Friday, August 28, 2009

Surgery Decision and Date

Over the past few days I have been thinking about everything Isabelle's surgeon and I talked about Tuesday and weighing the options. Posterior and lose her range of motion, anterior and risk having to have a third fusion. After a lot of debate and a lot of advice from outside sources I had pretty much made up my mind.

I called the nurse on Wednesday because I had a few questions for her and I let her know that I was leaning more towards doing the posterior fusion. I felt like with Isabelle's track record the odds were against us that the anterior fusion would be a permanent fix. I had a feeling that if we did the anterior now we would have to do the posterior anyway when she was older and I knew that it would be much easier for her to adapt to not being able to move her neck now than it would be when she was older.

Her surgeon's nurse called me earlier today to let me know that she had spoken with him about the questions that I had and let him know that I was leaning more towards the posterior. When she told him that he said, "Good, I am too." After doing some research and consulting with the other surgeons he also felt that it would be better to go ahead and proceed with the posterior fusion. So that is the plan.

We are set to go in Friday morning. I am not sure of the exact time but we will be one of the firsts. Once I know more detail about times and everything I will let you guys know.

Thanks to all of you for the continued support and prayers.

Five Question Friday

I am participating in Mama M's Five Question Friday Blog Hop again just in case you guys need a little entertainment until we hear some news from the doctor. Like last week I will be giving the answers that I believe Isabelle would give if we asked her. Here we go!

1. What is your favorite holiday and why?
This would have to be Christmas. What two year old doesn't like all those gifts?

2. Who has been the most influential person in your life?
Well duh! My mommy of course. Where do you think I get the phrase "Oh crap" from?

3. If you could give up one household chore what would it be?
Putting the 20+ DVD's I have back in the cabinet after I insist on taking them out.

4. What is the best practical joke you have ever been on the giving or receiving end of?
When I was playing peekaboo with my mommy and while I had my eyes covered she left the room. I couldn't find her anywhere and I giggled and giggled and giggled!

5. Where or how did you meet your spouse?
Boys have cooties!



MckLinky Blog Hop

No News Yet

I still have not heard from Isabelle's surgeon but I will post about it as soon as I do. In the mean time here is a funny video of her first experience with silly string.


video

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

About the Appointment...

It didn't go so well.

We found out today that Isabelle will need another fusion within the next week or two. The part of her spine that was fused originally looks great so that is good news. However, parts of her spine that were not fused are not lining up as they are supposed to. I will try to explain it the best that I can but if you have questions please leave me a comment.

In case you don't remember in the first surgery C2-C6 in the posterior were fused. As I mentioned before we left the hospital and again when we went for an x-ray four weeks ago the front part of C2 and all of C1 looked like they were curving the wrong way and we were told that another fusion was likely...we just weren't sure when. The main problem now is that the front of C2 is not connected to the back part of C2 so it's just sort of floating around in her spine. The x-ray today showed that since the x-ray four weeks ago this abnormal curve from the front of C2 and C1 has gotten worse even with the halo on. Her surgeon made some adjustments to the halo to push her head back and then took another x-ray. These adjustments helped for the time being but she will not be in a halo forever and it is not a solution. The fact that just him moving her head around and making adjustments to her halo is just proof of how unstable her spine is and how much another fusion is needed.

Now for the hard part. There are two options that the doctors and myself need to decide on.

First, he can go in and fusion a few of the segments in the anterior and hope that that works. This will leave Isabelle with some motion in her neck. It may work. It may not work. It could work for weeks, months, years, or not at all. If we do this surgery and realize later on down the road that it did not work then he will have to go in again for a third time and fuse the back all the way up to the skull leaving her with no motion in her neck. There is no way to know if it will work or for how long. However, her surgeon said that if he had to guess he would say there is about a 50/50 chance that he would have to do the third surgery. So the down side is that this surgery may not work and she will likely have to go through a third surgery at a time that no one could know. The upside is that if it does work Isabelle will still have some motion in her neck.

Second, he can go in and fuse the back of her spine all the way up to the skull now. This will straighten her spine and it is unlikely that Isabelle will ever need a fusion on the front part of her spine or any part of her C-spine for that matter. The down side is that Isabelle will no longer have any motion in her neck, ever. The plus side is that if she makes it through that surgery that will likely be it. She may need more surgery in the distant future to repair the fusions that have already been done (they start to wear down over the years) but it is unlikely she will need another one as a child.

You see the dilemma?

So, a decision needs to be made and I would appreciate it if all of you would please pray that both the doctors and myself are able to make the right decision and to know what is best for my Belli. This will be a very difficult decision to make and I certainly need the prayers. Also, regardless of the decision that is made she will be having a second fusion very very soon and it will be just as risky as the last. Please continue to pray for her to be safe and for everything to go well. I will let you guys know as soon as a decision has been made and the date of the surgery.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Appointment Reminder!

Just a little FYI, reminder, or whatever you want to call it.

Isabelle's check up is tomorrow at 9...or 930...I can't really remember. Either way we are getting there at nine. So...don't forget it is time for some serious prayer so get at it! Thanks =-)

I will update you guys some time tomorrow night. As I mentioned before my laptop is broken but I was able to hook it up to an old monitor my parents had so I could still use it. Well, that apparently is not working anymore so I am going to buy one tomorrow but it will not be until later in the evening before I get it, get back home, and post an update.

And just because I know everyone needs a little laugh sometimes the following is a list of the new "funnies" Isabelle has been doing.

1. When sitting in the living room Isabelle will shout in a very demanding voice, "Granddad all done snoring!" When ever he falls asleep in his chair and starts snoring.
2. Isabelle now asks herself (or anyone who will listen) questions in which she responds either, "Ok!" or "That's right!" For example, "Watch a movie? Ok!" or "This red circle? That's right!"
3. When she wants to do something she knows she is not supposed to be doing she will look at you and say, "Bye, bye (insert name here)," so you will leave the room and not see. She then proceeds to scream hysterically when you do leave because she thinks you actually really did leave.
4. She calls octagons "ocgatontons"
5. She HATES lower case letters and will demand you to erase them as soon as they are written.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Friday, August 21, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Colored dots!

Unfortunately when I applied that background to my blog I realized that I would then have to change all of my font colors throughout the WHOLE blog if you guys wanted to continue to read it. I wasn't to much feeling up for that so I chose this background instead. I have saved the colored dots background for future use since I still want to keep my readers happy. As soon as I feel the need to change all the fonts I will put the colored dots background up for you guys.

What do you guys think of this background though? Like it? Hate it? Let me know!

Anywho...

I also wanted to mention a few additions to the blog while I am here. In case you haven't noticed if you look to the left you will see a wonderful blog button for my web site. I was lucky enough to have this great lady make it for me (since I pretty much stink at those things). You can also find the button for that same great lady on the right side of the blog, From Memories to Books. Do you see it? Do you? Do you? I thought so.

Anywho...

Lastly I wanted to mention another great blog that is about to get up and running that I personally think is a great idea. It's called Shoulders and can be found by clicking on the link. The idea behind the blog was for the followers (or anyone really) to nominate people who are in need of encouragement or a "shoulder" to lean on. Get it? Shoulders? So, the point is once the people are nominated the followers will read their story and leave comments for them. Because everyone LOVES to get comments on their blog. Hint hint =-) It currently does not have any posts yet because it is still in the making but stay tuned. It only has about 10 followers right now so hop on over there and check it out.

And of course don't forget Isabelle's check up with the Neurosurgeon is Tuesday! Pray pray pray for a GREAT report!!!!

5 Question Friday

For those of you who do not know much about blogging or the blog world let me explain before I continue with this post.

Did you know that there was a whole other world out there? Millions of people who blog and share their stories. It is really and amazing thing. Since I have started Belli's Place I have met a lot of really great women with amazing stories of their own. One way for bloggers to spread their wings and continue meeting fellow bloggers to hold contests or host blog hops. A blog hop is basically having a theme on your blog one day and other people will link to your blog and have the same theme on their blog. This way all the people who are participating in the blog hop are all linked together. It is actually pretty cool. So today I stumbled upon a blog hop called Five Question Friday. This blogger takes questions from her readers and every Friday, she answers them. I thought this was pretty cool and wanted to participate. However, since this blog is about Isabelle and not me I have decided to answer with what I think Isabelle would say. That way you can get to know my sweet girl a little better. Hope you enjoy!

1. What is your biggest Pet Peeve?
Isabelle's biggest pet peeve is someone getting in her personal space. When this happens she will not hesitate to tell you to, "Back up!"

2. With no worries about finances, childcare, or travel time...where would you most want to vacation?
Isabelle would want to go "beach swimming"

3. If your house was in the path of a tornado and you had time to grab 3 things before the house was totally destroyed
Isabelle would have to have a blankey, an Elmo movie, and the old laptop we use to play movies on

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Isabelle would want to live on Sesame Street. Yep that's it.

5. What is your family's favorite homecooked meal?
Isabelle favorite home cooked meal is cheese grits with milk and butter.





<span class=MckLinky Blog Hop" longdesc="http://www.brentriggs.com" border="0" height="98" width="300">

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Readers Poll and Some Belli Pics

As I mentioned in my previous post I am going to be making some changes to my blog over the next few days. Because I am here to please you guys I want your help in decided what the blog should look like. Following is a list of backgrounds I am considering and I would love to get your feedback on them. Just leave a comment and let me know which one you like best! Just click on the links and it will take you right to a picture of the background. I know there are a lot but I would really love your input!

Colored Dots
Grunge Polka
Brown Hip Polka
Flower Dots
Stitched Together
Squared Green Hearts
Just Right
Light Orchid


And here are the pictures I promised you! I let Isabelle play in the bathroom the other day while I was doing my hair and make up. Here are the results...And here is Isabelle trying to escape without having to clean up

And here is a picture of my computer screen...Pretty huh?

Blog Changes

Just wanted to let you guys know that I am going to be messing with the blog a little and making some changes to it. If you view the blog with in the next few days and something looks weird, off center, out of place, or whatever it will be fixed soon! Thanks for your cooperation. Oh, and I will post tonight with a full Belli update and some great pictures!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Kind of Idiot Drops Their Computer?

*Update*
I just remembered that my parents had an old monitor in their basement so I connected it to my laptop and tada! So on with the posts. I know you are all excited =-)

*Original Post*
A year and a half ago when I bought my computer I was asked if I wanted to get both the manufacturers insurance and the accident insurance (ya know in case you brought it or it gets stolen). I of course said, "Um, just the manufacturers insurance. I'm not going to drop my computer." I'm a big girl after all.

RIGHT.

And now here I sit on my mom's computer typing this blog because my computer was dropped and broken. By me, the BIG GIRL, remember?

So, just wanted to let you guys know that I will not be posting as many updates until I get a new one which will hopefully be soon!

Isabelle is still doing well and we have an appointment with her surgeon one week from today for x-rays and to see how her skin and skull are holding up in the halo. Pray that everything looks good!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Biochemical Warfare

In case you guys didn't know this about me I can some times over exaggerate, swear there is something wrong with me when it's really not possible, and between last night and this afternoon I convinced myself that I had come in contact with anthrax or some other chemical agent and then that I had some kind of mystery disease that would not be discovered until I was 50. Seriously...I am THAT crazy. Well not really...anywho, on to my story.

Last night my sister and I arrived home from dinner. My mom and Belli were waiting at the top of the front steps to greet us. We stood outside for a minute when suddenly I was overcome with a burning sensation in my throat. I couldn't breathe or talk, only cough. I quickly went inside to get some water and then realized that both my sister and mother were having the same problem. After a minute or so we were all fine. It was weird to say the least. Realistically I had no clue what had happened but of course me and my wild imagination was certain a biochemical war was about to start. Right...

So, later on that night after I went to bed my lips and cheeks started burning. Great there really is a chemical war going on. I get out of bed and go ask my sister if she is burning too. Of course my sister is not burning. Only me...of course! Then, ten minutes later I notice my mouth and cheeks are not burning so much anymore...but boy do my eyes sting. So badly I can't even open them. I get up and go wash them out with water. This helps but they are still burning. I go to bed anyway and hope that I wake up in the morning burn free. And I did.

Until about 10am when I am showing an apartment at work. I notice that same burning feeling in my throat and I'm coughing in these people faces. I then begin to notice that my face, tongue and lips are burning again too. At this point I have now convinced myself that there must not be any chemical warfare going on because no one else seems to be bothered. Instead, I start thinking about that show Mystery Diagnosis where these people go years and years and years with all these weird symptoms and no one can figure out what is wrong. Yea...that would happen to me.

So, from that time until about 12pm I sit and mull it over and try to figure out what is wrong with me. Another couple comes in to look at an apartment. I take them. Then, upon getting back in my car I look down and see rusty orange stains on my right pants leg right above my knee. That's weird. Where did that come from? Then I see another drop. And another. What the heck. What is dripping? No? No way! My mace! It's cracked! I'm being maced! Woohoo!!! I don't have a disease! Yep that's right. From the time my sister and I got home last night until noon this afternoon I had been getting small doses of mace on my hands. Which then transfered to my mouth, face, eyes, EVERYWHERE. As for right when we got home the other night and all three of us got it I can only assume that was the moment the mace blew up, cracked, or did whatever it did.

Moral of the story...if you ever have any of the above symptoms and carry mace on your key ring check for cracks.

Now, I mentioned in my post last night that Isabelle we had some visitors over yesterday. Jennie, who is a friend of ours from way back, came over with her sweet little boy. To read about their visit and too see some really great pictures you can visit Jennie's blog here

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Quick Update Before the Weekend

Not too much new to report on. One of Isabelle's pin sites is starting to get irritated again and is having a little bit of drainage so please pray that it does not get infected and we do not have to make any trips to the ER this weekend. Other than that, medically speaking, there is not too much new going on at our house.

We did have some wonderful visitors today though and I will post about that as soon as I get the pictures uploaded to my computer.

Lastly, I want to thank all of those who have been coming over from MckMama's Forum. It is wonderful to see so many people from all over the US visiting our blog and praying for my sweet girl!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Heart Warming Story

I just found this article about a dog who saved the life of a boy with Downs Syndrome. This truly shows the goodness of man. Grab the tissues before you read it!

Here's the link

More BabyLegs, Stair Climbing, and Highlights

*Updated*
The nurse called me back and said she should be fine since she is not complaining and none of the pins have shifted or are loose. She just said to watch her the next day or so for any abnormal behavior or complaining of pain. She has not spoken with her doctor yet but she said she would mention it to him and if he thought she needed to come in she would call back. Hopefully we will not get that call.

*Original Post*
Here are some pictures of two other pairs of BabyLegs we bought recently.






And here is a picture of Isabelle trying to climb up the stairs. She was not successful but boy did she try! Also, if you are able to click on this picture or save and enlarge it you might be able to see the highlights in Isabelle's hair I mentioned in an earlier post. You can see them around those two back pin sites.


In other news, Isabelle has been sleeping great these past few nights. It seems that being able to role over on her side has helped things a lot.

We have an appointment set up with her PT at Children's next week to start therapy again. I know she will be excited about getting out of the house and I will be excited for Isabelle to start building up those muscles again!

Also, in case you missed my earlier Tweet Isabelle fell back on her halo earlier today. She did not cry or seem hurt in any way but I called her doctor's office just to check and I am still waiting to hear back from them. I will let you know what they say!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fashion Show and a New Trick

In case you missed my Twitter message earlier today Isabelle's BabyLegs arrived today. I was going to make her put on a fashion show for you guys and take pictures of them all but Isabelle was not cooperating. So I settled for just one pair.



I also wanted to share Isabelle's new trick with you guys. Since the halo was put on July 8th Isabelle has only been able to sleep on her back. Until now...
This was the position Isabelle was in when she woke up from her nap this afternoon and how she is currently sleeping now. I am glad she is able to be more comfortable now. The only problem is that I am not sure if she will be able to turn herself back over if she wants to and as you can see from the picture on the left she sticks her legs through the rails and can't always get them back out. So we will see how the night goes. Hopefully it will be a restful one.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Love Mornin

Here is a video of Isabelle singing Skinamarink. She LOVES this song and for some reason goes into some sort of spasm whenever you ask her to sing it. You might not be able to understand her but this is what she is saying...

"I love you"
"I love mornin"
"Aftnoon"
"I love evenin"
"Moon"

Then she quickly gets distracted by the little piece of unboiled spaghetti that is on the floor. And just in case you were wondering at the end when she closes the door she says, "Bagel" which is or dogs name. Then when she scoots over and peeks around the door she says, "Bagel...it's Bagel!" Like she didn't know she JUST closed the door on her =-)


video

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Twitter, Tweeting, and Tweets

So I have a Twitter account. I have had a Twitter account for quite some time now. I just don't ever Tweet.

But, because I know you guys want to know exactly every thing Isabelle and I are doing through out the day I decided I would start Tweeting again.

You can see my Tweets in the sidebar on the right...anytime...exciting right?

Right.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Pink Jumper and Baby Legs

We have had a great past couple of days! I got Isabelle dressed the other day in her pink OshKosh jumper....



I snapped a few pictures of Isabelle relaxing...



I bought a few pairs of BabyLegs...
I got the Pink Sport BabyLegs
I got the Wellesly BabyLegs
And the Lite and Brite BabyLegs

We are very excited!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

4th of July

Here are a couple of the 4th of July pictures we got done before the surgery. Photoshop has this really cool sketch option which is what I did to all of these.

Isabelle had a PT session earlier this week with her Early Intervention therapist. She did pretty well. She did some standing at the couch but they mainly worked on sit to stand in order to build her endurance back up. She was not able to stand up for very long. I plan on setting up an appointment with her PT at Children's soon and then we will start back at The Bell Center on September 9th.

On another medical note, the pin site that was giving us some trouble a few weeks ago is starting to act up again. Please continue to pray for healing of her pin sites and no infections. She has done so well so far so let's keep it up! Oh, and on a funny side note the hair around the four pin sites in the back have turned blond from the peroxide I use to clean her pin sites with. She is definitely the only two year old I know with high lites.

While I am here I also have a favor to ask you guys. Although this blog is mainly for Isabelle updates I do want to give you guys a little update on my life and ask that you pray for wisdom for decisions I will need to be making within the next month. As of August 8th I will officially be a college graduate. HOORAY!!!! While this is great, exciting, and long awaited news I am now faced with having to make decisions about our future. Now that I am a single mom I need to think about stability as well as safety and money. There are many jobs a Criminal Justice major can get, they just are not always safe or pay well. Not to mention the fact that there just aren't many jobs out there right now anyway. I also have the option of continuing with school which I plan to do eventually anyway. I am just not sure now is the right time. Anyway, to make a long story short, I have a lot of options I am toying with right now and just need the wisdom to know the right thing to do. So any prayers, advice, or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.












Monday, August 3, 2009

No News is Good News, So Pictures It Is




I don't have any news to update on but I want to keep you guys happy. So, what better to keep you happy than to post some more pictures of Isabelle. These were taken the night before we went to the hospital. And yes, I am sitting in her wagon with her =-)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Belli!

Isabelle is two today! How far she has come...
Two years ago, before Isabelle had any orthopedic intervention
One year ago, post knee and feet surgery



In July before her surgery
Now!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Some time soon I am going to try and post more of the photos from July. They gave me a disk with all of the pictures on them, I just need to edit them a little bit. I also have a hysterically funny video of Isabelle I have been trying to post since last night but for some reason it won't upload. I will keep trying but if it doesn't work I may post it on Facebook and just link you guys to it. We'll see though!

Oh yea, don't forget to read the post below and make a comment so Isabelle will know about all the wonderful people who care so much about her! Of course you don't HAVE to...but you can just think of it as signing a card =-)