Monday, July 28, 2008

Colorado Here We Come!!

We are headed to Colorado!! We've been looking forward to this vacation now for over two years! It may not seem like an exciting trip to some, but I can't think of anything better than breathing the crisp cool air, camping on top of a mountain. We are on the road and the kids are already sleeping I think. I think I will be too before long. It will be a long drive, but well worth the trip. We are going with my parents, my sister's family and my younger brother's family. We are going to have a blast!

Brenna has been doing so great! We actually made a super quick trip to memphis a week and a half ago for a check up. Dr. Clarke and Dr. Boop both wanted to see her and check her out to see how she was doing. Of course, she's doing very well and they were both pleased. She is completely off of one of her seizure meds and they are slowly weining her off of another. So she's just on two now. Hurray!! You can really tell the difference too! She's much more alert and bright eyed.

This past week we've been just enjoying life. We went swimming several times and we went to see the movie Wall-e. It's been over a year that she was having seizures so it's like we're learning what normal life is again. Although, I'm not sure we'll ever be normal. Who is??

We are just loving life right now and making the most of every opportunity. Well, we've been on the road for two hours and Bella needs to stop already so I'll close for now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stitches and Smiles

We are home now and loving it! We had a great time at Grandma and Grandpa's for the 4th. Brenna even rode the pony (with me) for a little while. She enjoyed watching the fireworks and even lit a few but mostly sat on Grandpa's lap as a spectator. We didn't really have to do much of anything - but just enjoy being together and being out of the hospital and past the surgeries.

We drove home Saturday morning. It was so good to be home!! Sunday was fantastic as we were able to go and be with our church family - praising and worshiping God together. Brenna wanted to go, but at the same time was very tired. So, we went and she laid on my lap during daddy's preachin.

Jalen has been having hives. They actually began before we left for Memphis but have gotten steadily worse. They really flared up big time on the day of Brenna's second surgery. I've ruled out food allergies, but don't know if it's an outdoor allergy or if it's just stress. David finally took him to the doctor Tuesday and she put him on steroids to get them stopped. He also is taking benadryl every four hours. It looks like he's been attacked by giant mosquitoes when they flare up and he's just been miserable. Hopefully, the steroids will get them under control. If it's stress related, hopefully, now that we're home and Brenna is doing well, they will go away.

Other than a few headaches - Brenna's been doing amazingly well. Her incision itches a lot and that bothers her, but she's not complained too much about it. The part that hurts the most is right above her ear. I wonder if that will bother her and keep her from wanting to wear sunglasses and even regular glasses if she needs them some day. I had to cut off part of her hair in places where the blood and gunk had matted it terribly. It just wasn't worth trying to comb it out. I did not want to cause her any pain just to comb her hair. Eventually - I'll trim it all so that the part they shaved can catch up. I really try to not focus on that though. Whether she has hair or doesn't have hair -she's BEAUTIFUL! I want my kids to know that it's their character and how they live life and love Jesus and love people that makes them beautiful. And she knows that. I try to make her wear a bandana just to protect her stitches from dirt and the sun, but if we are inside -she's totally comfortable taking it off - even when people gawk. I'm so thankful for her and what she's teaching me.

The kids and I are getting ready to paint Bella's room. That's something that we've put off for over a year, just because life has been so crazy. Hopefully, we'll get more paint on the walls than on ourselves, but we're still going to have fun and enjoy every minute of it.:)

We are praising the Lord, daily, for what He has done but mainly what He continues to do every day in our lives. I see His hand every time I look at my kids, my husband, my family and church family. He is Living and Moving and Working and I am excited to serve and praise His Name!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Brenna Has Left the Building!!

We have left Memphis!! I know, it's crazy but true. Dr. Clarke came in this morning and said she is doing so awesome and has had no problems or swelling or anything so he said we could go. He got all her prescriptions written out and David took them to St. Jude and got them filled. We packed up the room - which took a while since we have three times as much stuff than when we first arrived. Tracy - Dr. Boop's nurse came in and went over suture care and such - which we've done before. She's awesome. She remembered us from Brenna's surgery before and we remembered her. She has a great sense of humor and gave David a hard time. Anyway, then David packed up our stuff from the Ronald McDonald House and we left town!! It's almost unreal that we were able to leave so soon. But, here we are. We asked Brenna what she wanted to do about the 4th of July and she said she wanted to go to Grandma and Grandpa's. So that's where we are headed and then Saturday morning we will go home.

It will be a fantastic freedom celebration for us. Of course, the freedom that's fresh on our minds is freedom from the hospital and Brenna's freedom from seizures!! We praise God for the freedom we have in our country too. But, mostly the freedom that we have through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. We are free indeed and as the singer, Mandesa, puts it, He has taken the "shackles off our feet so we can dance!" And the Logsdon family has already been dancin today!!

Once again, we are truly grateful for all of you who have prayed us through another battle. Thank you, thank you, thank you. God be praised!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Out and About

Brenna started out early this morning with painting a model horse. Then she ate some breakfast - Fruitloops (the breakfast of champions) - and then we did some puzzles while dad was trying to will himself awake. Then we went for a short walk down the hallway and back to get the blood pumpin. The physical therapist had said to try and walk at least 3 times a day. Dr. Clarke came in and said that she looks fantastic and he would start decreasing one of her seizure meds. He said that it's a possibility we could go home before the weekend is up!!

A speech therapist came in to check on her. She's having a little trouble remembering some words. She said it's normal for a person who has gone through brain surgery like Brenna has. She will bring by some work-sheets for us to do with her to help with the memory thing. Hopefully, with repetition, it will be easily overcome. Around 11:00, Jalen and Bella and the grandparents showed up and we all went down to the lobby for a firestation demonstration. Brenna even felt up for going out to see the firetrucks. The picture is of the three of them inside the firetruck.

She ate scrambled eggs and toast for lunch and while the grandparents were here, David and I went down to the cafeteria and ate lunch together. Take away the hospital smell, the hospital food, the doctors and nurses all around, and the extreme lines of fatigue on our faces and you could almost call it a date!! :)

The kids played a little in the room before the grandparents and Jalen and Bella hit the road back home. We gave Jalen some money to buy fireworks to save for Brenna so that she can shoot some when we get home, whenever that may be. We said our goodbyes and gave lots of hugs and kisses. After they left, Brenna kind of got down again. She loves her MaMaw and her Grandma and Grandpa, and her brother and sister! It's just hard to keep Jalen and Bella entertained in a little hospital room. They did great, but I know they were starting to go stir crazy. Of course, stir crazy is about how David and I feel too most of the time- just without the "stir" part.

Habitat for Hope volunteers brought us dinner tonight and then we got a surprise visit from a dear couple from back home in OK. They had been out east on a vacation and stopped by to see Brenna on their way back home. They brought her a huge pink bear that's about bigger than she is. It was really sweet of them to come by. They really love Brenna and have prayed for her healing for a long time.

Dr. Boop never made it to see us today, but the nurses said they thought he got stuck in surgery. We totally understand. But, we think that he and Dr. Clarke have to decide together about when we can return home. I'm anxious to get home, but I don't want to leave before they are absolutely certain she's fit to go. So, if that means staying a few more days, I can handle it.

She's not had to take very much pain medicine today. That amazes me! She's had half of her brain opened up and exposed and all she's taking for pain is Tylenol with Codeine and Ibuprofen! Wow - and I thought I had a high pain tolerance! God has definitely been her Strength! (And ours). I'll try to remember that the next time I complain about a headache!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Explanation - please!

Well I(David) must explain why there are three updates from yesterday with the same basic message...I left the laptop at the Ronald McDonald House and went to the hospital computers to leave a quick update, but it didn't post three different times, so I kept updating and then (after 3 updates) I quit. Come to find out all three were posted. Now on to today...

AFter the surgery, the family kept taking turns visiting Brenna in the ICU (only 2 at a time!) When my in-laws were in the first time I noticed my father-in-law was upset. Brenna wasn't coherent and was in pain. Later as they were headed back to Habitat for Hope for the night, they stopped in one last time for the night. As they turned to see her, she was on my cell phone to her cousin, Brooklyn. I saw my father-in-law smile really big and say to my mother-in-law, "SHE'S ON THE PHONE!!!" I had asked her if she wanted to call Brooklyn to thank the Presko's for the balloon and stuff horse! It was so good to see her able to do so so early after surgery. She came out of surgery and was in ICU by 12:30 p.m. and on the phone with her cousin at 8! Two hours earlier I was having a hard time wondering if we should have had the surgery because of the pain she was in and her not being as alert as I wanted!

After everyone left for the evening, Bettina pulled out her cell phone/MP3 player and the three of us listened to Ray Charles (okay, Brenna and I sang - 'Hit the road Jack!' and many others) I couldn't beleive it. I tried to sing and not cry, because here she was - the Brenna I knew peaking through the sedation she was still recovering from. It was wonderful. She would keep her eyes shut and sing barely staying awake. Then when each song was over she would open her eyes enough to start another song. I felt better - and obviously and most importantly she was too!

Bettina and I took shifts in the ICU last night. Each surgery we stay with her so she isn't alone. There have been so many kids that we have seen in ICUs with parents hardly around. I don't know everyone's situations, but I do know that we don't feel right leaving her alone. We also beleive it helps her overall health knowing we are there - afterall (as we find out more and more through Brenna's Battle) the mind is a incredibly powerful thing. Since I hadn't eaten dinner I grabbed a burger and Dr. Pepper (I was off pop until lately!) at 10:30 p.m. and then I stayed with Brenna while Bettina went to rest/sleep upstairs in Brenna's hosptial room. Bettina came back in around 3 a.m. Then I went to sleep til 7 a.m. The ICU rules are from 6:30 - 7:30 all parents are asked to leave for shift changes both a.m. and p.m. So after I got up I went down just in time to go back in around 7:30. When I left Brenna a 3 a.m. she had only been asleep for an hour and a half. From 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. she couldn't sleep. I really didn't understand that - I thought to myself - "You just had brain surgery if it were me I would sleep til Friday!" She was slow in thinking and remembering, so she kept trying to understand why Jalen and Bella were away (at Habitat for Hope) sleeping. I told her - 'because it's 1 in the morning!' She finally feel asleep around 1:30 and I left her in a condition of fog! (Her due to surgery - me due to lack of sleep)

So when I walked in at 7 a.m. I saw her looking around and she smiled at me first thing. (Just in case you can't read between the lines - when your daughter smiles at you as a dad it is powerful. When it is after brain surgery #4 it is indescribable!) I can't remember a time where I enjoyed talking to her and breathing in her bad breath and enjoyed it so much!

She had a post-surgery MRI (routine) 11:40ish - she was scheduled to go in at 8. So I was cranky mostly due to lack of sleep, but also added to the bonus of waiting over 3 and a half hours we hadn't eaten because Brenna couldn't have anything. I was going nuts waiting (Lord, another lesson on patience!)

She "passed" her walking and talking tests that the physical therapists had her do today. She was eating a little and going to the bathroom (a biggie in the Logsdon family, yet it wasn't THE BIGGIE - hope that's clear. ha ha ha) She is watching a movie about to go to sleep now - So I will go so I can turn off the TV and stuff, but before I do I will repeat once more a very very important message...God is good, all the time!!! Thank you, LORD, for your goodness!

Before and After Pictures

Dr. Brenna checking out Bella Sunday night. Maybe someday she'll be a real doctor!
Brenna and her friend Bella Horrocks from Habitat for Hope. They're buddies.
Eating a popsicle in ICU. It was yummy.
Sitting on Grandpa's lap listening to the occupational therapist. We're out of ICU in a room on the 5th floor. She had an MRI this morning and is feeling much better. She even ate a little lunch - half a hot dog and a chocolate swiss cake roll. We're just so thankful that she's able to talk and walk a little and she doesn't have those wires hanging out of her head anymore. God is Good!!