OK, so I know I owe you guys a HUGE update, because I’ve been a huge slacker lately! ๐Ÿ™‚ Where to begin?

I think my last post was about Lily’s neurology appointment at KKI. Well, that turned out to be a bust because Lily’s previous neurologist went out on medical leave, so another neurologist was assigned to her case. This new doctor didn’t really know Lily’s history very well, and we had been hoping to get the results of the last EEG she had. Unfortunately, the new doctor hadn’t gotten the chance to read it, because *I had to MAIL it (yes, snail mail)* because the facility where we had it done in Lancaster told us they could not send it for us. Wha? It’s 2015!! Can’t we somehow transmit this? Anyway, I mailed it to KKI and somehow it never got to the neuro department. Sigh. So, this appointment was kind of a bust.

And here’s a shocker (sarcasm): the request for the Easy Stand Glider was denied by both Highmark and United Healthcare (our medical assistance), so we are appealing on both fronts. Again, it’s not really a surprise that it was denied, but as I have said, if they are going to say no, they are going to have to work for it. I am not taking their no and slinking off as they hope we will do. Team Lily (rehab doctor and Schreiber therapist) have written appeal letters to both companies and we will see if anything changes.

In the meantime, our WONDERFUL church held two fundraisers for us in August and we were just STUNNED at how much was raised! So, to everyone who came and painted, or even if you couldn’t make it and donated to us–THANK YOU!! You are all so amazing!! Our church is just full of the BEST people!! Thank you all for your love and support and for being the hands and feet of Jesus!! We love you! And we also got a generous check from Choice Communications in Myerstown! Thank you so much!!

We have a couple of other funding options that we are pursuing in the event that insurance does not cover the stander. It will take a lot of work, but somehow we are going to get this for her! We’re also pursuing funding for some renovations to our house to provide a private bathroom and shower downstairs for Lily. We can get some funding from the county BH/DS so we have to get some ideas together and start the process.

The kids are back to school now. Bryce is in 10th!! grade and Lily is in 6th!! grade. ๐Ÿ™‚ Lily is now in Landis Run Intermediate School in an MDS class. Her new teacher is great (but we miss you, Miss P!) and she has gotten to see some of her old friends. Bryce has been playing guitar like crazy and just amazes me with how good he is! He has played at Lititz Second Friday a couple of times and really enjoys playing for that.

Thanks again for all of your support, love, and prayers! It really does help us cope with the times when we struggle.

Much love!

 

 

Hello friends! Lily has a neurology appointment at KKI this afternoon. It’s to go over the results of the EEG she had in May and discuss any med changes that may be needed. Please say a prayer for our girl (and Todd–I can’t go because my co-worker is off today). Thank you! <3

I just wanted to share this picture of Lily sitting up tall and strong at therapy tonight! She was sitting up with very little assistance and kept her head up like a champ! Just when I am so discouraged about things, she does this! I just ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ her so much! 

  

Hey everyone! Our awesome church is doing these fundraisers for us! Please read for details!

On August 8 and 14, Victory Church PA is having awesome art fundraisers to help raise funds for a beautiful girl at our church who suffered a traumatic brain injury a few years ago. Tickets are $40 and you’ll receive step-by-step instruction on how to paint birds on a branch (August 8) or a dandelion puff (August 14). ALL supplies are provided and 100% of the money goes to Lily! Call Lindsay Hess at 717-799-4224 if you want to buy a ticket or you can message me on Facebook or email at lhess@victorychurch.ws. Tickets are limited! Thank you!!

There are still tickets available for each night! Thank you so much for your support and love!

Hey everyone! Our awesome church is doing these fundraisers for us! Please read for details!

On August 8 and 14, Victory Church PA is having awesome art fundraisesr to help raise funds for a beautiful girl at our church who suffered a traumatic brain injury a few years ago. Tickets are $40 and you’ll receive step-by-step instruction on how to paint birds on a branch (August 8) or a dandelion puff (August 14). ALL supplies are provided and 100% of the money goes to Lily! Call Lindsay Hess at 717-799-4224 if you want to buy a ticket or you can message me on Facebook or email at lhess@victorychurch.ws. Tickets are limited! Thank you!!

I’m a little late posting this, but here is a photo of Lily and me at her graduation from Reidenbaugh Elementary to Landis Run Intermediate School. It was a fun little celebration, albeit a little bittersweet for me. I’m happy that she’s moving on to a school with her peers, but we will miss Miss Palmquist enormously because she is a wonderful, dedicated, compassionate teacher who never gave up on Lily for one second. We are so grateful for all she’s done for Lily for the past 2 years!!

It was also bittersweet because I kept thinking how this should not be happening this way. She *should* have already moved on with her friends and she should be laughing and playing with them. I try not to dwell on those thoughts too often or for too long, but I do think about that. It’s impossible not to. I’m just happy that she might get to see some of the friends she had before her accident again, and how that might be good for her.

Also, the (long, slow, frustrating) process of getting the glider for Lily has begun. The request to the insurance company (coughHighmarkcough) should be going out soon and then we’ll see what their reply is (coughdenialcough). I’m ย still believing that somehow we will get it!

Thanks for your continued love and support!11406902_10153976562013957_3432161467832447511_n

 

We had a wonderful day celebrating Lily’s birthday! We decided to go to the Hershey Gardens and it was beautiful. It was a little windy when we first got there, but it subsided as the day went on. It was so peaceful there.ย 

Before we got there, we had read on the garden’s website that the butterfly house would not be opening for the season until this Friday. As we were walking by the house, we were saying to Lily ย that we’d come back in the summer when it was open. Just as I was saying that, one of the butterfly house workers heard me and said, “I can let you in today if you want.” Of course we said yes! So we got to go inside and spend some time with the butterflies! Some workers happened to be opening a box of newly arrived butterflies and were releasing them into the house. One of them, John, put a few on Lily! It was so amazing! I think most of us very rarely get to see a butterfly close up and while it’s being still, but WOW are they just gorgeous creatures! The detail, color, and patterns on each one are just breathtaking and I was thinking that this had to have been created by God. The workers were so kind and sweet to Lily–we were truly touched. It made the day even more special. We loved it there so much that we bought a family membership so we can go back again during different seasons and see more flowers in bloom.ย 

After we left the garden we went to Red Robin for lunch. We were getting ready to pay the check and the server told us that someone else had already paid for our lunch! I’m just overwhelmed at the kindness that we were shown today–it made our girl’s birthday as perfect as it could be.

We came home and ended the day with cupcakes and ice cream. Yes, Lily had a taste! She is now sleeping like a rock after such a busy day.

Thank you for all of your prayers and birthday wishes for Lily today! ย 

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We loved this butterfly bench! I want one for our house!

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A pic in a lovely gazebo.

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Lily with some of the butterflies the butterfly house employees put on her. It was just amazing.

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Todd was rolling her over a piano-type instrument on the ground.

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Todd and Lily under the branches of a large tree.

Tomorrow (May 20) is our sweet girl’s 11th birthday! I can’t believe she’s 11 now. Todd and I have both taken the day off work to take her on another birthday adventure! As of now, we still haven’t decided where we should go. We’re torn between Longwood Gardens (where we took her last year) and taking her to a waterside picnic somewhere. You guys should vote in the comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have really felt led to ask for your prayers for Lily recently. I know that many of you do pray for her often and we are so grateful. I just feel like she needs a lot of concentrated prayer right now, and tomorrow would be a perfect day for that. So, if you could take a moment out of your day to pray on her behalf, we would be so grateful. Pray for the continued healing of her brain, gastro issues, spasms, muscle tone, and seizures. We are not giving up on the hope of breakthroughs and progress that are still to come.

We will be sure to post some pictures of our birthday adventures tomorrow–wherever we end up!

Much love!

 

Today we finally had our visit with Dr. Devenyi, a pediatric gastroenterologist in Lancaster. He was highly recommended and lived up to his reputation for being kind, knowledgeable, and insightful. He was fantastic. He had a few suggestions for us to help improve Lily’s gastro functions. We’re going to try adding psyllium fiber to her flushes to see if that helps keep things moving. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lily is also having an upper GI study done next Friday. Dr. Devenyi also explained that she could possibly have had a slight shift in the blood vessels that are behind the intestinal area, and that can also lead to reflux because of the compression of that area. This may have happened as a result of the spinal fusion surgery, which he said is not common but does happen sometimes when the spine is repositioned. I am sure I am not explaining all of this very well, but I think that’s kinda sorta what he said. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย She may also have to have an endoscopy if they think she has any esophageal damage due to the reflux, but that will depend on the results of the upper GI study. We will go back to see him in six weeks to see if things are getting better by using the psyllium and then make any changes at that time.

It is such a relief to at least have a start on solutions to this issue! Poor Lily has been dealing with this for so long now and I hope this protocol will bring some relief.

I would like to say Happy Nurses’ Week to all of the awesome nurses out there! We have been blessed to have many amazing nurses for Lily over the past four years and we are very grateful for all of you. We would not be able to have jobs, sleep, or do pretty much anything else without our home nurses. They take such good care of Lily and do other things like do Lily’s laundry (and even fold ours if needed). We are extremely grateful for all of you and everything you do every day!

Here are a few recent photos of the Lilster!

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Snuggling on the sofa bed for movie night! ย  Taking a walk in the park on a beautiful day!

 

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. We love you!

Hey everyone! Just a quick update tonight. Lily had a routine visit to our new neurologist at KKI today. We hated to say goodbye to Dr. Burton, who had been Lily’s neuro from the beginning, but she has moved on to research now. So, we got to meet Dr. Ismail today and she was great! She took her time getting to know Lily and asked a lot of questions about her. We’re not changing too much in the way of anti-seizure medicine at this point. Everything seems to be doing its job and a point comes when too much medicine doesn’t really help the seizures. For now, they are pretty well managed (they will probably never be 100% stopped). We’re going to increase the dose of one of her medicines and see if that helps at all, and then she’ll have an EEG to see if the new dose is helping. We also saw Dr. Ewen, who is the attending doctor and oversees all patients who have seizure disorders. He came in and talked to us about medicine options, and suggested a diet called the ketogenic diet. We’re going to talk to the GI doctor about this in May when we have our appointment.

Otherwise, Lily is doing pretty well overall. She is so tough! We’re going to be trying out the Easy Stand glider at Schreiber in a couple of weeks. If it’s appropriate for her, we will begin the game known as “deny, appeal, deny, appeal, deny, figure out how to pay for it because we’re out of appeals.” Ha. I’m trusting God that we’ll get it somehow!

Thanks again for all of the support. We recently received an Isaac’sย gift card from a special person! We’d like to say thank you (you know who you are)! We LOVE Isaac’s!! Yum!

Here are a couple of recent photos! ๐Ÿ™‚ Lily’s pink curl is my favorite thing in the world!!

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