3/20/15

doTERRA

I received my doTERRA in the mail yesterday!  There was so much in the box I almost didn't know what to do! I want to start using and reporting our success stories, but have gotten all excited and so have to pull back so that I can report on individual products.  First off, this is what I received:


So far, I've starting using the Serenity Calming bath bar (for Carla's nighttime bath); the Citrus Bliss Invigorating bath bar (for my morning shower); the Protecting Shampoo & Smoothing Conditioner; the HD Clear Foaming Face Wash and lotion; the Reveal Facial System; the On Guard foaming hand soap; the Lifelong Vitality Vitamin pack; Peppermint oil for stress relief; Helichrysum for Carla's Eczema and the weeping behind her ears; Lemon oil for Carla's inability to focus on ONE THING; On Guard (of course, that's what got this all started) to keep Carla healthy; and Breathe & Lavender for a restful sleep.

I told you I went a little crazy!  I'm going to pull back a little bit for better reporting... but this is what I have to report so far.

The Helichrysum:  Seems to be working very well!  Behind Carla's ears weep and get super sore on a daily basis. The docs say this is medicine related. Every morning and night we clean them with a warm cloth and put cream on them... and the backside of her left knee gets really dry, red, itchy and painful.  We started the Helichrysum last night and today after school the ears looked a lot better, and while the backside of her knee still looks red (the skin looks burned) it doesn't look as dry and she's not complaining about it.

The Peppermint:  Bobby was very stressed out this morning before school, I rubbed some peppermint on his neck and forehead and when he called me on his break he sounded very joyous.  Could be a coincidence, but we will further document how peppermint makes us feel. It is also good for a bunch of other things.

The On Guard:  I have been putting On Guard on the bottoms of Carla's feet before bed since February.   She has not caught a single cold.  This is a miracle.

I started taking the vitamins this morning and think that one of the most remarkable things is that they don't give you that vitamin stomach that most vitamins give you.  I didn't feel gross at all after taking them.

Today I felt very happy and good in general.

Love, Jen

3/15/15

Excited!

During the entirety of Carla's life, cold and flu season has always brought anxiety. While she had half a heart we pretty much kept her away from all other children and of course anyone who was sick. For the first two years of her life, and then while she awaited her heart transplant, Carla had to endure the treacherous monthly synagis shot (to prevent RSV) from the  months of October through March. The synagis shots hurt so bad that even to this day Carla remembers them. Unfortunately, despite all of our efforts, almost as soon as Carla started pre-school, she caught the dreaded RSV. And, because of her Plastic Bronchitis, it nearly killed her.  She spent two and a half months in the hospital and was intubated for over a month. I remember she was taken to have a PICC line placed on her fourth birthday.  I sat in her ICU room crying as I waited for her to return from the procedure. This was not how we had planned spending her fourth birthday. She was lucky to survive the RSV/Plastic Bronchitis episode and it is what got us on the fast track to a heart transplant. Since receiving her heart, we no longer have to worry that Carla is going to die from a cold. Whew, what a huge relief that is!  BUT, we still have to worry during cold and flu season, because she is on three immunosuppression drugs to keep her body from attacking her perfect new heart. Because her immune system is suppressed, she catches every cold or flu she comes into contact with, and gets sicker than the average child. The viruses last about three times longer than normal, and she almost always ends up needing an antibiotic. Carla has actually taken so many antibiotics that we had to switch her to a new one, because she has built up a tolerance to the usual antibiotic we were using. All this being said, you can only imagine the amount of anxiety, frustration and stress that this time of year brings.

In February, after fighting a bacterial cough that literally lasted from September through the end of January, my mother in law bought me a doTERRA Essential Oil called On Guard. I forwarded all of the information to the transplant team, and got the OK to rub it on the bottom of Carla's feet at night. She is not to ingest it, but rubbing it on is OK. After getting the OK, I started using the On Guard. And guess what!!!??? Carla hasn't picked up a single bug since starting the On Guard! I go to the school four days a week to listen to the kids in Carla's class read, and I noticed that there has been a lot of illness.  A lot of the kids in her class missed days in February with a cold that had a lingering cough attached to it. Carla didn't get sick! Last weekend my side of the family had a gathering, unfortunately there was a fast acting flu bug that hit the family. Carla didn't catch the flu! I can't even begin to explain how happy this has made me!  I just rub a couple drops of On Guard on her feet every night and BAM, she's protected. 

I am actually so impressed with this product that I have decided to become a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. I have signed up and am anxiously awaiting my product!  I can't wait to try out all of the oils on my family!  As you can imagine, we have a little anxiety around here, so I'm looking forward to trying a blend called Serenity for that. I have tummy issues, so am looking forward to trying a blend called DigestZen for that... I will try them out and report back how they work. 

If you would like to try some doTERRA essential oils, please get in touch with me via e-mail, or you can order off of my webpage: http://www.mydoterra.com/littlewrightmom/ if you go to the webpage, you will be charged full retail, but if you email me I can give you a better deal. My email address is littlewrightmom@gmail.com  

I'm super excited about this  new adventure and can't wait to start helping people!  

Love, Jen

The other morning, spoiling the puppy.

My Dad, playing his guitar and singing for us :)

Andy and Mario 

Carla and Grandma Sue, dancing.

Carla and Grandma Sue, snuggling up baby Dakota

Tamara and Jacob :)

Cousin Mark and Andy

Mark's family came to visit so that the kids could meet their Great Grandma Morgan. We had such a nice time and it was fun to meet Mark's family

Grandma Morgan, loving up one of her wugsy twugs... 

Mario and I on his first birthday :)

After school the other day, Mario knows how to make a person feel loved :)

Deep Thoughts, with Mario...

I'm going to lick your face off!  (I think it's totally gross, but Carla lets him lick her). 

Thursday morning before labs, it was hat week in her class...

On our way to school after labs.

3/10/15

Food for thought...

 In less than a month Carla is going to be turning eight. I can't believe it's been eight years since she was born!  This morning I had a moment where I let myself consider what life would have been like had we chosen compassion care (to just let her die). This is not something that we ever considered, but choosing to fight for her has changed out lives so much!  We are no longer a double income family without a care in the world.  On many days it's like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. But you know what, I'm still so very glad that that we never gave up fighting for Carla to live... and glad that she never gave up either.  A world with Carla in it is so much better than one without her!  

It's time to go get our little miracle from school... God bless!

Love, Jen

2/20/15

Seattle Doctor Visits...

Tuesday morning Carla and I flew to Seattle for a couple of appointments. Bev picked us up at the airport and we spent the day with her. We went for a walk and took Carla to Applebee's for dinner. Bev was sweet enough to let us use her car this time, so we didn't have to rent a car, which was super nice of her and saved us a ton of money. 

Carla and I left Bev's Wednesday morning by 6:30 and reported for her echo at 7:30. After the echo we did labs and a visit with Dr. Law.  Carla was not very happy with me for forgetting her numbing cream, but luckily the phlebotomists at Children's are super experienced so it was one poke and no digging.

Dr. Law was his usual thoughtful self and talked me in to switching Carla from cyclosporine to tacrolimus. Tacro was the culprit drug that caused Carla's PRES Syndrome (PRES was when she had the brain swell and turned into a zombie like shell of herself after transplant). That was one of the scariest and heart wrenching times of our lives. But, the circumstances are different and he is convinced that she will have less side effects on Tacro than Cyclosporine. And, we will not be in a hurry to get her up to a high level, so over dosing her would be so much less likely of a thing to ever happen. The plan was to start her and three days later check levels.  So, we just started her today (Friday) and will check levels Monday morning. Fingers crossed, here we go!

Thursday morning we had an appointment with Dr. Inglis, Carla's vocal cord doctor. We talked for a little while and then he wanted to scope her and see what he could see about her vocal cords. He thinks that we could have a little better success if we plump the right one up just a little more. She was sick when they did the procedure back in October and I have never felt that it was quite as successful as her trial procedure. Her voice has still been quiet and I feel like I have to strain to hear her when she is not trying to yell. 

This means a trip back to Seattle for another vocal cord procedure on April 20th, and then a trip back in May for cardiology as well as a checkup with Dr. Inglis.  I am actually trying to get the May trip moved to the first week of June though, because Carla's last day of school is May 29th. I will find out about that today. 

We flew home last night and it was so very nice to be home and with Bobby again.  There really is no place like home.

Love, Jen

Carla and I shared a croissant for breakfast on the plane Tuesday morning.  

Going for a walk with Grandma Bev.

Enjoying Grandma's onion ring.

Being a stinker... Yes, sometimes Carla is a stinker. 

Lunch while we waited for the pharmacy to fill Carla's new medicine.

This one we took special for Cody, because he is not a fan of selfies... So, every so often, I can't resist but to send him a nerdy platypus face selfie. That's just the kind of parent I am...

Bev wasn't feeling very well Thursday night, so we took a taxi to the airport.  Here's a picture of Carla on her very first taxi cab ride.
And finally, upon returning home I found that Bobby had an honorable mention in the local paper!  He has been working his bummy off to get the best grades possible.  Obviously his efforts are paying off!  Good job honey!!


2/15/15

February is half over!

Well, February is half over and I am happy to report that it has been a much better month than January!  Carla has not had any raging fevers or extended illnesses.  We had a Superbowl party and the wrong team won, but at least we got to hang out with some great friends and eat a bunch of food :)  At the end of January Carla was able to attend Ryder's 3rd birthday party at the carousel in Helena. Carla is absolutely terrified of riding the horses on a carousel, but did face her fear and rode on one. Jeff stood with her and she was still scared, but did make it through the ride. She felt very brave to have faced that fear.

I have been attending "Listening Parents" in Carla's class, the past couple of weeks. They do it Monday through Thursday for about 20 to 30 minutes per day. I love going and listening to the kids read, they really enjoy it and the more they get to read, the better they get. Carla is actually a very strong reader, I think because we have always read to her before bed. Also, she loves her technology, so I'm sure that has helped her learn to read. This past Friday I attended her class Valentine Party. The kids were all hopped up on sugar and it was pretty funny to watch them all sugared up. After the party we went to town because Bobby and Carla both had eye doctor appointments. Bobby's eyes stayed the same but Carla has a slight prescription. She can see well with her left eye, but her right eye is a tiny bit blurry.  So, we ordered her the cutest pair of lavender glasses and she will get them in a week or two. She is excited. I am happy that she is excited, but have a feeling the excitement will wain after a period of time. At this point she only needs to wear them for school.

Carla and I will be headed back to Seattle Tuesday morning for a heart checkup Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. She also has an appointment with her vocal cord doctor on Thursday. We will come home Thursday night. As luck my have it, she doesn't have school  on Friday, so we don't need to be rushing around to get her to school on Friday.

Carla and Ryder at the carousal. 

Carla and I, taking a ride on the bench. 

Standing by the horse she was riding. (This one didn't go up and down, and she rode it a couple of times)

Excited about her bubblegum ice cream.

Uncle Jeff holding her tight so that she doesn't fall off the horse.  This one went up and down. 

She's so cute. 

Yes, more ice cream... this flavor was cotton candy.

Getting ready for the Superbowl. 

Our little Wright family (minus one).

Having a patriotic moment with Russell Wilson...

The Krafts

After getting my second MMR vaccination.  The measles scare has everyone on high alert, apparently in the 90's the CDC changed the recommendations regarding the vaccination. When I was a kid they recommended one MMR, now to be fully covered they recommend two MMRs.  So, I went and got my second shot, and now everyone in our home is fully vaccinated.  

1/30/15

The End of January Ramblings...

This month for me has been unsettling and full of anxiety.  I guess part of me is still recovering from the shock that we got at Carla's two year biopsy.  When you go into a procedure thinking everything is great and then the doctors tell you that everything is not great it can be a shocker.  I'm not sure why I let myself get so optimistic. Carla's heart has not been damaged, but her having been diagnosed with the coronary disease was certainly upsetting.  It can definitely be managed, it just means more appointments and more meds.  But, the lurking possibility that it could lead to damaging her new perfect heart and eventually lead to her needing another transplant is what really made my head spin. I guess I was in too fragile of a mindset to hear those words... the world started spinning and all I could think was... I can't do this again...

So, after that shocker in December, Carla starting school again and then getting really sick right off the bat was not helpful to my state of mind.  She has had three blood draws this month, and will have another next Friday.  Then, we will be off to Seattle again on February 17th and back to Missoula on the 16th of March.  Monthly cardiologist visits is a lot. I wish that we just lived in Seattle. Today we will go to the pediatrician's office so that Carla can have a chest x-ray. I told Children's that her oxygen levels have been lower while she sleeps, so they want to get an x-ray to make sure there isn't a quiet lurking pneumonia.  I'm sure she doesn't have pneumonia, but we have to jump through their hoops so that they can figure out what the problem is. I personally think that she just needs an iron supplement, but they won't do that until they do labs on her iron next Friday. The whole system is frustrating, and I guess me not having any control over any of it is a big part of the problem. I like having control. I actually think that part of my journey through all of this is to learn that I actually have no control and to somehow be alright with that.

Tomorrow is the final day of this month, which means that tomorrow will be the anniversary of  my Mom's death. Twenty-seven years ago, I was a twelve year old girl  who lost the most important person in my life.  I miss my Mom so much and will always wonder what my life would have been like had she lived. The world was such a better place with my Mom in it. She was something special, and not just because she was my Mom. She had a way about her that made people feel important and loved.  Her smile would light up the room and her laughter was contagious. As a child I couldn't help but to think she was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. And I felt so incredibly lucky that she was mine.

So, here's to my MOM...
One of my favorite pictures - she was probably around 19, but I can't be sure.                                             
Here she is, being her usual silly self. 

This was a picture was taken when I was 12. 

So now I say, good riddance January, I wash my hands of you!  Here's to a fabulous February!!!

Love, Jen

1/23/15

After starting an antibiotic last Monday, Carla was feeling much better!  She had labs on Thursday and then Friday we were able to go to Helena for my Dad's gig at the Staggering Ox. Carla and I spent the night with our besties and then we had a Wildtree Tasting party Saturday afternoon with our other besties! Sunday was a perfect afternoon of football and relaxation.  It was a great weekend!  Wednesday afternoon Carla had a dentist appointment in Helena and directly after we hopped in the car to try to make to to Missoula before it got dark.  I can't see so well in the dark, so the last half an hour was a little nerve wracking, but we made it safe and sound.  We were lucky enough to spend the night at the Ronald McDonald House in Missoula and then attended Carla's cardiologist appointment first thing Thursday morning. Because of her coronary disease we have to keep a close eye on her heart, to make sure it isn't being damaged in any way.  The good news is that her heart still looks great!  After the appointment we rushed back to Cascade so that Carla could attend the "Disco Party" her class was having.  They had accumulated 30 class points for doing great, so they were rewarded with a party, and they voted to have a disco party.  When I went to pick her up the party was still in full swing and it was fabulous!  The kids (and Mrs. Cobb) looked like they were having a blast! This morning around 3:00 a.m. Carla cried out and when I went to her room I found her freezing cold with a fever of 100.3.  NOT AGAIN!!!  I gave her some Tylenol and after an hour her fever had risen a degree to 101.3, but she wasn't shivering anymore.  Around 4:15 she started to feel more normal and then she was awake by 5:30.  She seems alright right now, but I don't dare send her to school because she has a tendency to get fevers on and off sometimes. So, I guess we'll wait and see what happens.  A bunch of kids in the school were sick last week with a virus that involved a fever and I can't help but think that must be what she caught. So, we will just take it easy and pray that she feels great throughout the weekend (but I'm not holding my breath).  

When we got Carla's labs back on Tuesday, we realized that the lab had only tested her med levels, instead of the full panel like usual.  I have to admit that I was a tiny bit pissed off, because she had to get two pokes and then they messed it up and didn't check some of her very important levels, like her CBC, WBC, magnesium levels, kidney function, heart density.  All of that stuff gets jacked around when she is sick and those levels needed to be checked.  So, we will go back on Monday for more levels.  

Love, Jen

Last Thursday morning before labs. 


Dancing with Ryder at Dad's gig. 

Jenny, Jess, Katy and I.  My very best friends :) 

Carla and Morgan :)

Jenny and I, being silly. 

Best Friends.  We stayed up too late and Carla was pooped.  

Go Seahawks!  Carla received this cool shirt from Grandma Bev. 

At the dentist, Carla was a big girl and was able to get great x-rays this time!  

Carla and I at Dr. Hardy's office with Gabriela, the new dolly the Ronald McDonald House gave Carla. 

1/15/15

Back in the Swing

School started back up for Carla on the 5th and I am sad to say that on Thursday the 8th, when I picked her up from school she was crying and said that she felt so weak.  When I got her home I found that she had a temperature of 101.2.  I took her to the pediatrician on Friday, they did a nose swab and when it came back negative for the flu, it was decided that she probably just had a virus that needed to run its course. Carla had fevers all weekend and was nothing short of miserable! I took her back to the doctor on Monday and we were prescribed an antibiotic. She had some blood work, which showed that she is in fact fighting some kind of infection.  After that first dose of the antibiotic she was already getting better. I personally feel that we are battling the same bacterial infection that she was diagnosed with in December (or was it November or October).  I don't think it has ever fully cleared up and when they started her on a third immunosuppresant I think it gave the bacteria a chance to flare back up.  It has been so hard watching Carla suffer so much. I wish we could get her back to a good baseline and that she could feel better.  The doctors did discontinue her statin while she was having fevers, because it can cause weakness and muscle pain during fevers.  That explained why she felt so horribly on Thursday. Yesterday the docs in Seattle told us to discontinue Carla's Cellcept (which is one of her three immunosuppresants) until she is feeling better. I told them that her fevers were better but that she was still battling the cough.  They said to discontinue and that they would discuss her during their weekly meeting and call me today with a "plan".  I have yet to hear from them, so I am yet to know what the plan is.  I am hoping that it involves not starting her back up on Cellcept. In my opinion, it is ridiculous to have her on three immunosuppressants when she had a rejection score of ZERO. Yes, she has been diagnosed with coronary disease, but still, three drugs to knock out her immune system during flu season is a recipe for disaster!  

Here are some pictures from the past couple of weeks :)  

Love, Jen

Mario, before his haircut. 

Carla, playing with play dough 

Stacking...

She's pretty proud of herself. 

New Years Eve!

Dancing to Train during the New Years Eve tv program

Labs on January 2nd - she sat all alone for the first time ever :)

Snuggling up her puppy.

I mustache you a question (being silly at the doctor's office)

Snuggling :)

Burrr!!!

Mario, comforting his girl...
This morning before labs.