Saturday, April 16, 2011

Surgery Update #2

Thursday evening was ok, Israel was wanting to play and interact more, but we were finding this hard since he was hooked to the IV machine, he couldn't go very far. He also found it highly annoying and kept trying to get it off. The charge nurse on duty Thursday night was Alan...and he was so wonderful! He was full of ideas to keep Izzy occupied. Like these bubbles!

THEY DON"T POP WHEN THEY LAND! You have to actually pop them! Izzy was fascinated and loved the adventure of trying to pop each and every last one! They last for a long fact we were still finding them the next day! We loved them SO much I had to get the details so I could buy them for us and for gifts too! I thought you might like the link as well. So here it is!

He also had a HUGE case that must have had a few hundred kids movies in it! Israel looked through them and picked out he has never seen before. He really enjoyed it!

So far Israel is doing SO much better then last year! I really think that keeping him on fluids and morphine for a full 24 hours made a huge difference! We were able to take him off of both of them Friday and switch him to oral medication and fluids from a cup. Izzy is only allowed to drink from an open faced cup because they don't want anything to accidentally poke or rip the stitches. At first he was reluctant to the open face cup because he has always drank from a straw sippy cup (due to his mouth complications this was the easiest for him when we transitioned from the bottle a year ago). But he eventually got thirty enough that he didn't care. The only thing that bothered him about it was when he spilled on his shirt...have I mentioned he hates being dirty? He is getting the hang of it pretty quickly though. He hates his medicine still and cries through it every time.

The only thing keeping us from going home was that Israel needed to be able to drink fluids and his medicine and keep them down. He did very soon after taking him off of his IV and we got to go home Friday late afternoon!

Izzy and Daddy just got the OK to go home!

It's Saturday afternoon now and things are going great. Israel slept well last night, waking up every four hours, like clockwork, for his medicine. As long as we keep up on his meds he is a happy camper. Playing and enjoying being home. During the day he sleeps for about two hours then is awake for about two hours...I feel like I have an infant again :-) It is actually nice though because I am able to get some things done around the house while he sleeps...or take a nap with him too!

My big kids come home today and I am really looking forward to seeing them. Even though it has only been a few days it is crazy how much I miss them! I am hoping for an enjoyable day having all my family together again...with no plans except to be together!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Surgery Update

This is the first real moment I have had to even think about writing an update and it's 6:15pm! (By the way as soon as I wrote that sentence, literally, the nurse walked in! So much for having a few moments huh?). Here is the low down on our day...starting bright and early!

4:45am - Jon and I woke up late! Apparently we were more tired them we though and both turned off our alarm clocks. Thank God we somehow woke up before it was too late!

5:10 - We grabbed Izzy, stuck him in his carseat and headed up to Shriner's. Of course...Izzy thought it was morning and stayed awake for the whole drive. Silly boy!

6:00 - Praise the Lord for NO traffic or problems...we arrived right on time. We got all checked in and into our room Did I mention it is a BEAUTIFUL new room in the new wing of the hospital? All new state of the art everything...lovely!

7:15 - We headed up to the pre-op/post-op area where we met all the O.R. team of the doctor, the anesthesiologist and the many nurses. Izzy was given "goofy juice" just before heading up so by the time he was meeting all these new people he was quite happy and silly...and flirting with ALL of the nurses! Too funny! We went over all the basics, signed papers so on and so forth.

He was being SO funny and kept wanting to give me nose kisses...then would start cracking up, which would in turn make all of us start laughing too!

7:40 - Jon and I gave him one last kiss and watched him head off to surgery. A small piece of me was worried/sad/concerned...but honestly, a big part of me was at peace. I know it was because of all the many prayers that were being said for us. So THANK YOU for all who were praying!

8:30 we got a call from the nurse saying that surgery had begun and everything was going well. The nice thing about having a repeat surgery is that the doctor knows Izzy now and what to do differently or the same. We learned last time that Izzy has a small airway and they had a terrible time trying to intibate him (Put a breathing tube down his throat). So this time around they knew to go with a nasal intibation, and it was perfect!

9:20 - The doctor came out and met us in the waiting room and shared with us about the surgery. She was very happy with it and is expecting good results from it. She never wants to worry us so she won't even talk about future surgeries :-) She's pretty wonderful that way!

9:45 - We got a call from the nurse letting us know that Izzy was ready for us in the recovery room. We were very anxious to see and hold him again. He came out of the anesthesia much better this time around and was much more bearable. He just wanted lots of Mommy loves.

10:15 - We headed back down to our room with Izzy and began the rest of our day...trying to keep Izzy as pain free and comfortable as possible. Jon and I took turns holding, rocking and consoling him.

We are staying overnight because of what happened last time. When Izzy had this surgery a year ago they sent us home a few hours after surgery, which we thought was wonderful. We wasn't so wonderful after all. All he would do was sleep. We couldn't get him to drink anything at all for three days. We eventually had to take him to the hospital for dehydration. Have you heard the old phrase "When you know better you do better."? Well, that was the case here for sure. They were more then happy to let us stay overnight this time and keep Izzy on fluids. He is also on antibiotics because last time around he also got an infection in his mouth. So we are trying very hard to be proactive!

Right now it's 6:40 and all is calm. Izzy and Daddy are both sleeping peacefully. Praying for a good night and a fast recovery. I will try to update throughout this next week as time allows.

(PS - A BIG shout out goes to my sister Melanie and her husband Kevin for taking Rachel and Jaxon for us for 4 days so Jon and I can be together and concentrate on getting Izzy better faster! THANK YOU!!!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I have been meaning to write about this for a while...but honestly, I didn't want to think about it. However surgery is in just a few days so I figured I probably should now. Israel will be having surgery on his tongue again just as he had last year. Here is my post from after he has his surgery last year. Most likely this one will be very similar to the details in that post. The surgery last year was a success, although the doctors say they have never seen anything like this before, so they didn't know what to expect. What we learned is that Israel will most likely have this surgery once a year until his tongue has the desired mobility. At each surgery they can only cut it back so far because as they cut it they have to create a underside of his tongue since he doesn't have one, and there is only so much available tissue to work with. In this blog post here I wrote about Izzy's particular mouth problems. I figured no point in writing it again. So for those who don't remember or who maybe weren't around my blog last year here are the details. His surgery is scheduled for Thursday April 14th in the morning. I will be updating my blog as time allows. Thankfully Izzy is to young to know what is going on so we don't have to try and prepare him, but this is a scary thing for Mommy and Daddy since we remember last time around. We would really appreciate all of your prayers.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Shriner's Dedication

On Sunday April 10th, Shriner's Hospital in Portland had their dedication of the new building! They had asked Izzy and the rest of our family to be honored guests at this event. We really had no idea what that meant, until a few weeks ago. We were asked to come up front and tell a little about our Shriner's Journey with Izzy, as well as have Izzy put a few items into the time capsule. Now I have to say at first when I heard we were asked to speak, my nerves started to get to me. But all I had to do was take a look at my precious boy and remember all that Shriner's has done for us and will continue to do for the next 19 years...and it wasn't such a scary thought anymore. It really is the least I could do for something that has done so much for us.

We arrived early to the event and toured the hospital with all of our family who came to support us. It was wonderful to be able to show them where we spend so much of our life. We also saw a bunch of the hospital that we hadn't even seen yet. It is amazing! Beautiful state of the art everything! What a gift...and it is truly just that...a cost to us, ever, for anything!

I wanted to share with you what Jon and I said in our speech at the ceremony because I loved it...I just wrote from my heart, as I always do, and the words came out perfectly and said everything I wanted to share.

My name is Becca Turkington and this is my husband Jon. You already know about Israel, but we also have two other children; Rachel who is 8 years old and Jaxon who just turned 7 yesterday. We live in Salem and are very thankful that whenever we have Shriner’s appointments it’s only a 45 minute commute as we know others travel much from farther away.

We started coming to Shriner’s in July of 2009 when Izzy was just 4 months old. After our first appointment here I left saying “Shriner’s is the first place I have taken Izzy where I felt like we were “normal”. Everywhere else we go people point and stare and comment. But not here…unless they are commenting on his curly hair or blue eyes or chubby cheeks or his ability to give dirty looks or his killer smile. We love being at Shriner’s so much that my husband and I actually joke about wishing we could live here because we just love the people and the environment so much. Everyone treats us like family and has a genuine love and passion for what they do. It’s so evident in the things they say, the way they work, and the smiles on their faces.

Most of the time when we are here, which is every other week, we see Shannon for physical therapy and quite often Todd or Sabrina for his prosthetics. They have been such a gift and a blessing to Izzy and to our whole family. They are always willing to help with any need, answer any question and give advice and encouragement. And because they believe in Izzy so much they also challenge him (and me) from time to time.

Along with having congenital limb differences, Izzy was also born with many mouth and jaw complications which required surgery. We were originally trying to get the surgery done at Doernbecher’s because that is where he had first been seen for this particular problem. But after 6 months of fighting the insurance company, we came to the conclusion that we had lost the battle and they were not, under any circumstances, going to cover the surgery. As you can imagine this was heart breaking for us because we did not have the means to cover this very expensive surgery. In this time of heart ache and pain, Shriner’s was there. Within weeks they got Izzy’s surgery approved and scheduled. It was our first experience with surgery, plus Izzy was just barely a year old, but Shriner’s provided us with amazing care for Izzy and for Jon and I. Everything went wonderfully and the surgery was a success. And all of this, at no expense to us. This is a blessing beyond words. Israel will have surgery again here at Shriner’s next week. And we are looking forward to it with hope and anticipation for another great outcome.

We are so thankful and blessed to have The Shriner’s Hospital and could never say Thank You enough.

And of course...what would a post like this be without pictures? :-)

My sister Melanie and her husband Kevin

Jon's parents Don & Sue, Grandma Lois, and brother Jesse

My Parents Jeff & Mary and my niece Callie

(Kevin's (My brother in law)Mom, Dad & Grandma. They used to be very involved with Shriner's years ago. And my niece Hailey too.)

Friday, April 8, 2011


Oh a whim, I got a phone call from a friend asking me if I wanted to be spontaneous and go to Seattle for the weekend. Mind you...this was Friday mid morning! Our hubby's had other plans for the weekend, so it would be the two of us plus our 5 (together) kids! I said YES! I quickly packed our things, rushed the kids in the car and headed up (Its a 4 hour drive from where we are at). We stayed at an awesome hotel across the street from the Space Needle. The kids swam in the pool for hours, jumped and wrestled on the bed (until someone got hurt), stayed up VERY late, ate way to much fast food, went to the Space Needle, enjoyed the Seattle Children's museum, and made lots of wonderful memories. I threw out the "rule book" and we did things I would never let them do at home! And guess what...we had a BLAST! I need to remember to do more things like this because my kids couldn't thank me enough during the weekend.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Truckin' It

My Dad is a truck driver and last week we got a surprise when he drove up in his BIG truck and honked the horn. The kids went running out to see him...and the BIG truck. They love climbing in and pretending to drive, and of course honking the super loud air horn. This was Izzy's first time in the truck. He figured out the horn right away and thought he was pretty cool honking it. Thank you Dad for coming by and making such fun memories with my kids.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Israel Over Time

I LOVE to look at pictures from different months of Izzy's life to see how much he has changed. Some months there is little or no change, and others there are huge changes. For Izzy's one year old birthday announcements I put together this.

I loved it so much I decided to do it again this year...but not as a party invitation, just for something fun to do, to be able to see the changes. There is a picture from each month of Izzy life of being 1 year old, starting at the top left and winding around, ending with his 2 year old picture. I just had to share them with you.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Birthday Update!

I just realized I never posted any birthday pictures or wrote a post about it! Sorry for the delay!

Izzy's birthday and party were wonderful! He was so much fun this year! What a difference a year can make. We were remembering when he turned one and wanted nothing to do with the people or presents. This year, he was very outgoing and loved opening his gifts :-)

Israel isn't really "into" picking a theme was a bit of a challenge. I was trying to think about what things made him smile...and I remembered a recent time that we were reading books and he loved the page with monkeys on it. He kept wanting to go back to that page and saying "Ohh ohh Ahh Ahh" (Like a monkey says). So there we had our theme. I made fun monkey cupcakes with banana cupcakes and got him a monkey outfit. He loved it all.

He wasn't to sure about everyone staring at him and singing to him...he doesn't like being the center of attention.

He was determined to blow out the candle though...even if it meant loosing an eyebrow! He kept getting SO close because it wasn't going out! Finally (with a little (unknown to him) help from Daddy) he blew it out and was very excited!

He LOVED eating it...but didn't like being dirty. LOL! He would take a bite, set it down and clean off his arms. Then do it again! He was there a while trying to finish!