Monday, February 28, 2011

Are you a FRY FAMILY?

My child like most enjoys food of the unhealthy variety. Since he is not like most children and at age 2 ½ we discuss things like his cholesterol and blood pressure we try to offer him heart healthy versions of the foods he does enjoy. (We try and make a normal situation out of un-normal circumstances)
So in search of these healthy alternatives Mason and I have been on a cooking quest… That is right I have been cooking up a storm with help of course from Mason.
Together we have been busy in the kitchen!
Since children really are the best critics I thought I would give you one of Mason’s favorite HEART HEALTHY FOOD ALTENATIVES!

So are you a Fry Family?
Cheese Fries
Ingredients:
-1 spray olive oil / cooking spray
-2 large uncooked Russet or Idaho potatoes (Peeled and cut into ¼ inch strips
-1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
-1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
½ cup low-fat shredded cheese (Cheddar, Colby and or a sharp variety)

Directions:
-Pre-Heat Oven to 400*F.
-Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray
-Arrange potatoes on prepared baking sheet; Season to taste with salt and pepper.
-Bake 20 minutes / Flip fries and bake until golden brown (estimated another 20 minutes)
-Cluster potatoes together on baking sheet and sprinkle with cheese; bake until cheese melts (about 5 minutes)

Note: This recipe is also great with out the cheese

ENJOY!

Kelsey and Mason!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Just another day in paradise....


This week it snowed, and the snow is still here!
In fact as I type it is currently snowing. I think Mother Nature is slightly confused. We should be getting ready for spring not bring out our snow boots.
So we make the best of our paradise in the snow!
Mom in her boots, Mason in his we head out for a sledding adventure.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Too much bitter... Not enough Sweet

This weekend was bittersweet; so sweet as we spent the most amazing time with each other listening to and watching Mason giggle at the play Go, Dog. Go!; Cooking and taking photo’s – Mason’s new favorite thing to do… And the adults even got sometime together; Greg and I had the most amazing date night with the K’rabs  also known as the Carbajals.
On the flipside it was also far too bitter; as we learned that Travis was taken home to Jesus.
My heart has been heavy all weekend with this news. I have to be honest; there is a lot of loss in the heart community; it is a hard place to be a member.
Each loss is hard because they remind you of the fragility of your own child and I walk away thinking “That could be my Mason”. So we hug him a little tighter and thank Jesus a lot more than usual.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."
Khalil Gibran

As time has gone by more things from our past become clear…
On February 11th, 2008 the day we found out about Mason’s heart condition a piece of me died; I have never been the same. I became scarred.
My scars are not visible like Mason’s but just as Mason has healed so have I.
I mourned my pregnancy, his birth, and the “healthy” newborn son that I so deeply wanted…
I still hurt for what my son has gone through and goes through…I also don’t think that will ever go away – This is my scar…
Old hurt will be replaced with new hurt; but also with new joys…

”There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with."
Harry Crews

New scars will come and heal for all three of us – this is apart of our life’s journey!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Prayers for Travis

Travis, like Mason, has HLHS.
He is 16 months old. In addition to HLHS, Travis has a narrowing in his aorta. He went in Thursday for open heart surgery to repair that narrowing. Friday, he went into cardiac arrest, required 2 hours of CPR and is now on ECMO. Today they have taken him in for a CT scan. His pupils are no longer responsive.

PLEASE pray that he tolerates ECMO well and that there is no damage to his brain or other organs from the extended CPR. He also needs prayers that his heart is able to rest and recharge while on ECMO.
We have never met Travis or his family however we are all apart of the same fight.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

WE WEAR RED FOR MASON...



Here is the beginning of the photo collection I am putting together to show off all of Mason's supporters...

I have more photos to add so check back soon to see the entire photo collection!

♥ Kelsey

Friday, February 4, 2011

What is it like?


This blog entry may seem long… Stay with me, I promise it isn’t all “text” book!
The photo I have shared to the left was taken of Mason after his first surgery... Looking back I can now say that this was only the begining of our journey... Our future would hold the news of his strokes (plural), additional surgies and living "life" with a child who has a CHD.

What an appropriate day to share my perceptive... You asked; I am answering... what is it like?

The first question that is always asked “What’s a CHD?” and the next question, “What’s HLHS?”

For your reading pleasure here are the medical terminologies:
CHD: The abbreviation for Congenital Heart Defect.
This means that it is present at birth. Heart defects begin in the early stages of pregnancy when the baby’s heart is forming

HLHS:
This is the condition Mason has.
The abbreviation for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome…
This is a condition in which the left side of the heart is underdeveloped. Usually, the left ventricle, the left atrium, the mitral valve and the aorta are affected. It is called a syndrome because it can encompass several different variations and varying degrees of development of these parts of the heart.

To understand HLHS, it is helpful to understand how a normal baby's heart works. The heart is comprised of four chambers: the upper chambers are called the left and right atria, and the lower chambers are called the left and right ventricles.

Very simply, in a healthy heart blood flows from the right atrium to the right ventricle where it is then pumped through the pulmonary artery to the lungs to be oxygenated. Blood then flows back to the heart via the left atrium to the left ventricle, which pumps this oxygenated blood through the aorta out to the body. This is how the body's organs and tissue receive oxygen, which is vital. When a baby has HLHS, the left side of the heart is underdeveloped so it cannot sufficiently pump the oxygenated blood out to the body.

Babies with HLHS do not have problems while in the womb - it is only after birth that the heart fails to work properly. This is because all babies receive oxygen from the placenta while in the womb, so blood does not need to go to the lungs. In addition, there is an opening between the pulmonary artery and the aorta, called the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) that is present in all babies. It allows the blood to go from the right ventricle out to the body, bypassing the left side of the heart.

The PDA usually closes a few days after birth, separating the left and right sides of the heart. It is at this time that babies with undetected HLHS will exhibit problems as they experience a lack of blood flow to the body. They may look blue, have trouble eating, and breathe rapidly. If left untreated, this heart defect is fatal - usually within the first few days of life.

Once HLHS has been diagnosed, a drug called prostaglandin is given to keep the PDA open until surgery is performed. There are two surgical options for treating HLHS: a Heart Transplant or the 3-Stage Surgical Procedure.

Mason has currently had 2 of the 3-Stage Surgical Procedure.

But if you really want the truth, I will give you a mother’s perspective:

What is it like to have a child with a CHD?
• It’s asking… Lord what is your will?...
• It is a test of faith…
• It’s working through the stages of grief…
o Shock and Denial…
o Pain and Guilt…
o Anger and Bargaining…
o Depression…
o The upward turn…
o Working Through…
o Acceptance and Hope…
• It’s living with the stages of grief; they come and go…
• It’s Lasix, aspirin, Captopril, Enanapril…
• It’s worrying about blood cots (who would think)…
• It’s monitors, oxygen tanks and BEEPS…
• It’s a daily reminder to give THANKS…
• It’s feeding tubes and calories…
• It’s it the battle of eating and a bigger battle of keeping food down…
• It’s praising God for small miracles that many take for granted (weight gain)…
• It is holding your child for the first time (after waiting so long)
• It’s holding the responsibility of helping him grow strong…
• It’s becoming an expert on a condition you never knew existed…
• It’s making a hospital your home…
• It’s checking his sats and asking does he look blue…
• It’s sleepless nights…
• It’s tears shed for friends who have become family; With children who have lost the fight…
• It’s weekly therapy sessions…
• It’s cringing inside thinking about what he has been through and what lies ahead…
• It’s going into hibernation during the winter…
• It’s surgery day… and you will NEVER be ready…
o It’s handing him over…
o It’s knowing that the next 8 hours will be the longest in our life…
o It’s knowing that his heart must be repaired…
o It’s… praying… it’s hoping… that he will be okay…
o It’s waiting for those 3 pages during his surgery (page 1 – He has been put under anesthesia, page 2 – He is on the heart and lung machine –his heart is currently stopped, page 3 – He has been taken off the heart and lung machine)…
o It’s being told things went well; and crying as the sense of relief floods over your body…
o It’s knowing we aren’t out of the woods…
• It’s watching him sleep… Chest rising and falling…
• It’s knowing that this journey and this life has made me much wiser beyond my years… (It has also physically aged me )
• It’s seeing our reward in every smile…
• It’s that long faded scar down my child’s chest…
• It’s touching it gently and knowing that we are blessed…
• It’s the moment I realized I’ve stopped asking why?...

♥ Kelsey

We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.
Proverbs 16:9 (The Message)

I wear RED because my son's ♥ Heart matters

February is Congenital ♥ Heart Defect Awareness Month
Did you know that Cardiovascular Disease is the No. 1 killer of all Americans?
In fact, someone dies from CVD every 38 seconds!

TODAY February 4th is NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY!

Wear red to support the Millions of people with CHD!
 
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