Monday, September 29, 2014

One "Step" Closer to Recovery

Today was another great day of healing for Josie. This is truly an answer to prayer how fast she is recovering, as everyone who cares for her burns remarks at how quick and unheard of her recovery is. 
Today was the last day of the arm bandages, which means that out of her torso, arm, and thigh, she only has a bandage left on her thigh! The open part of the wound is getting smaller and smaller in circumference daily!
Getting completely off the Norco has been great for her. The Tylenol 3 doesn't seem to effect her moods so much, and she is awake more. We've spent a lot of time drawing, watching movies, and reading. Today she was even able to start some of her school work that she missed out on last week.
Tonight we tried out some crutches too! It was great to see her be able to move around (a bit) again! She pushed it a little too much, and is feeling it right now, but hopefully sleep will come soon.
We cannot thank you enough for all your prayers, visits, calls, meals, packages, and hugs. They mean SO much!

Josie received a special quilt in a package today, made just for her! She was so excited!

Thrilled to not be completely couch bound! Notice her guard dog always at her side. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunshine Therapy

Today was such a beautiful day! We talked Josie into letting us take her outside for some fresh air and sunshine, and I think she enjoyed herself!

Thanks for all the prayers. We have an appointment at the burn clinic tomorrow morning at 9am, and we are eager to see how much skin growth occurred over the weekend. 
She's getting better every day! Thank you, Lord!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Making Progress Every Day

We have had a nice couple of days with healing. Josie has transitioned from taking Norco to Tylenol 3 for pain, and it was pretty smooth. She is more alert, and less loopy. We like that! 
Her appetite has even improved! Thank you for specifically praying for that. She will have cereal now, and a sandwich, and a small amount at dinner, which is a hundred times better than before.
We have had a lot more visitors, and now Josie gets to enjoy them too, instead of being too drugged to realize what is going on. 
It is hard to see so much progress being made, and then realize there is still so much more to go. She is a trooper. I wouldn't have nearly the good attitude she has about all of this. I am so proud of my girl. 
All of the cards, and prayers, and special gifts and treats, and meals are such a huge encouragement to all of us. I love it when she gets a card and says "they knew I got burned and they are praying for me?" with such a hopeful little voice. It puts a big smile on her face, and mine too!
Our little artist girl is starting to get back to what she loves. Just a few days ago, it hurt to even move her arm, and now she is using that arm to make beautiful pictures. If you were to see the burn on her arm today, you would be shocked. It looks SO good!
Thank you for praying! Thank you for everything. We are so blessed by you all!

Josie is working on bringing some autumn inside, with a nice, bright maple leaf.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Great Appointment at the Burn Clinic

Josie had another appointment at the burn clinic this morning. She wasn't really looking forward to it at all, and neither was I! I know how important her wound care is, but I hate that it hurts her so much.
Today was just great. 
I first wanted to state how much we appreciate the women there that work with Josie. Frances and Jaymi take such care in changing her dressings, and cleaning up the burn. They are incredibly gentle with her, and I know they do their best to keep her as comfortable as possible. They care for her as if she was their own, and that does my momma heart so good!
Today when changing the dressing on her leg (where the worst of her burns are) we saw a lot of new skin growth! We were all so excited! Her leg is well on the way to healing quite nicely. This particular visit was also great because Josie was in a lot less pain! They found some bandages that work really well with her skin, and with the burn healing nicely with new pink skin, the wiping that would normally bring screams and thrashing, only brought some tears and wincing!!! This is such good news, and a big encouragement to Jo. Her burns look so much better, and she is starting to feel a little better too!
The trip to the clinic (and a very long night the evening before) completely wiped Josie out. She slept for hours upon hours. This is great news because it is so important for her to get a lot of rest while she heals.
She slept through the visits of her nana and papa, our neighbor, friends from church and from New Tribes. It was fun when she woke up to a lot more special treats, and thoughtful cards and gifts.
Please pray for Josie's appetite to return. She does not want to eat at all. Josh got her to eat a little rice today, but that was it! She is suffering from an upset tummy from taking medication on an empty stomach, but that just makes her not want to eat all the more. She is not quite making the connection between food making her feel better. She isn't drinking as much as she should either, and she really needs to stay hydrated and have extra protein to heal quickly.
Thanks again for all of your love! I want to share so much more, but I am exhausted and need some sleep!

Josie trying to give me a smile. She was nervous about the appointment. I don't blame her!

This is so cool. For the last two visits, Natasha lets her use an iPad to watch movies on to help distract her from the pain. Seriously, we love these guys!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another Day In Paradise

It's not all sunshine and lollipops here, but the mention of paradise was not meant sarcastically.
First, I wanted to share with you how the morning went.
Our awesome carpool people did both the morning drop off and pick up, as I had to be into the lab for a three hour glucose blood draw. If you didn't know, it is a very exciting test that includes drinking a ridiculously huge amount of a thick, sugary drink after fasting all night, and then having your blood drawn four times in three hours. It is not my favorite test, but you do what ya have to for your little ones.
So, Josh and I had it all worked out that he would be home this morning with Josie and Isaac so I could get this appointment done. It WAS a good plan...then an hour into my appointment I get a text from Josh. Her bandage had fallen off, and she needed to get to the burn clinic asap.
Now mind you, this really isn't that big of a crisis, but for someone who has not slept well in days, hasn't eaten, and has had a huge dose of sugary yuck, I wasn't really thinking straight and went into panic mode.
Josh could not take Isaac, because I took the van (because my back won't allow me to crawl into the car yet) and the van had the car seat. Plus, he really couldn't be watching an almost two year old, and carrying for Josie the way she needed.
I could not find ANYONE within a close distance to watch him. Everyone was too busy, or didn't answer the phone! So, I drove back to the house, packed up Isaac and his scrambled eggs he was eating, with the diaper bag, and stroller and rushed back to make it to my next blood draw time. My back was not shorting out (miracle!) and Isaac was finishing his food (another miracle!) and I made it in time for my blood draw( yet another miracle!)
My friend Casie came to my rescue, met me in the waiting room and took Isaac with her. I was so thankful, as I was clueless how I was going to entertain my almost two year old, for two hours in a waiting room with my limited mobility. She really saved my bacon!
Truly my little "crisis" wasn't anything though. I learned that while I was panicking about how I was going to deal with the mundane, my poor Josie girl was going through yet another excruciating morning. 
I guess since the bandage was falling off, they had to re-scrape her burn before bandaging it back up again. Josh said it was so bad that the nurse that was helping with the procedure last time, just couldn't do it this time. It was too hard for her. My Jo was going through another difficult wound treatment, while I was feeling sorry for myself for a little inconvenience. I felt like a fool.
So that was what our morning looked like. Not one I would want to repeat.
The rest of the day though, was a gift. Our little bit of paradise in a rough storm. I had exceptionally good results at the chiropractor, and shouldn't have to go back for another week now!
Josie's pain meds continued to do their job, and just knowing she wasn't in constant pain is a good thing.
The outpouring of love from everyone on the planet! Seriously, amazing! We had so many visitors, who were encouragement to our weary souls. Packages and cards in the mail. Meals, and more meals being brought, and scheduled. Sweet treats for my baby girl (everyone must know she has a big sweet tooth!). Even special visitors who knew today would be especially hard missing AWANA, setting up a perfect movie night that helped her forget what she was missing.
We have felt so loved from the Lord through these wonderful people in our lives. All the prayers, and hugs, and emails of encouragement mean the world to us. Thank you.

Josie's main mode of transportation is her daddy's arms. She is not able to really put weight on her leg, and he helps her up when she needs the restroom, and to the many doctor appointments.

I just took this photo. Josie got this special blanket from someone very dear to her. She said it felt like a warm hug. Haven't seen a smile that big in some time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thorns Jabbing Into My Leg

Those are the words Josie used to describe her pain tonight. It is hard to gauge her pain. She goes from feeling pretty good, to intense pain in just a matter of minutes.  I hate seeing her suffer so.
Today was a rough one, with some bright spots.
The night was long. Josie couldn't sleep. She was just too uncomfortable. Josh changed her bandages in the night, and then we both did in the morning.
We were shocked with what we saw. I was really worried she might be getting an infection. Our appointment with the burn specialist couldn't come fast enough. If only I knew what we were getting ourselves into!
I knew they said a two hour appointment. I was hoping that was due to a lot of paperwork to fill out, or something along those lines. I was so very wrong.
After they undressed Josie's burns, they had to scrape them. You read that right, SCRAPE!!!! A necessary torture I am told. I surely wish they could have drugged her more, or put her to sleep for this. She was just writhing in pain. After the scraping, they had to cut away all the dead skin. More screams and tears. Tears from Josie, Mommy, Daddy, and the nurse!
Josh said maybe I shouldn't have gone to the appointment. That maybe it was too much for me to endure. I don't know though. I need to know what kind of suffering our poor darling girl is going through, even if it means I will have nightmares for weeks. 
We learned that these few weeks may be more than a few, and they will be tough ones. The 2nd and 3rd degree burns on her leg will take time to heal.
Josie is starting to realize that life is going to look very different for a while. When I told her today that we would have to cancel the camping trip this weekend, I feel like I broke her heart. She seemed so defeated. Talking through the logistics of trying to camp when you can't even walk to the bathroom started to make more sense, but she was very disappointed. 
Although it was a very tough day, we had some bright spots that helped today not seem so bad. Josie had visitors galore! She also had some special things like balloons, and flowers, and candy that make any girl's day brighter. 
We have been so overwhelmed (in a good way!) with all the encouragement that has come our way. Phone calls and texts, visits and prayers. Cards, and emails with well wishes and scripture. Help with meals (really yummy meals!) and help with rides. I've even had help picking up Isaac for me (since I still can't lift him because of my back). We are so thankful for the Body of Christ who has helped us through this difficult time.
Please keep praying for Josie. Please pray for her pain to ease up. That is the biggest request I ask now.  Her poor little body is in so much pain and discomfort, it is really the saddest thing.
Please also pray for her to feel encouraged. Tomorrow may be hard. It is the day she is missing her big field trip and AWANA, two things she was very much looking forward to.
Please keep Josh and I in your prayers too. I still have prenatal appointments, and chiropractor appointments to keep, we are having a lot of unforeseen expenses right now, and we are still trying to do normal life with the other kiddos (school, homework, soccer, bedtimes, etc) We could really use the extra prayers. Thank you all so much who have been faithful in lifting us up before the Lord. 

Josie resting with her balloon bouquet close by. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Josie's Accident

I thought I would take a moment to share with everyone what happened with Josie this weekend. I know many of you may know a lot of this story from Facebook, and prayer requests, but I wanted to write it all out in one location so everyone can get the whole story.
Sunday morning we were all getting ready to go to church. Josh had to run the sound that morning, and Josie likes to go early with him so she can help Grandma Joyce in the kitchen with setting out snacks for the downstairs service.
Josie was helping daddy get out the door on time, and one of the things she likes to do is make the coffee.  We were very generously blessed with a gift of a Keurig coffee maker a few years ago (if you don't know what that is, it is the kind where you just push a button and it brews you one cup at a time). Josie just made daddy his cup, and was putting the lid on the cup when the whole cup tipped on her, burning her right side.
I want to take a moment right now to say that this could have happened to anyone of us. She is a very capable 9 year old girl, who has been making our coffee for a number of years. She has always wanted to open up her own coffee shop for as long as I can remember, and even has a special name for it: Cuppa Jo. We let her do a number of things in the kitchen, one being the coffee, because it is her dream. Never in a million years did we know one cup spilled could do so much damage.
Josh was right in the kitchen with her when the coffee spilled. He took her right to the sink and got her clothes off and poured cold water on her. I was upstairs at the time, and heard these blood curdling screams, so I ran down as fast as I could (as a pregnant woman who threw her back out a few days earlier).
That is when I saw her skin just falling of her leg. My poor darling girl was in more pain than I could have ever dreamed of.
As Josh was getting cold water on her, I found his keys and started his car, and yelled for Emma to grab Josie's bathrobe and shoes. Addie was in the dining room with Isaac, just trying to keep him out of the way.
This is where I can only list off how thankful I am, and how much worse things could be!
-I am SO thankful this was on a Sunday, and not on a school day. Josie was wearing a skirt and shirt that was easily removed, and not her uniform pants that would have been impossible.
-I am SO thankful Josh has been trained well in various first aid situations. At the ER, they said that he did the very best things for her: removing her clothing, getting a towel soaking wet with cold water to  put on her burns, etc...
-I am SO thankful that we live one block from the hospital! Josie and Josh were reflecting on many of our dear friends who are missionaries in remote locations around the world. Josie immediately wanted to pray for our friends, the Hatton's, who don't have an emergency room to run to when things get bad.
Josh took Josie, and I stayed home with the rest of the kids. I tried to find someone who could come sit with the kids so I could go too, but everyone was off to church with various commitments, and so I stayed, waiting, for what seemed like an eternity.
I finally heard from Josh. It was bad. 1st and 2nd degree burns on her arm, torso, and thigh. They needed to give her two doses of Morphine, and Tordol just to help her stop screaming. My poor baby! The drugs really helped her pain. I am so glad she got some relief.
She was able to come home after only a few hours there, and I was so glad to see her again. We made a little bed on the couch for her, and tried to make her comfortable. With bandages on a good part of her right side of the body, she can't really wear clothing, or walk a great distance, and we knew that sleeping in the top bunk in the upstairs just wasn't going to work. 
We had a good rest of the day. One of the Pastors at our church, Pastor Rob, came by and visited Josie, and brought some very special treats. That meant so much to her! Our good friends the Mundens came by as well, and helped us figure out some medication stuff for Jo, as well as bring Josh a nice treat. 
Josie is on some heavy doses of narcotics and Ibuprophen, so was feeling better than she really was. I didn't realize how much so, until it was the evening, and time to change the dressings on her burns.
I can't even write this part without crying. She is such a tough, and brave girl, and I was shocked to the core when I saw just how bad the burns were. We used up what was left of the silver sulfadiazine on just her arm and leg, so we would have to wait until the next day to change the dressings on her torso. Josie and Josh spent the night on the couches. It was a very long night with needing drugs every few hours. I wasn't able to sleep on the couch because of my back, so Josh took the whole night shift. He is pretty amazing if you guys didn't know that already.
I called at exactly 8am to her doctor the next morning, and they were able to see her within the hour. Josh took her to the appointment because it was too close to my chiropractor appointment to risk them overlapping. While there, the doctor was able to look at her burns. She thinks that there is the possibility of 3rd degree burn on her upper thigh. She prescribed more silver magic, and referred us to the burn clinic in town. We have an appointment tomorrow afternoon.
Josie has been such a trooper through all of this, but she is feeling very discouraged. She loves school, and loves her teacher, Ms. Campbell. She is very sad to have to miss the big field trip to Art Prize this week in Grand Rapids. She is also nauseous, has no appetite, and cries a lot. I think a lot of that has to do with the drugs she is on right now.
We can't thank you enough for all the prayers you have said for Josie. They really are an encouragement to her. To all of us really. What a scary thing to go through, and to know it could have been so much worse. We are so thankful to the Lord for His protection of our sweet little girl.
Please keep praying for our little Jo Jo, as this will be a long tough time of recovery for her.

She may be hurting, but she is still smiling! The drugs do help!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our Time at Blue Gable

We have had the joy and privilege of visiting Blue Gable for many summers now as a guest of dear friends. It has refreshed us in many ways, and this year was a little headquarter hub for some partnership development time as well.
I missed having Josh be able to relax and unplug, and unwind, but it was a good week full of fond memories. 
I love that this little spot on the lake has made it's way into my children's fondest memories (and mine too!)
Here are a few pictures of our time there. As always, it was much too short! It always goes by way too fast.

The cute little cottage. Such a welcoming sight.

Turned 25 weeks pregnant with baby #5 this summer. Just relaxing on the dock since the fish wouldn't bite for me this year.

One of Ike and Daddy's many walks to see the cows. I think this was the highlight of the day for Isaac.

A family soccer game.

Isaac hiding in the corn. Don't go too far buddy!

Mornin' Moos!

A little tradition. Gotta get a picture in front of the sign.

Not a wonderful picture (my eyes are halfway shut!) but I wanted one of all of us together. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Summers in Ohio

Ever since Josh's parents have moved down to Ohio several years ago, we like to go down for at least a week of time with the family for a Mathew family reunion, camping in their back year, and just spending time together.
This summer looked a little different. The Bible Institute was under a major renovation, and we didn't feel right about leaving to do our own thing while there was so much to do. We missed the reunion, and several days with family, which we are bummed about, but the kids got to go and see everyone!
Josh's parents came and picked up our kiddos (Isaac's first time away from home without mommy and daddy!) and brought them down for the family reunion, and playtime with the cousins. They had so much fin!
We were able to come down and share our gender reveal with some of the family that were still here, so that was fun. It was just too short on mine and Josh's end!
Here are some pictures of when we were there.

Bubby loved his pancakes. I never knew a kid that little could eat so much!

Grandma had an idea of how to make little dolls out of acorns and sticks. The girls LOVED that!

Isaac was more interested in what snacks Grandpa had.

Working hard on the acorn doll.

One of the finished products. I think they turned out pretty cute!

Here is my newest nephew, Knox. Isn't he a cutie pie??? Look at how he just smiles at his mommy!