Posted (Tina) in All Posts on November-6-2009

Wow, I know it has felt like forever since I have posted. I’ve been meaning to, but then things have surfaced and made life crazy.

Since our last post, Ella has continued to do well. She is continuing to get stronger and trying to stand up in her Pack-n-Play. I have left the room and come back, only to discover Ella standing…and I did not place her in that position. Since our last post, it has only happened 4 times total, although she tries and tries every day. But this is a good sign: it means that she is getting stronger and will reach this milestone in due time.

Last week, Josh went out of town for an entire week. In anticipation of being home alone with Ella, I invited my Mom to come and visit during the same time frame. So, Grandma Eusey had a chance to see Ella. Although just as expected, Ella did not let Grandma Eusey get too close. She still has high stranger anxiety and only seems to do well with her parents.

Every so often, Ella is waking up at night. It only seems to take about 5-10 minutes of consoling and she will go back to sleep. We’re not sure what it might be, but don’t think it is anything too major since she is easily consolable.

We did not do anything major for Halloween. Yes, Ella did have a princess outfit that she wore…and can you believe it…I did not get a single picture. Grandma Eusey had to be taken to the airport and Josh had to be picked up from the airport, both on Halloween, so it was a bit hectic. I look forward to the day that Ella gets excited to dress up and trick-or-treat for candy. Right now, she is oblivious to Halloween – the outfit, candy, festivities. But I know that it won’t always be that way…someday we will have a chance to celebrate in true Halloween form.

Ella had another echo performed on Tues, Nov 2nd. Thankfully, everything checked out well. The flow in the SVC is great; the same flow as when the procedure was completed 6 weeks ago.

Besides the SVC, she has required more oxygen from 1 – 1.25 liters to remain stable. A hand full of months ago, she was 750ml during the day and 500ccs at night. In talking with the cardiologist, there is no physiological reason for the increased requirement to be related to the SVC. So, we’re not sure for the higher amount. Maybe it is just that she is getting bigger? In other words, she needs more oxygen for her growing body and her lungs have not kept up with the rate of growth that her body needs? It is just one theory. I just weighed her the other day and she is 29.3 pounds. The scale confirmed that it is not my imagination that she is getting bigger and heavier. And since she can’t walk, I have to hold her and carry her everywhere. She is getting very heavy for me!

We also went to have her ears checked today by an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat Specialist). The great news: the tympanogram was normal. This means that she does not have fluid in her ears. However, the ENT also checked Ella’s nose and that is where the concern lies. Without getting too detailed, her nose is very dry and crusty way up there. The medicine that she started after the most recent SVC procedure, Plavix, has likely taken the dryness to a new level. The ENT thinks that her nose is partly occluded which could explain the increased need for oxygen. The doctor also described how this condition plus her being on oxygen therapy might explain the congestion she experiences every morning and the very thick secretions coming from her sinuses. It can’t drain via her nose in a normal way because it is too occluded, so it all goes down her throat. This might be why she has such a hard time with her secretions every morning. Also, Dr. Kelley stated that when you are heavily congested in the sinus area, it can impact the level of hearing. She prescribed some topical ointment for the nostril area as well as a nasal steroid mist. She wants us to try it for a handful of weeks. If this clears up the issue and we notice less oxygen requirements and better hearing responsiveness, then great. If not, she wants us to return for a follow-up visit in 5 weeks. It was great to get a clear answer as to why Ella might be experiencing these issues related to her hearing. Moreover, we’re thankful that we did not have to make an appointment right now for another procedure.

Finally, we decided to add a new member to our family. I have really missed having dogs (my Dad adopted ours before we left for Ella’s birth in Gainesville about 2.5 years ago). I miss having the companionship, especially when I am in the house all the time. At first, Josh was not elated about the idea of acquiring a dog right now since life seems unsettled and stressed. But after researching breeds and visiting a few, he softened and let me know that he would be content with getting a dog.

We adopted her from a breeder in Wyoming. She is a 17 week old, silver Weimaraner. Once Josh met her, the name just came to him. He asked, “What do you think about Lola?” So, that is her name! She is extremely docile and wants to be close all the time, following us all over the house. Her temperament and personality is a perfect fit for us. The breeder had already introduced crate and potty training, so a lot of the heavy lifting has already been done. Now, it will just be some basic obedience training, leash training, etc. Ella doesn’t seem too phased by the dog – she’ll just look at her every so often. Our cat is not too happy about the new family member and is still trying to adjust. Lola wants to sniff her and isn’t aggressive at all, but Macy is not having any of it! Now when Lola inadvertently gets nearby the cat, she runs! Macy has made it clear who is the alpha personality in this house! We’re hoping time and slow introductions will be the key.

Needless to say, we are happy about our new addition. As a matter of fact, I left with Ella to do an errand the other day. Josh was in his office working away. Lola likes to lay at your feet, so she was under the desk at his feet. When I came back, the house seemed strangely quiet. I went over to the office and found the two companions taking a snooze on the floor. This was especially funny since Josh was not sure that he wanted a dog. I think she has already figured out how to wrap him around her little paw.

monika clark on November 6th, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

tina, josh, ella, pets, angels abound. you are all so precious, so blessedly enduring and faithful. GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU. thank you for sharing and inspiring. i love you. our baby is a GIRL!!! too, a friend for ella.i’ll be in denver tomorrow. hope we can see eachother. xomonika

Heidi on November 6th, 2009 at 9:28 pm #

So great to get the update Tina…I am sure you are all very busy and we all understand and look forward to the posts. Beautiful Lola…lucky dog! Awesome how well Ella is doing too! Love and kisses to all <3

Liz Nelson on November 6th, 2009 at 9:59 pm #

Ella is so cute! I love her smile. So glad she is doing well. I am looking forward to the day we can take Nayeli out trick or treating too. So happy for you guys with your new dog. She is so cute! When I was reading your post I thought for sure you got another dachshund. I love the picture of Josh and Lola snoozing, awwww. Thank you for the update.

Tracy on November 6th, 2009 at 10:00 pm #

Love hearing the good reports on Ella – she is so adorable and growing up fast. Before you know it, she’ll be trick or treating! Lola is very cute too. Love and Prayers to you all!
The Mitchells

Eli on November 7th, 2009 at 6:09 am #

I love the new family member. Very cute picture of Josh and Lola. Ella looks like she is getting bigger and stronger every day.

Eve Johnson on November 7th, 2009 at 11:20 am #

Dogs are indeed angels disguised with fur. There’s no disguise for Ella, though. She’s a beauty through and through!

Loren Lizotte on November 7th, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

wow how exciting! so many changes. Ella is getting so big. great job

The Williams on November 8th, 2009 at 10:07 am #

How cute… you go Lola, do your thing! Love all the photos and thanks for the update. Love you guys!

Steve and Joan on November 8th, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

Dear ELla – You are STUPENDOUS and look wonderful — It is so awesome to watch you and your personality grow. We love every minutes of it. Hope Daddy is having luck with his job search. We know Momma has her hands full but it is a very special bundle she has her hands full of. Love, hugs and Lord Bless – Prayers Continue — Steve and Joan

Jenn M on November 9th, 2009 at 2:30 am #

Tina, Ella looks GREAT! Love all the pics!!! I hope the ENT’s ideas help. I hope the night wakings stop soon, sleep is precious.
Lola is precious, LOVE her name 😉 Our Lola is not nearly as graceful!! Glad to see an update, thank you for sharing!

Katy on November 9th, 2009 at 6:37 am #

You got a DOG! I am so happy you decided to do that. And Ella is standing on her own, after watching her ‘just about’ stand up on her own a couple weeks ago, it’s so good to hear she figured it out.

Marge (A Friend in Indiana) on November 9th, 2009 at 10:37 am #

I’ve missed you Ella; you are looking very good, little girl and I’m so happy to see you today. Continued prayers for all of you for God’s greatest Blessings.

Cindy Deckerd on November 12th, 2009 at 7:00 am #

Watch out! Ella is mobile! Glad to hear all is well. Macy….she’ll adjust – eventually. Our cat was not happy when we addedd Bandita to our family, but over time the dog & the cat figure out each other’s boundaries.

kristin thompson on November 13th, 2009 at 10:44 am #

Ella I love these latest photos of you! Your smile knocks my socks off 🙂 I have clear visions of you driving down the road with the sun roof open and the wind blowing through your hair…carefree girl!

Lola is such a sweetie! Not surprising that this latest addition to the West family is so photogenic and heartwarming! xxoxoxoxoxoxxooooo

Joel snyder on March 7th, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

Ella, How exciting to have our new family member “Lola”she is truly beautiful. Lots of companionship for you and Mom. Love,Grandpa!!!!!

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