Monday, December 12, 2011

Pic and news update

First of all, here is a picture of Anna's beautiful eyes!


This is me again, Matt. Wasn't it nice to see a post by my wonderful wife last night? She has such a calm, soothing spirit, doesn't she?

Okay - back to Anna...she opened her eyes for me this morning. Well, I like to think she opened em for me, but I think we all know she just opened them because, well, babies do that. I had to move my head around to get it into place so I could say "she's looking at me!" But, hey - sometimes we have to fool ourselves into thinking things that help us feel better, right.

Anyway - it was a pleasure to see her looking around. She peeked around a bit, closed them and opened them a few times, then went back to her normal & peaceful look. It was sssooo cool. Except for the fact that Alissa missed it...

As for the news, Anna had some fluid build up on the right side of her chest, so there was concern that she may have had some clotting in or around the cannulae, which is the thing that drains the blood back into the heart after going through the ECMO. By the way, since I don't think we have ever explained: ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. I could give you the technical rundown of what that is, but you could also google it and do as little or as much research as you want. So there.

Again - I am distracted. Back to the story. Fluid on right side, clotting around cannulae... The surgeon went back into her chest (which they left open in case they needed to do something like this...) and did indeed find some clotting. He cleaned it up, took out some of the fluid (blood), and put in a couple of stitches, then redressed her. They say she is now looking good, and resting again.

By the way, none of the attending folks thought this was any kind of emergency. While it is not normal for this to happen, it is something that occurs occasionally, especially for patients like Anna who has had surgery. Basically, the doctors/nurses have to walk a fine line. The ECMO requires Anna to be on blood thinners, since clots form very easy when blood comes into contact with the plastic tubbing of the ECMO machine. As you can imagine, a body that just went through surgery doesn't need a blood thinner, since the body needs to coagulate in order to heal the intrusions. So that's the fine line they walk: keep enough blood thinner in to keep clots from forming, but not too much that she just keeps bleeding. As such, extra fluid forming from clots is a fairly common side-effect.

So, what this all means is we are taking a couple of steps back. In order for them to start weening her off the ECMO, they need her extra fluids to go bye-bye. The reason being: extra fluid in the body puts pressure on the organs. And any extra pressure on the heart and lungs for Anna is bad, since they are still trying to heal up from the surgery. So the goal: reduce swelling, so the heart and lungs have as much space as possible to pump. Had she not had this setback, they would have started today to try and slowly take the ECMO down, and let the heart/lungs take over. However, since they needed to go back in, we will have to wait a couple of more days for the swelling to go back down and to start the weening process.

WAKE UP!!!

Sorry. Figured had to do that to all of you who fell asleep during that page-turning section of explanation...

What does all of this mean? Well, we could still use your prayers and support. Not that I doubt any of you are slowing your prayer-horse down any...

In other news, the sun is shining and it feels good to see that. Liss and I both slept okay last night. We had a great breakfast at a new restaurant nearby. We all ordered our own dishes, and I think we could have feed at least 10 people with all the food we got. We have some leftovers if anyone wants them, just come on down.

Love you all, and thank you again. I don't pity you the headache you will have when you wake up. But for now, sleep well, and dream of large women. Yes, that last sentence was a quote from a movie (or as near as I could remember). 10 points for the first person to get it right.

25 comments:

  1. I love that sight!! Glad they were able to take care of her quickly and continue with the healing.

    PS...Princess Bride :)

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  2. Ah, Sherry beat me - Princess Bride! hahaha - anyway - still praying. God do Your stuff - amen! We're with you!

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  3. "No more rhymes now, I mean it!"... Oh, my favorite movie!!! I'm so glad you have had some moments with your little sweetie and your big sweetie. You are definitely still very much in our prayers. We love you!! KK

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  4. She is so beautiful and thank you for sharing pictures of your angel. I have been following your blog and am so happy for the miracles God has blessed you all with. You are in our prayers daily. Your strength and trust in God is inspiring and you are giving so much to those of us who are following Anna Joy's progress. I pray for strength for all of you and for the healing power of Christ. God Bless you all.

    Patti McBride-Becker (friend of your mother-in-law)

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  5. KK - you beat me to it! "Never match wits with a Cicilian!"

    I love the technical details - allows me to pray with a picture in my mind... Bless you BOTH with rest and peace and "the prayers of the saints!" prayers abound...

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  6. Beautiful open eyes! Thank you for posting that picture. So glad the procedure today went fine and Anna Joy can be back on the mend. Still praying for all of you - much much love!

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  7. Oh, she is SO cute!! I just wanted to thank you guys for having this blog & for updating it so regularly. I know I am one of many who check it multiple times a day (thank you, smartphone, for making it so easy!) and am continuing to pray for your beautiful family of four AND your extended family constantly. We love you and are ready & willing to do anything at all if you need it -- please let us know. Also, I have family all over also following your story & praying for you, even out of state. The youth group in Forks, WA (where my cousin's fam lives) prayed for little Anna the night you checked into the hospital. Thanks again, Matt & Liss! Sending our love & lifting you in prayer always, Amy & Thomas

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  8. Princess bride... although I totally admit that I didn't know it and stole it from another commenter (at least I'm honest...)

    Your ECMO explanation was right on. Annabelle was on it after her Norwood for a couple of days. LOVE the pictures, even the ones last night!! She is beautiful!!

    Praying for you and your wife, for good sleep, and peace.

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  9. You guys are so funny and so amazing....you KNOW that Anna has just taken you onto a "medical mission field" Who needs to go to Paupa New Guinea or Peru? You have CHMC!! I love the way the narratives go - I understand them!! We, too have had a daughter with heart surery (except she was much older) so we know the ache and the joy at the same time. Let the tears be ones of gratitude and humility, of joy but NEVER of fear - for you know who THAT is from, and it ain't the Angel Gabriel!!
    From our corner, we came thru the blizzard ok - only a foot of snow to our already 2ft - our daughter (yep - the heart one) had 100 mph winds at her place and is still out of power. So YOU do US a favor - quite sending YOUR "Pineapple Expresses" up here!! But enjoy the Sonshine.....I'm glad you are together, and glad we get to 'know' you a bit, and even have friends in common, with the Griffiths (BTW: it's both Chris and Mindy's birthdays this week!) Blessings and s'mores from Alaska!

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  10. We shared the King 5 Video news report and the updates after Anna was born with our congregation on Sunday. We are praying. If you need anything, we are in West Seattle and can be there pretty quick.

    - David and Lisa Chambers

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  11. Totally from Princess Bride! I never tire of watching that movie.
    Anyway, we love you guys and continue to pray for God's strenght and peace.

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  12. Thank you for the new picture. She has beautiful eyes. Continuing to pray

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  13. Great photo....praying no clots, thin blood, healing...so awesome to see her eyes.

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  14. I don't doubt for a second that she opened her eyes for anything except her daddy's voice.

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  15. she is adorable. we will keep on playing!!!!

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  16. She is adorable! I will keep praying!

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  17. She is so beautiful....., I continue to pray.

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  18. I remember the day after I was diagnosed that my Mom and I sat there in front of a flow chart on tag board that had all of these arrows and abbreviations and dosage amounts plus crazy fractions... we were overwhelmed. By day 3 - up on the jargon like we were regulars on General Hospital or ER. I loved the "page turning" portion. It shows the determination you have for this beautiful little life to become strong enough to breathe clearly and let her heart beat without a pause. You never fail with your consistency, Pep!

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  19. Thank you for explaining the technical stuff. I don't pretend to understand it, but your explanation was clear enough for me to go, "Oh, Okay" That's good by the way. :0) Still praying God's blessings and healing on your beautiful daughter. As I read people's comments tonight, I was struck by how God's tender love for you continues to be demonstrated in the typing and praying hands of His people far and wide.

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  20. Thank you for sharing this information.
    It will really helpful to solve my confusion

    Process $ Chemical Engineering

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  21. Mike Malmin, our pastor, posted your story. It was most poignant to me, because I am walking with one of my daughters through a faith crisis; your story miraculously affirmed the call to faith. God is glorifying Himself, to everyone who hears your story, and sees that HE is building faith that will hold you through the ups and downs of healing, because you love, trust, and believe HIM most. We continue to pray for Anna’s healing, and rejoice in the blessing she is, and we pray for rest and peace, for you as parents and for your families. He is the GOD of such amazing Peace, and we thank Him for showing it through your lives.

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  22. Matt and Alissa, every day with Anna Joy is a blessing, as it has been with Isaac. I really applaud your abilities to explain the medical information, and then pop back into 'mom and dad' mode. We had our store dessert feast last night, and Sue led us in a prayer circle for Anna Joy, Peppley family and the medical team at Children's. As a group and individually, we are always thinking of you and praying for you. Keep up your amazing strength, calmness and belief! Prayers and hugs.

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  23. I haven't stopped praying for Anna and I will continue. Jehovah Rapha, God our healer. Trusting Him to do a mighty miracle!!

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  24. I have been reading all your posts since the day little Anna was born. I am praying none stop for her and your family. Make sure that you guys get enough rest also. And keep the updates coming.

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  25. I want you to know Matt that I have been praying for you and your precious baby, AnnaJoy and your wife, Alissa, through this past week. Thanks to Wendy for posting on Facebook so I could share with my many praying friends as well. God will be with you through it all and comfort you and give you strength for all you are join through. Now I'm following your blog and continue to pray late at night when I can't sleep and know you must need those prayers.

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