Carla's Heartiversary and a trip to Seattle

Last Tuesday, the 15th, was Carla's 4th heartiversary!  It is hard to believe it has been 4 years and at the same time it feels like it's been 10! Carla had appointments in Seattle on the 16th, so we celebrated her heartiversary before we left for the airport.

I bought little Donate Life pins for all of the kids in her class and made cupcakes.  The school did a great job of making everyone aware of Carla's special circumstances and even made a PowerPoint video to help teach the other kids to be good to each other.  If I knew how to upload a PowerPoint video to the blog I would post it here, they did such a fabulous job.  Everyone who's seen it in our family has shed a little tear. One of the clubs at the school also gave Carla Happy Anniversary balloons and when we left the school her class sang "Happy Heartiversary" to the tune of Happy Birthday.  On the way to the car a bunch of teenagers were coming up to her and wishing her a happy day. It was really special.

We left the school and met some family at the park for our traditional sending a letter of thanks up to the heavens for Justin.  When we got to the park the wind starting blowing something fierce, it took the balloons up just as fast as they could go!

Carla with some of the heartiversary cupcakes

wrangling the balloons in the wind

Carla, Uncle Tom and Mandy is on Facetime.

Our little Wright Family minus one (Cody was at work). 

Carla with Great Uncle Skip, Papa, Tom, Bobby & I (and Ranger dog). 

Uncle Tom took this one so that Grandma could be in the picture too. 
After our little ceremony we were off to the airport.  Carla and I had soup and fries while we waited for our flight.  We got to Seattle and rented our car just in time for 5:00 traffic!  It was dark and raining. I was so glad that we had lived there for that year and a half and that I didn't have traffic anxiety on top of the fact that it was dark and raining. We made it to Bev's house and promptly hit the road for an Applebees celebration dinner. It was so sweet of Bev to take us out to celebrate. By the time we were done with dinner, Carla and I were pretty well beat and settled in for the night.

Carla and I had to be to the hospital by 7ish Wednesday morning for labs. So, we hit the highway by 6:10. There was surprisingly a lot of traffic on the 405 as well as I5, but we made it to the hospital with time to spare. We made it through security, checked in and waited for the lab to call her name. They were running a little behind, which started to worry me, but they eventually got us in and labs went very smoothly. We bought Carla the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book for her Heartiversary, and so she read that book the whole time she was getting her blood drawn. It was funny... kind of like, "Just go ahead and get your job done, I'm busy reading my book." After labs we went downstairs, checked in, and waited for cardiology. They did Carla's echo and then we waited for Dr. Albers. The new thing Children's has been doing is having a pharmacist and a psychologist come and talk to us while we wait. So at one point we had Jason, the transplant nurse, Dr. McKeever, the Psychologist, and Dan, the pharmacist, talking to us. When Dr. Albers arrived they all kind of cleared out. I feel like it was a little much all at once, but they have been working really hard on touching all of the necessary things that need to be addressed with transplant kids, which is good. Dr. Albers was happy with the fact that Carla's heart rate had dropped about 20 beats per minute and her echo looked unchanged. We didn't need to make any med changes, which was nice. After the cardio appointment we got a quick little something at the cafeteria, because neither one of us had eaten breakfast. We then headed over to the pre-anesthesia appointment at 10:30. That was pretty much just answering a bunch of questions. We had a couple of hours to kill after that appointment, so headed over to Target and bought Carla some boots to wear (instead of the little dress shoes she bought). After Target we headed over to one of Carla's favorite old haunts, the Yummy Cafe, and had actual lunch (we had just had enough to tide us over at the cafeteria). The Yummy Cafe never disappoints and afterwards we were ready to tackle the rest of the day... Carla had an  ENT appointment at 1:20 and I was worried that he would want to use a scope and look at her vocal chord... but you have to go through the nose, which Carla HATES (can you blame her!?) Thank goodness, Dr. Ingls let her know right away that he wouldn't be doing the scope, so that was great!  We were back to Bev's by about 3:00, and settled in for the night.
On Thursday we had to be to the hospital by 12:30 for a neuro/psych evaluation.  I was about a 3 hour test and we were happy to be done with the hospital for the weekend.
Yummy food at the Yummy Cafe!

On Saturday, we had the opportunity to meet up with old friends for dinner in Federal Way.  It was so fun and we hope to do that again in January when we come up for biopsy.

Sunday we had the opportunity to see Bobby's Auntie and cousins as well as to see my cousin, Amy, and her family.  It was a lovely day and I was feeling pretty blessed to have so many loved ones in the Seattle area.  It really makes having to travel there all the time a lot of fun.

Making homemade flour tortillas with cousin Ethan
Monday we didn't need to be back to the hospital until 12:15, but Carla's last meal was at 5:00 a.m., and then she was starved down the rest of the day. She actually woke up at 4:00, so I made her french toast and then went and laid down for a while longer.  I had actually been awake since 2:00, because I couldn't sleep. They didn't actually start her vocal chord procedure until 2:00, so at that time I was starving like crazy (I don't eat when she's being starved down).  After I left her in the procedure room I hit the cafeteria and found some yummy noodles that I heated up in the microwave. After eating I went downstairs and waited to be paged.  Eventually I was paged and got to talk to the doctor about how the procedure went.  Her vocal chord was kind of saggy, so he plumped up as best he could.  So far I have REALLY NOTICED a difference in her voice and she is A LOT LESS phlegmy! Thank God!  Hopefully this will last a couple of years. We were released from the hospital just in time for 5:00 traffic, and went to Bev's and just vegged out. We were both very beat!  I actually slept Monday night and was excited about coming home on Tuesday and getting ready for Thanksgiving.

All ready to go!

Trying to read while I was pestering her...

Procedure's done...


Just in time for traffic!

Eating Ivars' clam chowder at the airport, yum!

On our way home!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I can't help but to feel extremely thankful and blessed!  What an amazing life.



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