Saturday, July 2, 2011

A fast few days

We have made our way to the step-down unit in CHOP. In brief, Aurelia chugs along, improving with each passing day. Her pain medication woes lessen, her strength increases, and her oxygen doses decrease over time. Today she's needed no additional tylenol or ibuprofen, she is down to 1/2 a liter of oxygen, and she managed to sit upright on her own with limited support for nearly a minute. All these are wonderful milestones.

We are pushing the doctors to let us go home for even a bit before her next surgery on the 13th. We have to return here on the 12th as it is, so any time at all would be welcome. Some sense of normalcy brings with it amazing relief, even for a few days. I imagine we will be back here for two weeks more starting on the 12th, so I pray for a break soon. Our family was together at home for only a week after school ended for me before we traveled to Connecticut and found ourselves here two weeks ago.

Let me say thank you to so many of you who have supported us; your facebook messages, blog comments, phone calls, caring for our cats and one helluva hardy fish at our house in Gettysburg, and the countless prayers, positive thoughts, and well-wishes have sustained us mightily. One day last week more than 100 people read our blog, sending their good thoughts and prayers Aurelia's way, and for that we say 'thank you.'

It has been brought home to us time and again, this most recent stay no exception, that our employers, the Northeastern School District and Carroll County Public Library System, are amazingly compassionate. Colleagues have sent cards and gifts, offered help and support, and have made themselves available to us in this, and all our other, times of need. Thank you. You have helped raise our daughter and have made sure that Aurelia not only lives, but lives well and strong. You are a part of her family and we look forward to the time she meets you all.

I want to add, too, that so many of you have asked after our other daughter, Madison. Although only two, in the last year and a half she's had live-in house guests for nearly twelve weeks when my wife was on bed-rest with Aurelia, she has had to live away from home in a hotel room for nearly four of the last ten months, and she spent nearly three months with her dad two hours away in Gettysburg, as I had to work immediately after Aurelia's birth. Madison endures with great poise, and determination, and joy. Such pure, happy joy as only a two year old can have. She has been a gift to all of us, helping us laugh and smile, and encouraging us to always remember that family, no matter the challenge it endures, is most important. You have all helped raise her as well as Aurelia, in your own way. Thank you.

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