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Archive for November, 2007

This week we began the New Experiences project of the Trail to the Future in our level of Starflight, Camp Fire USA.  The lesson was called “A Yummy Snack.”  We first discussed healthy vs. non-healthy snacks, and then we made peanut butter.  At first, I wasn’t sure that it was going to work, but patience paid off, and we ended up with some nice peanut butter to put on crackers!  Basically, to make peanut butter, all you have to do is place 2 cups of peanuts into a blender with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil.  Then blending and scraping the sides is the order of the day!  Patience, patience, patience!  We added salt and a little sugar to taste.  The kids said they liked our homemade peanut butter as much as the store-bought!

We also made a countdown to Christmas paper chain.  We have used paper chains to keep track of time on several occasions, and tearing off those links sure builds anticipation!  I’m planning to do regular Camp Fire USA activities during the month of December, but am going to supplement some fun Christmas activities as well.

Click to play Yummy Snack
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Yes!  We got my new computer set up last night, so I should be able to start getting this blog caught up!  Getting information transferred from an old, broken system to a new one is always a “hold-your-breath” ordeal.  There were several moments last night when I wondered if I could get everything working appropriately or not–especially on our financial records that we keep on our computer.  What a relief that it seems that everything is working now!

Anyway,  I have one more cute story about Kara’s surgery to share that is a pretty good illustration for how tough Kara is!  After Kara’s surgery, the nurse came into the recovery room to check Kara’s vitals, give pain meds, etc.  Now, you need to remember that Kara had just been in surgery for 3 1/2 hours, had many stitches on her arm, a skin graft taken from her belly, and her toes surgically separated.  To try to see how Kara was doing pain-management wise, she asked her if she “had any owies.”  I was anxious to hear her reply, because her ability to handle the pain was what was going to determine if she had to stay over night or come home!  Kara got a big poochie lip, and my heart sank–I thought for sure we were doomed to an over-night hospital stay!  Then Kara shook her head yes that she had owies.   The nurse asked her where, and Kara lifted up her newly casted leg and pointed—–to a really old scab on her knee where she had fallen down several days ago!  🙂  Yes, Kara had skin grafts, stitches, casts, etc., and she wanted to show the nurse a scab!  Needless to say, we were able to come home that night!

I have never seen such a tough kid–she really does handle things like a trooper!

Lois

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Well, the computer that I use to do my blogging is officially dead.  It’s been kind of acting strange, but yesterday it just quit.  The light would turn on like it was working, but nothing else would happen!  We took it in to a repair guy, and at first he thought it just needed a new power supply, but he put that in and it didn’t fix anything!  So, he was saying that maybe it needs a new motherboard…..or a new processor……or………..you get the idea!  We’ve had it for 3 or 4 years, and Dan and I decided that it wasn’t worth putting very much money into to try to get it to work.  So, Dan got me a new computer last night–but we are going to take it in to the repair guy who has my dead computer so he can get the stuff off of its hard drive onto the new one before we set it up here at home.  So, hopefully I will be back to normal later today.  In the meantime, I had a chance to use my laptop to try to get this site updated!

Kara is really doing very, very well.  Her surgery did take the full 3 hours–actually more along the lines of 3 1/2 hours.  Dr. Benson was very thorough and very cautious, which is a good thing.  She really wants the skin grafts to be successful and wanted to minimize the potential of infection.  She did take skin tissue off of Kara’s belly to use between her toes, and she was able to separate them with no problems.  Dr. Benson also worked on the scar tissue on Kara’s arm.  She said that she was not able to remove all of it–we may give it another go in a few years to see if the rest can be gotten off, or it may be fine as it is.  It is covered with a soft cast-like bandage, so I haven’t seen it yet, but Dr. Benson was pleased with how that part of the surgery went too.  She said that she used a z-shaped incision at the bottom of the scar where it was so thick.  She is hoping that as that heals and as Kara grows, the “z scar” won’t have as much of a tendency to pull and thicken as the old scar did because of it’s proximity to Kara’s elbow. 

As per normal, Kara was as tough as nails through the whole thing.   She has complained of very little pain, and was up and walking around quite well by yesterday afternoon.  She’ll have the bandaging on her arm and tummy until we go back to Denver on December 10 for Dr. Benson to check on the progress of the skin grafting.  She’ll have the cast on her leg until the end of December or early January.  Kara is not happy about that, but I have explained to her how important it is that the cast is there to protect those skin grafts, giving them the best opportunity to be successful.  Kara seems to be accepting of it–at least a little more than she was at first!  The cast sure is pretty (for a cast)!  Dr. Benson used Kara’s favorite color of orange, but took a couple of extra steps:  she put on glitter and painted a cute flower on the front.  I didn’t even know that casts could be glittery!?  It does look pretty cute, though!  Dan and I wondered why Dr. Benson had glitter all over her arms when she came out of surgery, but we both didn’t want to ask! 

Like I said earlier, Kara is getting along all right now.  In fact, yesterday I took the kids to Wal-Mart, and it was a VERY windy day.  Some important cards–including my driver’s license and insurance card–fell out of my purse in the parking lot and started BLOWING AWAY!!!  Kara–yes, Kara with her new cast and fresh surgical sites–ran across the parking lot and rescued my driver’s licence.  We were also able to get my insurance card before it blew clear out of sight, but several other less important things were gone in a heartbeat.  Anyway, I figured if Kara could run across the parking lot to capture my driver’s licence, she must be doing all right!

I guess that pretty much sums things up on how Kara is doing.  I have some other posts that I need to catch up on, but those will wait until I have my new computer set up.  So hopefully later today or tomorrow I’ll be back in business!

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We got home last night around 11:00 pm.  My computer is on the brink, so I’ll give a more complete update later.  Kara’s doing fine.  Here are some pictures of her day at The Children’s Hospital: 

Click to play Syndactyly Surgery 2007
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Well, it’s 4:12 central time, and Kara is still in surgery.  It did not take us very long of being here at the hospital to learn that we were not very well informed about the extent of this surgery.  We thought it was going to be a simple, short procedure–then we found out that she was actually scheduled for 3 HOURS!  And they had her scheduled to STAY OVER NIGHT!  WHAT???!!!  Needless to say, we had to adjust our expectations a little!  🙂

So, now we know that separating the toes isn’t quite as simple as we thought.  The surgery isn’t done yet, but after talking to Dr. Benson, we still may be able to take Kara home tonight.  It will all depend on how her pain management is when she wakes up.  But, if Kara is as Kara has been in the past, she will be ready and raring to go!  Surely, if she handled the clubbed foot correction as well as she did, this should be tolerable as well.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…..  It does sound like she will be coming home in a cast, which again is a surprise.  I had told Kara that there would be no cast.  OOOPS!  Hopefully when she sees that it is her favorite color, she won’t be too upset!

Another interesting thing about today:  they had forgotten all about removing Kara’s scar on her arm!  It was not listed as part of today’s procedure!  So, I discussed it again with Dr. Benson before she took Kara to surgery, and she said they’d still try to get that done.  What a day of surprises!

 I just talked to my Mom who is watching the four other kids at home.  I guess Cosette has been sick today, so that is a little tough too. 

I’ll post more when we know more. 

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Tomorrow is Kara’s scheduled surgery at The Children’s Hospital in Denver.  Dr. G. will be seeing Kara first to evaluate how she’s doing since her clubbed foot repair, and then we will take Kara to the surgical area where Dr. Benson will perform the procedures.  She is going to have two main things done:  Dr. Benson will separate the toes that are fused together on her non-clubbed foot, and then she plans to remove some of the scar off of her upper arm.  This scar was caused by a similar surgical procedure done in China to separate out her fingers.  They used skin grafts taken from her upper arm to separate the fingers, but the scar is just getting tighter as she gets bigger, so it really needs to be removed. 

I don’t expect this surgery to be very long, and it is scheduled to be a day procedure with no over-night stay.  I still would ask for your prayers that all will go well.  Thanks!

Click to play Another Surgery
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This is eleven-year-old Lewis Warren Jr. performing his arrangement of the classic hymn “How Great Thou Art.”  What a worshipful video!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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