April 26, 2013, 1 Year Kidney Biopsy

We went to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital for Isabella's 1 year kidney biopsy.  This is a standard procedure for kidney transplant patients.  We scheduled it before the actual transplantiversary day, May 1st, in hopes that we would be home on the actual day to celebrate.  We went up the day before for a pre op clinic appointment.  We had done bloodwork the previous week and were startled by the results we were given.  Creatinine was elevated and a virus showed up in Isabella's blood.  We will start a 3 month cycle of antibiotics to treat the virus.  The biopsy is being done at a good time to determine the cause of the elevated creatinine.  Isabella's biopsy was scheduled for the afternoon, not good since she can't eat or drink before the procedure.  We got a call to take Bella in for pre hydration (IV fluids before procedure) sounded like a good idea because she has a water intake daily of 3 liters, but I

April 2013, A Day At The Beach

Beach April 2013

Isabella has wanted to go to the beach since she got sick.  She loves the beach.  The sand posed a huge problem during dialysis so we had to wait.  Doctors gave us the okay so off we went.  "Toes in the water, only," was the recommendation.  Mommy thought, we won't pack a swimsuit and she would only put her feet in.  Ha, ha.  No such luck.  Isabella spotted a swimsuit at the local gift shop instantly.  It was cold so she compromised and wore sweats over her suit.  She was ready.  Despite the cold, Isabella wanted in the water. 

It was such a pleasure to watch Isabella have so much fun.  Isabella ran on the beach, splashed Cameron, and built a sand castle. (She let Daddy help a little)

March 2013, Disneyland

Princess Belle

The Happiest Place on Earth!  The Crutcher rule of 5.  When you turn 5, Grandma and Grandpa Crutcher take you on a trip to Disneyland, (your family gets to tag along too).  Since Isabella was so sick on her 5th Birthday, her trip was postponed to post transplant.  We decided that 6 months after transplant would be a good time to take her trip.  Well, Isabella got sick. Very sick.  We postponed the trip.  We chose March to try again.

With everything we have to deal with Disneyland poses a few challenges, crowds and long lines are just a couple.  A special pass and some hand sanitizer were our best friends and constant companions.

December 9, 2012, FOX/NFL Show

Rick Lofgren, the CEO of COTA called to invite us to appear with him on the FOX/NFL Show.  WOW!  What an honor.  We were so excited!  Then reality struck.  This is a trip to Los Angeles.  We haven't been that far from home or the hospital since Isabella's initial illness and November was a hard month for Isabella healthwise.  We cautiously prepared for the trip.  Cameron had a basketball game on Saturday and after its conclusion we hit the road.  We made frequent pit stops to accommodate Isabella's bladder because she still needs to drink 3 liters of water daily.  The best part for the kids was staying at a hotel.  We didn't stay long though because we left the hotel at 6:15 am Sunday morning to get to the studio by 7:00 am.  Our story got bumped for breaking news in the NFL but we got to

October 26, 2012, 6 Month Biopsy

We are celebrating 6 months post transplant with a kidney biopsy.  This is standard protocol for kidney transplant patients, though it doesn't make it any easier.  We went to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital on Thursday, October 25, 2012 for a pre-op appointment.  Doctors must inform you of all the risks associated with the procedure.  This never gets easier to hear.  Isabella was coughing so she had to endure a couple of breathing treatments before the procedure.  At one point in front of two nurses she proclaimed, "Mommy why are you torturing me!!?", a little dramatic I think, the nurses needed to step out so they could laugh.  She was much more upset over having to put on the hospital issue gown, pants & bright yellow socks.

September 22, 2012, Walk Your Paws for Bella's Cause

Walk Your Paws for Bella's Cause was so much fun.  We want to thank everyone who came out and joined us.  We want to especially thank our COTA volunteers, the organizers, sponsors, vendors, participants (human and canine).  To quote the movie We bought a Zoo, "I like the animals, but I love the humans" seems appropriate.  The weather was great and the performances were entertaining.  Even the "ugliest dog" participants were adorable.  Cameron had fun selling lemonade.  He wanted to do his part to help his little sister.

September 4, 2012, Isabella turns 6!

Big 6!

Isabella turns a big 6!  Since our last hospitalization birthday plans have to be scaled back but at least we are at home.  A trip to Build-A-Bear and a visit to Isabella's favorite restaurant, Vito's, for raviolis.  Don't forget the cake pops, a birthday must!

August 20, 2012, Return to the Hospital

Isabella started showing signs of illness on Sunday night.  Since I was up with Bella (5:00am) I wrote an email to Stanford kidney team to inform them of Isabella's symptoms.  We got a call at 7:45am to take her in for labs.  Labs came in abnormal and it was enough for a trip to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford.  Pack the car, in a hurry, make arrangements for Cameron.  Here we go again.  We were admitted to the short stay unit for observation.  Two pokes for IV unsuccessful.  Vascular access team called to insert IV with ultrasound.  It worked.  Chest x-ray, then blood cultures necessary 2 more pokes to get blood.  So hard to watch!  Doctors decided to admit Isabella.  We get a room at 12:30am.  Room 3721, on 3 South,  the room we had after transplant.  Blood sugar, blood pressure and coughing issues being addressed.  Antibiotics given.  Blood draws every morning. 

August 18, 2012, Bella's Benefit Dinner

What an amazing event.  I want to thank everyone involved in Bella's Benefit Dinner.  Thank you to everyone who put the event together, everyone one who setup, cooked, worked, donated or bought something.  Thank you to all who attended from far and near.

We are supposed to stay away from large crowds and WOW we found ourselves in the midst of 400 people.  As a parent it was a beautiful sight to see Isabella running around.  It was also nerve-racking to appear calm all the while trying to keep an eye on Isabella. 

August 16, 2012, 1st Day of 1st Grade

Isabella is ready for the 1st day of 1st grade.  She is so excited to see all her friends.  Mommy and Daddy are a little apprehensive but wouldn't we be even if Isabella wasn't a transplant recipient.  Our main concern is the weather.  It is projected to be 98 degrees a little better than the 100 degrees the weatherman projected yesterday.  So we will get as much water in her as we can before school and encourage her to drink as much as possible during the day to reach our 3 liter daily goal. Isabella hasn't been out of Mommy's sight this long since the surgery.  Isabella said, "don't worry Mommy I'll be okay."

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