Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Hi there
Hannah just wants everyone to know that she has had a quiet afternoon in bed watching movies, eating pudding, ice cream and having a nap. We've watched Wall E, Barbie's Princess and the Pauper and Sky High. We went downstairs for the party for a little while and watched karaoke and listened to Who let the dogs out (one of Hannah's favourite songs) and now we're back upstairs in bed together watching Sky High. Hannah is eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream after having her antibiotic. She also want to say that she loves all of her Aunts and Uncles - so pass on the message!
Lots of love Judy and Hannah

It’s been a long day and a half. Poor little Hannah is sound asleep in bed right now. She and John got back to the house just before 1pm. They spent the morning in Dr. Grayson’s office as Hannah was fitted with her new removable orthodontic appliance. This new device replaces her splints and her wedge that we had so many problems with over the past 8 weeks. It was amazing to watch how they build the new appliance. The used an acrylic powder mixed with some chemical solution that makes the acrylic malleable and they spread it like puddy on the base appliance. The acrylic hardens with time and warm water. Once the soft acrylic is shaped correctly and the fit between her teeth and the appliance is perfect the technician grinds the excess acrylic away and leaves a smooth surface perfect fitted to Hannah's lower teeth. As There is nothing on her lower teeth - she just wears this device on her her upper teeth. It’s quite amazing what Dr. Grayson and Dr. Pocock have planned out for the long term for her mouth. This device is a temporary appliance and a new one will be built by Dr Pocock when sometime in early 2009. The new device will have the same basic structure but will have many other features that allow it to act as the anchor for the next stage of treatment. The next step in this procedure will be to systematically pull each adult down to meet the lower teeth. It will take a long time for this procedure to be completed and will require Hannah to endure a significant amount of discomfort.

So yesterday did not go at all as we planned. Dr. McCarthy spoke to us for awhile before Hannah went in to surgery and he felt it was going to take an hour and half for the whole thing. So when the three hour mark came and went we began to wonder what was taking so long. Then when we went past the four and half hour mark, John went in search of someone at the nurses’ station to see if they could find something out for us. On the way there, he ran into Dr. McCarthy on his way to speak to us. He explained that he had a difficult time getting at the distraction device on the top end of the distracted bone. He had to make a second incision just below her hair line to be able to remove the device at the upper end. It turns out, she began to bleed quite heavily at that point and it took quite a while to get the bleeding under control. The scare tissue that formed from her last surgery was the culprit for the bleeding complications. Due to the length of time she was in surgery, the lateness of the day and the fact that she bled quite a lot during surgery the doctors decided to keep her in the hospital for the night.

I was taken to see Hannah while she was in recovery, about a half hour after the surgery was over. It was so different compared to going to recovery in BC Children’s hospital, where there are only little one’s in the recovery room. This time, she was the only child in there - the rest were adults. Lots of moaning and weird sounds coming from all the beds. Very unpleasant place to be. There she was, so tiny, in her big bed - she looked terrible. Lips were translucent and she was so puffy - whether from all the fluids they were putting into her or from the trauma of the surgery, who knows. She was asleep when I walked up to the bed but as soon as I said her name she woke up and wanted a hug and then through a very croaky voice asked me to ask her nurse for a popsicle. This is standard procedure at BC Children’s - as soon as they are awake they have a popsicle in their hands. No such luck in grown-up recovery. Ice chips and water. So she made do with water but came very close to having a cry about the no popsicle. I was in recovery with her for an hour before they moved her up the pediatric ward. Her doctors and nurses were amazingly nice and kind to her. One of Dr. McCarthy 5th year residents came to see us before Kez and I left the hospital - he found out that Hannah really wanted a popsicle so he said he would see what he could do about it. Ten minutes later he arrived back with two huge Lifesaver popsicles - more than likely he went and bought them for her. So nice and sweet of him.

Last night was a challenge for both Hannah and John, neither were prepared for an overnight at the hospital. They shared a room with a very young baby who spent most of the night crying. It must of have being so hard for the mother as she tried with little success to get the baby settled and comfortable. Hannah watched TV and videos throughout the night and napped between. John on the other hand, rested until about 3 am when Hannah finally feel asleep. By 4 am Hannah was so full from the constant IV that her bladder was on overload. She peed almost 5oo ml. She peed again at 5 and again at 6, but only 200 ml each time. (It is hard to imagine how uncomfortable she was with that much urine in her bladder) At some point in the midst of a pee break, John remembered when Hannah was in the hospital in September and the fact that she was not allowed to leave the hospital until she walked to the bathroom and went pee on her own. A light went on at that moment, Hannah must have remembered that she had to pee before she was allowed to go home but held it as long as she could.

John did manage a couple of hours of sleep and according to Hannah he snored rather loudly!

Yesterday was all very hard on Keziah. She told me over dinner that when she saw Hannah in her room that she almost started crying because didn’t expect her look like that. Poor old Kez. Such a tender heart.

Tonight is New Year’s Eve. We will not attempt to go to Time Square. It is cold and snowing and they expect to have about a million people there - Crazy! So we’ll stay home and join the House’s New Year’s eve celebration. They are having a dinner and a dance. Don’t think Hannah will be dancing tonight. We bought Wall E and Peter Pan
(the one with real people) and are going to eat ice cream, chip, chocolate pudding and watch movies.

Hope everyone is well - happy new year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Waiting, waiting, waiting....

So here we sit in the waiting room at the hospital. Hannah has been in surgery since around 12:15 and its nearly 3pm. Keziah is being a super-trooper at the waiting game. It can try the patience of the best of us. Hannah was pretty nervous today about surgery. As much as she wants that pin out and to no longer have the area around it cleaned she really does not want to have surgery to get it done. I was explainging to her last night that the last time she had surgery she woke up to the distraction device and the splints on her teeth and this time she’s not having this happen. She’ll wake up with the splints out of her mouth, the pin no longer there and just a few stitches on her neck which will be covered up by a bandage. Yeah...she wasn’t buying it. So we’re waiting and I can’t give you an update on how she’s doing yet.
But I can tell you about our day yesterday. We had a good night’s sleep on Sunday night - got to bed around 10pm - which isn’t bad when you think that its 7pm in Vancouver. We all slept well and even all slept in until after 9am. We were very lazy and took our time getting ready to get going and were nearly late arriving at the hospital for Hannah’s 1:30 appointment with Dr. McCarthy. We briefly met with him and went over what he was going to do today and then we straightened out the details of where we were going to be going today (even with all that straightening we were still sent to the wrong place today). Afterwards we had a quick meeting with Dr. Grayson about Hannah’s wedge that fell completely out of her mouth on Christmas Eve. He explained that today he is removing her splints from her teeth and then, while she is under they will take molds of her teeth to send to the lab, they will clean her teeth and repair any damage to her teeth from decay while wearing the splints. Then she will go back and see him after she is out of recovery later today to get fitted for a retainer-like device that will be removable that will have a built up side on the left so her bite will meet.
Once we were done at the hospital we decided to head over to Fifth Avenue to grab a late lunch at TGI Friday’s and then walk up Fifth Avenue to H&M’s and then to FAO Schwarz. Well, the cab couldn’t get to Fifth Avenue due to the crowds so we got out and walked the last block - the crowd at TGI Fridays was crazy - thankfully its a big restaurant and we were seated 25 minutes later. By then bloodsugar had really plummeted and Hannah was just delightful to be with. After eating we started ‘walking’ up Fifth Ave. - I have never seen such a crowd of people as this. After the 4 blocks to H&M we made the very sad discovery that this H&M does not have a children’s section. Keziah was so upset. This was the one thing that she really wanted to do that day. So back out into the crazy crowd we went - each holding onto our assigned child’s hand for dear life. 6 blocks to FAO Schwarz and there was a line up to get in to the store. Initially both girls said they didn’t want to go in - but we decided to go in anyways as the line up was moving really quickly and we aren’t planning on going back there before heading home. What a zoo!! We were all so happy to get in our cab to get back to the house. We got ice cream and cones from the grocery store and after we had a snack at 8pm we watched 2 episodes of Reba and had our ice cream. And then....bed. What a day. We never quite got done what we really wanted to do. And finished the day exhausted and spent.
We’ll update once we know more about how her surgery has gone.
Hope you’re all well

Monday, December 29, 2008

Our first full day here

Evil, evil red eye. Amazing how crappy you feel when you remove a nights sleep from your life and then add some jet lag to the mix. We got to bed before 10pm last night - we were all really tired. Hannah was the only one with some gas in her tank still. Kez was just getting paler as the night wore on. It took along time to get Hannah's neck cleaned, her mouth done and medicine in her. Bedtime couldn't come quick enough for John and I. Keziah had a great sleep last night - nearly 12 hours. Hannah slept well too but she woke up after 8am to a pee in her pull-up which Daddy dealt with. Bed stripped, Hannah washed down, clean clothes, sheets in the wash and he tried to come back to bed but she discovered that she was 'starving' and wanted him to get up and feed her.
We made it to John and Hannah's New York church this morning - late but we made it there. It was too bad that the Tyson kids, Hayley and Nathan, Hannah's friends, were away for the week. After church we took the subway to Times Square and hit Toys R Us to ride the ferris wheel. We couldn't get tickets until 2:20pm so we had to hang out for over an hour. However, they do have a girls section with everything girlie where Kez got some cool dress up things and they both got blinged out microphones! We then went to the Barbie section which is in a Barbie house - wow. Keziah was really excited about that. Hannah bought herself a Barbie pool - she had a tough decision to make - pool or wedding Barbie. Tough decision. The pool won out.
The ferris wheel was awesome. Its quite something to see a full size ferris wheel inside of a store. We didn't get the Barbie car - but we were in the little tikes fire truck. We had a choice between the fire truck or a Scooby Doo car - they choose the fire truck. We probably went around 9 times - lots of fun.
After Toys R Us we went to Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Times Square. Such a fun restaurant. All the waiters and waitresses are singers and trying to make it on Broadway so constantly while eating there is someone singing. And this is not some sort of amateurish show - they are amazing singers. We were entertained with "I'm a Believer", "Mama Mia", "My Favourite Things", "Man in the Mirror", and "Seasons of Love". Lots of fun.
We're planning a quiet night at the house tonight - maybe we'll watch a movie. Tomorrow we're off to the hospital for a 1:30 appointment. We hope to get Hannah doing some things. Keziah really wants to get back to the American Museum of Natural History. And we have yet to get up the Empire State Building. Wish us luck!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

At the airport, we went through the deaths long line up at the check-in, then we went through the deaths long line up at Vancouver airport security. After we went through security we had to wait at the gate, Hannah was playing on the moving sidewalk. I did a super man on the moving handrail. On the plane we had wait for 2 hours on the airplane in Vancouver to be de-iced before we could takeoff. My favorite part on the flight was watching tv and doing crafts. Since arriving at the Ronald McDonald House was taking a shower and playing in the playroom.

By Keziah Davies

So we arrived safe and sound here in New York. It was a bit of a wait, as Keziah said, at the airport and it took alot out of Hannah waiting in the two long line ups to get checked in and then through security. Then she ran like crazy on the moving sidewalk for half an hour. So almost as soon as she was on the plane she was sound asleep. She briefly woke up during the flight but was back asleep again quickly. Keziah loves to fly. She gets all set up in her little space with her pillows and blanket, ipod, books, pencils, and art pad. As soon as the TV's were on she was watching Hannah Montana and drawing in her new art pad. At around 3am Vancouver time her TV suddenly quit working - divine intervention I think- as she was saying that she didn't want to go sleep before this. Now there was nothing to keep her occupied and when I suggested she get some sleep she was fast asleep two minutes later and slept for the next 3 and half or four hours. However, that was her sleep for the night! I snoozed a bit but never was really asleep and John was awake all night. Needless to say we feel less than marvelous today. We had a nap this afternoon for a couple of hours but are really looking forward to going to bed tonight.
Hannah is right at home again. She announced on the way here in the limo that she wanted to stay for two months again. I think she will be very sad at the end of the week. Especially there is no plan of coming back to New York in the future. Poor Hannah - this is her second home now. She is so social and the house meets all of her needs so beautifully. So many places she goes she doesn’t get noticed due to her facial difference but here at the house they have made her so special and to her this house is here just for her.
We're off for dinner now.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Getting ready to go

Well, its snowing again. We've had a shocking amount of snow in Vancouver over the past 10 days and it is snowing once again. Which would be find if we weren't off to the airport tonight at 7pm to catch our flight to New York. Or flight is at 9:25 so we are really hopeful that it is going to have either stopped snowing by then or the warmer weather that is in the forecast may be here by this evening. That is our hope at least. We've been watching the news all week as they've reported on all the headaches and heartaches at the airport this week as people have tried to get places for Christmas - all the while knowing that we were getting on a plane on Boxing Day.
So Hannah got up this morning at 7 am and came down the hall, bleary eyed, hair askew and barely awake - but doing a conga line dance. I think its fair to say she is really excited about going to New York tonight! The excitement does not lie in surgery on Tuesday, getting her pin removed, the end of having the awful thing cleaned twice a day, etc - no - the excitement lies in that we are going to go stay for a week at the Ronald McDonald House again. As she and John were saying goodnight last night she said to him - "are you really excited Daddy". She has missed the house so much since she has come home. And this time she gets to have Keziah and I there too for the whole week too. We can't wait. As long as we get on our plane tonight - its all good.