Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Happy 14th Birthday, Bailey!!

Bailey turned 14 years old yesterday. Last year we spent her 13th birthday in the hospital on the Berlin Heart waiting for a transplant. What a difference a year makes, huh?! It's so nice to experience the change of season from winter to spring. Bailey commented on how she hasn't seen blossoms on trees in 2 years. This time last year, she didn't like to go outside with the Berlin. She was still a little nervous taking it outside the walls of the hospital. Since our flower gardens were terribly neglected last year, Bailey and I spent Sunday afternoon working on cleaning them up. We had a good time, but my back reminded me that it had been quite a while since I had worked in the yard.

This week is spring break for the girls, and I, for the first time ever, took the week off work. We spent the weekend at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. We camped in a tent and, believe it or not, got Tom to join us! We had a great time. The cave tour was incredible -- strongly recommend it to anyone . . . or at least anyone who is not fearful of tight spots, heights, the dark, or creepy crawly critters. My knees were pretty weak and shaky after the first 300-step steep decline into a vertical shaft, but lots and lots of fun. I was a little nervous about Bailey's ability to overcome her fear of the dark, but she pushed through and came out victorious. Marissa and Josie didn't have any trouble at all. Tom got a little nervous of the tight spots. Camping was so much fun. Got a little nippy at night - got down to the mid-40's - but it wasn't too bad at all. Bailey and I got pretty cold when we took a middle-of-the-night stroll to the restroom, but I was comfy-cozy in my two hooded jackets, long-johns, sweats, fleece blanket, and sleeping bag. I guess Tom got pretty cold - he complained about the sleeping bag not being arctic-quality, but, hey . . . that's camping in April.

And, boy! Was I ever confused with the time. For the first time ever, Indiana changed its clocks forward for daylight savings time, and that, in itself, can be challenging, but then add to it traveling to Kentucky through two different time zones, I wasn't sure what time it was. Once we made our cave tour on time, I just didn't worry about it until we got back home, then I had a pretty good idea what the time should be.

The girls each get a day to plan all by themselves this week. Marissa's day was today, and she wanted to go to the White River Gardens butterfly exhibit. Lucky for us, they had Community Day and, for a very small additional fee, we got to go to the zoo too! Then we went to the park for a picnic lunch and kickball with a giant pink ball. That was fun! Although I thought I was going to pass out from lack of oxygen. I think I need to start some regular exercise in my daily routine.

Marissa started her softball season again. She's doing very well and loves it - especially that Daddy is assistant-coach. Josie is wrapping up her basketball season that's been going since September. She's doing very well and enjoys basketball - it's definitely her favorite sport. We got her a pair of eyeglasses a few weeks ago for nearsightedness. I've never seen anybody so happy to be able to read road signs. She didn't realize how bad her vision was. We didn't get their eyes checked last year because of being in the hospital, but they were checked two years ago and Josie's eyes were fine back then. Both she and Bailey play the violin. They've been working on hymn duets. Very pretty! I love to hear them practice.

Haven't heard much about the documentary other than they're still working on it. I believe they had a rough cut and plan on premiering it maybe in May around race time. I'll keep you posted. Haven't seen any of it, but the doctors who have seen some of it say we'll like it.

Bailey keeps in touch with Dr. T, Patrick, the nurses (in fact, some of them were able to celebrate her birthday with us yesterday), and lots of other member of her medical team. After finally getting insurance coverage for a very expensive medication for pulmonary pressure, Bailey was put on that about a month ago and she thinks it is helping her feel even better. We get an echo on Monday to see what the doctors say. That would be wonderful to see even more of an improvement in her PA pressure.

Hope all is well with everyone out there.
Talk to you again soon.