Thursday, July 8, 2010

Last Surgery on the Horizon...

Hi Everyone,

I'm so sorry I have been neglecting the blogger world! We have had so much going on. We are preparing for our last trip to Los Angles in August. Makinna has her last surgery on August 6th. Yippie!! We are so ready for this process to be behind us and for Makinna to be done with surgeries. It has been such an incredible blessing to have these surgeries and these doctors, but it really does take it out of you emotionally and financially.. :) We are going to have a car wash to raise money for the last trip on the 17th of July, and we are working on a few other last minute things as well. Your prayers for success would be very appreciated. We were very blessed to find someone to stay with out there this time so that has not costed us! That is such a large part of a trip cost. The worst part left is the $1100 tickets for the three of us. That was the cheapest I could find. I almost died!! That has come down from the original $1400 they were going to cost us. I guess summertime travel is more.

Anyway, Thanks to everyone who has held her in your prayers. Her ear is looking better all the time. I hope that all of the minor details will be worked out in this last surgery. Dr. Lewin wants to straighten her ear lobe and fix her Tragus as well. There is also scar tissue built up from the very first surgery that needs to be removed as well. I guess there is more to do, since she said it would be about a 4 hour surgery this time. That seems like nothing at all compared to her previous 11 hours. There was such a peace during her surgery last time. I wish that I had that same sure feeling during that 6 hours on a plane! :)

So prayers for a great surgery and a great fundraising effort. If you have friends that haven't seen her website yet, please feel free to send it around. We are in the process of getting post surgery pics added to the website as well, but there are still donation options on the site. Thanks again!! Love and hugs to everyone.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hi everyone,

So sorry it has taken me so long to update. I have been just kind of riding the wave. Makinna is doing great! She is 12 weeks post op and I think her ear looks incredible. There is still redness and little issues, but for a new ear in 12 weeks, its really going well. We have to go back to California for the last stage in August, so we are trying to get funds raised and saved for that trip. Thankfully it wont be as long, but there are so many expenses involved. Makinna is so excited to see her favorite Dr. Lewin. I am not ready to go back on an airplane, but I cant wait to get it all done and over with! This surgery is only supposed to run about 3 hours. That will be like a long lunch compared to the 11 we went through last time.

We have had to use a plug with steroid gel in her canal because it was shrinking a little, but it seems to be working so far. She is getting much better at letting me clean it and do the maintenance on it.

Her talking has improved so much that I cant even believe it. She is really getting her own personality. I think that this has shaped her and taught her she can do many things that she didn't think she could. I know it has taught me that. Its funny how straight comes when you really need it. God has been so good to us.

If you get time and would like to share Makinna's journey with anyone, please pass it along. Every little bit helps! Thanks so much for all of the prayers and support, it has truly meant the world to us.

Our matching girls on Easter..Makinna loved hunting eggs.

Makinna at the beach during spring break..

She always asks me to see her pics after I take them. She is so proud!

Such a happy girl!

This is before the gel opened her canal a little larger..

Friday, February 5, 2010

Well, thankfully, surgery number 2 is complete, and the healing process has begun. This surgery was much more difficult than the first one by far. She was in much more pain afterwards and couldn't keep food down for almost 2 days. She is feeling better now, but is having a lot of itching. She had her first post op today and the Dr said that everything looked really good for this stage in the recovery. We will have to closely monitor it over the next several months to be sure that the skin covering the new ear doesn't die or damage. I have added some pics below. Some are a little scary, but its the way it should look right now. The color will fade to pink and the over 200 stitches will dissolve over time, leaving her ear nice and pretty in a few months.

At the beach before the surgery.

Happy before her surgery..
After 11 hours of surgery, not so happy...

This is what she did for over 24 hours...
This was the first smile we got, 48 hours later. She loves her new earrings! She would stand in the mirror and stare at them, touching her ear and talking about the other one that's new..

This is Dr. Lewin, our wonderful Dr.

The big reveal...her new ear. We think it looks incredible.

That will eventually look like any other ear

Straight on view...

Happy girl with mommy and daddy

Thank you all for your prayers and love. We couldn't have made it without you all. We have felt the prayers working and it means so much to know that others are following along with us as we go through this journey. Makinna finally has an ear after all this time waiting and praying. God is so good!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Surgery # 2 is in the morning!

Hello everyone, I'm sorry it has taken so long to get this post ready. We have been so busy with Christmas and preparing for this second trip. We are here in Los Angles and the surgery is bright and early tomorrow. Makinna is in good spirits and said she is ready for her new ear. We met the Dr this morning and went over all of the important information and now the waiting begins. The surgery will be 9 hours straight and that is a long time to sit. I wish they would put me to sleep too. We appreciate all the prayers you can send our way. I'm sure that all will go fine, but maybe for our peace of mind and her pain level afterwards. I will post pictures as soon as i can. Thanks again for all of your support!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

4 weeks post op...things are looking good

Well we are in the 4th week since Makinna's surgery, and she is doing great. She is fully active and in no pain. She just had her last packing removal yesterday 12-2-09. They had to put her to sleep since she was so badly treated by a Tampa Dr, and now she wont allow anyone that resembles medical professionals to touch her. She wont let them get near her without screaming and crying. She becomes a child I have never seen before. This never happened until her horrible experience with Dr Bartels in Tampa. We have learned so much about screening Dr's now. Just because their credentials are good, doesn't mean that they will be good with your babies. Other then her intense fear of doctors and nurses, she is wonderful. We are very pleased with the way her ear is healing, and her skin graft site is already re growing hair. I have posted pics from before and after the final packing removal. Also, today we did a little test to see if there is any more hearing on that side. I covered her other ear, and whispered very quietly in her ear to repeat a color and she shouted it right out!! I was so excited to know that she understands and could hear it. That is what we did this for...just to give her that chance of normal hearing, and it seems that its working. We wont know the exact amount yet, and with her refusal to be touched by Dr's, I'm not sure how they will measure it. We have to call the Dr. back to see what he recommends. Please keep her in your prayers that she will get over this fear soon, and forget what happened, so that the future appointments will be less stressful. We are really praying that we don't have to have her sedated for every procedure.

This was the day after Thanksgiving...she was loving the cool weather we had.

This was following the first packing removal, this was the bad day with the Dr that we wouldn't take a stray animal to. You can see the left over blood from where the sponge was ripped out of her canal and tore off all of the dried scabs. It was terrible. We had cleaned her up as much as she would let us at this point. It was much more. 11-16-09

This is shortly after the bandage fell off her head. 11-24-09 approx. You can see the canal is more narrow. We are emailing the surgeon to see if that is expected. This is before the final packing removal.

This is yesterday after the packing removal. I think it is looking great. I know it still looks scary to some people, but seeing it everyday, this looks incredible. It is so clean that you can see right to the inner section if you shine the light right. She is really such a trooper. I know that this will all be worth it in a year when she is all healed from the surgeries and she can hear as normally as possible. Thanks again for all the prayers and love. It has really helped us. Makinna will really appreciate it when she is all grown up! Like we do now!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Surgery One is Done, and God is so GOOD!!

Finally the day has come, and all of the worry and stress, and tears were worth it. Makinna went into surgery just before 8am this morning, California time, and was done by 10:40 am. She was so good, and the nurses said that she went to sleep with a smile on her face! So typical for my little sunshine. She was so funny with the meds! They give something to relax and settle them before they put them out. It was great! She didn't even notice when they took her from me. She played with us for about 20 minutes and then I peacefully placed her in the surgical nurses arms and watched as she walked away with my life in her hands! They worked so hard to make us feel safe and secure. The anaesthesiologist was incredible and really knew his stuff. He called me last night before bed to go over stuff with me.

The surgery its self wasn't really long, but it felt like an eternity!! I was so excited to see her face once they let us back. She was sleeping peacefully. The Dr. reported that everything went as well as he could have hoped. They had no problems putting her out or waking her up. They even went the extra mile and snapped some pictures in the O.R for me. I asked them to save the hair for me since Makinna has never had a first hair cut, and they brought it out to me in a little bag. I was just blown away by the staff, the Dr's and the atmosphere. They went so far beyond the call of duty.

We only stayed there about 2 hours after and the process was smooth except when she first woke up. She immediately noticed the IV in her hand and the hard board taped all around her arm and flipped out! She screamed to take it off, and they promptly did. She was calm until you did something that upset her, then she lost it! Trey was coming to quick stops, and she screeched for him to SLOW DOWN DADDY!! and TURN THAT OFF!! she was referring to the GPS, she hates to hear that woman talk..we have temporarily named her Alice. Other than that, she was very hungry and thirsty when she got back. She has laid around all day, and never complained once, but wants me within touching distance at all times. We have been careful to not upset her, so that means getting her way today..and possibly tomorrow as well.. :)

I loaded some pics for everyone. They are not very graphic, this surgery isn't as topically invasive as the next will be. I also have no idea what the skin graft will look like yet either, so I might change my mind when I see it. That part is still bandaged. She has tried to remove the wrap a few times, but has otherwise been ok with it.

These pictures go in order from arrival to this afternoon...

This is in the waiting room before we were called back.

A few minutes after the versed was given, starting to get loopy.

Really loopy..cuddly and sweet!

These are ones they took for me inside the operating room. This was after the tube was placed and her head was shaved. They really made a larger shave then i thought they would.

This is after the surgery is complete and during the dressing process. You can double click to see the larger images. The new ear will form around the new canal. That is what will take place in February.

I didn't recognize her at first. I thought they took someone else's pic with my camera by mistake. I was upset, I kept asking Trey if that was really her. This was right before they took out the tube, her eyes were still taped shut.

She was waking up now, and getting upset off and on. She liked the rub though.

This was just a few hours after the surgery, and she was eating, and smiled a little. Still groggy, but not enough to skip the meal. I was so glad to see her eat. She drank about a pint of milk without stopping. I was worried she would vomit, but i feared loosing a hand or at least a finger if I tried to take it from her!
Thanks so much for the love, support, prayers, and care you have all shown us. we have been blessed here in California so wonderfully as well. We are staying with an incredible couple who have been so kind to us. They have not only provided us with a place to stay and unbelievably, also a car to drive, but they have been feeding us outstanding meals every night! God has placed this family in our lives for a reason, and we are beyond grateful for what they have done for us. All of your prayers have helped us to make it through this process. We have waited three long years to see this day, and because of you and the love you have all shown us, and mostly because of God's unending grace, our baby girl can now hear in both ears! Your gift has deepened our faith and trust. We cannot thank you all enough. I will continue to post things while we are out here and throughout the coming weeks. We are going to relax tomorrow and let Makinna decide what she is ready for!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

9 days and counting...

Okay, so we are officially 9 days away from departure, and with Karessa's and Makinna's birthday party, Halloween, Trick or Trunk (at church), Family pics, Halloween party, and all of the other preparations, I'm sure to be busy, busy, busy!! I would rather be busy though, because it keeps my mind off of having to leave my kids behind for two whole weeks! I know they will be fine, but I have never been away from Karessa for that long before. She laid with me last night and had a good cry about it. I did too. I haven't allowed myself to be upset about it before now, because I knew this was important, and that they needed me to be strong for them. I guess with Karessa's birthday today, last night just couldn't be avoided. So with all of that, I'm glad that I will be busy this week.

Makinna is so funny, she keeps telling us that she's ready to go to California, of course it doesn't sound like that, but her way is so much cuter!! She seems excited to go somewhere with Mommy and Daddy. I am ready for Trey's vacation to start so that we can get a move on! I think he is ready too. Three years of waiting, and now its here...almost!!

Halloween will be a fun event this year I think, both of the girls are going to be princesses, so it should feel like an ordinary day in their world!! :) They are going to trick or treat several times this week!! More candy for us!!

Thanks again for keeping us in your prayers, and thoughts. We love everyone, and I will post pics of the surgery as often as I am able. Some will be graphic I'm sure, so I am sorry in advance. We will try to keep it easy. I will have some down time in Cali, so I might be able to go on every few days or so and update pics. Here are some cute ones, so that its not all writing!

Raggy Raggy with Makinna

Yummy, popcycles are my favorite!!

They all love to play with Nonny's glasses...We wont let my optician husband see this, he would be not happy!! I don't let them keep them on when i see it, but my mom snapped this pic before I could grab them!