Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012 - Day After Surgery

It is the day after surgery and we had to take the outer bandages off.  After taking the outer bandages off, we instilled five drops of the antibiotic ear drops and covered the inner ear packing with a cotton ball.  I tried to clean the outside of the ear with peroxide the best I could.  But as you can see by the pictures, the doctor basically cut her ear from top to bottom on the backside and pulled the ear away from the head to get in and do what he needed to do.  To do this, they had to shave a little bit of her hair off again.  No matter, her hair is like a weed and grows super fast! 

She has been in no pain at all amazingly.  The only pain she complained about was getting up this morning and her neck hurting from how she had to sleep (propped up on her pillow).  We've been giving her tylenol every four hours just in case, trying to keep on top of it in case there really is pain, but the tylenol is helping it.

Here's a few pictures of what the incision looks like so you can get the general idea.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday August 16, 2012 - Ashlyn's 3rd Ear Surgery

So, we had to be at St. Joseph's Hospital this morning at 5:45 am.  Boy, are we tired!  She is now back in the OR and they just got started.  They will call us in a few minutes to let us know how much surgery it will take (less severe, or more severe).  I will post more when we find out.  This was the first time they gave her the IV before putting her under, so she was a little scared with that, but they numbed the area before giving it (and even that didn't hurt).  She didn't feel a thing.  They gave her some silly medicine for the first time and she got really silly.  She couldn't even talk...she just kept laughing and it got to the point where she could barely keep her eyes open before they took her back.  She was so silly!

1st UPDATE:  It was deeper back than he expected, but he said since he has to go back further, he might be able to fix some of the hearing while he's back there.  He will have to do a partial ear drum reconstruction and may be able to use the skin from her ear instead of a skin graft from her leg, but will not know until he does it.  So, she'll be in longer than we hoped, but we leave everything in God's hands.  We pray for Ashlyn as she goes under and we pray for the doctor to have steady hands and his gift of medicine to know what to do.  Will update more when we get the next phone call!

2nd Update:  There was a new cholesteatoma that had reformed from the ear drum to the eustachian tube to down deep and back around to the ear drum.  He took out the bones of hearing he had put in a year and a half ago since it was on that and took more skull bone to reform the bones of hearing again.  He reconstructed her ear drum and was able to use ear skin to do.  He had to open up her whole ear again from the back (basically cut her whole ear off to get in there).  This means three months of not getting wet again and repacking every two weeks.  He thinks her ear drum won't collapse this time since there was air back in her ear and he also thinks her hearing will improve more.  Not the news we were hoping for since this will mean a hard recovery ahead of us, but God is good and he will make sure she gets better.

3rd Update:  We are in recovery room now, and of course she wanted food as soon as she started coming to.  She's currently eating broccoli & cheese soup and drinking gatorade. She's such a trooper.  The nurse says that about 90% of patients that get these type of surgeries get sick to their stomach because it's dealing with the inner ear, but this is Ashlyn's 3rd surgery and she's never gotten sick.  See the new pictures at the end of her in the recovery room.  They are making us only stay in post op for 2 hours this time instead of 3 since she's always been good with her post ops.  We're going to drive home afterwards so that we can be back home and with Kaylyn too.

4th Update:  We made it home a little after 4:00 pm.  Ashlyn did pretty good in the car and I kept trying to stay awake.  We stopped about four times for restroom breaks because she had all the IV fluid and drank two gatorades before we left the hospital.  She also had another full meal of fish, green beans, and rice that we grabbed when we left the hospital.  Then we ate dinner at 5:30 pm and she ate all of that too!  Her ear started bleeding around 6:00 pm (what I mean by starting to bleed is that the blood started soaking through the bandage some).  Going to put a towel down on her bed for her to sleep tonight.  We can take the outer bandage off tomorrow and that's when we start to do the ear drops three times a day and place a clean cotton balls in her ear on top of the ear packing.  She's taking amoxicillan three times a day for five days and they're the big capsules.  I got so mad at Jason when I saw he didn't check the pills and they gave us the adult capsules, but I tried it with Ashlyn and she was able to swallow after three attempts.  Awesome!  Good thing we came home though, cause Kaylyn had a lot of homework and studying to do.  It is now 7:30 and we are done with everything and getting the girls ready for bed.  Soon thereafter, I will be going to bed too since I can barely keep my eyes open :-)  Ashlyn's kind of upset though since it ended up being the more difficult surgery because that means she won't be able to join CCA's swim team this year.  It's a good thing we did the summer swim team so she at least got that.

To see info on Ashlyn's 1st Cholesteatoma surgery, click here.
To see info on Ashlyn's 2nd Cholesteatoma surgery, click here.

Ashlyn in the pre-op room
In the Holding room

Ashlyn & Dr. Farrior
Before silly medicine

After Silly medicine

In Post Op

Eating an entire bowl of broccoli & cheese soup

Sunday August 12 - Grandma Edgemon's 91st Birthday

This past weekend Grandma Edgmon turned 91 and we celebrated it with her in Daytona Beach.  The girls went swimming in the pool and we walked down to the beach and went in the water a little.  There was a storm coming in so we came back inside. 

UPDATED with pictures from the underwater camera!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 8, 2012 - First Day of School

Today was the first day of school, can you believe it?  The girls were ready to go back!  They had a good first day.  Kaylyn is now in the 5th grade having many teachers (Mrs. Meyers for Homeroom and Science, Mrs. Rogers for Language Arts & Reading, Mrs. Watson for History, Mrs. Sharp for Bible, Mrs. Campbell for Math, and of course all her specials like P.E., Spanish, Computer, Library, Art, and Music).  Ashlyn is now in the 3rd grade having Mrs. Lightle for everything except for Science she has Mrs. Velie and then all her specials.  Kaylyn got home and had contracts to fill out and a personal poster to create.  We got on Creative Memories and did a 12x12 page print for that and are having it printed at Kinko's (which takes 4 hours to print, so she won't get it until tomorrow).  Ashlyn had to go on edline and see what picture her teacher posted.  For one of Kaylyn's classes, I had to write about Kaylyn in a million words or less.  It was cute!  I'll post the words I wrote below.

Kaylyn Barton

            Kaylyn was our successful frozen embryo pregnancy.  She was definitely a miracle from God!  We have adored her since the day she made it into this world, which was three weeks early might we add.  She started out as a toddler not knowing how to express her feelings and not talking by the age of two.  We took her to be tested for speech, and instead came out with occupational therapy so that she could learn to control her emotions.  They claimed she had tactile dysfunction.  She did some sensory integration and group therapy along with the occupational therapy and it helped some.  The true changes started happening closer to the end of the three year old program at CCA.
She didn’t seem to like anyone that wasn’t her mommy, daddy, or grandmothers.  She feared most people, especially men.  It took her awhile to talk to you and warm up to you, sometimes even months, but once she did, boy, did she love you!  Pre-K became a little easier and by the time she started Kindergarten she was a completely different child.  She warmed up to most people immediately and started to become a social butterfly.  She still had some difficulties with controlling her emotions, but they were shorter lived.  Even to this day, she’s still our emotional little-big girl, but she can be so loving and caring to others.
She goes through phases of liking certain things, and it’s a little obsessive.  When she was younger, it was Princess Ariel and Princess Jasmine.  Then it was big cats (cheetahs mostly).  She used to tell everyone that she was so fast because she had cheetah blood.  That was about two years and then it moved on to Siberian Huskies, which also lasted two years.  She is now moving towards American Girl Dolls, so for her birthday she got another American Girl doll and lots of accessories for the ones she already had and herself.  That was the most happy I’ve seen her at any of her birthday parties opening presents.  It was sweet!
This November will be three years since we travelled to China to bring her sister, Ashlyn, home.  She was so excited to be getting a sister.  Now that it has been almost three years, they definitely act like sisters.  Ashlyn, the younger one, antagonizes Kaylyn and in return, Kaylyn is mean to Ashlyn.  But, when they play nice together, it’s very sweet.
Our family enjoys taking vacations.  Kaylyn has been on six Disney cruises, been to Beaches in Boscobel (Jamaica), China, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.  She has also stayed many weeks at multiple Disney resorts.  We believe that these vacations make great childhood memories, and we hope to continue them for as long as we can.
We have one dog and one cat.  The dog, Scout, is coming up on 13 years old and the cat, Gabby, just turned 9.  Kaylyn loves the animals and in fact, she loves all animals.  She actually wants to be a zoo keeper when she grows up.  We tell her that she can be whatever she wants as long as she goes to college.  She’s done zoo camp at least eight times and it never gets old to her.
Kaylyn is very smart and has made all A’s throughout her academics, with the exception of one B.  She got her first B last year and wasn’t as devastated as I expected her to be, which was good.  She won first place in the science fair in 3rd grade and she won 2nd place in the school spelling bee last year, while in 4th grade.  But, when she got second place in the school science fair in 4th grade, she wouldn’t stop crying and being angry because she didn’t get 1st.  She is so strong willed and will tell you what she believes even if it goes against what you say.  Like at zoo camp, the instructors were teaching on dinosaurs and how they lived millions of years ago.  Kaylyn had to correct the instructor and explain to her that the earth has only been around for a little more than 6,000 years if you believe in the Bible.
Kaylyn enjoys playing many different sports, including swimming, volleyball, and basketball.  She has also played baseball and soccer, but doesn’t enjoy these ones as much.  She has been on the CCA swim team and basketball team for the last two years, and volleyball this past year.  She’s pretty athletic, and because she is so strong willed, she gets upset easily when she doesn’t place first in a swim meet, or misses a ball in volleyball.  We are working with her on this, but it is difficult.
We love this little girl so much, and we only pray that she will grow up and be the woman that God wants her to be, while making Him look good the whole way!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What's happening with Ashlyn?

So, we went to the ENT for Ashlyn's normal ear check-up a few weeks ago.  There was stuff in her ear that he needed to clean out and it was pretty "crusty".  He could not get it all and said there was an air pocket that hadn't healed in her ear drum and he couldn't see way down behind it and said that we needed to make an appointment with her ear doctor in Tampa.  Last week she went to Tampa to see him and he cleaned as much as he could, but she was screaming and he was afraid that she would move.  He suggested putting her under to get in there clean it out and fix some things.  The air pocket was going all the way back to her eustachian tube, which is where the cholesteatoma started previously and he is worried that another one may try to start forming.  Depending on how the ear drum looks with that air pocket, he may need to do another tympanostomy reconstruction (ear drum reconstruction), which would require another skin graft from her other leg.

On top of all that, her orthodontist has her mouth at severe overcrowding.  It's so overcrowded, the bottom K-9 teeth have nowhere to come up.  So, she wanted to get three baby teeth and four permanent teeth removed.  So, yesterday she went to the oral surgeon and had 3 baby teeth (2 bottom pre-molars and one top pre-molar...she had already the other top baby pre-molar removed at the beginning of the year since it was dying) and two adult teeth (bottom 1st molars) that were buried below the gumline removed.  Her top will have enough room, we think, for the adult 1st molars to come down and then be pulled at a later time.  To do all of this, she took 10 mg of valium an hour before the appt and then was on laughing gas.  The screams started before the shots even were given and did not let up until the last shot was given, which wasn't for about twenty minutes!  I was able to stay in the room until the screaming started and wouldn't stop.  Then I had to sit in the waiting room (although I stood) and listen to the screaming from there.  But, when it was all over, she was happy and content...anybody that knows Ashlyn, knows this to be her character.  Too funny!  So, she is five teeth less today with three stitches (bankrupting the tooth fairy).

Right after we left the oral surgeon's office, we had to head over to meet your teacher day to drop off all the school supplies and turn in some more forms.  Oh boy, Ashlyn was still kind of out of it and emotional from the valium and had bloody gauze sticking out of her mouth!  That poor child had everyone's attention and I had to explain to everyone what she had just been through.  By the evening time, we had to go to parent orientation at the school and the girls were dropped off at childcare and when we picked them up, Ashlyn was jumping and dancing around the room!  I had to actually yell at her not jump around and run around, because she could start the bleeding again.

Today, Jason is driving the girls over to Tampa for Ashlyn's pre-op with the ear doctor and a hearing test.  Not sure if she'll have to do a pre-op over at St. Josephs or not, but wanted to get it done before school since school starts tomorrow.  The surgery will be next Thursday (August 16th), so she'll miss Thursday and Friday of the second week of school.  Please pray for Ashlyn that she will not need an ear drum reconstruction, as that will be a much harder and longer recovery!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kaylyn's Birthday Weekend at Disney

For Kaylyn's birthday party with friends, we decided to let her invite two of her friends to Disney for two days.  It was hard to choose two people since she has so many friends, so she chose two that did not or no longer have passes to Disney, so that they may enjoy it with her.  We headed over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for the day and night.  We ate lunch right after checking in and then we started doing the kids activities the rest of the day.  We did the Animal Enrichment at 1:00 which was making a hay and mulch tray of food for the animals, we did the Wildlife Games at 2:00, we did the Bio Blocks at 2:45, and then we swam for about a half hour before a storm came in.  We did the Music of the Savannah at 5:15 and then we did the Have You Heard game at 6:15.  All of these activities had the kids earn a bead each and after five beads you get a stretch bead, so they got six beads on their strings.  They were very excited about this.  Shelby ended up losing hers and a worker gave her his entire strand of nine beads...everyone was jealous :-)  After all the activities, we ate dinner at Sanaa which was pretty flavorful and yummy.  We headed back to the room after all the excitement where Kaylyn opened her presents and then we headed off to dreamland.

The Birthday Invitation

A one eyed ostrich who ate the girls hay and mulch enrichment

These animals headed over to eat some of it too

This was outside our hotel balcony!

We woke up at 7:00 am the next morning to try and make it to Magic Kingdom by 9:00.  After getting dressed, eating breakfast, driving down there, and getting on the Monorail, we got there at about 9:30 am.  Not too bad of timing!  The lines weren't that bad the entire day and it only drizzled some which felt good in the heat.  It was like standing under the cooling stations constantly for about an hour.