"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Sunday, April 22, 2012

And Even Better

I'm happy to report that it's clear that Katya's swelling is getting even better! This photo was taken about Thursday or Friday, as she was cuddled up watching a video of hymns for children. You can still see some swelling on the left hand side of the photo.

The photo below was taken last night. Katya had her first official "big" outing when she went with us for a short while to a wedding reception for Todd's Japanese teacher, and Charity's violin teacher who married each other in March. Sadly, we were not able to make it to their wedding (we were in the hospital with Katya then, among other things) but at least we made it to the reception held afterwards for folks who had not been able to get to the wedding.
Katya was very nervous about going to a new place, but the food helped to calm her for awhile. Once the food was gone, she soon got irritable and so it was time to leave. It seems if she is up very long at all, it stresses her enough that she becomes irritable. She's content to lay for hours in our arms--I rocked her this morning for over two hours solid for example, and she only got off my lap because I desperately needed to take care of myself,  and do some food prep for lunch. So we are trying to keep her close to home and able to rest. But we weren't able to line up baby sitting last night, so she needed to go along.

She was signing, "I love you" to Charity when I took the photo.

Some things we miss from pre-op to post op: The last few weeks before surgery, Katya was making vocalizations much of the time. She's now mainly quiet except for fussing and whinning, with occasional laughs. We MISS her vocalizations--they were pleasant and similar to humming at times . . .  She also had started making sounds such as "uhhh" and "ppp" pretty frequently. Her ability to make sounds now seems less than it was prior to surgery. This is frankly not what we wanted to see, but we still are hopeful that as her body and brain heal, maybe some of that will return.

Thankfully, at least her ASL signs still seem to be there, and in fact Katya picks them up just a bit faster than before--she is able to look at us making the sign several times, then repeat it on her own without us having to move her hands over and over before she "got it" like we did before.

She mainly either sits or lays around resting, or follows me around the house as my constant shadow right now. Katya doesn't seem to do much with playing on her own post-op, although she *can* play and sometimes does play, especially if we encourage her to . . .  The other change we notice is that her attention span for being read to or watching videos is definitely much longer than before.

So those are the observations at almost 5 weeks post-op. (Wednesday it will be 5 weeks.)

Tomorrow we have another lab draw. Hopefully we get good results from that.

Again, thank you to all of you who have been praying for Katya and for our family, and helping in various ways. I can not tell you enough how blessed and thankful we feel! We thank God for the people who are holding our arms up as we do the day to day work of caring for our sweet Katya! We are so grateful and thankful that she is here with us, alive, and recovering! I shudder to think what her fate would have been like by this time in her life had she not been able to be adopted. Please don't forget to pray for the other children who are left behind. There are many . . . . pray for them, and pray for God to raise up care for them that is GOOD.


Milena said...

I'm happy to read such mostly positive news. As for some of the missing things she did pre-op; I suppose some regression is often to be expected after big changes in life, such as surgery. As she heals I hope her vocalizations and other missing abilities will come back! A longer attention span is however some nice progress! She is such a precious child and I'm so happy that she is safe and loved with you and not where she othewise would be now...!

Jer said...

Oh, bless her sweet heart... Bless you all! It's just incredible to think how much you've all gone through... I get chills. May Katya continue to heal and grow, and may the Bright One hold you all close in love and strength... :*)