And we're home!

Well, that was a fast trip!  Drove to Salt Lake Wednesday, checked in to our room at the University Guest House and then went to the Red Lobster for dinner.  YUM!  After dinner we gave Carla her meds, did her vest treatment and then all went to bed.  I barely slept and then got up early Thursday morning to get ready for the appointment.  Of course, being in the same room, Carla ended up getting up early and played in the tub a long time, while rocking out to our favorite i-tunes.  After getting ready we went down for our Guest House complimentary breakfast.  And, to our surprise, they have added HOT food to their complimentary breakfast!  So, along with the usual cold food they offered (which we have always thought was awesome!), we also had the choice of sausage links, egg and cheese omelets, plain scrambled egg omelets,  or french toast!  We enjoyed our breakfast, packed up our room and were on the way to the hospital by 9:15.  

After checking in with Cardiology we walked over to the lab area and put our orders in.  Carla played in the kitchen they have set up there and then we were called.  They did a blood draw out of the arm and she didn't even shed a single tear!  Afterwards they gave her the choice of her toy and of course she chose play dough.  She always chooses play dough.  Upon returning to Cardiology they took Carla's height and weight and took us to a very comfortable conference room, where a nurse took Carla's vitals.  She ended up weighing 34 pounds, she is 39 inches tall and her oxygen level was bouncing between 78 and 79, on no oxygen.  We waited for quite a long while and were super happy to have a couch and comfy seats!  

The transplant nurses, and counselors who checked in with us were so amazed by how well Carla looked.  Of course, they saw her at her worst.  They were the ones sitting with us during those fateful days when we thought transplant was the only option and that option was now or never.  They saw our tears...they helped us make the hardest choices of our lives, and they answered our questions and comforted us the best they could.  We are so grateful to this transplant team at Salt Lake.  We could not have been placed in a better place during those most horrendous months.  

During this visit they all played with Carla.  And, when she told them there was a dragon trying to eat her smurfs, the doctors and nurses all played along!  When Dr. Everitt came in the room she cracked the door open, pretended to be holding out the dragon and quickly entered the room and closed the dragon out.  Carla laughed and laughed.  It was super cute.  

We talked to Dr. Everitt and she agreed to let us start doing the three month blood work in Great Falls. So, barring a heart transplant, we don't have to go back to Salt Lake for one year!  Dr. Everitt will be in touch with Dr. Ruggerie, in Great Falls,  and she will let him know what labs, etc. she wants him to draw.  They will give us a call next week about how the antibody labs turned out and we will have a better idea of what Carla's body is doing.  Dr. Everitt did tell us that Carla's immune system has recovered a bit from when we were there in March and April, but it is still down a bit (level is at 1200 and should be at 2000). She recommended certain shots to help prevent her from getting pneumonia and meningitis, as well as getting the flu shot and the regular 4 year old vaccines.  

As far as Carla goes, I wanted to let you all know that she is our little entertainer!  Holy cow!  Wherever we go, she is a star.  At Red Lobster, she charmed our waiter.  At the Guest House she charmed the old men eating breakfast next to us, and at the Hospital she charmed all the doctors and nurses.  Dr. Ruggerie said something to us at our last visit and he was so right.  He said:  "It must be a delight living with Carla.  She is such a character."  Why yes, yes it is.  She is quite a delight! And, we are so blessed :)  

Enough of my rambling though....here are a couple of pictures from our adventure. :)

Love, Jen

Shaking our Tootie, before we left Wednesday morning. 

Charming at the Red Lobster.

Carla, getting her shake on and Bobby, being cute. 

Playing her DSi, yesterday morning before we left for breakfast.

Humoring me.

Waiting in our cozy room at the hospital.

A couple of cuties.

Awh, loving on each other. 

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