Friday, March 4, 2011

Abby is Home at Last!

I'm so sorry I haven't updated this in a while. Abby suprised us all and came home Tuesday night! Thank you all for praying her home. They really needed to get out of there. I've been so busy hanging out with Abby and Jeni that I haven't even thought about posting an update. Abby is so glad to be home and her emotions were overflowing when she pulled up. Stacey and Lauren Bruno decorated the driveway with balloons and signs which Abby just loved.

Jeni is now her full time caretaker which is a very huge and stressful job. She will be slowly weaning her off of all the medications until the end of March. Abby is still super weak and constantly adjusting to the changes in medication. She has a long way to go so keep her in your prayers! Jeni's ward has been so awesome at bringing them dinners so thank you to all who have helped them in any way. She can only have a limited amount of visitors at a time and can't be around anyone who is sick at all so please call Jeni before visiting.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fever, Fever, Go Away!

Abby is back in her own room now. They have moved her a couple times and given her a few different roommates which has been hard to deal with. She has had lots and lots of visitors which she absolutely loves! She has had a fever off and on the last few days and the doctors still aren't sure why. The last few days it has gone away during the day but comes back at night. All of the cultures and tests they have done have come back really good. The doctors said today that there is still some fluid in the chest cavity around the lungs which is most likely the cause. They are keeping her on the same medication until Monday and if she still has a fever then they will switch to a different antibiotic.

She is still progressing and went on a long walk with her physical therapist today. Every day she seems to do a little bit better. They are just so ready to be out of the hospital and go home! I am with Kim in worrying about Jeni too. She needs rest and some stress relief so bad! Hopefully Abby will do really well this weekend and they will be able to come home next week. Remember to keep them in your prayers!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I hope no one minds me updating a little too. :)

I hung out with Abby and Jeni today and it was so nice to see Abby in a much better state!  Jeni said she had a lot more energy yesterday and maybe overdid it a little in physical therapy and other around-the-hospital activities.  She was pretty sore and tired this morning.  But's such an improvement from last steps, right?!

The low grade fever that she had last night and this morning went down while I was there this morning, so that was good.  The doctor said she would keep an eye on it anyways, but didn't seem too worried about it.  Let's hope it's not another infection of any kind!

Abby let me paint her nails this morning, so if she is up for that and even thinking that it would be something nice to do, you know she is doing a lot better!

I'm sure it is no fun being in the hospital, especially now that they are sharing a room with a teenager who likes to watch "Saw IV" (nice!) but at least she's not with a crying baby, so hopefully she can get the rest/sleep she needs.  I'm just hoping Jeni will get some sleep soon too!  I'm worried about her too.  It's hard watching people you care about go through a hard time.  They are lucky to have so many friends and family that care about them.

Sayonara ICU!

Abby was moved out of the ICU and into a regular room late Tuesday night (February 22nd). She now has more freedom to move around and is able to have visitors her age which she loves! It was quite the moral boost for her. She is continuing to make great progress and is even eating on her own now. My Dad (Abby's Pa Pa) told me it was so good to see her eat a piece of pizza yesterday.

Last night she got another fever though and the doctors are still not sure why. They removed the deep IV line out of her arm because that is a possible cause. Now Abby just takes the antibiotics in pill form. I think the only tube she has left now is the feeding tube and they are hoping to get it off today. Abby is so anxious to come home and is working really hard with all of her therapists to get home as quickly as possible (hopefully by this coming Tuesday at the latest).

Keep praying her home!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oh Happy Day :)

I was able to visit Abby today and it was sooooo good to be able to talk to her! She is doing so much better. While I was there, two doctors and a nurse all came in her room at different times with their jaw dropped to the floor! They couldn't believe how much progress she has made and how great she looked. Yesterday was her first really good day and her first day truly back and cleared of sedation medications. She was really weak and had a hard time even lifting her head. Abby was so touched by all of her cards, balloons, stuffed animals, blankets, pillows and gifts. She was so happy to know how much everyone cares for her and misses her! Thank you to all sent them!

Abby has made even more progress today. She is breathing just fine and has been able to slowly start eating again. If she makes enough progress they can take out the feeding tube tomorrow. She walked around the ICU with a walker and sat in a chair and beaded a necklace while I was there. She is ready to be moved out of the ICU and into a room but they are waiting on an available room. Hopefully tomorrow she will be out of the ICU for good!! Once she is in a regular room she will be able to have more visitors and she LOVES visitors! She is missing her family and friends so much.

I knew she would recover amazingly fast and be so strong. I am so grateful that we will have our Abby back home again soon. I was so humbled and touched by her positive attitude about everything and her courage today. I thought the last place I would ever visit Abby would be the hospital. It is just not right to see a girl so full of life and energy in a hospital bed. Luckily she is so strong and I know she will work so hard to get better and get out of there. I love you so much Abby and can't wait for you to come home!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Welcome Back Abby!

Abby is coming back to reality and it was so good to see her awake and hear her voice today. She looks so much better and is continuing to make progress. Abby is becoming more and more conscience and aware of her surroundings. The doctors are continuing to wean her off of all the sedation and pain medications. Abby has been really restless and uncomfortable. She is still pretty delirious from the medications so Jeni and Mike are constantly calming her down and explaining what is going on and where she is. She has said some pretty funny things in her delirium today. She has asked several times where she is and if she is downstairs. When Jeni explained she was in the hospital she told Jeni it couldn't be the hospital because it wasn't fancy enough and hospitals were fancy. She also might have mentioned that she was in "pure hell." We don't know where she would have learned that phrase. I'm sure she picked it up in the hospital this week. :) She keeps asking who all the "people" (nurses and doctors) are and tells Jeni to get them out. She just wants to go home so bad. I'm sure she will be out of there in no time!

We hope to see you home soon!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

No More Machines!

Prayers continue to be answered and Abby is continuing to make huge steps. They took her off of the ventilator this morning so she is breathing all on her own now! It is definitely labored breathing with lots of coughing but she is progressing so well. She has also been able to stay off of dialysis.

They have been slowly reducing all the sedation medications today. She has been in and out of it all day long and is really struggling to understand what is going on. Mike said her first words were, "Let's go home." As far as Abby knows it is February 12th (last Saturday) at Mercy Gilbert hospital. Really pray for her and her parents tonight. It is going to be a really challenging few days for all of them. She is certainly headed in the right direction though. I can't wait to go and talk to you Abby!

Hang in there Abby! I know its going to be just miserable for awhile but you can do it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

For My Dear Sister...

Ever since Abby was taken to the hospital, I have been contemplating the virtues of patience, long suffering, and endurance. In the last week, I have heard these words several times as we have all talked about the long road that Abby has ahead of her. I know that whatever Abby has ahead of her, her mother also has ahead of her. After my trip to the grocery store today, I just had to come home and write a little note to my sister who I miss terribly! It has been rough not being able to call you whenever I want and ask your opinion about every little thing. I have had to make all my own decisions this week and it was terrible. I did survive somehow though :) So Abby I hope you will forgive me for taking up space on your blog while I attempt to cheer up your mom.

I went to the grocery store right by my house today that I have been to many times. It is just a little Walmart Marketside store. There are usually only 1 or 2 cashiers that check people out and there is usually a pretty good line at them. I always debate on using the self checkout or taking my chance in line. It is quite the toss-up. Do I fight the stupid self checkout computers that tell me I didn't bag my item 500 times, bag all my own groceries, and try to entertain my 8 month old all at the same time or do I wait in a pretty good sized line and stare in amazement at how slow the cashier is and wait for them to check a price on an item or look up every singe produce item code in a super long list? Well, today they had 3 lanes open and there was only two people in each of the three lines so I decided to pick a line. I got in the line closest to me and realized it was the sweet little old lady I took a chance with the last time I was there and it cost me at least 20 minutes! She was about as slow as a cashier could be and took at least 2 minutes to look up every single produce item I had. Well, as looked in my cart and saw a whole pile of produce items, I decided to get the heck out of that line and go to the next one with a much younger cashier probably in her 20's that looked like she could handle my produce. I was so proud that I took the time to check and get in the right line. So as I relish in my good move, I look up to notice that in the front of the line being helped was a very old little lady, at least in her 90's. Of course, this little old lady is writing out a good old fashioned check for her groceries which takes time, lots of time. When it is finally finished and I think I am in the clear, to my great surprise (I don't know why I am still always surprised), she has a whole other set of groceries that she is paying for on the conveyor belt with yet another check. Until this point, I am thinking that the reason the line is moving so slowly is because of this little old lady and her checks but then I begin to watch the cashier. Wow, is the only word I can think to describe her. This cashier proceeds to check out the little old lady, her daughter, and then me all while pausing a million times to have a conversation with the cashier in the next line, to watch every single customer walk in and out of the door, and pick up each item and examine it over before scanning it. She did however know all of the produce items by heart. It took me 22 minutes to get through the line. Of course, I had to look and see how I would have done in the first line I got in with the old lady cashier. She helped 4 customers in the time the girl I went to helped 3. I would have saved about 8 minutes.

While sitting through this little lesson on patience, my thoughts were turned to you and the much greater lesson you are getting right now while you wait for your daughter to heal. I though about how we are constantly handed lessons in life. I have decided that most of these lessons are to teach us patience, long-suffering, and endurance. These are virtues that are so foreign to the natural man that it takes SEVERAL (millions even) to help us learn our reliance on Him and to wait on His timing. I know that this trial you and Abby are going through right now will bring both of you closer to the Savior and make you even stronger than before. I have watched you struggle daily with numerous trials my whole life Jeni. Even before this I prayed daily for you and some relief of pain you have every day with your back and knee. My first thought when this happened was, "Why are you sending her more? She already has enough!" Then, probably because I have been reading The History of Joseph Smith by his mother, Lucy Mack Smith, I thought of the trials that Joseph, Emma, and the early Saints endured. There was one after another and most of the time there were several at the same time. They were plagued with sicknesses over and over and even lost several family members. They were constantly tried and look at who they became and what they accomplished. I guess what I wanted to tell you is that I think you are given such great trials because He has a great future in store for you that He wants to prepare you for and He knows how amazing you are and that you will handle it all with a cheerful heart. I love you Jeni and I hope you will allow myself and all those around you who love you to serve and support you like you have done for each of us so many times. Brett had some quotes he shared with me that his mom sent him when she was fighting her illness. I wanted to share them with you and then I promise I will stop typing...

"Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery. The sufferings of our Savior were part of his education."
- Spencer W. Kimball

"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God... and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.
- Orson F. Whitney

Quick Update

I wanted to let everyone know that Abby is off of dialysis now! They took her off at around 10:30am this morning and she is doing great. They will continue to monitor her and make sure she is removing fluid on her own so keep praying that she will be able to stay off of that machine! The physical therapist saw Abby again today and said she is still doing just awesome as far as her muscles go.

The ventilator is now on support mode and is there if she needs it but Abby is now breathing on her own again! Yay! They are slowing weaning her off of the sedation medications and are planning on removing the ventilator tomorrow morning if all goes well! So many prayers are continually being answered! One more huge mountain to climb tomorrow and then she will be well on her way out of the ICU!

Keep up the amazing progress Abby! We can't wait to visit and talk to you!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Good News!

Abby had a great day today! She is continuing to improve at rates that keep the doctors shaking their heads in disbelief. They are surprised at how well her breathing is improving. The physical therapist that saw her today was also surprised at how strong Abby still is. She is a fighter! Abby remained on the ventilator and dialysis today. They finally got her sedation medications balanced better today and kept her nice and comfortable. She had a breathing treatment today and did really well with that. They are also encouraging her to cough to help remove the build-up in her lungs.

Abby is doing so well that they are going to try to get her off of dialysis tomorrow. If she does well with that, they will try to get her off of the ventilator on Saturday! Say lots of prayers for her and her parents tonight for these big steps she will be taking the next few days. Once she gets off of these machines and is able to breathe well on her own they will wake her from sedation and move her out of the ICU. They are hoping to get her off of these machines and even out of the ICU by the beginning of next week.

I can't imagine waking up and facing what this 11 year old girl is going to be confronted with. I am so grateful she has so many people who love her and will help her through this. I know she will just love all of the cards and gifts she has received. If anyone can make it through this it is definitely Abby. We are all here for you Abby!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One Rough Week!

It's been one rough week for the Tanner family. Ms. Abigail Rose got sick with the fever and bad cough that we were all getting about 2 1/2 weeks ago. Then last Tuesday she came home sick from school with another fever. It turns out she got another flu (the stomach flu) on top of the one she had just had. Over the next few days she just got progressively worse because she didn't feel like eating or drinking. She got really dehydrated, weak, and couldn't sleep because of her horrible cough. It turned into pneumonia and got so bad that she couldn't even walk and started turning blue. Jeni and Mike took her to the emergency room on Saturday morning at Gilbert Mercy Hospital. They did a chest x-ray and because the pneumonia was so bad and her entire body was going into septic shock they decided to air vack her to Phoenix Children's Hospital where she would have a whole team of specialists working on her and a special machine called an oscilator to help her lungs pump oxygen to her body. Because of the septic shock she was going into renal failure and her kidneys were barely functioning.

Abby has been in ICU at the Phoenix Children's Hospital ever since this time. Every day she is getting a little bit better but it is a very slow and trying process. Saturday they hooked her up to the oscilator to get oxygen circulating in her blood. It was a balancing act to keep her heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and blood toxicity levels at their proper place. They also had to put a tube in her chest to help drain excess fluid. They put several IV's with fluid, pain meds, sedation meds, and antibiotics going in her to try and fight off the secondary infection that she has. The doctors explained that she had a secondary infection on top of the pneumonia that was attacking and filling up her lungs with fluid. Both lungs were completely filled with bacteria and fluid. My mom counted 22 tubes going in and out of her on Sunday morning.

On Monday her chest x-ray really didn't look any better and they were concerned that her kidneys were still not functioning as they should and removing enough fluid from her body so they tried giving her a diuretic. Because the diuretic wasn't working well enough they decided they would put her on dialysis. So a few more tubes later they had the dialysis working well.

Tuesday came and her chest x-ray still showed little improvement. They also had a hard time figuring out how to keep her sedated. Because of the dialysis, the sedation meds were being eliminated from her body too quickly. They finally got that balance out pretty good Tuesday night. That night one of her doctors came in and said she was surprised that Abby's chest x-ray didn't look better and that she had an impression that she needed to check Abby's chest tube and make sure it wasn't blocked. So they checked and sure enough it was blocked and once cleaned and replaced drained a bunch of fluid.

This morning (Wednesday) they were concerned about the gases building up in Abby's body and thought the oscilator tube might be blocked too. They removed the tube for cleaning and put Abby on a machine called a ventilator that is one step in the right direction from the oscilator. It doesn't put quite as much stress on the lungs and work quite so hard. Abby can breathe on her own a little bit better on the ventilator. So far, Abby has been doing so well on the ventilator that they think they will just keep her on that for now. Yay! One more step in the right direction!

This is a very brief overview of the events this last week but I wanted to get things going so we can keep all of you updated. Thank you so much to all of you for your prayers, thoughts, phone calls, concerns, support, food, and help you have all been endlessly giving!! Thank you also for all of your sweet cards and gifts. Abby's room looks amazing and I'm sure she will feel so loved when she wakes up. Jeni, Kim, Mike, and myself will try to keep posting updates and much as we can!

We miss you Abby and hope you get better soon!