Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Today we removed Lauren's bandages and protective cup covering the ear. From here on out, she doesn't need the protection. She will still need to keep the area moist as the skin graft continues to heal. The area where the graft was taken is also healing well and her hair is already growing back. We sent some pictures back to Dr. Lewin for her to review. I have included some of those pictures here as well. It really looks amazing and it will continue to get better every day.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
So, as far as Lauren's ear, we will leave the bandages on for one more week and then we just have to keep it super moisturized over the next couple months. Her ear is still swollen and it will take over the next several months for the swelling to go down and for the ear to become more defined. We think it is beautiful and are amazed every day at the modern medical miracles.
Now on to the next surgery. It will be on July 28 and will be on her jaw to lengthen it a bit. We are so happy it will be here in Salt Lake City. Thank You so much to family and friends who have helped us in so many ways! Without all of your support we would not have been able to get through this.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Wow..5 days of Disney is about the limit. I think we did almost everything Disney has to offer. It has been a good trip for Lauren. Today she would not rest until she saw Minnie again and gave her a flower she found. We mostly just went on any rides that Lauren wanted to do again. She also picked out some gifts for her brother and sister to give to them when we return tomorrow. We visit with Dr. Lewin tomorrow afternoon and then head to the airport. Dr. Lewin will be taking off the bandages and dressing. They will be able to wash Lauren's hair for the first time in a week. This will be the first opportunity to see her new ear. Well big ear. We tell her that her little ear grew. She asked us today how old Cameron was when his ears grew. They will then bandage her back up and place the protective cup back over the ear. Becky will fly back with her on the 20th of this month to have the bandage changed again as well as do another check of the ear and how it is healing. Dr. Lewin said that no further visits will be needed but she would like to have pictures sent each week to evaluate her progress. She says a picture is worth a thousands words to her. It looks like leaving comments on here is easier now. Sorry for the issues.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
A few of you have mentioned it has been difficult to save comments. I have gone in and found some setting changes that should make that easier. Before I guess you had to register for a google account. Now, you should be able to add comments under anonymous or under name and it should work. We do appreciate the comments and support. Lauren I know appreciates it as well. Today we spent another day in Disney. One more day to go. I think we have done about everything. We saw all the parades they had to offer today. Lauren was intent on giving a flower to Minnie Mouse today, but we couldn't find Minnie to give it to her. We celebrated Mother's day the best we could for Becky. I think we missed out in the morning, but we think Disneyland gave out flowers to all Mother's that came into the park today. Becky was also greeting with a Happy Mother's Day from all the cast members in the park. She was a bit saddened that the other two kids weren't here to share it with her. However, she did get a phone call and talked to Cameron and Kara. To cheer her up, we went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. As Becky will admit, good food is one of the greatest gifts you can give her. Lauren is still doing very well. I think she is starting to slow down a bit, but so are we. We are anxious to get home soon.
The day was filled with Cotton Candy, Popcorn, Fireworks, and more rides. We even got Lauren to go on the Tower of Terror. She was not tall enough to go on a lot of the bigger rides last time we were here. We thought it may be too much for her, but she made it through unscathed. Any rides that throw her around side to side we worry a bit because we don't want her to hit her head. This ride was more up and down, so I think the concern was if she was going to be too scared to go on it rather than being in danger of hurting herself. She didn't scream or cry. She just closed her eyes and held onto us. If you ask her if she wants to go again, she says no. Just like her brother. But at least she can say she has been on a grown up ride. We are having a lot of fun but are missing home and the rest of the family. We can't wait to get home next week.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Our second day at Disneyland was spent trying to meet as many characters as possible. Lauren wanted to meet Minnie Mouse ever since she got here. She was very excited and antsy waiting in line to get her autograph and give her a hug. She is healing well. There is still some bleeding from the area where they took the skin graft and the stocking cap she has to wear makes her head itchy. Lauren is also a bit more swollen today than previously, but the doctor said that is normal. She doesn't complain though and she has gotten used to wearing it. Tomorrow should be another full day of adventure for her and us. We are going to California Adventure tomorrow and maybe back over to Disneyland in the evening for fireworks.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Five days down, Five more to go. Today was pretty uneventful. In more ways than one. But overall, Lauren is doing fine. Not much to report. We took her to Disneyland today and had a good time. We went on all the rides she wanted to go on and we plan to do more tomorrow. I think she really misses not having her brother or sister there to share this with them. We were given what I like to call the "golden ticket". It allows us to go on any ride and not have to wait in the lines. They put us right on. It is fantastic. The best part of the day however, was during dinner. We were eating at a restaurant and Lauren saw that many kids there were playing with balloons. Well, this made her want one. We were seated by the exit and a family that was leaving walked past us. There was one young girl that was around seven years old that was carrying a balloon and she glanced over at Lauren and saw all the bandages she had over her head. She waved to Lauren and walked out with her family. A few seconds later, she came right back in the door and walked up to us and gave Lauren her balloon. I was stunned and didn't know what to say. We attempted to thank her and she ran back out the door. That was awesome to see and Lauren was very grateful.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Today we had our first check up after the surgery. Lauren has been doing well and has little pain. The only medication we have given her is antibiotics to make sure she does get an infection. The appointment today was to remove the two drains that were placed during the surgery. They we placed to help remove fluid underneath the new ear as it healed. We were told the removal of the drains would be painful, and it was. This was the first time we have seen Lauren cry throughout all of this. Although it was quick to slide them out, the area is very tender and I am sure it hurt. Once they were gone, the pain subsided quickly. The doctor was very happy with her progress so far and told us some things to look for until the next appointment. She has had very little swelling and any bruising she has had is on her back from laying on the operating table for so long.
The rest of the day we spent in Beverly Hills and Hollywood. We took pictures at the Hollywood Walk of Fame and at Graumann's Chinese Theater. We also bought a map that showed locations of all the star's homes and we drove past a few. It is hard to see them because of the trees and hedges surrounding them. Very interesting places though. We have returned to the hotel and plan to rest after our long day. Tomorrow we will try to go to Disneyland. Lauren is excited and we think it will be a great way to reward her for this whole trip. We are going to try and get a stroller for her so she won't have to exert herself too much by walking around the park. Our next doctor's appointment won't be until next Tuesday, which is the day we head back home. Not sure there will be much more to update with her progress until then. That should be the first day we get to see her new ear. The dressing will be changed again and we will finally get to wash her hair. In the meantime, she has a new stocking to wear over her head and it gives her a cute ponytail out of the top.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
We have made it back to the hotel. We were with Lauren in the recovery room for a little over an hour. She acted very much like she did after the first surgery. She was disoriented and didn't understand what was covering her head. She kept trying to pull off all the tubes and wires that were hooked to her. However, she didn't seem to cry or be in much pain. She slowly started to come around and we even got her to smile. She complained of her back hurting a bit but we think it was from laying down for such a long time in surgery. She has a big mesh stocking cap that goes over her head and down her neck. The face is the only thing cut out. I think she looks like a cute white tele-tubby.
I was joking when I said we would see a celebrity here. Especially since this seems to be a major hospital. But we have famed NFL/sports announcer Al Michaels sitting in the waiting room with us. All indications is he is here to see a new baby. Not sure if he is a new grandfather..more to come.
"Do you believe in miracles!?! Yes!!"
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Afterwards, we went to have breakfast and hang out at the ocean in Manhattan Beach. Around noon, the weather started turning really warm. We had a good time and I think it was Lauren's first time playing in the water. We built sand castles, checked out the local aquarium, and just took in the sun.
Later in the afternoon, we checked into our room in Anaheim. The room is very nice and we got a great deal. Thanks Priceline!! We are very close to Disneyland and we hope that after a few days of recovery, we will be able to take Lauren to the "Happiest Place on Earth." We had a nice dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant and came back to hit the pool.
While we were soaking in the hot tub, I got a chance to watch just how strong Lauren has been in this journey so far. As we were in the hot tub, three younger girls came and sat down next to Lauren. They were all older than her but varied in ages. Because Lauren's hair was wet, the girls noticed her birth defect right away. They couldn't help to look. I didn't feel like they were being cruel, but rather they were just curious. What affected me the most was that Lauren didn't shy away or act insecure in any way. She just looked at them as if she was trying to say hello and be their friend. All I kept thinking about was after tomorrow, she wouldn't have to endure the casual looks or answer questions about her condition. She knows why she is here and she isn't afraid. If you ask her why we are here in California, she says that she is going to see the Doctor to make her little ear grow. Although she still has a ways to go, she has been a trooper through everything and I don't see her changing in the future.