Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 8: Edmonton

Friday, February 22nd

Today marks the one week anniversary of this horrific ordeal. Is Ellie doing better, yes. Do they know what caused any of this, no. We have to prepare ourselves for the idea that we may never know.  Yet we are taking solace in the fact that she is making good progress.
Morning rounds saw subtle changes to her drug regiment. They took her totally off of morphine and the goal for the day is to bottle feed her some food. We are going to start with a paltry 5 mL, which is a drastic change from her previous 120 mL per sitting.  We found yesterday that when I held her it did not alleviate her desire to eat, but with Dan she was content to just to sleep in his arms.  So this morning, that it is where she's been.  Who can blame her... Dan has that affect on most people.  Plus, when she starts eating I don't think I'm going to let her leave my arms... He may as well get his fix now.

Later her cardiologist came by and stated that they were going to ween her off of Milrinone and slowly introduce a new heart medication ORALLY.  This gets me excited because that means less tubes and with less tubes that means home to Winnipeg.  Of course this process is going to take a while and nothing is ever guaranteed, but it is cause for excitement.

Some of our cousins came to visit today.  It was surprisingly comforting to see them.  It alleviated a lot of additional stress that we didn't realize we were both carrying.  We are both still struggling with a lot of guilt when we are not beside her but we know we have to take moments away to recharge and keep ourselves sane.  
On returning from our visit Dan insisted on holding her right away and together they both promptly fell asleep again.  I'm beginning to think the only time Dan can relax is when Ellie is in his arms! They were quite a pair... both softly snoring in syncopation!  After an hour or so I "conveniently" poked and prodded Dan awake so I could finally have my turn.

Once in my arms it was time feed her, which lasted all of 5seconds. I really hope they increase the amount of food she can have in one sitting soon. I know that she is not physically starving, but she thinks she is, and that distress is hard to watch.
The weening/removal of her various drugs has made her movement very jerky and erratic, this is very common we were warned.  The doctor described these movement as "ballistic", which is very fitting as her hands have targeted her face like tactical ballistic missiles. For now while she is awake in either of

our arms our job is to minimize the damage she may inflict on herself. At least in some way we now have a sense of be able to protect her from something.

I'm finding the emotional journey of the last week incredibly draining.  Irrational thoughts sometimes plague my brain so I claim biblical truths that I have memorized throughout my life as comfort.  This, and the knowledge that there is a wonderful group of believers praying for her across North America, comforts me. That and the peace that only Christ can bring.


  1. Hi Dan & Mel,

    So nice to hear of her progress! Please know that we, and it sounds like, countless others have been relentless in praying for Eliana's healing. A pastor that I work with prayed for you and her this week, and it was a very hopeful, encouraging prayer, and full of certainty for her future.

    I'm sure it must be difficult for you to leave the hospital, but it sounds like she has such good care, and of course, God is holding her in his hands! Remember, too, that as you take the rest that you need that all of us that know you, and even people that don't continue to send up our prayers!

    Tracey (the h. wife)

  2. Hi Dan, Mel and Eliana,

    It's so amazing to read about her progress. Carmine and I have you all in our thoughts and are sending all of our positive energy.

    She is so beautiful and strong, so are her parents!

    Carmine & Gisele Vizza

  3. Yay! So very happy to hear about Ellie's good progress! The three of you are in my thoughts, and sending good energy your way! All the best and hope you are all home soon!

  4. Dan and Mel,

    We are so very happy to hear that Eliana is doing better! You guys are in our thoughts every day and hope you get to come home soon! Love you guys!

    Love Dave, Shawna, Eastan and Kholt

  5. Mel,

    My heart goes out to you - all three of you are in our prayers.

    Ruth, Merrrill, Tarah and Tori Holmberg

  6. Wow, a lot has happened in a week. So thankful for your encouraging news tonight and so thankful you both can hold her and cuddle her. Will continue to pray for continued strength and health every day. God has the answers even if we don't. Take care Dan and Mel, our whole church family is feeling this with you and praying continually. Love always Jo xoxo

  7. So thankful for the progress. How thrilling to see both of you holding Ellie and I know she loves to be in your arms again.
    Continuing to pray.
    PS - I just bought the sweetest little Hawaii dress for Ellie;)

  8. Woke up this morning and went on fb for the first time in weeks only to find out what a monumental week you've gone through. Have just read everything (what a rollercoaster) and am so happy to see this last post and Ellie doing so well. What a wee champ! And she's a gorgeous wee thing! You two have already displayed so much courage, it will see you through the rest of this until Ellie is home and well again. We'll be thinking about you.

    Elaine and Dave


  9. My dear friend, please know how much you, Dan and Ellie have been in my thoughts and prayers. I have cried for you and petitioned to our father knowing that he loves you all way more than I could possibly understand. Continue to lean on him and know that others are there for you. Thank you for the continued updates so that I can know how to pray. Right now my heart is praising God for all he has done and asking for continued rest and healing. I know that you are not taking anything for granted, I am reminded to hold my children a little tighter and thank god for the times I have with them. May it never be wasted. I love you.
    Love in Christ, Dawn

  10. Two of the most beautiful pictures one could imagine.
    Still praying for you all, sometimes in the quiet of my home, and sometimes walking down the street. Whenever the thought pops in my mind, God hears about you from me.

  11. so happy to see photos of Ellie awake and in her parents arms. Your blog
    is amazing. Mel and Dan you are gifted writers. We are so honoured to be able to share this journey with you. love to all three Mike & MJ

  12. you guys know how much we've all been glued to this blog for every bit of news you write. Danny B and I both had to comment on how well this is written...Gisele and I today were also commenting on that...It's so easy to see how this blog has helped your family cope with what's being thrown at you. Nothing worse then that feeling of helplessness. Baby Ellie is like her folks "Strong" and this will be a tale you'll share with her in her later years. be well you guys and know I'm thinking of you and this beautiful little girl that you were blessed to have and hold..I'm so glad things are on the mend,,,see you all soon...Sandy T

  13. So so happy to see Eliana in your arms ~ our continued prayers are with you all ~

  14. Oh Mel! Know we are on our knees over here in our house. . .praying for wholeness, for wisdom, healing and for your family to feel the love of our heavenly father in a way that is absolutely real. Thanks for sharing your story with us. . .
    Lots of love,

  15. Meland Dan, you have support further than north America, with thoughts and prayers forward in time too... I hope each day will be better for all before you even start it. lots of love from down under,Lorrie and family xox