Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

In February of this year I received an invitation for a New Year's Eve party in Vegas from the Gary Allan fan club. They were asking me a very important question almost a full year in advance. They said, "where else would you rather be this New Year's Eve?" The answer came without a thought. I screamed, "Nowhere else!!!" and bought the tickets immediately!!

Since the accident occurred, my dream Gary Allan show has dwindled in and out of my mind. To go or not to go?? Well....we are here In Las Vegas waiting for Gary Allan! The answer remains the same after all of these months.... There is nowhere I would rather be!!

We wish you all a happy and safe New Year! Love to you all! See you in 2010 :-)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In a Funk

Ever since Zoe was carried through the door and out of my life, I have been in a funk. It is the strangest feeling. I was stumbling along just fine, trying to be as positive and optimistic as possible and now I feel I cannot escape this funk. This haze. This blanket of dismal wrapped so tightly around me.

As I walk through my house, all of the permanent structures of 13 years are gone. Gone. The food bowls on the dryer...gone. The litter box in the laundry room...gone. * Did you ever imagine you could possibly be saddened by the disappearance of a liter box? Me neither. * Her scratch post in the family room....gone. Her bed in our bedroom...gone. Her treats in the cabinet next to Kama's.....gone. Why is it all gone? The first day without her, I could not bear to see her belongings so Dave removed every single item from our house at my sobbing request. Now, I would pay to just lay eyes on one of them.

There are many times when I think she is still here. By shear habit. A lapse in reality. I will still to this day leave a drip in the sink for her. When I open a can in the kitchen, I look for her to come running around the corner, meowing. When company was here, I left our door opened a crack for her to make her way in and out throughout the night. In every scenario, I realize much later, I can turn the water off, she will not be rounding the corner and I can shut my door.

It's as though Zoe's passing is the icing on the cake. The straw that broke the camel's back. The cookie that has finally crumbled (do I have one more in me? No, I am not good at phrases.) I feel like I have Zoe constantly on the brain and then I look at Aviana and my normal upbeat, optimism has been replaced by sadness. It feels like someone secretly switched out my eyeballs in the middle of the night. Instead of looking at her and thinking how far she has come, I now look at her and see how "the same" she really is.

I spend a lot of time crying over her. Telling her how incredibly sorry I am that this happened to her. She must be wondering what happened to her other Mommy and who is this blubbering fool. She is not the only one. I lay on Kama and soak her with my tears. I tell her, "Please don't ever leave me!" We have always had these conversations on a regular basis, (I know, I am a crazy cuckoo bird, so what) but now I have more of a begging tone in my voice.

It makes me wonder what's next or who for that matter? Isn't that depressing? I don't like living this way. I don't want to live in fear. I don't want to wonder what's around every corner. How can I release myself from the grips of my current state? How can I step out of this funk ? I suppose I will just have to get through it. I keep telling myself that tomorrow will be a better day. So far, that has not come true though.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Day in The Life~ Take 6

Aviana's current program takes just about every waking moment of her day. We still have approximately 3-4 other items to add in the upcoming months. Let me do the math, if the program is already taking just about every waking moment, this means we will need more waking moments in future months!

Aviana has always and continues to hold the title of "The Best Sleeper in Town." I suppose this means she will not get to sleep in to her hearts content :o(

This is a snapshot of what her program looks like as of today. I am so happy that one of us is an Excel Whiz. Thanks to Dave, we have a spreadsheet for everything!

We shine a flashlight in her eyes numerous times a day. This helps to strengthen her light reflex. We do 1 minute sessions of gnostic sensation 15 times daily. We take opposing items and alternate rubbing them on her skin. We do 1 minute sessions of vital sensation 10 times daily. We use toothpicks or ice all over her skin. Our goal is to awaken her senses. We do 3-5 second sessions of vital response 5 times daily. Yes, that is an air horn! We do 1 minute sessions of meaningful sounds (bells, whistles, etc) 15 times daily. Did you know you can teach your baby to read? I had no idea! We teach Aviana to read on a daily basis. We complete 5 categories of 10 words. We go through the entire set 2 times daily. The brain must have a continuous and adequate supply of oxygen to function properly and to repair itself. To accomplish this goal, we are masking Aviana. Through a "masking" session, Aviana is able to re-breath her own exhaled air which is high in carbon dioxide. The increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the blood causes blood vessels in the brain to dilate. This increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain. We do 45 of these daily, on December 30th we will reach our goal of 55 a day. We send her down the inclined floor 10 times daily. She is on the floor for 2 minutes each session. This teaches her brain that if she moves her arms and legs, she will propel herself. This will build her motivation to move. We were fortunate enough to have someone loan us their floor to use while Gary is building Aviana's. Doesn't this floor look MONSTROUS?? Well, guess what...Aviana's will be 5 feet longer and 4 inches wider!!

If you know me, you know that I cannot stand having things out and around. I like everything to be just so and exactly in a perfect place. This floor is testing every single fiber of my being!!

I am actually morphing into a different person with each passing day. So this floor is only bothering me a little bit....OK maybe slightly more than a little bit, but that's all :o)

Saving the best for last.... As many of you know, Aviana's 24/7 diet of Nutren Junior has caused her many, many problems. We are in the process of transitioning her to REAL food! I could not be happier about this. We are slowly introducing real food back into her diet.

Due to Aviana's history of throwing up, they eliminated all "reflux' foods right off the bat. We started with vegetables, then fruits, proteins, fats and grains. Each day we blend up a small amount of one item and feed it to her through the tube. We make sure she is OK with that particular item and then put it on our list as a tolerable food. We give her four of each category. As of today, we are on the first day of grains. Luckily, she has been fine with every single food we have given her!

I can't even put into words how exciting it is to make food for her again. It is such a great feeling....even if it is fed through the tube! Once we are finished, we are going to call the Institute and they will let us know how to proceed. We will slowly be backing one meal of Nutren Jr. out and adding one full meal of whole food. We are going to continue in that fashion until she is fully transitioned to real, whole food again!! Woooooo Hoooooo!!!

To all of our wonderful family and friends: If it appears as though we have dropped off the face of the earth....above is the reason why :o) Just remember we love you all and are thinking of you, but are kind of tied to our home and most importantly to Aviana :o)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Two Steps Forward...

and one step back. I am now able to talk about Aviana to anyone and everyone, but cannot speak of Zoe. Whenever anyone says, "I am sorry about Zoe." My heart forces my mouth to say, "Thank you, but I'm sorry, I can't talk about it."


We decided to go downtown Friday night after class. I am not much of a city person, but I loved this particular one. I thought it was so beautiful. These are just a few of my favorite pictures. I had never had a Philly Cheese Steak, but I thought to myself, "When in as the Philains do!" We had asked many people where to go and they all recommended "Geno's." We drove up, got a parking space almost right in front *strange.* We walked up, there was no one in line *strange.* We ordered, we watched them put a "cheez whiz" like substance on our sandwich *strange.* We chowed the sandwich down and both agreed it was nothing like we thought it might be. To be honest, we were both disappointed! Maybe we went to the wrong place. Next time we will find another place.

The Institutes

Each flag represents a different country of people who have made their way there. The flags line the entire front of the grounds. Many offices were in this beautiful building. This is where we had class everyday, this explains the 61 degree temperature, right? Just kidding, I thought this was the perfect looking little tool shed. This was our daily walk to the dining room. Glenn Doman's office was on the way to the dining room. I loved the building and especially all of the unique doorways into the dining area. The Institute could not have been a more beautiful place. The grounds were lush and green and most of the buildings were what I happen to look for most...rock, rustic and surrounded in trees!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday! If you want, can you please send us your favorite or funniest Christmas memory?! Thought it might be fun :o) Christmas 2007


Christmas 2008

With love,