Friday, October 29, 2010

Surgery scheduled

We made it home from our 36 hour rendezvous in Atlanta... and the results of our 10 minute follow up consultation with the transplant dentist: surgery is needed. This was totally expected, so it did not come out of left field, but we are still slightly bummed to have to put Grace through yet another procedure. 
For those not familiar with Grace’s oral background, her main immunosuppressant (anti-rejection medication) causes her gums to thicken and thus not slough off (as our skin does). What this has done is cause the gums to “grow” over her teeth in some areas and also caused some of her teeth to shift. In addition to these issues, it has also caused thick calluses to grow where her two year old molars need to push though. So the reasons for surgery are: thick, callused gums, shifted teeth and the risk of bacteria build up under the thick gums. 
What the surgery will entail is using a laser to cut off the excess gums and then using some kind of cauterizing iron to flatten them out into place. The doctor said that because Grace’s gums are very healthy there should be minimal bleeding and thus minimal pain. It sounds pretty horrible to me, but he promised. It is done outpatient, but under general anesthesia. He said in the 9 years he has been doing this procedure on transplant kiddos he has only had to admit 2 overnight due to pain maintenance. Her surgery is scheduled for Nov. 9th, so she should hopefully have a great set of chompers ready just in time for Thanksgiving turkey.
We will keep you guys posted! Please continue to keep her in your prayers for a safe journey and surgery. 
Thank You!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Overdue Update

I can' t believe it has been nearly two months since my last update. No news is good news, as they say! Grace is still doing phenomenally well in school. She is soaking it all in and I'm so proud of all the things she is learning. She is singing songs, writing ABC's and all things 3 years old! She is having so much fun playing with all of her new friends and is in love with her teachers. We really couldn't be more pleased with her first real school experience.

She has come home sick, but she managed to catch everything at one time so that she didn't have to miss out on too many school days. ;o) She had a stomach bug, ear infection, tonsillitis and a cold all at once, but she is such a super trooper she only stayed down and out for one day then she was back in action, although we kept her home for several more days. We still see the effects of the pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) she had almost two years ago and when she gets a respiratory infection we have to bust out the inhaler due to her scarred lungs. I'm not sure if this is permanent or not (I'm guessing yes at this point), but it sure beats the cystic fibrosis vest they first spoke of sending her home with!

We have been otherwise keeping busy. Grace still loves ballet and is doing very well in the class. She struggled at first following directions because she just wanted to jump and twirl, but she seems to have finally gotten the hang of it. We went to Seward Farms this past weekend and had a blast weaving through the corn maze, riding the cow train, taking a hayride and just generally goofing off. We are geared up for Halloween and Grace is so excited to be "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast.

We will be making a trek up to Atlanta this Thursday for a follow up visit with the transplant dentist. He will be re-evaluating the molar situation and determining the best course of action depending on the results. I have a strong feeling that the result will be a trip to the OR to help the ease the molar down (and flattening out the overgrown gums while there), because Grace has not been a fan of the medicine we are to brush on the back molar area twice a day and doesn't let us do it properly. I haven't seen a whole lot of progress, but we will wait to hear what Dr. T says.

It has been almost 4 years to the day since we heard the words that forever changed our lives... "I don't see a fourth chamber in the baby's heart" and "oh the places we've been!" Dr. Suess didn't properly prepare us for this journey, but I think we have managed as best as we could have. I had no idea I would/could one day learn just what a miracle a single heart beat is and just how amazing the human body is.

I will post an update after the appointment on Friday. Thank you for keeping up with us! Please keep us in your prayers for safe travels and a good appointment!