Saturday, June 26, 2010

To Vacate: to give up or leave a position, office, etc.

We just returned from the best family vacation that we've had in years today. Ahhhhh. I can breath again and that tight feeling is gone in my chest. We had a chance to stop and think and reflect on our life. I think that it is taking me years to decompress from this last phase of life with the babies coming fast and furious, job changes and and cross-country moves but I think it may be happening. We have lived in the Burg for two years and in our home for one year. We have a garden and a clothesline. We buy books by the ton (I probably mean this literally) without worrying about needing to move them soon. I have one year of homeschooling under my belt and have been depression-free for over a year. We have bikes and several bird-feeders (I've recently entered my bird-phase). We have a Costco membership and I'm in a Bible study with wonderful friends. I'm six moths post-partum and not pregnant for the first time in three babies. So I'm starting to breathe again.

This vacation restored me to the status of being a person. I did stuff. Thanks, mainly to my brother James, for the first time in years I did stuff. I "played volleyball" (read: I stood in a spot while the other people covered all but the 2 square feet surrounding me). I played whiffle ball. I went out late at night to help my brother celebrate his 21st birthday. I spoke to great people who are not yet in, or are no longer in, my particular state in life. They don't even know what an Ergo is! I talked about God and prayed to Him. I went to a bonfire and sang songs and had smores. I went to Lake Michigan and climbed a sand dune. I talked to my brothers about school and girls. I spent lots of time with people who knew me before I became Mom. People who remember, even when I don't, that I am Alexis. It wasn't until we were driving home (a hideous 15 hour drive in which Rosie and Thomas did not fall asleep until midnight in spite of a dose of NyQuil - or maybe because of it? I was not able to be a person on that drive at ALL) that I realized why I was so reticent to leave. I feel like a starving person who just started to have her hunger satisfied and I was filling up on as much person-time as possible. But after a much-interrupted conversation with John I think that we are in yet another transition.
This next phase of life is the one where time "flies by" because it's so good. No major life upheavals (God willing!) for a while. We made a plan (a Rule, if you will) that will ensure that we each get some "being a person time" so that we don't start to starve again without any hunger pangs. We may still get hungry but at least now we know that food exists and we have a way to get to it.
I can feel the peace seeping into my soul and I'm dreaming about rhythm and breathing. About being alone in a canoe on a still lake with the full moon rising and a loon swimming nearby. It was a good vacation. And I just finished watching the fireworks with my husband from the roof of our porch (very 'A Whole New World') while the kids slept, so coming home can be wonderful too.

Joey Update 6/26/10

Sorry for the sudden drop off in updates. Hopefully you were able to keep up with Kate on her blog or on Facebook. We went on vacation under the impression that we would have internet access but there was none. We were able to keep in touch with the Trammas via cell phone which was important but were not able to pass on the information.
So, in case you were relying on me for information, here it is, much delayed.
Joey had a very risky surgery to open up the valve that was reducing blood flow to his body and compromising the proper functioning of his organs. It was SUCCESSFULL!!! Very important and very exciting.
They waited for his lungs to dry out (?) and then successfully weaned him off of the life support. YAY!
He is receiving his mother's milk via feeding tube and digesting it. YAY!
He breathes 90% on his own and the breathing tube does the other 10% when needed. It is mostly needed when he is getting upset. Over the next few days they will hope to get him breathing entirely on his own.
He also had some withdrawal symptoms from the narcotic painkillers and will be on methadone while the wean him off the pain killers.
He will have the another surgery again in a few months to open that valve up as he grows and needs more blood but the older he gets the less risky it becomes.
It's a marathon but thank God for the marathon. Modern medicine and prayers are a beautiful combination. Thank you so much for your prayers and sacrifices. Keep them up for the Trammas who will be on this road for a long time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

6/16 9:30 am Joey update

Pat's text:
"They're putting him on full life support this morning to stabilize him for a valve-opening procedure tomorrow. The biggest risks will be weaning him from it in a couple days. St. Joe, pray for us."
Having spoken to Pat a little more in depth last night we know that the mis-functioning valve is the problem that is causing his blood pressure to drop to such dangerous levels. His poor little body is just not able to support all of the vital organs enough to stabilize him for the necessary surgery but going on full life support means that his body won't be as quick and sharp and able to adjust as it is now, hence the danger being weaning him off in a couple days.
Pray for Pat and for Kate. They are strong and have family support and priestly consolation but this is a very hard road to walk down.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Joey Update

Joey is stabilizing for now and the Trammas are very grateful for everyone's prayers. Around 6:15 pm tonight his BP dropped dangerously low and his less essential organs had begun to shut down. The hospital staff tried everything to get it up and they were about to use the heart/lung machine to relieve the stress on his heart when he began to improve. Pat says that the situation is stable "but still dire." The use of the heart/lung machine carries some risks and likely complications so it is good that they didn't have to use it today. Apparently patients that have to use this particular machine have a 50/50 survival rate. Pat said that the best case scenario from here would be a gradual increase in Joey's capacity to breath easily and pump enough blood through his body on his own. There are many risks and dangers along the way, and so they ask that you keep up your prayers.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. St. Joseph, pray for us. St. Thomas, pray for us.

Update on Joey

He got out of surgery and was doing well but has taken a turn for the worse. Please pray. No phone calls to the parents, please.

requesting prayers

Our very dear friends have got a huge burden to carry today and over the next several months. Their teeny-tiny guy (11 days old today), after being home with a clean bill of health for one week, has been unexpectedly diagnosed with three separate heart defects and is undergoing open-heart surgery for the most complicated one this morning at 7:30 am. Please be their Simon of Cyrene by offering prayers over the next several months and especially this morning. His name is Joseph Thomas and he is...well. He is a completely dear and wonderful little person who has been working very hard to stay alive for the past week. Please pray...