Update on Bella

12-27-2011 (141)
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I normally just share creative projects and very little personal information.  However, this post will be different.  So many of you have emailed, called, texted, facebooked, etc. that I wanted to try to answer as many questions as possible here for those that want to know what is going on in our lives.

Bella, our 5-year old daughter, started having some tummy problems about six months ago.  She had experienced some major changes—start of preschool and her child-care provider retired–so we assumed she was just adjusting to those changes.  As chiropractors, we know quite a bit about nutrition, so we started her on some probiotics and made some necessary dietary changes.

Now, I know that 6 months sounds like a long time, but she would have periods of improvement, then everything would flare-up again for a short time before returning to "normal".  None of her symptoms were what we would call "red flags", until about 2-1/2 weeks ago.

After she returned to school from the holiday break, she started running a low fever (100 degrees or less) each night for about 2 hours.  It would go away almost as quickly as it came on.  She wanted to be held while she had the fever, but would get down to play as soon as she felt better.  We also noticed that she was starting to become more lethargic; however, she has always been a sleepy child.  It wasn't unusual for her to tell us it was her bedtime and put herself to bed.  Even at 5-years old, she still takes a good nap daily.

Last week, she started having some difficulty in the morning before school…crying, wanting to be held more, not eating well.  By Wednesday, we decided to call her doctor.  My husband picked her up from school and when she got home, she crawled up in my lap like a limp doll and fell asleep before eating lunch.  We knew something was wrong and the doctor's office told us to bring her in right away.

Her doctor was off that day, so we saw a physician's assistant.  All of the normal stuff was checked—ears, throat, rapid strep test, blood work, urinalysis.  Her fever spiked to 104 degrees while we were there, so they knew something was wrong, but wouldn't know anything definitive until some of the lab results came back.  We were told to bring her back on Friday for a recheck with her doctor.

On Friday, her doctor went over the lab results with us and it was decided to send her immediately to the local ER for IV fluids to stabilize her vital signs.  She would then be transported to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis to be admitted.  Needless to say, it was a long and stressful day.

She was allowed to rest on Friday night, but on Saturday the process of truly finding out what was wrong had begun.  A pediatric GI doctor has been assigned to her case and performed an upper and lower GI in the afternoon.  It confirmed that she has advanced Crohn's Disease, which is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting various parts of the gastro-intestinal tract. 

Her lab results on Sunday gave us the big picture.  She is VERY SICK.  She is malnourished and will remain in the hospital for at least a week before being allowed to go home.  We have a long road ahead of us.

Now, let me just tell you that in spite of this, I feel so very blessed.  We have had outstanding care throughout this ordeal.  It seems like the right people have been in the right place at the right time for all of our needs. 

The nurses here are AMAZING!!!  I could not do their job and I have so much respect for them.  I would not have made it through the weekend without Sarah and Suzanne.  Sharon allowed us to get lots of sleep last night for which I am thankful.

You may have heard that doctors and chiropractors don't get along.  We have not found that to be true at all.  There is mutual respect and the doctors have explained everything to our satisfaction.  We are confident that they have a well-planned course of treatment and that they are doing everything possible to return Bella back to her happy self.

Our friends and family have been great support.  That includes all of my blog readers, newsletter subscribers, facebook fans, and twitter followers.  I've read every comment and email, and I apologize for not responding to each one.  Just know that your kind thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Now I have just a few stamping loose ends to tie up and I'll be done:

  • The Sweet Treats class scheduled for January 28th will be cancelled.  I still have every intention of having the rescheduled Celebrations Stamp-a-Stack on January 29th.  If something changes, I will let you know.
  • Virtual Stamp Club–the online class will most likely be delayed this month.  I need to be home a few days to shoot the videos for the class.  My plan is to have access to the class available on or before January 31st.  Therefore, anyone that places an order of $35 or more this month, will be given a VSC class pass.
  • Obviously I won't be attending Leadership Conference this week.  I'll miss all my Stampin' friends, but I am where I am suppose to be.  San Antonio is one of my favorite places to visits, so I know it will be great.
  • And guess what?  Yesterday, I celebrated my 10 year anniversary as a Stampin' Up demonstrator.  Hooray!  I can't believe it has been that long.  My plan was to offer a 10% discount on all purchases made this week:  January 15th–January 22nd.  Here is how it will work:  If you've placed or will be placing an online order, I will send you a rebate check for the 10% amount next week.  If you prefer, you can email me your order and we can make payment arrangements.  I now have wi-fi and she is more stable, so I can check my email more often.  Now, more than ever, I appreciate those orders.  So, thank you in advance.

And thanks again, for all your love and support.  Hopefully, we'll have Bella lighting up the world with her silly, toothless smile again soon.

12-27-2011 (109)

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  1. Deb B (Debadoo) | 16th Jan 12

    I’m so glad that you’ve been able to find out what is wrong, and that you’ve had a wonderfully caring and supportive team of medical professionals. Sometimes that is hard to find these days, and makes all the difference in the world! I don’t think anything can make you feel worse than a child being sick and not knowing why or how to fix it. Also very glad it’s something treatable! God bless you all!

  2. Debbie Pierce | 17th Jan 12

    Thank you so much for the update. Please know that you are all being prayed for daily. God bless and keep you.

  3. Yapha | 17th Jan 12

    I’m so glad that you found out what is wrong! It sounds like she is in good hands and on the road to recovery. I hope it goes smoothly from here on out.

  4. Kerry M | 17th Jan 12

    My prayers go out to Bella for a quick recovery. Take as much time as needed and don’t feel any guilt about taking time off.

  5. Brenda | 17th Jan 12

    So happy that your doctors got to the bottom of what was making your sweet baby girl sick! You all will be in my prayers and thoughts as you travel through this journey. Blessings and hugs, Brenda

  6. Adrian Mondy | 17th Jan 12

    Hey Lady ! please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Here’s a BIG hug just for you……

  7. Susan DR | 17th Jan 12

    Many get well wishes to Bella and prayers for your family. Take care!

  8. Julie | 17th Jan 12

    I just recently subscribed to your blog. Interestingly enough, my sister has Crohn’s and has had it for 24 years. Her husband is a surgeon and she is a nurse. They live in Oak Ridge, TN, but she and I are both from Bedford, IN. She and her husband attended IU and lived in Indy.
    She still travels to Indy to see her Crohn’s doctor. Really good Crohn’s doctors are few and far between. If you would be interested in her doctor’s name, I will get it for you. I’m sure she would talk to you if you were wanting someone to talk to. She was 12 when it first flared up.
    Please contact me directly at my email address if there is anything I can do.

  9. Nanc | 17th Jan 12

    I’m praying for you guys, for Bella and the doctors. Bless her heart – I can’t imagine Crohn’s at her age!
    We just received a diagnosis of IBS after finally getting Crohn’s ruled out on our 24 year old after over 4 years of multiple hospitalizations per year (up to 19 at last count with 7 this past year) – it has been tough – but I ***cannot imagine*** going through something like that with a 5 year old – that would be a zillion times more difficult! May God bless you with strength, hope and peace! Please, keep us posted.

  10. Stephanie Brittain | 17th Jan 12

    All of our thoughts and prayers are with you throughout this ordeal. We feel that everything will turn out alright for you, Ben, Chandler, Bella, and the rest of your family. Please remember that our time and resources are always open to you, if you require it.

  11. Amanda | 18th Jan 12

    Sending you much Love and Prayers.

  12. Marilyn | 18th Jan 12

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for the update, hope Bella gets to feeling better soon!

  13. Chlo | 20th Jan 12

    I just wanted to wish you heaps of luck and I’ll be thinking of you all. We have Crohns on my husband side of the family and
    i’m always checking the kids as it’s a hereditary illness.
    Send you love, Chlo

  14. Jill | 25th Jan 12

    Bella is beautiful and I’m praying for her full recovery to be quick.

  15. Anne | 10th Feb 12

    Sending best wishes and prayers for Bella and your family.

  16. Jane Dodge | 11th Feb 12

    My brother, Buzzy, was diagnosed with Crohn’s at the age of 30. He is now 74! It hasn’t always been easy, but his doctors are vigilant about keeping it from flaring into an acute episode. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and Bella in my prayers, Jane Dodge (Virginia)

  17. Joyce Dyck | 14th Mar 12

    My brother was diagnosed with crones disease several years ago, but he got operated on with a part of intestine taken out and has been back to normal…although he started to have issues again recently he started changing his diet. wheat and dairy free and added supplements. so far no more issues. if you like to know more about what he is doing, let me know. I pray your daughter heals and that things work out for you all.
    God Bless,
    Joyce Dyck (Canada)

  18. Twila Davis | 24th May 12

    Oh my Melissa, how is Bella doing now? Will keep her on my prayer list.

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