Sunday, December 20, 2009

Health updates and Traveling Dinners

As a quick update, my dad had a good doctor's report last week. He is continuing to make progress as he re-coups from the endocarditis. He is down to one IV a day for the next two weeks. Dad has another echocardiogram on Tuesday and sees his cardiologist. My Grandma Dorman had a stress test last week and passed it with flying colors. So, I guess there will be further tests concerning her esophagus down the road. She continues to improve after her fall over a month ago.

Today was our annual Dorman traveling dinner. It was a day full of eating, eating and more eating. My cousins from Texas were up with their 4 kids AND my cousins from Rochester brought their two girls down for the festivities. We started with appetizers at Uncle Charley and Aunt Melanie's house. Then, soup at my mom and dad's. Since there were so many of us, the next course (dinner) was at the Middlesex Baptist Church. Finally, we had dessert at Grandma Dorman's house. It was wayyyyy yummy and sooooo fun to see all the kids playing together.

Between soup and dinner, Sumana, Gretchen and I went to my niece, Daisy's pre-school Christmas program. As we walked in, a little voice nearly screamed, "Sumana!!!". It was our little friend, Crystal. She is in Daisy's class. Check out the pictures . . . how cute! Daisy just stood with a quiet, pleasant look on her face, while Crystal's motions were bigger than life and she just oozed all over the stage. What a contrast in personalities, huh???

Gotta catch up with the news!

As always, I'm backlogged with news. I think I'll try to make several 'smallish' entries instead of one mammoth one.

I finally took some pictures of Sumana on the treadmill. She walks with no crutches and her PT supports her hips to remind her to keep them in line. The other picture is of her on the Wii balance board. Her balance is really poor, but it is easy to see improvment as she practices week to week.

She'll have PT Tuesday this week and then 'off' for Christmas. Also, as a schedule update, Sumana's first expansion surgery was changed to Wednesday, Feb. 10th.

Saturday, Sumana attended a friend's 5th birthday party. It was a tea party and boy did they have fun! Sumana doesn't do a lot of things with kids her age except at AWANA, so this was a real treat!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ring, Ring those bells!

Well, we were inside and no ringing was allowed. Sumana had a little sign that said, "Ring, Ring, Ring" so we were exuding the thought if not the sound! The Wood Library (where I now work), sponsored a day of 'bell-ringing' for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive. My new friend, Barbara Henry, joined us for an hour in the entrance to Tops.
The older kids were planning to go caroling tonight and I was feeling guilty about not wanting to deal with taking Sumana (in and out of cars, up and over uneven lawns, navigating slippery driveways, getting there just in time to sing 'We wish you a Merry Christmas' and then trekking back to the van to do it all over again!) Well, Sumana was feeling the same way about caroling and she was glad to have her OWN outing where she was relatively warm and could sit down if she needed to.
She was so excited and kept flashing her million dollar smile. We had so many people look at her and just be drawn to put something in the kettle. One woman said, "I already sent a check in to support the Salvation Army, but I can't walk past that smile without giving something more!" Sumana was our 'secret weapon' . . . I bet our hour brought in the most money!!! (We'll never know!! LOL!!)

Please pray for Grandma Dorman

I just checked my e-mail this morning and got word that my mom's mom was admitted to the hospital last night. I guess she was having crushing chest pains. Her primary doctor was worried about a possible heart attack, but the cardiologist (the same one that is seeing my dad), thinks it may be 'just' heartburn. At any rate, she has a stress test today and I guess they'll go from there.

I haven't mentioned in the blog, but about a month ago Grandma (86 years old) lost her balance in her garage and fell, hitting the back of her head. She got a pretty 'good' concussion out of the deal. Grandma hasn't been feeling very well since then, though she has been improving. She's always been healthy and active, so this setback has been trying for her. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors to diagnose what's going on and for her strength to come back. Thanks so much!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another week has passed???!!

Sorry it's been soooo long again! That certainly does NOT indicate that nothing has been happening in the Holman household! Thankfully, everyone has been healthy . . . but VERY busy!

As an update, my dad is doing better. He actually DOES do the infusions himself (wow!) Today he did grocery shopping with my mom and went for a short walk up their road. Considering all he's been through, I can see forward progress. He sees his primary doctor tomorrow and next week he sees the cardiologist and has another echocardiogram.

Sumana has been busy doing her OT and PT exercises and schoolwork. She is not only getting stronger physically, but is improving by leaps and bounds in her reading, writing and 'rithmatic! She gave a handwritten note to Miss Kristen today and received some pretty high praise for her improved handwriting. (Thanks, Miss Kristen!!!)

Sunday, we all (except Jeffrey), went to Gretchen's Christmas choral concert. It was soooo beautiful! There was a mix of Christmas standards, jazz and her group did a selection of Latin and Spanish classical Christmas music. I don't think I've heard such beautiful choral pieces since Greig and I sang in our college choir!

I keep forgetting my camera . . . even when I put it right next to my purse!! I'm REALLY going to try to get some pictures for you over the next few days. There is lots happening and I'd love to have you share it with us!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lots of News!

Well, first of all, my dad is home. He has 4 infusions every day for 2 weeks and it sounds like he does it himself (I'm impressed!) He sees his primary doctor next week and then the cardiologist on the 18th for another echocardiogram. I think the doctors will re-assess the leakage from the aortic valve and make plans from there. So, we'd appreciate your continued prayers.

Sumana has had 2 VERY exciting days. Last night she was awarded The Clubber of the Month for November at her AWANA club. She was sooooo very proud. She has been working hard at learning Bible verses and completing various projects to complete her second Truth and Training book by the end of the school year.

Today she saw Dr. Hollister for her 11 year check up. Except for her poor vision, she's doing really well. (If you remember back to August, the eye doctor said that Sumana's optic nerve damage is such that her eye does not respond to correction). Anyway, the good news is that the growth she gained through the VEPTR surgery has gotten her closer to the 'normal' growth curve. She has always measured 4.5-6 'blocks' below the normal growth curve for girls her age. NOW, she is only 3.5 blocks below. An impressive improvement!

More good news (and a bit sad, too): Sumana has reached all of her goals for Occupational Therapy and has been discharged until her next surgery, (at which point we'll re-evaluate her need for any further OT). Mr. Darryl has worked really well with Sumana. He's had a balance of challenging her and teasing her that makes her work really hard. She can now lift a drinking glass and drink without her hand and arm shaking. She also can put on and take off long sleeved shirts independently. (She was not able to do these things after surgery). We are very grateful to Mr. Darryl for his attention to Sumana's weaknesses and his help in giving her the exercises she needed to regain her strength. Way to go Sumana and Mr. Darryl!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Update on my dad

Bummer of bummers. Dad is still in the hospital tonight. He had a test today on his heart and the cardiologist could see 'moderate damage' to the aortic valve ( I think I have that story right . . . my mom just called with the info). So, even though he's had the antibiotic, the bacteria has already done the damage. Unfortunately, my dad may be facing heart surgery down the road . . . and lots of doctor appointments. UGH!

The plan is to meet with the county health nurse tomorrow morning and get a routine figured out for his daily iv injections. (maybe my mom will be getting help???? I didn't quite catch that info!) Thanks for your continued prayers!

Williams Christmas

Sunday we had our Williams family Christmas brunch at my sister's house. There were a dozen kids ages 1-19! It was especially fun to see my cousin's 4 kids (2 year old triplets and a 1 year old girl). Oh my goodness . . . were they ever busy and cute as anything! We've been doing Christmas brunch with my dad's family for so long, I can't remember when we DIDN'T do it!! We have a traditional family menu: quiche, ham balls, fruit, French breakfast donuts, and other goodies!

As expected, Sumana was in her glory with all the cousins to play with. She sat next to Brady for brunch and then played Play-dough with the kids, making Christmas cookies of all colors! The picture at the top is of her playing with Eli.
Meanwhile, my dad was stuck in the hospital. He was admitted to receive antibiotics intravenously for endocarditis (basically, a heart infection). He is supposed to come home this afternoon. The bummer is that he has to have DAILY IV injections of antibiotics for 4 WEEKS! YIKES! Poor, mom! (and poor, dad, of course!) He still has his great sense of humor, but I know he can't wait to get out of the hospital. Please pray that the infection will clear and the heart valves will stop leaking so he won't need surgery. Thank you sooooo much!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

College Students!

I have not had much luck getting on MY computer lately. Gretchen has been busy trying to get her college work done (and of course, her obsession . . . Facebook). So, today she's at school and I'll try to get a quick post in to catch you up on Sumana.

First of all, we have her first expansion scheduled for February 8! We were able to get all of her annual appointments and check ups scheduled, too, so we only are making ONE trip to Rochester the week before her surgery. Then, it should just be one night in the hospital and home again, home again diggity-dog!

Sumana is continuing to get stronger and stronger. She got word yesterday that she will probably be able to be discharged from Occupational Therapy soon. Yea! She has met all of her post-op goals and has regained (and gained!) new strength in her upper body. Now we'll be back to concentrating on her lower half! She still hopes to walk for Dr. Sanders WITHOUT crutches at her February appointment.

We start our Christmas celebrations this week! Sunday we enjoy 'Christmas' with my Dad's side of the family. It will involve lots of children so Sumana will be in her glory! It actually will be nice to start early with the celebrations . . . we have them spread out all month!