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

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Katya's Umpteenth Trip to Baltimore--Part 1

We regret that we did not start keeping a careful count over 4 years ago of all the many trips we have taken to Baltimore for Katya's medical care. I know the amount is astounding--once we counted up just what Charity or I had documented on our blog, or what we had record of otherwise, and it was a lot of trips! I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say we have easily averaged 5 trips a year up to this point. All that aside, we went again because when you need to go, you go, right?!

So Saturday afternoon found us heading up North to drop Kristina off with friends, and then we dropped back down to hit the right road and head over the mountains towards Baltimore. We got as far as Grantsville, MD and then parked it for the night at a hotel we have used before coming or going from Johns Hopkins. Paul had enough "points" accumulated from his business related hotel stays, that it was a free stay for us (YAY).

The kiddos got to work off the energy that had accumulated with so much sitting still in the car in the pool before going to bed. The next morning, we got up and got ourselves around while listening to hymns from YouTube and then packed up and got back on the road. The traffic patterns were not that good and we were glad that we were not trying to get the whole way to Baltimore that day!

We arrived safely finally at the Children's House, got ourselves checked in and our luggage unloaded and then had a little time to make a fast trip to The Book Thing. We had never been there before, and Charity and I ended up enjoying it. Chad was only in for about 3 minutes before something in there sent his asthma into over drive so Paul took him and Katya out to the van to watch a DVD together and Charity and I browsed a little longer. Between the two of us, we fairly easily found 13 books we thought we would enjoy bringing home. It felt SOOO odd to walk out of there without checking out or paying! (All they ask is that you use the honor system to write down how many books you take!)

A family brought in a home-made pizza supper (complete with fresh hot apple pie and ice cream for dessert) and then we tried to get ourselves settled in for the night. It is always a challenge to get enough sleep for everyone sharing a small room, as in our little family group, we have a wide variety of sleep needs and patterns!

The next morning we puttered around a bit after breakfast, and then not having anything easily available for lunch, took ourselves off to the Fells Point area to find a Subway that we could use the gift card we had been given at. We found one, ate a hasty lunch, and then ran into the Old Navy we had found when there back in Sept/Oct to snag some more warm tights and boot socks for the women in this family. They had a great sale going on, so that was helpful.

Then it was time to head back to the CH because we needed to get Katya over to her appointment. Charity and I took her for her eye exam. Paul stayed with Chad at the CH and helped him with a little school.

We had to wait a good while. Charity helped entertain Katya.

And Katya improved her mind while waiting by finding words she wanted to know in the brochure, typing them into her Ipad and then having it say them for her.

The eye exam itself went well--Katya is very comfortable with the people there that she knows. The good news is that while there was a little change in her eyes since last exam, Katya's vision was still good. No surgery needed right now, and no glasses at the moment.

Dr Repka said he is not ruling out doing surgery at some point in the future, but nothing now. We were happy to hear that, of course!

--To Be Continued