A view into the life of a family who encountered a different future than expected, but has become all the richer for it.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Weekend

Whelp, Turkey Day has come and gone and it was definitely a different type of holiday for us at the Messick home!

The day before Thanksgiving, Elyssa had a feast in her 3K class at school. Mark stayed with the sick girls and let me escape for a little while so I could see Elyssa's little holiday program. Her class dressed up like American Indians and counted to 30, recited their phonics and sang a Thanksgiving song. It was really cute. Below you will see the video of her class counting to 30. Elyssa was very energetic in her recitation!

On Thursday, Mark and Elyssa drove to his parent's in Bay Minette and spent Thanksgiving with them. Elyssa really enjoyed her time with her cousin, Maddy. They fed chickens and had a good time outside. Mark got tickled that Elyssa called the wooded area by his parent's house the "spooky forest." They had a good time and I'm sure they enjoyed all the great food and fellowship with family.

I stayed home on Thanksgiving day with the two sick-o's, Natalie and Victoria. Natalie was still seeming to be under the weather and Victoria was still on breathing treatments. All-in-all, it was a good day and I spent the day getting things done around the house. I was able to get most of our Christmas decorations up and also get ready for another yard sale that we are having this coming weekend.

Saturday the girls seemed better and we all drove to my parent's to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. We had a great time, although, I was very guarded with the girls since they were still recovering from being so sick. But, they all seemed to have a great time playing with their cousins. I hate that we were only able to see my sister and her family for the day. We miss them, especially, since they live in Louisiana now. When you are with family that you don't get to see very often, you never feel like you have quite enough time with them on the holidays. However, we felt so thankful that we were able to see them, even if just for a day! And, it wasn't too shabby that we were all able to watch the Alabama game together! It was great to enjoy that win!

Even though Thanksgiving was a little different this year, we enjoyed it and felt very thankful to spend time with family when we could. We serve a faithful God who continues to show us how He provides for our every need. We could not feel more blessed!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

At The Hospital

Today Mark and I had to take Natalie and Victoria back to their doctor for follow-up visits. They have both been sick for several weeks and have seemed to get worse lately.

Victoria has been on breathing treatments three-times-a-day for a week now. I haven't seen a lot of improvement, but the doctor insists that she has a virus and that we need to continue her treatments for a while longer. Hopefully, in the next week she will be sounding and looking much better. Even though she is sick, she still looks as cute as ever!

Poor Natalie sounded especially terrible today. Last week we were told she had some wheezing in her chest and at that time she was put on antibiotics. The antibiotics did not seemed to help at all. In fact, her condition seemed to deteriorate over the past few days. So, today we hauled her back to the doctor to be told that it sounded like she had pneumonia. After her doctor visit, we all took a trec over to the closest hospital for Natalie to have her chest x-rayed. Sure enough, she has pneumonia! However, it is in the early stages and she will not have to be hospitalized. How thankful we felt to have caught this before it got too bad! Don't get me wrong, she sounds bad enough to me to be hospitalized. This morning, sitting still, she sounded like she had been running a marathon! She had very labored breathing, so I knew it was possible that she had pneumonia. We are so thankful for her doctor, Faye Roberts, who was so thorough in her exam. Dr. Faye is awesome! She put Natalie on much stronger antibiotics and we hope to see some huge improvements in her condition this week.

I told Mark to go ahead and take Elyssa with him to his parent's house on Thursday like we had planned. However, I'll stay home with Natalie and Victoria. I know this sounds silly, but I actually bought a "TV dinner" of turkey and dressing to eat on Thursday so I could feel like I had a little bit of a Thanksgiving meal! Mark's mom will send a plate of food home for me Thursday night so I'll get to really have a good meal on Friday for lunch. She is a great cook so I'm kinda sad that I'll miss her meal on the actual day of Thanksgiving. But, it'll taste just as great on Friday when I do get to chow down on it!
This year's Thanksgiving holiday isn't turning out how I planned, but I'm still so thankful! I look back over the year and see how God has worked miracles in the life of my family. He is a wonderful Father who truly takes care of His children!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Elyssa's Singing Debut!

Tonight was a monumental night in the life of our oldest little girl, Elyssa. It was her first time to sing in "big" church. She is in the 3K choir at our church and they sang three songs to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this week. Elyssa was asked to sing a solo at the beginning of the song "Give Thanks." We've been working on this song for several months now and I was praying she would sing as well in the performance as she has done at home. She did great!

I'll try to upload a video soon of her actual performance.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Beautiful Nose!

Mark and I went to see Dr. Bryars, my ENT, yesterday. We all sat down and he looked over my CT scan. He explained what he saw in each layer of the scan. He said that my right frontal sinus has never fully developed. He said that, probably, since childhood my sinus has been this way. He wondered if I had a lot of sinus infections as a child. I told him no, but that I remember having a lot of sore throats. He said the sore throats could've been caused by drainage from this underdeveloped sinus cavity. He was amazed as he looked at my scan. He said that it looked like a surgeon had gone in and made the same types of repairs to my right sinus that he would've done if he had done my surgery. He said even though my sinus was not fully developed, it drains exactly as it needs to. He pointed out that my right sinus is missing a small bone that my left sinus has. Also there were several other differences. All in all, he said that he didn't feel like I needed surgery. He said it looked like God and Mother Nature had made whatever adjustments needed to be made in my right sinus to cause it to work properly. It was really neat to hear him explain all of this to us and once again, I knew I had seen God's hand in my life.

He is the Great Physician who can heal any deformity and irregularity of our corruptible bodies! Praise God for His healing hand even though when we don't always know He is working in our behalf!

PS - Dr. Bryars said I did have a small polyp, but he said it has probably been there for a long time and he didn't see any need to remove it. He said it will NEVER turn into anything cancerous.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A "What" In My Nose?

Last week was an interesting week. I was asked to sing at our Ladies Night Out at church and was excited about doing so, however, I had gotten sick and needed to see a doctor. I decided to go to Natalie's ENT and see if I could get a shot and some antibiotics. I also wanted to get a sinus x-ray because I had been having a case of laryngitis along with my yearly sinus infection. I wanted to find out if anything had changed to cause this laryngitis to occur. As a singer, when you lose your voice there is always cause for concern. So, I just wanted to make sure things were on the up-and-up!

Dr. Bryars took some sinus x-rays and as he looked at them, I could tell by the look on his face that he was seeing something abnormal. He didn't spill the beans immediately, but said he wanted to look in my nose with his scope. Elyssa came with me to my appointment and about this time I thought, "Oh boy! She is gonna have a big time seeing her momma undergo this procedure!" Elyssa was a little angel throughout my visit with Dr. Bryars, but for the scope-part of the exam, she stood up and got awful close to Dr. Bryars to see what he was going to do. He sprayed some deadening-type spray into each nostril and then took his LONG skinny tube and put it in my nose. To begin with, he only inserted his scope at the opening of each nostril to have a look around. On a side note, I cannot imagine this being my profession after this experience. There is nothing inside me that wants to look up someone else's nose! Anyway, after his initial glance into each nostril, he decided to look further into my right nostril. He then proceeded to put his scope down my throat to glance at my vocal chords. Elyssa was looking very intently at me and wondering what my reaction would be to all of this craziness. I remained very calm, of course, and just had to deal with some watery eyes during the procedure.

After Dr. Bryars was done with his exam, he let me know that my vocal chords were perfect and that I just had some mild laryngitis, which he could treat with a steroid shot and antibiotics. This would have me up-and-running for my singing event in just a few days. I was glad to get this news. On the other hand, he did have to tell me something that he saw in my right frontal sinus cavity. He said I had a "growth" or polyp in that cavity. He showed me on my x-ray how open my left cavity is and how my right cavity is not fully open due to the growth that has been blocking things. He said it looks like this is something that has been going on for quite a while. He said that the growth was not cancerous so he didn't want me to be worried about that. He would just need to do out-patient surgery to remove the growth. He said he would need to put me to sleep (I've never been "put-under" before) and that the procedure would be fairly simple. He assured me that I would not have to worry about having black-and-blue eyes after it is all over with. I was glad to hear that! Also, my recovery time would be fairly quick from what he told me.

I will go for a CT scan on Tuesday and then go back to see Dr. Bryars on Friday to talk over the CT scan results. From there we will schedule my surgery.

As much as I'm NOT looking forward to surgery, I am ready to have some relief from the pressure I've felt in my head for quite a while. Having three kids in three years, I always associated the pressure in my head to the stuffiness that you read about being common in pregnant women. I never knew that something else was going on. As I look back over the past several years, I can see things now that should've prompted me to get a doctor's attention, but I just never did. Through this experience I have learned that I need to start "listening" to my body more. Instead of putting myself on the back-burner to take care of kids, I really need to be aware of what my body is trying to tell me.

At the end of my visit with Dr. Bryars, I was given a shot in my hip. Elyssa watched the nurse very carefully as she stuck her needle into my hip. She actually got up out of her chair and stood by the nurse. As we were leaving the doctor's office, Elyssa said to me, "Momma, I almost told that nurse, 'No ma'am on my momma!'" She was telling me that she almost told the nurse to leave me alone. It was cute that she wanted to protect me! She was a great little girl that day and it helped me to have her along as a source of comfort with such crazy news from the doctor. Praise the Lord that Elyssa could help me and at the same time, I could help her see that getting a shot isn't so awful!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Been Forever!

It feels like it has been forever since I've blogged! My only excuse is that it has been a little crazy in our home. Mostly though, our camera has been full and I couldn't take any new photos until we created a little space on the camera card! Tonight I took a few photos and wanted to share them with you and give a progress report on Victoria.

Here are some photos of Victoria by herself. Isn't she as cute as a button? Victoria is doing really well. She is continuing to gain weight and still nurses great. I've started adding in some cereal to her diet and she takes it fine, however she is a little bit of a slower eater when it comes to eating via a spoon. She seems to want to feel the textures of food items in her mouth more than my other girls did. My other girls slurped down their food and Victoria seems to savor it more (or either gags on it). So, I just try to be patient and know there will be a day that she is chomping at the bit to eat "real" food.
Victoria is now 8-months-old! I can hardly believe that she will be a year old in March! I'm sure time will fly by and March will be here before I know it. It's hard for me to even picture Victoria being a year old because she is still so small for her age. She is behind physically, of course, so I even have trouble accepting that she is already 8-months-old! She is still a little baby in my eyes. However, the therapists are all SO happy with Victoria's progress. They continue to tell me what a strong little girl she is becoming. I find myself emotional at her therapist visits because she accomplishes so much. It's hard to explain why I get so emotional. I guess I see her hitting so many milestones at each visit that I'm overcome with joy and pride for my strong, little, victorious girl! I continue to be amazed at how God works in her life. She is a huge testimony of God's grace and proving that the impossible is POSSIBLE!

Here is a photo of Elyssa and Victoria. Elyssa is the little "goof" of the family! She is quite the card these days! I've really enjoyed this new stage she is entering. She is starting to grow up! 3K has been a great thing for her. My Elyssa is a smart and pretty little girl.

Natalie didn't pose for any photos, of course, but she is doing well! She will be turning two-years-old on January 10th. So, I will begin making party plans for her soon. She is developing a funny personality of her own. She, too, is a smart and pretty little girl!
I thank God for my life, my sweet husband who travels this interesting road with me, my wonderful girls whom I love with all my heart and our families who continue to be such a strong support for us. God has surrounded us with so much love and we are forever grateful!