Monday, April 13, 2009

A Trip to the ER

We had our first ever trip to the ER on Saturday night. I've never been quite so scared in my life.

I was in the attic looking for one more Easter basket that I had not been able to find. Our attic has a door from Emma's room, but it also has a pull-down trap door with stairs into the garage. Evan had followed me in from Emma's room, and I took him back out....."Don't come in the attic, Evan. It is too dangerous!". I went back into the attic and was in a corner digging. I did not see him come back in. When I heard the "Thud", I immediately knew what had happened. Evan had come back into the attic and had stepped on the edge of the trap door. It opened, and he fell through into the garage. God was looking out for us van happened to be parked in just the right spot, so luckily he fell onto the hood of the van and not onto the concrete floor!

Regardless, I was scared to death. Emma and I both started screaming for Jeff who was in the kitchen. I looked down and saw Evan on the van, laying on his back, but his arms and legs were moving. Jeff got to him seconds later and he had rolled over to his tummy. I came running down stairs as Jeff was carrying him inside. Evan was not crying at all--his first words were "I need headache medicine!" From that, we knew that he had hit his head. There was a red mark on the back of his head, but no bump or whelp. We decided immediately to take him to the ER to have him checked out.

We loaded everyone in the van and dropped Emma, Ethan, & Adam off at TaTa's house on the way. We were almost to the hospital when Evan said, "Where's Bubba Adam?" (He is not used to being away from Adam!). We told him he was at TaTa's house. He replied, "I need him!"

When we got to the ER and I told the triage nurse what had happened, she told me to hold his neck still. (I had not even thought about his neck....I was more worried about his head!). They immediately put a neck brace on him, and told us that we should have called an ambulance! (Apparently, if your child falls more than twice their height, you should keep them still and call an ambulance...good to know!).

They took us to a trauma room and hooked him up to a monitor and we saw two doctors immediately. Once they saw that his vital signs were all stable, they moved us to a different room (I think they also had a helicopter coming in and needed the room) while we waited to go to radiology for an Xray of his neck. They were not as concerned about his head, and told us just to watch to make sure he was acting normal.

We had to wait a while for radiology, and Evan was quite uncomfortable in the neck brace. He kept saying, "I want to take this off", and "This is squishing my ears!!". Once, he was sitting on my lap and yelled, "Somebody please HELP ME!" There was a big letter "B" on the wall, and he asked, "Are we in Room B? I want to go to Room A!" He was quite an entertaining little patient!

We finally headed to Xray where they took five different shots of his neck. He was such a big boy and was perfectly still for his pictures! For one he had to lay on his back and open his mouth as wide as he could--I bet he was the most compliant two-year-old they have ever seen!

We waited just a while longer to hear that the Xrays looked good. By then, we had been there for more than three hours, and he was acting completely normal. We kept asking him "Where are we?", "Why are we here?", "Where is Bubba Adam?". He would answer correctly every time...."We are at the doctor.", "I step on the stairs and fall on your van.", "Bubba's at TaTa's house". We were feeling comfortable that he did not have a serious head injury, so they sent us home with instructions to just watch him and return if we had any concerns.

I am so thankful that he is OK, and that my van was in just the right spot to cushion his fall. I'll live with the big dent in the hood as a reminder of God's protection for us! This week, my Dad is building me a box to put over those stairs (I've actually been meaning to have him do that since we moved in 5 years ago!), and Evan has promised to never go into the attic again. "It's dangerous!" he says.
"This is squishing my ears!"
Walking with Daddy to Radiology
Waiting in Radiology
They brought us a Spiderman coloring book to pass the time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Please Pray for Mary-Kaylin

Please pray for my sweet niece Mary-Kaylin Linch. She is my sister's youngest child, and was diagnosed with a brain tumor on Friday. Avie has done a great job updating her blog with on the link to The Hardin Family blog to the left to see her posts.

Will you please pray for healing for Mary-Kaylin? We need this tumor to be gone, and we know that God can do that!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Answered Prayers

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11
It has been a little more than 6 months since we first met with the Developmental Pediatrician at Dennis Developmental Center (DDC). After two hours with Adam, her face was grim...."I'm very concerned.....I could be a piece of furniture in this room and he wouldn’t know the difference…..I'm not going to call it Autism today, but I'm pretty sure.....he meets all the criteria.....he will be high functioning, but needs to be in a developmental preschool.....PT, OT, Speech Therapy......immediately." Then she patted me on the leg with a sympathetic look-- "You're a good Mommy," she said.

Adam had just turned two, and Jeff and I had become very concerned about him. His language skills were not developing, and he had even lost some words. He played mostly by himself, did not interact with his siblings, made little to no eye contact, and would not respond to his name. He was sensitive to loud, noisy environments, and had also developed some worrisome behaviors like circling, finger posturing, and staring spells. Despite our concerns, we were not prepared to hear those words.

I'm a "fixer" by nature, so I immediately kicked into high gear. My first plan of action--we must pray. I sent a long list of specific prayer requests to my closest "prayer warrior" friends and family, and the praying began...and God immediately began to answer. Jeff and I decided to try a very low dose of the medication that the physician had suggested and almost immediately saw a significant improvement in Adam's awareness. Within a few short weeks, Adam & Evan both had placement at The Frances Allen School--Adam in a “day-habilitation” spot, and Evan in a “daycare” spot. By the middle of September they had completed their evaluations and Adam began a regimen of Speech, Occupational, and Developmental Therapy.

Now, 6 months later, Adam is a different child. He has made such amazing progress in his language and social skills that I can't even express it in words. We returned to DDC this week to meet with their autism specialists, and were not surprised that the news this time was quite different. After 3 hours of testing and evaluation, the team sat down and confirmed--Adam no longer meets the criteria for Autism; in fact, they would not even place him on the autism spectrum at all at this point! How amazing is that??!! The physician called him "a bit of a head scratcher"--I call him a product of prayer!

Adam still has a ways to go. He is still delayed in some areas, and continues to have some of those behaviors that are concerning. They are sending us to one last specialist--a geneticist--to rule out a few other possibilities, and will continue to follow him every 4-6 months. In the meantime, they just told us to keep up what we were doing because it seems to be working! So we will continue our OT, Speech, Developmental Therapy.....but most importantly, we'll keep praying for God's amazing grace to cover us and to mold Adam into the little man that He has created him to be.

I can't tell you how thankful I am for our precious friends and family who have prayed us through the last 6 months. I'm in constant awe of God's provision for our family. We serve a truly awesome creator. I'm reminded every day as I watch all four of my children grow that He has a plan for each them—it may not be the plan we envisioned, but it is a perfect plan!

Monday, February 2, 2009

39 and Holding!

Today was a great day thanks to all the wonderful Birthday wishes from sweet friends and family! Jeff was the first to wish me Happy Birthday, followed by sloppy birthday kisses from four sweet kids. Evan was a little disappointed that it wasn't HIS birthday, but was happy to hear that his birthday was coming up in June. "OK", he said, "You get my birthday for me in June?" When I mentioned that I was 39 and said, "This is my LAST birthday", Ethan got real serious and asked, "Are you gonna die?" (Wrong thing to say to a six year-old!)

My entire staff crammed into my office at 9 a.m. to sing Happy Birthday to me! (They are the best!) Tonight, we had dinner at The Olive Garden, and then went to my Mom & Dad's for cake. Ethan and Emma picked out the cutest rubber duckie PJs for me (I can't wait to wear them!), and Jeff got me a digital picture frame. A perfect way to celebrate my LAST birthday!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Keep your eyes on Jesus!

I got this E-mail from Ethan's teacher today. If we could all live by these words!

From: Files, Jessi
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 2:15 PM
To: Johnson, Angela K; 'Jeff Johnson'
Subject: cute Ethan story

Ethan said this today in class, and I thought it was so sweet that I had to share with you guys!

We were talking about penguins and looking at a world map of where they live. I asked how we would get there—walk, drive, fly, etc—all the kids were saying we would have to take an airplane because we would have to cross an ocean. Ethan said, no, we could walk there if we just kept our eyes on Jesus.

I thought it was the sweetest thing!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Blogging Marathon

By now, you have probably figured out how I operate.....get way behind.....then become completely obsessed with catching for hours on end to catch up.....vow to never get so far behind again.....then the cycle begins again. Today, I was determined to get all of our Christmas celebrations posted, so here they are! Keep goes on for days! Enjoy!

Christmas Activities....

Before the family celebrations began, we had lots to are some highlights:

Decorating....I had a little help:

EE & MK put up the Santas while Emma hangs the stockings....

...then Emma decorates herself!

IBC - Children's Choir Performances

Both choirs (Preschool & Children) performed on December 14th. The Children's choirs performed a traditional Christmas Pageant. This is the only picture that I have of Emma, and it is actually from rehearsal because she was hit with a stomach virus and had to miss the performance! She was devastated, but isn't she a beautiful angel? Next to her are two of her very best friends, Maggie & Karmyn.

The Preschool choirs performed The Twelve Days of Christmas. Emma was suppose to be a Candy Cane, but they had to call in a replacement at the last minute. Ethan was the train conductor--and he was a GREAT train conductor! Although, you'll notice in the pictures that his train lagged a little behind. At one point, he actually became the caboose! Mary-Kaylin was a Santa. It was a great night--I always feel like the Christmas Season has begun once the children's choirs have performed. It's one of my favorite nights of the year!

Our Gingerbread House & Tree

Aren't the beautiful? Everyone joined in to make the "Santa House"--it was so much fun! The babies were knocking at the door saying, "Knock, knock, Santa. Come out you house!" Emma was very patient with them, and then got to decorate the tree all by herself while the babies napped. Then I got to clean up the mess! I was sweeping up sprinkles for days!

Mommy's Little Helpers!

I also had a little bit of wrapping help this year.....and a little "unwrapping" help as well! Actually, I think there were only two gifts that I had to wrap twice due to curious little hands.

Some other things we did to celebrate:
1. Emma - Caroling at Baptist Hospital with the church
2. Ethan - Caroling downtown with his Kindergarten Class
3. Visiting Santa at the Mall
4. Shopping for our Angel Tree kids
5. Angela & Jeff - Hosted a party for my awesome Management Team
6. Jeff - Wrapped & Wrapped & Wrapped & Wrapped
Keep going to see the rest of our Christmas......starting with Christmas Day!