Saturday, August 30, 2008

30 Weeks and Swimmin' :)

What a day!  I never thought I'd get this excited to get my wife into a swimming pool, but I was.  We had a great time and Heather did her first therapy session.  We worked on pulling and pushing her leg through the water back and forth, extending her leg all the way as straight as possible and bending (flexion) her knee to almost a 90 degree angle.  It wasn't painful, but definitely uncomfortable.  But that's what it's supposed to be during therapy right?  She was a little girl out there, smiling cheek to cheek (as you can see for yourself in the pics below), and loving every bit of sunshine left in the day.  This was not only good for her leg but also for her soul:)  We actually got in the pool again today and laid out by the pool at Miramont.  I'm convinced my wife gets a necessary vitamin when getting a little sunshine on a regular basis.  Wednesday is a doctor's visit day and we hope she'll be getting her cast off and moving to a splint:)  Love you all, D & Ha




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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

2 days and counting....

Yeah!  Heather gets to get in the pool and start some therapy on Friday.  Of course that's where we'll be heading right after school.  She is doing really well.  Each day we notice slight improvement.  She's mastering crutches with a broken arm, getting to and from the bathroom in the middle of the night (This is funny.  She uses her walker and now sounds like she's racing to the bathroom at night.  I just lay half asleep and smile), stair climbing with crutches, etc...  She's unreal!  However, we have also had some moments of utter exhaustion at the end of the day in the classroom where relying on everyone else to do most everything for her is very taxing on her.  School is going well and the kids continue to be a pure joy:)  Next week on Wednesday, the 3rd, we have another doctors appointment to hopefully remove her arm cast and move to a splint and also get the knee checked up.  
On a different and happier note, Baby Camping is really starting to "beef up".  It seems like every day I notice change in her tummy.  It's awesome.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but she just keeps getting prettier as she gets further along in the pregnancy:)  Check out some pics below.
























Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Day was a SUCCESS!

Good morning!  WOW, it's almost been a month (this coming Sunday) since the accident.  In many ways, time has flown.  In other ways, not so much:(  I'm happy to be giving updates now as Heather is doing better each day.  Below are some pictures in her routine of things:  Eating breakfast at the kitchen table (you can see by the picture below that she got her stitches out and they have been replaced by butterfly stitches that will fall off this week), riding in the back seat of the car, and getting her ultrasound check up from Dr. Priebe to make sure baby is doing great through all this...and he is a CHAMP!
She got a new cast put on last Friday.  Our appointment was good overall.  The knee looks great and is healing very well.  The arm is as well but Dr. Baer noticed a "space" below the joint area by her wrist that he wanted to be sure wouldn't pose any future problems.  So, he adjusted the wrist AGAIN and recasted it a bit higher towards her elbow to restrict a little more movement in her arm for a couple of weeks.  She went "baby blue" this time (See pic below).  You'll notice she's in the backseat and the cab driver (that would be me) took the picture.  However, I'm happy to announce that she is officially riding in the front seat with me now.  She is able to bend her knee (which is what she is working on daily anyways as prescribed by Doc) just enough to get it in the door.  That is much nicer for both of us.  
Our final ultrasound check on Baby C pertaining to all this chaos we've experienced!  He looks handsome.
Congrats to Heather!  The first day at Bethke Elementary as a 5th grade teacher was a success.  The first day was better and easier than anticipated...and that's with the elevator still not working.  She was definitely tired from a full day, but not as bad as she thought she would be.  Her classroom looks amazing as you can see, and her kids are going to be wonderful.  5th graders are so cute.  She has 14 girls and 5 boys this year.  Below are some pictures to enjoy.  We are continuing to find our routine getting easier and a bit more efficient.  I know God's preparing us for more responsibility and tasks with the little one on the way.   Thank you again for your continued prayers and support.  I know her spirit and mine as well have been bathed and lifted up in prayer by hundreds of people.  And for that we are so greatful!  

We Love you all, 

























Thursday, August 14, 2008

Each day is improvement!

Hey everyone!  Happy Thursday to you.  Life at the Camping home is smoothing out each day and getting better.  Heathers pain is nearly gone, although there is still some swelling we are dealing with.  She is continuing to find more mobility each day and she is also able to move the leg (lifting, sliding it etc) without having to be so delicate.  That makes things much easier when getting ready to shower, getting into the car, up and down out of her chair (another perk to this...she got a very nice Lazy Boy recliner:)) 

As of yesterday, she had her classroom finished and ready for the kiddos.  It looks amazing!  So lucky those kids are.  A good lookin, handicapped teacher?  Why not?  My mom is still in town helping out and has just been the biggest blessing to us.  She is a work horse.  She just goes from sun up to sun down helping with laundry, cooking, cleaning, classroom, driving, errands, etc.  It's a HUGE help.  Thanks Ma!  
We took Heathers dressing off her knee this weekend to examine the incision and let air out.  It actually looks better than what we thought it would.  It didn't have staples like we thought it would.  Take a look below.  




We have our follow up appointment with Dr. Baer tomorrow.  We have lots of questions for him and will probably be given some useful info as we move forward with rehab, etc.  As for now, Heather has full intentions of teaching this year and I am confident she can not only pull it off, but do well in doing so.  Today was her first meeting at the new location with the staff and also a "Meet and Greet" time this afternoon with her kids-to-be.  It is apparent that there are many parents and kids that are going to be stepping up to assist Heather this year to pull this off.  The community support is amazing.  I'll give you an update after our appointment tommorow!

On a side note, I have decided to (with careful coordination and planning and conversation with Heather) accept the invite I got to compete at the United States Triathlon Association National Championship, and will be heading to Portland, OR on September 18th and will be racing on September 20th.  I am really looking forward to this opportunity and hope to do well for my girl:)  

See ya, 

D







 

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hello Friends and Family!
I'm home and doing well:).  I am completely, totally, thoroughly overwhelmed with all of the love, prayers, calls, cards, flowers, food (the list goes on and on) you all have sent.  Being on the receiving end of your immense love has been one of the greatest blessings of my life.   It is with deep gratitude that I attempt to express how much your love and prayers have meant to me.  I have had a hope and strength throughout this life-changing experience so far beyond what I alone possess.  Your prayers have filled me with Christ's hope and a strength only possible in the arms of our Savior.  
As the surgery was drawing to a close, the pounding and ratcheting lessening, the anesthesiologist bent over me and commented on the amazing strength I showed throughout the whole surgery.  I was able to confidently say that the strength he was seeing was not my own, rather the power of prayer - Jesus holding me tightly in His care.   Thank you so much!
My life has been forever changed by the gift of your prayers.  The outpour of love has been more than Dustin and I can hardly comprehend.  Thank you, thank you, thank you! Praises to our faithful, amazing God! :)

 

Home Sweet Home:)

Please accept my apology for not updating the blog since Thursday.  Alot has happened since then.  We were hoping to go home on Thursday evening.  But after an intense therapy session and more pain than she could nearly handle, it was advised that we stay an extra night.  That was a good move as it gave Heather more time to recover under constant supervision of the nursing staff and the comfortable bed (Truly she loves the hospital bed).  Friday morning was a great morning!  Heather and I took a great walk to the atrium area to enjoy what felt like a nice "Seattle" morning.  She got to read a bit and enjoy some food.  I even bummed a back scratch from her:)  
We were discharged at 12 noon and started the process of getting her out of there.  I washed her hair and got her some "normal" clothes to wear.  She was in great spirit and feeling pretty good as we departed MCR (Don't forget, hopefully we'll be right back there in 90 days for Little Camping:)  I got her in the truck, headed to Subway for some lunch and a little time outside to enjoy some fresh air.  We ended the afternoon with a much anticipated pre-scheduled 3-D ultrasound appointment to get our first real look at Little Camping.  WOW!  The pain and discomfort that she was starting to feel in the leg was quickly snuffed out by the beauty we were watching in the ultrasound (pics above).  Little Camping cooperated better than most do for this 3-D ultrasound but he was definitely up against the placenta most of the time and kept his little hands near or over his face throughout the 20 minutes.  We did manage to capture some good shots though.  For the first time in a couple weeks, the "happy tears" flowed from Heathers cheeks as she got to see our little warrior in 3-D.  


He has been amazing throughout this all this trauma.  Please continue to pray for strong and healthy growth and a shield of protection over him.  
I headed to the airport last night (Really enjoyed the time in the car for an hour in peace and quiet and rest) to pick up my parents and my sister.  I am so glad they are back in town for a few days.  We watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics and I put an application in right away for Heather to compete in the Special Olympics here soon...just kidding people:)  
Today was a special day for Heather.  She had her first baby shower.  I wasn't there so I can't say too much about it.  But, by the sounds of it, she was spoiled and blessed by many who showered her with hugs, conversation and great gifts.  I'm bummed I didn't get any tools or golf balls for little Camping, but oh well.  Her pain is really good today (she is sticking to a consistent schedule of taking meds though after trying to go without them last night and that wasn't a fun experience..ouch) and she is continuing to heal each day.  We still have to be very gentle with the knee but she is doing great.  The other pictures above tell the rest.  We took bandages off this afternoon and were pleasantly surprised by the incision.  It was smaller and cleaner than we thought it was.  Today was a great day and we look forward to more progress.  I will probably update this blog every few days from hear on out.  Please accept a huge thanks from Heather and me for all the prayers, gifts, flowers, emails and cards recently.  We are truly the most blessed in the world to have family and friends like that.  

Thanks, D





Thursday, August 7, 2008

Let the therapy begin!

No pain no gain!  I think that's the famous one-liner.  Anyway, I will quickly find some truth in that one-liner as I observe and assist Heather down this road of rehabilitation and recovery.  Today, it already began.  The physical therapy team (Tim, Anne, and an intern) came in around 9:30am this morning to introduce the journey we are going to be embarking upon.  They taught us the process of supporting the knee properly in and out of bed, on or off the couch, showering ideas, walking with the walker, and using a crutch properly up and down stairs.  For the first round of therapy, I think it was a bit more than she could handle (and you can all imagine how intense that must have been given her threshold, tolerance and determination.).  I think more than anything we have been through (not including the accident itself), it has been the hardest on me to watch my her struggle through the pain and discomfort and the effort required to do the smallest of things in the therapy.  I do realize that is only Day 1 after surgery, but it is still difficult.  Below are a few pics and a VIDEO!.    

Enjoy:)






video

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I forgot to thank a couple of gentleman!

With all the chaos of yesterday, I forgot to mention a HUGE THANKS to two doctors who made it all a success.  Without them, I don't know where she would be.  See pictures below!

I figured y'all needed some light-hearted humor to reassure you that even through all of this, I'm still not normal:)  
In all seriousness though, Heather's doing well and last night was a fairly good night.  She attempted to get up with the assistance of a few nurses to go to the bedside potty.  Notice how I said the "assistance of two bedside nurses" and left myself out of it?  DANG!  I've done so well through all of our experiences during this pregnancy: incident heading to San Diego and landing in New Mexico, food poisoning and cleaning her up, needles, resets of her broken wrist, and draining blood from her knee.  But it all caught up to me at 1am this morning.  As she attempted the process of going to the bathroom at the bedside portable, a combination of the middle of the night and the amount of discomfort and pain she was experiencing while moving, I got very light-headed and whoozy.  So, I took a timeout and laid down on my little bed next to her while she called another nurse to help out.  What a panzy I am... Two nurses helping my wife in pain, and I'm chillin' on the couch watching, or rather staring at the ceiling and attempting to gain my bearings.  I recovered quickly and didn't hurl:)  We just enjoyed a beautiful sunrise this morning and are hoping for a great first day as we meet with the physical therapy staff soon and she'll begin the journey!  

Until later,  Love the 3 of us 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A SUCCESS:)




Great news!  Heather and Baby Camping passed through surgery with flying colors.  It was a successful surgery that lasted 2 1/2 hours.  Baby was a champ (that's my boy:)) throughout the whole process and kept his steady heartbeat and movement through the entire procedure.  She did experience a bit of minor contractions halfway through the operation and the doctor gave her some medication to calm the contractions.  The epidural process was fairly smooth but the effects of it during operation were interesting.  There was a substantial amount of pressure and pulling as Dr. Baer inserted the plate and screws into here tibia plateau area.  She was awake during the entire process and could feel the pressure and pulling but no pain.  YIKES I say!  As I'm sitting here blogging next to Heather, I'm asking her about her 3 standout points of the surgery: 1) The smell of her burning skin as they cut and cauterized  2)  Dr. Baer hammering the screws in over and over for a lengthy period of time  3) "Heather, you're having some minor contractions".  However, and more importantly, the staff here is unbelievable.  We are truly in the best hands.  The anaesthesiologist was so comforting and amazing to Heather throughout.  The nurses, especially Karlye were awesome and so loving.  Dr. Baer was exceptional as we expected.  She even got to listen to her IPOD during surgery!  And finally, we fully believe and trust the power and calming of all the prayers being said in Arizona, Minnesota, here and everywhere by our family, friends and those that have been asked to pray that we don't even know.
We just got some visitors and I've included some post-operation pictures to enjoy.  I'll blog tomorrow from the hospital about the recovery process when I get details.  Till then, keep praying!  D

Pre-Operation

For those of you who can't be here, I felt like this would be the best way to calm your nerves and be "with us".  Here are some photos of prepping her right before surgery.  It's now 1:45pm and she will be getting the spinal block within about 20 minutes.  

D








Here's the LATEST...

9:00am - Wednesday 

So I'm sitting at the Orthopaedic Center of The Rockies right now in Loveland.  We just had a meeting with Dr. Baer.  GOOD NEWS first of all... She likely does not have a torn ACL.  We will have confirmation of that down the road when we have an MRI done.  After having x-rays taken again 30 minutes ago, it has been recommended that she.....sorry for the delay... I was blogging as Dr. Baer was recasting her hand and had to reset it again and make a minor adjustment.  That is never a pleasant experience.  We have decided to follow the advice of Dr. Baer and his team to have surgery on her fractured tibial plateau.  She will have a plate and screws inserted to fix the break as best as possible.  The reason for doing the surgery is to prolong the likely chance of arthritis developing in her knee.  Without surgery, and this kind of injury, she would likely develop arthritis in 3-5 years.  With it, it may be 15-20 years or longer.  Obviously, we are praying for ultimate healing and no chance for arthritis to ever kick in.  Here's a few pics taken just 2 minutes ago.  



Please pray as she will undergo surgery at 2:30pm today at Medical Center of the Rockies.  She will receive a spinal (epidural) to numb her lower half.  That is the safest and most precautious for Baby Camping and her.  We have had a detailed conversation with Dr. Priebe (our baby doctor) and he has no major concerns and has full confidence in Dr. Baer and his team.  I will keep you all updated!

Love you all, 

D
  

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tibial Plateau Fracture

Dr. Camping here:)  
For those of you who are interested in knowing a bit more medically regarding Heather's leg injury, feel free to visit this site:  Tibial Plateau Fractures


Update on the knee and wrist...

Good morning!  Well, Heather has been a champ.  Her spirit and morale has been that in which I admire and have the utmost respect.  Her pain in her wrist has been really good and she has gained more mobility in her fingers each day.  The knee?  So, we were originally told that there were no breaks in the leg area when initial x-rays were done at EPMC on Sunday right after the accident.  On Tuesday, I received a call from the radiologist in Estes Park telling me that there indeed was a fracture to the tibia.  That was not the news we wanted to hear.  But, we communicated that info to Dr. Baer.  The OCR here in Fort Collins had already called for the x-rays to be sent down here even though they were negative...or so we thought:(  Well, after waiting for 3 days (they must have sent the x-rays on a snail), the x-rays finally arrived in Dr. Baer's hands yesterday (Thursday).  When he called me, he informed me that he was not a "happy doctor" at the moment and was quite frustrated how they missed seeing this fracture.  Unfortunately, it is a significant fracture to the upper part of the tibia just below the knee joint.  Dr. Baer stated that if she wasn't pregnant he would do surgery.  But, he plans to x-ray it again next Wednesday morning and will evaluate what the next step is in terms of immobilizing it, casting it, etc.  Why are we having to wait until next Wednesday (that will be 10 days since the accident) you might be asking?  Dr. Baer's nurse told me that he has to wait an appropriate period of time to do second x-rays to see how the bone is calcifying.  If he got us in today or Monday, it wouldn't have allowed enough time to progress the way he wants it to.  The other question I had was, "What is the long-term outcome between surgery and no surgery?"  The nurse said the purpose of doing surgery is for stability purposes in the recovery time.  She may have to be more careful and laid up a bit longer etc.  With all this being said, we are getting a second opinion from another doctor at the OCR today and are still not ruling out the possibility of surgery.  All in all, she's doing well and still has her beautiful smile each day!  Please pray that we will have clarity to know what to do in regards to the details of teaching this year and all the future decisions around that in the weeks to come!  

Love you all!

D