Thursday, November 12, 2009

Olive is on the Move!

From Lynette
The last few days have been a rollarcoaster of ups and downs and we have had little time to be online. I mentioned in the last post that there was a possibility of us heading to the States at the end of this week on a commercial flight, but that looks like it may not work out once again due to technical difficulties with the oxygen we will need along the way. However, there appears to be another possibility hovering in the distance to fly Olive home in 1.5 weeks. Yesterday a bed opened up for Olive at the government army hospital and she was transferred yesterday morning.

Tuesday night I flew up to Chiang Rai for 24 hours to pack up our things and say good-bye to our friends there. I woke up at 6:00 am to spend some time with the kids at the Akha Youth Development Center before they left for school at 7:00 am. They all had lots of questions for me about Olive, and when they would get to see her. After that I spent the morning/afternoon talking and packing up our things with Ghan, Blah, Ae, P Thim (some of my close Akha friends) and Libby at my house. In the afternoon/evening we spent time with the older kids from the AYDC in town, stopped in to visit the NICU nurses at Chiang Rai Regional Hospital, then off to a quick dinner with more close friends before going back to the airport to fly to Bangkok. I was unable to see everyone I was hoping to see, but the time was very limited. The day was full of emotions. A deep thankfulness for the friendships we have made here in Chiang Rai...anxiety for not being near Olive during her transfer to the government hospital...and then all of the unknowns hanging in the air about what the future will hold. At this point we are unsure if we will be going back to the States on a short or long-term basis. It will all depend on what Olive's needs will be in the future. It's hard to know how to process things when the future is so unknown. Time to return to the reminder that all we can do is take things one day at a time--one hour at a time.

Last night I landed in Bangkok about 11:15 pm and Rusty met me at the airport. We then went to the government hospital so that I could see where Olive was. When I came in she was crying and the nurses were all busy. Olive just started crying this last week more consistently when she is in pain or uncomfortable. I realize this is a good and normal sign, but also really hard to see when you aren't able to make her feel better. She had an IV inserted into a vein in her head because they were having issues getting it in her legs and arms. The nurses were friendly, but very professional and kindly reminded us that it was okay to be there for a few minutes but that it was not visiting hours. We walked home feeling anxious to have her in a new place once again.

Yesterday after transferring Olive to the army hospital Rusty broke down crying in front of the nurses and was just feeling overwhelmed...feeling sorry for Olive...worried about having her in a new place once again. This morning when we came in to see Olive the head nurse told us that we are going to be able to visit her any time we would like, and said they know our situation has been very stressful. The head nurse told me that she spent 2 months studying in Chicago at UIC...the same school I graduated from for my nursing degree. Today has been wonderful. The nurses are very kind and have been encouraging us to hold Olive as often as we would like. It's been fun to be back in a government NICU setting where we can mingle and chat with the nurses.

We had a meeting with the neurosurgeon this morning and he agreed that he would like to postpone placing the VP shunt (major surgery) as long as possible (ideally until she reaches 4.4 lbs.) and he will continue to try temporary measures to relieve the pressure in Olive's head in the meantime. He said he thinks Olive is stable enough to go ahead with the major surgery now, but will wait longer to lesson the risk of complications.

Olive has been breathing well on room air all day, so we are encouraged by this.

We are so thankful for your prayers, verbal support, and incredible generosity.

Much love,


Please don't forget to visit, donate, and bid in the Auction for Olive!!!

Bidding begins Sunday, November 22nd (just by commenting and placing your bid on the item you choose), and ends on Saturday, November 28th. Please join us in this creative way to raise financial support for the Polinders, and get a few Christmas gifts along the way!!!

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