Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One Day at a Time

Hi Everyone,

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write an update, we have been overwhelmed taking care of Ella these past few days.  Not enough time to eat or sleep, forget about think and type.  She was released from the hospital on Saturday afternoon and since then we've been back at the Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte.  Ella is doing better, Amen.  She is her old self about half the time, while the other half she is irritable and in pain (as expected).  The good thing is that we've been able to wean her off narcotics and just manage her pain with motrin and tylenol.  She is a feisty lady during pin cleaning...takes 3 people to hold this strong girl down.  The first time I turned her pins was on Sunday and I felt like I needed a carafe of wine afterwards.  It seems so barbaric, especially when you hear the clicking noises of the screws turning under the skin.  And of course it just feels horrible inflicting pain on your child.  But, I've been reminded that with each turn of the pins we gain a bigger airway.  I have to keep reciting that in my head :).  Lucky for me this little girl is incredibly forgiving and she recovers quite easily afterwards.  This entire experience has Erik and I feeling absolutely blessed to have this child in our lives.  Seeing her through such a tough time and then watching her spirit come back has been truly uplifting.  She started to show her "Ella" self on Friday, wanting to be pushed around the hospital floor in a wagon, then ordering the nurses to dance and play peek-a-boo.  Saturday as we left the hospital her entire demeanor changed; she was so happy, like she was being freed and allowed to finally grace the outdoors.  Ella is loving the therapy dogs at the Ronald House, she asks for them every single night though they only come twice a week.  She keeps signing to us that she wants a big dog when we get home to NY...and believe me she won't forget.  Persistence is one quality she absorbed from her parents, maybe me :/.  Today we saw Dr. Matthews and other than her pin sites looking red he thought she looked good.  He wants us to increase the pin turning to twice a day and switch the ointment to calendula, just in case the bacitracin is irritating her skin.  We will be back to his office on Friday, when he will administer FSM (Frequency Specific Microcurrent).  FSM is suppose to help in decreasing inflammation and repairing cells.  Other positive news to report is that Ella is already smiling and offering up kisses to Erik and myself.  Those are great signs because it means Dr. Matthews was able to steer clear of her facial nerves.  She even put a spoon in her mouth last night, which is awesome because a few days earlier she was aversive to anything coming even close to her face.  Once again, Ella has shown us just how amazing of a being she truly is and how God continues to walk beside her.         

Love and thanksgiving,

P.S. For those coming to visit soon dress for warmth and bring your flip flops.  It already feels like summer here in Charlotte.  We thank you again for sacrificing your time to help Ella and our family.  

 Still not at her best, but at least venturing out of the hospital room.

Ella leaving the hospital incognito.  Her first attempt at cracking a smile.

 Ella with Mr. McDonald himself...

Already wanting to eat...she's half italian, what do you expect?   


  1. I was so happy to see this post!! And a bit relieved as I was getting a little worried. Ella so glad to see the dynamo that is you shining through in these pictures. Parents get rest when you can. Three cheers for you all....... YAY! YAY! YAY!

    Enjoy the warm weather.

  2. I was so thrilled to see this post and happy to see Ella is feeling so much better and back to herself. I was especially happy to see the spoon picture and that she is moving around her mouth. She really is such an amazing little girl! Tell her hi and look forward to reading more posts and hearing about the continued progress.

  3. I love the spoon photo! Dr. G

  4. Ella!!!! What's on that spoon? Nutella? ;) Miss you love...you better FT us tomorrow!!! Xoxo Aunt Gina :)

  5. So happy to hear and see her doing a little better! We miss you, don't forget to face time us too! XO - Uncle Josh, Aunt Danielle, Hunter, Layla, Madeline and Jackson
    PS- She can always have Bubba;-)

  6. So happy to read this update and see Ella's gorgeous face in the new photos! Love and prayers to you all xoxox

  7. So very happy everything is going well for Ella, love and prayers to all of you! She is an amazing little girl!
    Love, Liza

  8. So happy Ella is doing so well! I don't know how you and Erik do it Nina, your wonderful parents and I will keep praying for all of you. Call or e-mail if you need anything:) Monica

  9. Nina and Erik, Ive been following your up dates to see how Ella is doing. Not day has gone by since the surgery that I haven't thought of you and Ella!!! Ella is the strongest little girl I have ever meet, she is going to get through this, and be very thankful to have such great parents like you!!! Stay strong! My prayers are always with your family. Its so great to see Ella is doing well and like expected fighting her way through this. Please let me know if you need anything.