Remember Me?
Hey stranger! Remember me? I really couldn't blame you if you didn't. It has been a while, after all. When you last heard from me over a year ago (wow!), I mentioned that life had been pretty crazy. Well, in that sense, not so very much has changed. But hey, that's life! And, as you may have gathered, I am back. I have really missed blogging. I miss writing about my journey and sharing my silly stories... And I also miss hearing from my lovely, encouraging friends. So check back soon! You can expect stories of many kinds, stories of grand adventures with lions, tigers, bears, and -- You guessed it -- A puppy dog, of course. 😉 But for now I simply wanted to say "Hi, friend!" (I was just kidding about that whole stranger thing... We are still friends, aren't we?) I hope that you have been blessed with as many smiles as I have this past year.   

"A merry heart does good like medicine." -- Proverbs 17:22

Have yourself a happy little Easter!

 With lots of love (and oodles of Doodle kisses 🐶💋) -- Sarah Kate (and Alice Eloise, too!)

PS Just in case you happened to forget, this is us. Tootles!

Posted in Journal | 28 Comments
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

The procedure yesterday went better than I would have anticipated.  It seems that the doctor was able to address things more thoroughly than has been the case in the past so hopefully we can keep these terrible obstructions from reoccurring.  I was pretty concerned about anesthesia two days in a row, but that too went o.k.   All in all, although two separate procedures on two separate days seemed overwhelming on Thursday, after the fact it seems that it may have been for the best.  Today will likely be a tough one for Sarah as they taper her off the sedation that they use to keep her comfortable so your continued prayers would truly be appreciated.

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Update & Request for Continued Prayers
They have changed out Sarah’s G/J tube rather than trying to reposition it. There was concern that the tube might be defective because it has never really worked quite right. Unfortunately, her doctor could not properly address the impaction today so they will attempt to put medication through her J tube tonight in hopes that might help. If it does not, they will have to put Sarah out again tomorrow when they are more fully prepared to meet her needs. Please pray that they can keep Sarah comfortable and that she is able to rest. Admittedly, I am scared and sad with how today has gone, but I continue to remind myself that it is God’s way, His timing, and that He is forever faithful. As always, thanks for the prayers and support.    
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Prayer Request
Sarah has yet another bowel obstruction and her feeding tube is dislocated ... so in a few hours, she will be going under anesthesia yet again to address these problems. We are truly thankful that Dr. Bowen, her beloved anesthesiologist, is available as anesthesia is always very difficult and complicated for her. Her other wonderful doctors will be taking care of her as well. God continues to provide for Sarah’s needs and gives her strength and perseverance to endure so very much. We would appreciate your prayers as the next few days she will surely face many challenges.
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And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.    Philippians 4:19

Sarah’s procedures went well; but as we have come to anticipate, her pain is terrible. Her doctors have been remarkable in their efforts to address all of her needs and the nurses on this floor are among the best. We are also truly thankful for all the love, support, and prayers of our family and friends and really could not be more appreciative. About the last thing Sarah said to me before going off to sleep before her procedures was, “I wonder how my boy is?” She is such a sweet Auntie ... always thinking about and praying for her little guy. She spent hours researching baby mobiles, and I can’t wait to share this little video with her when she is feeling better.

Auntie Sairee … you, your little guy, and your sweet gift are awesome!

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Christmas Crazy & A Prayer Request
Merry Christmas and happy 2016, friends! I hope that your holiday season was just as blessed, but perhaps not quite as crazy, as mine has been. But regardless of the crazy factor, everybody knows that Christmastime is my very favorite time of the year. On any given day, if you were to ask me, "What is better than a Christmas tree?", I would wholeheartedly answer, "TWO CHRISTMAS TREES!" And this year that wish came true! But this happened in such a way that, by the end of the debacle, I was the only one who still loved Christmas trees. In the past we have always had real Christmas trees. But anticipating that we would be having a hectic winter, this year we decided to go the "easy" route and give a pre-lit artificial tree a try. As my papa and I decorated the tree on St. Nicholas Eve, all was going splendidly. By the time I settled in for the night I had a dazzlingly beautiful Christmas tree! All was merry and bright. But when I awoke on St. Nicholas Day it was a bit less merry and a lot less bright. Not a single light on our tree was shining. Not to worry, though... With a little "Christmas magic" (and a few hours more work) we found not one but two Christmas trees in our living room!  I told you it was magical! *Magical* may not be the word my parents would use. As a matter of fact, I have a direct quote from my dad. For context I should tell you that we were partially inspired by my Aunt Janet's magnificent artificial tree. However when our Christmas tree emerged from its box, I believe that Papa's exact words were, "It doesn't look like Janet's".

True story. It did not look like Janet's. I even heard my mama say, "I hate Christmas trees." Sometimes I question if I could be an elf adopted and raised by humans! You can take the elf out of the North Pole, but you can't take the North Pole out of the elf. Even more crazy than the Christmas tree fiasco, I had surgery to place a gastrostomy (G tube) just  before Christmas. But I was truly blessed to have a special place to spend my recovery period. On Christmas Eve I was released from the hospital and taken by ambulance to my big sister Krista's house! She and Tim were extremely kind in letting my parents, Alice Eloise, and me stay with them for two whole weeks so that we could celebrate the holidays together. For Alice Eloise, this meant FUN with Cousin Lulu… Perhaps a bit too much fun, but hey, it was Christmas vacation after all!

As for me, our extended stay meant getting better acquainted with Everett, my new baby nephew. It just so happens that my hospital bed was perfect for snuggling. And what could be more healing than snuggles with this sweet little guy? You should see him now; those cheeks have grown exponentially to become irresistibly kissable!

My memory has a tendency to become a bit misty when I am very sick, so I don't remember much about my first couple of weeks post-op. But I imagine that we all enjoyed a lovely Christmas together. Now, don't ask me what happened - I just do not know - But like I said, I am sure it was simply lovely. And what's more, the first time I was able to leave the bedroom was the day of Everett's baptism. It was such a blessing to be a part of my buddy's special day!

As you may (or, more likely, may not) recall, I was originally supposed to have a gastrojejunostomy tube (GJ tube) placed during my recent surgery. Those plans changed slightly, though, as the doctors thought that this particular surgery would be too traumatic for my body. Instead they placed the G tube I have now with the intention of converting it to a GJ tube later. This means that my tube has only one port that leads directly into my stomach, without access to the jejunum. I do believe that this was the right decision, as I have had quite a time recovering from the G tube surgery as it is. Which leads me to - you guessed it - a prayer request. Yes, I know, I have made many such requests lately, but I am hoping they will slow down soon. But today I will be having surgery to place both my GJ tube and a new central line. I am a bit nervous, as last time I had combined procedures I was paralyzed for a week and my right arm never woke up. Today will be better, though. I have my trustworthy anesthesiologist, my personal protocol, an ICU step-down unit with doctors and nurses who will do their best to manage my pain... And I hope that I will also have your prayers! They help the very most. Well friends, I am off to take a long winter's nap. Make a snow angel for me! PS Happy Laura Admiration Week to my cousin Honeypie! I hope that for your special week the rest of the world sees your admirable glimmer the way that I do.
Posted in Fun, Gastroparesis, inpatient, Prayer Request, surgery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments
Merry Christmas, Friends
I wanted to give a quick update. Sarah is still in quite a bit of pain, but slowly improving each day. After a bit of coordination, we were able to have a hospital bed delivered to my house, and Sarah is here with us for Christmas. While this isn't exactly the Christmas celebration we all imagined, we are so thankful to have her and Mom here and to celebrate together. While the gifts didn't really get bought or wrapped this year, we're beyond grateful as we reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and the hope it brings. ❤  Krista
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