Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quick Ally Update, Tuesday, 28th April, 2009

Dad rang last night to wish me a Happy Birthday (more on that later) and said he'd just come back from seeing Ally. The doctors hope to move her to the P.A. Hospital spinal unit a.s.a.p. to help with some distressing issues that are delaying her being discharged. We hope that these experts can give Ally the hope and practical help she needs. I also hope that she will continue to benefit from the supportive srvices of other specialists from what can only be described as a heart-wrenching trauma. Please continue to keep her close to your heart and prayers.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Awesome Ally Update

I've just spoken with my beautiful sister (Monday 27th April 9am). Tears from both of us...

Yesterday, she walked around a bit with the help of a walker. She is also now able to get up and be showered instead of having a bed bath. Most of her tubes have been removed, just a catheter and an iv line remain.

There are things I can't write about... please understand. Just know that some feelings and functions still need to return. And pray for strength and comfort and healing (physical and emotional). Ally is in a tough spot; this morning when the doctors' visited, there were murmurings of not going home just yet; of her life having to change; of little things that are challenges at the moment like being able to get her legs into the shower (both her shower and Mum's is a shower over the bath); and I'm not sure how she'll cope with stairs at this stage.

As an aside, did you know that her name means "helper and defender of mankind" ? Totally appropriate, isnt it?!

I'm going to try to find (or make) something beautiful to brighten her space. She's in a ward with at least 2 other spinal patients (both women). One is in extraordinary pain (headgear, etc) and the other has had two vertebrae damaged (the first op she had was the same as Ally's and went OK but the next op, there was something that went wrong, but I understand she's still a fairly positive person to have around.)

Ally herself, feels blessed in a lot of ways and has a positive and strong heritage, especially from Nanna, who was told at 23 that her paralysis would mean she wouldn't walk again or use her hands, etc. She persevered, sometimes crawling around ,dragging herself up to do the washing, looking after young children, having babies, etc, and teaching herself to use her hands, one knuckle at a time, until she was proficient at knitting, sewing, cooking, millinery (hat making), caring for the family, friends, and her home... Ally has this same determination, this same drive and the same compassionate Father in Heaven who longs to draw her through all this, and will be with her always, just as He was with Nanna. He will be her rock. I know cause He is mine.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ally update - Friday

After a rugged start to the day, Ally has rallied with the help of a lot of support staff, family and a good friend. It's a bit overwhelming having so many people constantly around all doing and asking different things but I think she's coping remarkably. She's very optimistic about walking again and soon. The physios helped her get up today - twice, and she's tried walking (albeit with straight legs). She's a very determined, gutsy young lady and, like her Nanna before her, will work very hard on all of this.

From what I understand, one of the biggest challenges at the moment is regularly taking deep breaths - she had another x-ray of her lungs today but doesn't know the result of this yet. Her haemoglobin is still low, too, so she's having another blood transfusion to help with this.

If you're thinking of phoning or visiting, it's a good idea to phone Mum first - she has a good idea about what Ally's up to:)
"Hello I am Chloe. I had cross country on the 24/4/09.The preps and year ones had to run around the oval that is at the back of the school. The year twos had to run around the boundree fance. and the year threes had to run all around the oval that is at the back of the school AND the year threes also had to run next to the boundree fence.I got really taiedafter all that running around. For dinner on the 24/4/09 I had aavarcardoe sanmich. I'v hade a great day. "

I just had to include this! Chloe asked tonight if she could write a blog, too. Like mother, like daughter. I figure the writing practice will be a bonus and a great creative outlet, too (for posterity:)). However, she wants us to go through and correct her misspellings, etc, which I think will be a shame in a way:)

Anyway, this was the first official post on my other blog which was my first attempt at blogging over a year ago, and which I was wondering what to do with. It has only recently been ?reopened for access. We'll see how we go.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What will these hands do?

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I can hardly wait to hold these hands!

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I'm looking forward to having a snuggle with these arms, just like I do with the other older Baby B's!!
A curled up little one cosy and safe and secure...
What will she ache for? What will be her passion?
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Where will these legs and feet take her?

What will she use her mind for?
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Introducing... Hmmm... we'll keep you posted on her name as we reach agreement:)

Amazing intricacy... what will she stand for? What will be her strengths?

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Want to see (and hear) another miracle?

Click on the April Rose button, wait a while, and smile, knowing God can do the impossible and still leave doctors speechless!

Update after Ally's surgery - Thursday, 10:45am

She's looking good.

About to go for x-rays to check her lung is working properly; needs to practise deep breathing - hurts- and something she's always found difficult.

It was a five hour operation; has a nice long "zip" down her side. Surgeon is pleased with result. He took out the "floating rib" to gain access through the front, removed the smashed pieces, replaced it with part of the rib, wired it up and put a cage around (there's still a little fracture left but he put some "stuff" on that to help it heal).

Ally's able to move her legs slightly - still has her legs wrapped in stockings and pads from the op. Still has pins and needles in her feet.

She will be in hospital for probably 5 days then a couple of weeks at home. After about 4 weeks, the doctor expects she'll be able to do light duties!! She'll have a brace fitted to stop her bending (apparently they've already worked out what kind of person she is - bouncy, sparkly, always on the move, etc...) :) which she'll need to wear for about 6 weeks.

All in all, some amazing results! And Mum said she can already at least one greater purpose in it:)

My brother and Mum are off to Ally's workplace for some morning tea and to let them know how she is, and perhaps find out a bit more of what happened Tuesday night:)

Update on Ally, my sister

It's 12:15am (Thursday-just!) and Mum's just rung.

Ally is back in the ward - no one came to tell them so they don't know how long she's been there; the nurses don't know anything about the op. and the surgeons have gone home; but we're presuming that because Mum and Dad weren't sought out that everything will be okay. Don't know if she can move anything - she's too drowsy.
Mum will go back in the morning when she (Mum) wakes up (if she's allowed re visiting hours) and will ring me either when she gets there or when she's spoken to a doctor.
I haven't spoken to Dad - could hear him on his mobile in the background while I was talking to Mum- but I guess we'll talk in the morning.

Mum said she (Ally) looks "good" / okay".
Mum will need to pick Cameron up from the airport at around 9 in the morning - hope the doctor doesn't do his rounds while she or Dad aren't there. Still, I guess I may be able to call the hospital myself tomorrow.

Thanks for caring,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One of my favourite ways to commune with my Heavenly Father.

Some key songs from a lovely CD, "Soaking in His love Vol2":


God will make a way where there seems to be no way

He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me

He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side

With love and strength for each new day

He will make a way, He will make a way

By a roadway in the wilderness He'll lead me

And rivers in the desert will I see

Heaven and earth will fade but His Word will still remain

He will do something new today.


My times are in Your hands

I trust in You

Your love will never fail

I trust in You

Even though the mountains fall into the sea

I trust in You

Even if the stars should fall and all the world is shaken

When I can't see the way

I trust in You

I believe the things You say

I trust in You

Even when I'm sinking down beneath the waves

I trust in You

I know that You will lift me up and put my feet on solid ground

Everyday, You're faithful

New mercy from above

Like a tree in Your temple

Surrounded by the strong walls of your love.


Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth

Will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

Ally,my gorgeous sister, July 2008

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Ally, my sparkly sister, January 2009

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Please pray.

My little sister,Ally, has smashed her lowest vertebrae (L1) and is currently in theatre "to stabilise it".

The facts:

She is 29 years old.

She doesn't know how it happened.

She doesn't know when it happened.

She woke around 1am this morning (Wednesday), in incredible pain under her high story house on a pile of dirt unable to move.

She called out and a neighbour found her and called the ambulance.

She went to RBH Emergency Dept and has been there all day in a great deal of pain, even with strong painkillers.
There doesn't appear to be any sign of violence.

My mother has been there with her since Ally finally called her at 5am this morning.

My father is also currently at the hospital, waiting for her to come out of theatre (she went in at 5pm and it's now 9pm). He will call as soon as she's out to update me.

My brother, Cameron, will be flying to Brisbane tomorrow morning to stay until Sunday evening.

I'm waiting to hear before I make any decisions about heading to Brisbane (the how and when are a little complicated, to say the least, but if I need to, I know all will be okay.)

This feels like an awful dream; like I'm writing about someone else; not my bubbly, dynamic sister who brightens everybody's world just by being in it.

I want to post some more photos of grown-up Ally with her smile 'cause I know a lot of people have met her on occasions and want you to be able to put name to a face:).

More soon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Instructions for Easter Story Cookies

1 cup of whole pecans
1 tsp vinegar
pinch of salt
plastic bag
masking tape
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
baking paper

Preheat oven to 150C (This is important - don't wait until you are half done with the recipe! ) Place pecans in plastic bag and let the children beat them with a wooden spoon to break them into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp vinegar into a small mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it then add a pinch to the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetising. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the clolour white reminds us of the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto baking paper-covered tray. Explain that each mound represents the rock tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the tray into the oven. Close the door and turn the oven OFF.

Give each child a piece of tape and seal the door. (We did this fo the kids becauseteoven was still too hot for the kids to touch.) Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open he oven dor and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to fnd the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.

NOTE: I'm not sure that "cookies" or "biscuits" are the right word for these morsels; they're more like meringes, but I guess that would give the game away too soon:)

Declan's concentrating faces, fingers and little boys legs with mossie bites, scratches and scrapes

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My children's hands and Declan's concentrating faces

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Experiments, climbing the tree, water play

Chloe climbing the poinciana - yes, with the aide of the extension ladder (gulp) and yes, in a skirt!!
Playing with my new camera - the miracle of water droplets in a perfect line following each other to make a flood in the sandpit while Chloe (ahem) waters the plants (?)
Nanna gave the children a magnet set with which to conduct various experiments- right up their alley at them moment; thefavourite so far is flying a rocketship through a background- sky picture... "Cool"
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