Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Major Family Event Continuation

JoAnna returned home and was doing well.  We had been getting routines down to help her and get us all on a schedule.  It was great having her home again, Diva enjoyed the mommy time sitting on the couch with her in the evening, Hannah spent every moment possible with JoAnna to make up for lost time. 

While in Denver, they discovered a Dumoid tumor that was non-cancerous.  It couldn’t be removed in Denver while she was in treatment so after she had gotten home we scheduled to have it done.  It was to be a typical laparoscopic day surgery.  We went in Monday morning and were out be late Monday afternoon.  Wednesday morning JoAnna woke up in excruciating pain and nauseous.  We called the Dr. and they had us come in to be seen.  They were a little concerned so they ordered a CT scan to check everything out.  After the results came back they were very concerned and rushed her into surgery.  They discovered that during the laparoscopic surgery they had nicked her bowel and so she had a major infection.  She spent five days in the ICU and is now in a normal hospital room.  As of today she has been in the hospital for a week.  It will be a 4 to 6 month recovery requiring another major surgery to reverse the work they did to allow the damaged areas to heal.  So while she was recovering from the eating disorder, we had the setback of this.  It has been over a week since she has been able to eat real food and though she is getting nutrition through the IV, her body has gone back into the disorder mode.

Major Family Event

Christmas was a turning point for our family; JoAnna had gotten very ill due to an eating disorder she has suffered since childhood.  Over Christmas she had gotten very sick and so when we returned home, she had to enter treatment.  We found a place in Denver, Colorado that was headed by a doctor she had seen many years prior in Savannah before he moved to Colorado.  When we arrived, JoAnna was admitted directly into the hospital for three days to be stabilized prior to being able to enter treatment.  It was a long hard road for the next 16 weeks but she has gotten better, she looks wonderful and is much healthier.  While the treatment isn't a silver bullet, it puts her on a path to recovery.  Full recovery can take up to three years to retrain the mind and body.  The worst part of the entire ordeal is when JoAnna returns to Savannah, there is no eating disorder support in the area.  There are no doctors, facilities or dietitians that specialize in eating disorders.  This makes it especially hard when insurance doesn’t cover any preventive care.  They will cover most of the hundreds of thousands of dollars it can cost for treatment but not the care to prevent going to treatment.

For spring break, the kids (including Diva) and I drove to Denver to visit JoAnna. Even with gas prices, it came out cheaper with hotels, rental car and plane tickets to just drive.  We had a blast stopping at all the Lamborghini Dealerships along the way for Patrick and going to the top of the St. Louis Arch for Hannah.  We got to drive cross country from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains.  We had a great time and are looking forward to doing it again only continuing on to California and Oregon.


Christmas was great this year.  We made the trek to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to meet up with Eric's mom and siblings and families.  All the families plus the other guests made for a very full house.  There was a lot of running around and fun for Christmas.  We cut a tree down had Christmas dinner and enjoyed each other’s company.  It has been many years since we had all been together for Christmas.  The Victorian houses all decorated were beautiful and the biting cold added to the winter atmosphere