Friday, June 22, 2012

Looking back - homecoming! Part IV

June 7
Now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is hard to go slow. I'm ready to take Ralphie home right away. Now that he is is doing better, a transfer back to the hospital in Wichita is possible. However, I am fairly certain that he would be discharged sooner from Children's Mercy that he would be from Via Christi. **The doctors in Wichita were always so negative about going home. I'm sure they would not have wanted to trust me with oxygen and would have never let me attempt to nurse Ralphie.** Also, I'm still a bit traumatized from the plane ride up here to Kansas City. But, the other kids are missing me alot. It is a difficult decision to make. 

**The ambulance that took me and Ralph to the airport was awful. The 90 mile per hour ambulance ride up the canal route was sickening. It was a very windy night, with collapsing thunderstorms in the area, and the rig was tipping from side to side. The flight was a nightmare. We arrived at the airport to find an overweight pilot with a beet red face. I was sure that he was going to have a heart attack while we were up in the air. Ralph was in bad shape and the nurses were busy trying to keep him alive the whole way. As the plane approached the runway of the downtown airport in KC, the back end of the place started to fishtail. The flight nurses didn't miss a beat. They could tell I was on the verge of passing out and immediately started asking me questions about my family. This brought me back around. I was extremely impressed with their level of professionalism.

By the way, who has flown with their child during a transfer like this? I have not heard of another mother or father being allowed to fly with their child. It makes me wonder...**

8:30 am - Ralphie took all his bottle feedings last night! He just took his 8am feeding, 2 1/2 ounces, in just 10 minutes. This is pretty amazing, considering how much time he spent intubated. He has already learned how to pace himself and breathe, suck and swallow in an organized way. We are trying him out on 21% oxygen, essentially room air, for a couple of hours before the doctors do their rounds. He seems to be holding up well! **I had not given up on nursing Ralphie, BUT I was wise enough to put it on the back burner. If I had insisted, this would have prolonged his hospital stay. I knew that we would be more successful learning at home anyway. Some of the nurses insisted on observing us during nursing sessions. Creepy and not conducive to our success.**

7:00pm - It is nice when the hard decisions are made for you. God willing, we are coming home this weekend! Ralphie is taking his feeding like a champ. He is weaning off of oxygen tonight. If he can sit in his car seat for a couple of hours without difficulty, then we will be on our way. The discharge planner has been making follow-up appointments for us. I get the feeling that the real work starts when we get home! 

June 8
"By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him as you can all see." ACTS 3:24

8:00 - Sorry for the delay today. It has been a busy day for Stephanie. She has been meeting with every doctor or therapist in the hospital today. She has been going from the oxygen therapist to the DISCHARGE REP!!!!! Yes I said DISCHARGE!!! They are coming HOME tomorrow!!!! As long as he passes his last test. He has to sit in his car seat for 3 hours and not de-stat. If he can do that then I will make the 3 hour trip to get them and then WE will be home 3 hours after that to begin the next chapter in Ralphie's life. Life with LeRoy!!!

The other kids are excited they will finally get to see their baby brother home for the first time since he was born. We will be a Family again!!! Grandma Connie and Grandma Linda will be here at the house waiting on him to arrive home. Grandma Linda will get to see him for the first time tomorrow when we get home. The Lord blessed her with some time off from work to be here with us. Praise the Lord for answered prayers!!!!

It has been a long road the last 6 weeks and we still have a long way to go. He will be coming home on oxygen and a couple of medications that are will help him continue his recovery. Stephanie and I want to thank everyone for all of the Prayers and help that you have provided. We know that there are still a lot of you that want to help. We will be posting a way to help next week sometime. If you have ideas on ways to help us out please leave a message.

We will keep the web site up for a couple of more weeks **LOL! How about years?** so you can follow his progress his first few weeks at home. Please continue to leave messages for Steph and I. You have no idea how much your messages have help us get through this time in our lives. We love you all and will continue to update the website.

June 9
11:45 - We are finally home. What a day!!! **I got into a fight with the charge nurse over Ralph's car seat! James purchased a brand new seat and brought it up to Kansas City that morning. Since Ralph didn't do his car seat test in it we were either going to have to do ANOTHER car seat test (3 more hours in the hospital? They would need a padded room for me.) or take him home in the hospital car seat. I was livid! It was so silly, looking back. We ended up leaving the hospital in the ugly hospital car seat, driving over to the Ronald McD house, moving Ralph into the new car seat, and donating the hospital car seat to the RMH.**

First night at home. At long last!
 It has been a long day and everybody is in bed. The kids drew pictures and made a welcome home Ralphie sign. They were all happy to see him and momma was home to stay. We did not get home until 9:40 tonight and it has been a long day. Now it is time for the every 3 hour feedings to begin (12, 3, 6, 9) Steph and I will be taking turns feeding. **Would you like to know how taking turns ended up?! LOL**

More later....... Enjoy the pictures!!