Confessions of this ...
I carry a little secret with me every where I go. Its a nasty little secret, but pleasantly disguised. In my wildest dreams I never would have guessed that I would someday grow up to carry such a secret. Few people know about it, but those that do have just embraced it and accepted it just as I have. I can't believe I am about to disclose to the world what my secret is, but in order to share with you how blessed I was tonight it has become necessary.
I have a ... brace yourselves please and hang on for the explanation... a POOP BOOK!
Yes, I realize that may sound disgusting, a little puzzling, and perhaps even a little intriguing. Before you begin to make judgements about my sanity or my methods let me try and explain.
Since the day Ashley Kate was born our world has literally revolved around her poop. When you have a "short gut" child(the term used to describe a person who has had some or most of their bowel removed) poop is a big thing. Before transplant our little Ashley would go through 20-25 preemie sized huggies supremes a day. That's right, in a 24 hour period. Thank God for our diaper brigade! That is what Dave and I affectionately called the families in our church who choose to shower us with packages of huggies and wipes on our door step. Nothing Ashley was fed stayed inside her little body. It all ran right through her short gut into her colon and out into her huggies. No absorption. No weight gain. No growth. Ashley Kate weighed a whopping 12 or so lbs at 14 months. Thus explaining our need for a bowel transplant. The liver transplant was just a bi product of the destructive elements of her TPN and lipids and the pancreas was included just for good measure. Anyway, I am wandering off the path of my "POOP BOOK" and my blessing.
My "POOP BOOK" is a lovely little book. It is actually a journal. One given to me to record my thoughts and our every day occurrences while here in Omaha, but the journal took on a different life. I guess it does actually record my thoughts in some ways. Inside the beautiful pink paisley cover(I know you didn't expect it to be any other color did you?) you will find our good days and our bad. It is full of dates and numbers. Smiley faces and tear stains. Praises and blessings. I carry it with me every where we go. It is as essential an item in Ash's diaper bag as the diapers themselves. Without I would be lost. I wouldn't be able to tell you if it had been a good day or a bad, but lets move on to the blessing I was overcome by tonight.
As I sat down to tally our daily number I almost had to dance. Do a little poo poo jig you know. Over the last 24 hour period Ashley Kate only stooled out 470 ccs of poop. I had to add and re add that number to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I still can't believe it! Do you know how far she has come in the last 2 weeks? She has gone from 1500+ to a mere 470! That is poop worth dancing over! I HAD to draw not only a smiley face indicating a good poop day, but an actual thank you to the Father for such a small amount of poop. Can you believe that I thank Him for her little poops? I told you I would have never imagined my life going in this direction. I could be praying over world peace, the presidential elections, or lost souls, but instead He has placed poop on the top of my list. Its a crazy life I tell you.
Anyway, I began to look back through the pages of my "POOP BOOK" and my heart was overwhelmed by the goodness of the Lord. There were pages stained with tears. Pages with scribble after scribble as I tried to make the figure turn out better than it actually was by convincing myself that I must have miss calculated. Pages with big ugly circles around large numbers indicating the amount of fluids I needed to replace. Then tonight I realized that the last 5 pages had smiley faces on them. As I looked at them I realized that each day the smile on the face got a little bigger than the last. Then tonight's page couldn't contain the smile I wanted to share. The numbers began to trend down last week. 910,795,765,660,630,530, 470. How can I not be grateful? God is good. Her bowel is recovering. It is taking its time, but it is beginning to absorb and function again. She is receiving NO replacement fluids today. NONE! IF only she can keep this up then we can have that line removed and then we can be removed. Please, please, please God let her poop continue on this trend!
I find it funny realizing that He is so involved in such details. I never would have thought the Creator of the universe would care how much poop came out of one of my children. I don't know why? After all He is the one who created our bodies to rid themselves of waste and He did design the bowels that now reside inside of Ashley Kate.
So tonight I admit it. I carry this secret, and if you are ever close by when I am emptying her ostomy bag you just might here me say, "Would you mind handing me the "POOP BOOK" please?" Its been known to happen. Just ask my sisters. They looked at me like I was crazy last Wednesday as we passed through town on our way back to Omaha. Even they, my closet friends in the world, had not been made privy to my little secret until then.
Just another chapter in Ashley's story. One I am sure she will laugh about someday. God has been good to us and we are encouraged. Good night and God bless. Trish
Ash and I have been in our jammies all day as we battle this crazy cold. Where in the world did it come from?