Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



She's such a funny little girl. Keeps us laughing daily at her silliness.

Lately Ash has been extremely interested in vegetables. Not sure but it seems as though she knows she's missing out on something and has decided to no longer live without them.

Ashley Kate doesn't have the ability to eat. Never really has except for a few brief months here and there of devouring baby foods. She's never learned to bite or chew. Has never had the ability to handle any type of texture or "chunkage"(totally new word I just made up:). When she lost her bowel a year and half ago she also lost the ability to digest foods. So she doesn't eat. Anything. She does drink though...and this is what this post is about.

Now when I say she drinks things what I mean is that she swallows them, they trickle down her esophagus into her stomach and then they drain out of her g-tube extension into her drain bag. Nothing really stays in her system for more than a few moments. She is totally consumed with drinking though. Its worse when she's dry, but even when her BUN and Creatnine levels are normal she enjoys the process of drinking.

Dave and I have been juicing two of our three meals a day for the last 3 weeks. Mainly for the nutritional benefits of juicing. Its been an adventure, and Ash has now joined us on this journey. She LOVES the vegetable juices. LOVES THEM. Yells at me all day to "fix" her a drink. Water is no longer enough. She wants cucumbers, spinach, carrots, kale, brussel sprouts, apples, kiwi, tomatoes, etc, etc. Even bok choy! She cracks me up! The sound of the juicer causes her to break into a stretch of giggling that is uncontrollable. She gets soooo excited! There are days that the concoction of juices is too much for me to swallow, but not Ash. She can't get enough. All I can account it too is that she is craving foods. We have finally figured out a way to allow her have some.

Most 6 years old at Walmart want toys or candy. Not Ash. Her cravings for veggies have been exhibited on the shopping trips she occasionally takes with me. Last month she wheeled her self right up to the produce bins and after much searching found herself a cucumber. It cracked me up. She held it the entire time we were in the store. Showed it to everyone who would even glance her way. Played with it the entire day and went to bed with it that night. Just last week her choice was a bell pepper. She was so excited to have that pepper. Most people just laugh at her as she shares her excitement. At the check out we couldn't pry it from her hands! The next morning as I went in to pick up the playroom for the day I found that silly pepper lying on a stack of puzzles. It was well played with, squashed, and wrinkly. Like a well loved toy. Made me smile.

I never cease to be amazed at who she is. What she chooses to love. How she grows. Learns. Develops. There is nothing ordinary, typical, or normal about this little girl who changed the way we view this world. I love her for that. Forever grateful to call her mine. Humbled to be part of her world.

Perhaps the next time you eat a slice of cucumber you'll be reminded to whisper a prayer for our gherkin and perhaps just tell the Father how grateful we all are that she's still with us. Love you guys. Miss sharing with you daily. Hope your all well. Trish


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