Friday, August 29, 2008

Allergy Testing and New Diets All Around!

Well, we have the results from Ross' allergy testing. Here goes: all fish/shellfish, all tree nuts, peanuts, peas, corn, wheat, rice, rye, oat, oranges, green beans, onions, soy and yeast. As well as, environmental allergies and cats. So between Ross, Hannah, and Abigail our diets will be seriously altered. Oh, and now for the funniest part! I talked to our vet yesterday, and because Kobe is not metabolizing his food properly, his little body is producing large amounts of kidney stones; so he will also be on a special diet the rest of his life. Now isn't that just appropriate! Okay sorry for the side note, back to Ross. He is going to have a hard time giving up wheat, so we are having a last "hoorah" this weekend. Since we are Italian by choice (meaning we LOVE Italian food) we are going to have pasta for dinner! Although he is already omitting most of the offensive foods now, he is planning on going "cold turkey" on Monday! This is going to be a life change for all of us, so I know we will need the prayers until we become a custom to our new way of eating. For all of you food lovers out there, enjoy it and please don't ever take it for granted!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Come On...

Really! Isn't it enough that my daughter has EE and my husband will most likely be diagnosed with it within the next two weeks? Now my dog has a problem! Poor little thing has had a "pee problem" as my 6 and 4 year olds so politely pointed out. I took him to the vet today, and he has an enlarged prostate and will be neutered tomorrow. As if that wasn't bad enough, I had to leave him there tonight. Let's just say he is not going to be happy we he gets home tomorrow! You know I just had to laugh to keep from crying. I know that my dog being neutered isn't a big deal, but come on...can't my dog at least be healthy?!?

Zach talked about peace today in Connection Group (our way of saying Sunday School). The opening question this morning was, "What is peace?" As soon as it was asked, my immediate answer (in my head) was Jesus! Jesus is peace. Not only is He peace, but He is the Prince of Peace. I have totally and completely found peace in my Prince of Peace through all of this with Abigail and now Ross. Now, don't get me wrong I have my emotional days; which I also think is normal. Through the emotion, there is peace and comfort in knowing that He is in control of it all. I have learned to accept the things which I cannot change, and He has given me the courage and knowledge to do the things He would have me do. It is through Him alone that I can feel this way and write these words, but it is true...every word.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Who Got Scope Now??

As many of you now know, Ross has been presenting with eosinophilic esophagitis-type symptoms. After having difficulty swallowing and feeling like someone has been strangling him for the past week, Ross was finally scoped yesterday afternoon. The procedure went well, but the esophagus did not look so good. The pictures showed esophageal rings, furrowing, white plaque, and strictures. He had dilation done to stretch out the stricture (fancy word for narrowing). Although the doctor wouldn't say it and he leans more to the thought of reflux verses EE; let me show you why we believe that he also has EE...besides the fact that our daughter has it.
Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Endoscopy Findings: white plaques, stipple-like exudates, linear fissures, trachealization (ringed esophagus), strictures
Reflux esophagitis / gastroesophageal reflux disease / GERD
Endoscopy Findings: linear ulcers at distal esophagus, often with exudate; also erythema or edema; normal in 50-60% of symptomatic patients - thus biopsy required if clinically suggestive of reflux esophagitis even if normal endoscopy
This information was taken from an article found online at the following address:
I'm no doctor, but the fact that Abigail has already been diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis and the evidence that Ross has all of the endoscopy findings supporting EE; I am betting that he does in fact have it. But like I said, I'm no doctor...maybe I should have been! :) Anyway, the results will be in within 12-14 days.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Life As We Know It Will Never Be the Same Again!

Today our very beautiful, intelligent, oldest daughter started her first day of school! She walked into Mrs. Taylor's first grade class with excitement and eagerness to learn. We exchanged our hugs and kisses and said our good-byes, and then I realized, "This is the end of the life we have known until now." Freedom to go and do as we please, with no real sense of any schedule or time frame is gone. The hardest part of this reality lies in the fact that Mary Grace has been with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the past 6 years; and now I have to entrust her life with some complete stranger for eight hours a day. Hannah said, "Mommy? Gracie will be gone as long as Daddy is at work?...I am sad, and it doesn't make me feel very good." Her best friend and sister will not be there for every waking moment anymore. However, this will give Hannah time to be the "oldest" with Abigail, and hopefully at the end of the day when Gracie is home again, they will all have a different kind of love and respect for one another. I am excited to see the newness this year will bring; and sad to see the "baby-like" actions disappear.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Results...

Sorry we didn't post yesterday, but we were both completely worn out. Okay, I am sure you all have been anxiously awaiting the results from the scope and patch testing. First of all, her scope showed that there are still eosinophils present in her esophagus; so we have to remove bananas from her diet. She will be on formula ONLY for the next three months; then re-scoped. We are also scoping Hannah at this three month appointment per doctors recommendation. There are two types of eosinophilic disease; allergic-type and nonallergic-type (autoimmune), and the only way to determine which category she fits into is to go strictly formula only. The reason for this is if it is allergic-type, the theory is that once we remove the bananas the eos will be gone. If they are still present after the banana removal, then she has the autoimmune version. We are praying diligently that she not have the autoimmune type. The allergic-type is easier to control with elimination diets and so forth; this is not the case for autoimmune EE. I'm sure that was a bit confusing and I will be able to better explain it once we get home. Now...allergy. She tested positive to two more things. Mustard and sunflower (both are seeds). So for now, she is on her formula only. She will be able to eat the original flavored (only) Dum Dum suckers, Pixie Stix, and Smarties; as they are only sugar and artificially flavored. Thank you all for making this possible through prayer, support, and encouragement! We will be leaving early in the morning and should be home around 5-6pm.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Seriously, do you see the eight-lane divided highway here? This is exactly what the highway looked liked on the way to the hospital this morning, only in a little different location when we were somehow hand picked (we decided that he could tell we were out-of-towners b/c we have no license plate on the front like everyone else in OH)by a motorcycle cop standing on the side of the highway radaring people. Now, you have to remember this was in early morning traffic that we were "flowing" with a the rate of speed as everyone else. The oh so very nice police officer asked for our information, went back to his motorcycle, and returned to the car............................................................................

This is what he so politely handed us. Of coarse there was no time to explain that we were heading to Children's Hospital where we have been the entire week, but apparently he has no heart. By the way, Jason and Terri, HWY 71 from the hotel to the hospital is 55, not 71...just for future reference ;)!!! Oh, and the price....$104.Luckily, all we had to do today was attend an information meeting and tour the lab. We were done by 12:30pm and toured downtown Cinty for the rest of the day. Enjoy the pics. It was a much needed and welcomed break.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tough Day Tuesday

Abigail still nice and happy before any of her testing began. We are sitting in the allergy clinic waiting room.If you look closely, you can see the whelps (hives) that formed just minutes after the skin test solutions was placed on the inside of both of her arms.

Patch testing was done on some of the foods that tested negative. We will remove the "patches" on Thursday afternoon, and the results will be read on Friday.
Well, today was a very long and tough day, as we had expected. The doctor came in and took Abigail's history. Based upon what we told him, he decided to do 45 skin pricks. Once she was stuck she proceeded to scream at the top of her lungs, flail her body so that we could barley hold onto her, and itch obsessively. The main problem with all of this was that she was not allowed to scratch the hives or touch anything to the inside of her arms! Yeah, I know....
After all that, we had to place the patches. Underneath each round container is "whole food". Or, in layman's terms, baby food. These will stay on with no water exposure (including bath and sweat) until Friday. Okay, I am sure you are all wondering about the results. Are you ready? Okay, here you go: milk, casein (milk by-product), egg white, egg yolk, wheat, codfish, peanut, peas, barley, corn, rye, cashew, walnut, halibut, and tree nuts. The patch testing will tell if there is a delayed reaction to any of them that have previously tested negative. The allergist also said that he may do more skin prick testing on Friday. He said this several different times, so I am thinking that is highly likely.

Prayer Requests: The the patch testing will provide accurate results...there is still some question if the small amount of steroids they gave her yesterday could pose a problem. With the Lord's help, I know the results will be accurate.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Good News and Bad...

Ross, Abigail, Abigail's nurse, Patches the Bear, and I before her procedure.

I'm holding Abigail as they are putting her to sleep in the O.R.. You cannot see her well, but thought you could get the idea.

First and most importantly, Abigail's scope went very well. In fact, her esophagus looked better than it has yet. We will have the biopsy results on Thursday, but Putnum believes that she will be able to keep bananas in her diet. That would be a huge blessing! As we were giving Dr. Putnum our family history, we got to Hannah's and he asked if she had ever been scope. We said no, and long story short he felt that we should, and he would like to do it the next time we bring it looks like there will be many more trips to Cincy. As for Hannah, Ross and I still have some praying to do about that.

Now for the not so good news. While she was in recovery Ross and I were talking to the nurse and found out that they gave her Decadron (a steroid) during her scope. This is a problem because she is supposed to be off of steroids for one month prior to the allergy patch testing. We talked to the allergy nurse and because Decadron only stays in her system for 12 hours, she thinks that they will still be able to do the testing. The good news is that it will not affect the skin prick test, so they will at least be able to do that test without any problem. We will find out about the patch testing in the morning. Although this was all very frustrating, Ross said that all the Lord kept "saying" to him was, "I am in control, I am in control." We know that no matter the outcome, He is in control and that is the best for Abigail. Besides all of this excitement, the hospital was amazing. I wasn't able to take pictures today, but I will have some later on this week.

Prayer Requests: Tomorrow's skin prick tests will be difficult; pray for strength for all of us. Pray that if we are supposed to do the patch testing now that all will go as planned; and if not, that Ross and I will have peace that now is not the right time.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Interesting Encounter

Well, today we caught up on some much needed rest. We ate a continental breakfast here at the hotel of made-to-order omelets and Belgian waffles; as well as the normal cereal, fruit and bagels. After breakfast, Abigail was ready for a nap. This is not her usual routine, but I guess she was tired from her traveling because she took a 2 1/2 nap...and so did we! Once we got up and going, we drove around Cincy and ended up at the Kenwood Townecenter (mall). We ate Cincinnati Chili, and for those of you who have never heard of this chili; it is served on top of spaghetti noodles. Not only that, but it also has cinnamon and chocolate in it. It is different and for reasons I cannot explain, I want more. Ross thinks they have laced it with some sort of drug that induces a craving. Needless to say, we like our Texas-style chili better. Okay, for the interesting part. After we ordered our Cincinnati Chili, a man (about our ages) asked us about our bracelets. He said, "Are those CURED bracelets?" We said yes and he followed with, "I have it. I have EE." I think Ross and I were both in pure amazement. Amazed that the Lord has brought us to this city and in the mall ordering chili at the exact same time as this man. We talked to him, his wife, and baby son for quite some time. I was touched by his attitude, dedication for this disease and emotion he showed for Abigail! This is just proof that the Lord has us right where He wants us at all times; around those He has placed around us...even standing in line waiting for chili.

Prayer Requests: Tomorrow we will be seeing Dr. Putnum (GI) and Abigail's scope is scheduled for 2pm (1pm your time). Pray for safety during anesthesia and wisdom for Dr. Putnum.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

We made it to Cincy!!

Good evening everyone! We made it to Cincinnati without any real setbacks. The only "issue" we had to deal with was Abigail was breathing a little more rapidly than normal; so she had to have an Albuterol treatment. We have only had to do it one other time, but figured it could be expected since we were traveling outside her normal environment. All-in-all, Abigail did great! We stopped in St. Louis to stretch our legs, fill-up on gas, and grab a bite to eat. Since Ross and I have both been up in the Arch before, we thought it would be nice to just get out walk around, see the sights, and of coarse...take some pictures. Those of you who know me well, know that I have a thing for black and white pictures; so I couldn't resist taking a few in St. Louis! Last, but NOT least, Cincinnati. No pics yet, we haven't really been inside Cincy yet. I will post more soon; until then, enjoy!

Prayer Requests: That Abigail's breathing would remain normal, and that she would "eat" more. She has only taken about 7 oz. of formula today.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Antihistamine "Fix" and Packing Update...

Abigail is in desperate need of some kind of antihistamine...I'm not picky, I would give her anything at this point. Only I can't! She is having allergy skin prick and patch testing on Tuesday; so she is required to stay off of antihistamines for five days prior to the procedure. Bless her little heart, she is really miserable. Itchy watery eyes, one sneeze right after another, runny nose, mild eczema flare, the whole works. You would think that I had just let her roll around in the hay.

Ross' mom should be here around 4:00 this afternoon, and we are all packed up and ready to leave early in the morning. I thought this day would never get here, and now that it has I am still daily telling the Lord that, "I trust Him." I am trusting that He will keep Abigail healthy, I am trusting that He will continue to provide for our family, and I am trusting that He is the One in control. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all you ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path." Proverbs 3:5-6

This will probably be my last post before Cincy; provided we have access while we are there. I am closing with pictures of my girls...more for me than anyone, but I hope you all enjoy as well.

"Hanny and her Daddy"

"Sweet Girls"

"Spying Sisters"

"Sweet Abbz"

"My Gracie"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Break Time

My Three "Green Girls"

Abigail reading her book
while she is sitting inside
her toy box.

Just a swingin'

I needed a break. I feel like I have been packing for Cincinnati for two weeks now. I have gotten everything done in the house and for the two big girls, but still a quite a bit left to do for Ross, Abigail, and I. I am hoping to be done by tonight so that I can rest tomorrow. We are leaving early Saturday morning. I am planning on keeping everyone up-to-date through our blog while we are there. So check in periodically for the latest on Abigail!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

God is Love!

I couldn't sleep last night for thinking of this verse, 1 John 4:16. Now this is a simple verse that Mary Grace learned early on in Cubbies, but it packs powerful meaning, "...God is Love...". In fact, the Lord drew it to my attention as Mary Grace and Hannah were quoting scripture in the car yesterday. Okay, before you are wowed by the fact that I was having my girls quote scripture you should know that I use it as a tool to stop arguments in the backseat! Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, scripture...I just failed to hear it until He spelled it out in black and white for me. When I awakened this morning, I read from Edges of His Ways by Amy Carmichael, and what to my amazement did I see staring back at me? Yes. 1 John 4:16 in its entirety. Not for today's reading mind you; I read yesterday's by mistake. However, with yesterday's reading, today's wouldn't have been nearly as impacting. The following is a portion of today's passage:

"Should any of us feel as though the love which we must have, if we are to help anyone, is beginning to run dry (dried up perhaps over some very difficult soul) think of the Fountain. It never runs dry. "Love through me, Love of God."

The Lord has shown me exactly what I have needed from this "small phrase" inside this scripture. If you are in the midst of a challenging situation with a person or "over a very difficult soul", just remember that God is Love!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Our dear friends, Zach and Erin, are in Ethiopia today, and have gotten the newest addition to their family. Baby Addis. He is absolutely beautiful! Our family has been so blessed to be a part of their lives for several years now, but their adoption story has especially blessed our hearts. If you would like to learn more about Ethiopia and their adoption story, please go to:
"I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." John 14:17

Saturday, August 2, 2008


"Believe"...the Lord has blessed me with this word in several situation the past 8 months. It stems from this verse, found in John chapter 11:40. "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" I tend to gravitate to this word. If you were to come to my house, you would see a large wooden "Believe" sign hanging on the wall in the living room. Appropriately placed underneath this sign, is an old trunk with several pictures of Abigail (both hospital and healthy) a top the trunk. There have been countless situations that have raised over the past 6 to 8 months that I have had to just say, "Okay Lord, I believe."
One of those situations that I have had to believe in is the support group I have formed. There was a lot of prayer and preparation that went into Mother's Encouraging Mother's of Eosinophilic Children, but I am proud to say that we have had our first meeting. I met with two mothers of children with eosinophilic disorders this past Thursday (July 30) evening at Panera Bread in Fayetteville. Both of the other mothers live in Fayetteville. One has a 5 year old son with EE and asthma and the other has an 8 year old son with Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (eos in his stomach and small intestines). It has been a privilege and honor to have met these two ladies. The Lord has abundantly exceeded my expectations already. I really never thought that I would meet another person with an eosinophilic disorder, let alone sit across from two other ladies going through the same struggles as I have been through.
For those of you in the midst of a trial, just remember to believe in Him and He will take care of you and show you things you never believed imaginable.