <Insert BOMB being dropped here.> He explained that they had treated 4 other kids with the same rare condition as Parson.  She would be their 5th child with PVNH and lung disease and would ultimately require a lung transplant.   Dr. Mallory introduced us to the first of those 4 children and her mother.  She was now a delightful 8 year old girl who received her transplant at 18 months old.  She and Darby played together in the ICU waiting area while Rodney and I visited with her mother. 

Parson was discharged with supplemental oxygen and we headed home for the "new normal".  She could not attend church, go to daycare or be around kids to any extent.  Her weakened condition meant that germs, viruses, flu and colds were the enemy.  Her lungs were not strong enough to withstand illness, so proper hand washing and sanitizer became our new best friends.  It was decided that Parson would need to receive synagis, an antibody injection, every 28 to protect her through cold/flu season. 

Six weeks later, we were back at Texas Children's with pneumonia.  This time we only stayed 3 days, as the hospital was chocked full of kiddos with RSV.  We were in a pod with 2 other kiddos with RSV and the docs agreed Parson could not be exposed.  They determined that it was too dangerous for her weakened respiratory condition and we were released.

A week later, Parson's pneumonia was back and worse this time. Dr. Fidone and  Dr. Mallory agreed on her treatment and Parson was treated by Dr. Fidone in Lufkin.  She was prescribed 3 different antibiotics and we received IV antibiotics for 2 days in the clinic.  This course of treatment kept her well through Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

I can honestly say that even in the absolute shock of Plan B, there was no doubt that God had his hand on every step, decision, doctor as well as Parson and our family.  Our support system has been amazing.  Our doctors, family, friends, and complete strangers have proven God's faithfulness to us over and over.  Somehow in the midst of this "new normal" of PLAN B we felt an amazing peace. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chickens in the Kitchen

Several months ago, I was worried about the 5 chickens we were raising in our kitchen.  I mean after all, we had a second baby on the way, so the kitchen sounded like a reasonable place to give these little chicks a good start.  Right?  That was until my nesting instincts kicked in and the chickens had to get out of my kitchen - NOW!  Thankfully my baby daddy was sensitive to my rapid mood swings and quickly readied an outdoor coop for the 5 ladies.  We kicked them out of the kitchen and readied our nest for baby #2. 

Darby with one of the Chickens from the Kitchen

Baby #2 arrived on July 3, 2012.  We welcomed to our nest, sweet Parson Blue Herrington. Weighing in at 8 pounds 8 ounces and measuring 19 1/2 inches long.  My OBGYN described her as "a chubby little red head we have here."  She had some respiratory issues at birth that required her to be placed in the NICU, but the doctors expected everything to be ok after a 7 day stay in the NICU. 

After coming home, we were delighted to see Darby in full swing as a BIG SISTER.  Daddy quickly realized that he was living in a female dominated world where "Chicks Rule" so he went out and bought a pink shirt.  We rocked along in absolute new baby bliss.  We were delighted to find Dr. George Fidone, a pediatrician that we "clicked with" from the very first visit.  He seemed to be a really cool cat who knew a lot about babies.  Taking Parson to Dr. Fidone would later prove to be the best decision we had made in a long time - coming a close second to moving the chickens out of the kitchen into the coop. 

Our first visit to Dr. Fidone was a huge success with him reporting that she was 100% perfect and would not have any lasting affects from her rough start.  He agreed with the doctors at her birth -- Sometimes these respiratory issues are present with C-section babies.  Despite the few "fun things" that she had going on he said she would be just fine with time.