Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Long time no write....

So I know I have dropped off the face of earth for awhile.  I don't know why, but I just got burned out sharing.  I realize now that there was more therapy to this than I thought.  So, here you go...
It is a year to the DAY that we were leaving on a plane for Germany.  All the thoughts, hopes, fears, the uncertain.  To say the least I cannot believe that it has been a year.  Blye is more amazing everyday.  We did LOTS of therapy when we got back.  I felt like the meaner the whole time.  I know that it is all worth it.  To say the least that Blye has changed so much.  He has really become a different little boy.  He has moved on from all that childish stuff like "Elmo."  We took down all the "baby" stuff this year and put up Transformers.  I see such a personality coming forth and DETERMINATION.  Man does that kid have it.  School is definately a challednge for him, but he has welcomed all of it.  He is very strong in so many ways.  Now whether this was from going to Germany or the natural progression that we were headed.  I welcome it.  I can't believe that this is where our life has gone.  So a year ago, I was crazy and frantic and scared of the next step.  Now, I can say that it was all worth it.  The memories are priceless and I can't wait to see what is next. We love you all and thank you for the great opportunity that you helped make happen.  We are truly and forever greatful.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sunday, February 13

Sunday, oh, Sunday was an AWESOME day.  We all had gone down to breakfast and talked about how well we thought Mr. Blye was doing and wanted to be a little more adventurous.  I had talked to Martin who was one of the managers of the front desk and asked if we needed a reservation for the Rhine Tower restaurant, because for Valentine's Day we really thought that that would be a great way to end our trip.  So he had told us that he would make the reservation, we also wanted to know how long it would take us to get there.  So after breakfast we set out to see what our timing would be.  So we hopped on the U76 which took us into the City to the Heinrich Heine Allee and surfaced to the street.  From there we took another train to the closest stop to the tower.  We got off the train, walked under an overpass, and found this winding path.  Instantly we all were so excited to be that close to the tower, finally.  We take this winding path down to the river walk and OH MY!  It was SOOOO BEAUTIFUL.  For one I don't know what really caught me first, there were so many things.  The laid back meanderings of all the people enjoying the day, or the beatiful walk that nestled in so close to the river.  There were so many things to take in.  There was art and kinetic sculptures that periodically showed up as we walked.  I instantly thought this is what I wanted to see.  There was no bustle of people trying to make it here or there or cars zooming by.  Lots of beautiful people out enjoying a wonderful day.  We started on the path towards the tower, still wanting to make sure we had an accurate way to time.  So we go to the tower and decided that we might try to go up to the observation deck if we could.  Well we found that they charged you for admittance and decided that we really wanted to save that for Monday.  So of we headed to the walk again and something caught my eye.  Earlier in the week we had watched a television show that mentioned that Dusseldorf has about 6-8 pieces of the Berlin Wall placed in parks throughout the city.  Remembering like it was yesterday when Regan told Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall!"  We were so excited to see a piece of history.  After that there are some buildings that are a famous design that sit along a canal off the river and we decided that we wanted to get down closer to see them.  We walked that way all the while oohing and ahhhing at all the neat things.  We got to this foot bridge that crossed over the mouth of the canal and we had a perfect shot of them.  We walked across the bridge to the center and decided that the direction that we were going was going to end soon, so we decided to turn around. We walked back up the path and seen more barges being moved down the river.  We got back to the path where we started and  everyone needed  a break.  Mom and Dad found this great little restaurant/coffee shop that sat along the path.  We stopped and had a bowl of soup and some great fresh bread.  After that we decided to keep heading North (I think) and check out more of the sights.  There were musicians dotted all along, one was doing his best rendition of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.  Restaurants and coffee were more frequent and more and more people seemed to join the day.  It was so nice to see all the people out enjoying it as much as we were.  We walked clear down to where our train line crosses over the Rhein, which we all thought was about 5 miles from where we started.  The weird thing was though you didn't feel like it was that far, but it was quite a long way.  We cut over and found one of the stops that the train makes and decided that we were gonna split up.  Mom and I headed to the Haupt Bahn Hof and the boys all headed back to the hotel.  The Haupt Bahn Hof was the hub for all the transportation in the city and had a lot of shops and restaurants.  That is where we found Mt. Dew for Gary.  He hadn't had one the whole time we were there.  Mom and I joked that we had spent the whole time there and here we were at the end of the time and finally found Gary a Mt. Dew.  So we grabbed up a variety of street vended food and headed back to the boys.  We finished the night with another great meal and was off to bed to await another adventure tomorrow.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Saturday, February 12

I don't know why I have avoided this for so long, but you all deserve to know.  So Saturday started just like the other days, another wonderful breakfast at the hotel and all we knew was Mr. Blye was done being stuck in a Hotel any longer.  He kept looking outside and all he wanted to do was get on that train.  Well really for him doing so well we decided to get on the AM Seestern and ride to the Henrich Heine Allee and go goof off in the Kaufhof.  So up on the escalators and down on the escalators.  Five floors later of browsing and goofing off we decided that that was enough and Gary, Blye and I headed back to the hotel.  Grandpa and Grandma were shopping for gifts to return home with, and was still looking for some things, so we split our ways and headed back.  And it may seem short with me writing this, but we were there for a LONG time.  I love to shop and I was DONE!  Mom and Dad did make it back a while later and we all decided that the pizza place around the corner was a great idea and we took off.  Pizza, ice cream, and some lasagne for Mr. Blye and we were set for the evening.  Really it was kind of another low-key day, which was nice too.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday February 11

So I know that it took me a while to finish my posts.  I think was because all of the worrying that I had done was over and I just fell into a pile of mush on the floor.  Sorry, I know how much all of you have been reading this and I can't believe all of the support we have had from you guys.
So, onto Friday...
The morning started out beautiful, Blye recovered very well from the crazy day that he had before, but you could tell that he was being affected from the changes in his body.  We went down and had a great breakfast once again.  Complete with the fresh squeezed orange juice that even Mr. Blye loved.  We went back up to the room and decided that we needed to stick around the hotel.  Grandpa and Grandma decided that they would venture out into the city and do some sight seeing on their own. Off they went and we snuggled in to have a a low key day.  Books and movies fill the first part, then my body decided that I needed a long time coming nap.  Nap, yes I said nap, I normally don't find that as part of my vocabulary for me.  The more I sat there with Blye trying to read through his books I found myself dosing off and coming back and trying to reread the same pages.  I gave up.  Gary took Blye and they went into where our part of the room and I closed my eyes.  Waking up 3 hours later, I realized that I had slept well past lunch for Blye.  Once I was functioning, we ordered the famous potato soup from the hotel restaurant for Blye.  When I placed the order low and behold the voice on the other end was Blye's crush Natascha.  So in 15 minutes there was a knock at the door and in walked Mr. Blye's crush with soup in hand.  Talk a about a little boy that was surprised.  We never really saw her out of the restaurant and it was hilarious to see him with that flirting little smile and blushing cheeks.  So after his face had returned to color, we fed him his lunch.  Around 3:00 Grandpa and Grandma came back and suggested that Gary and I go out and sightsee and they would hang out with Blye.  So we got ready and went out.  We rode our train to the Heinrich Heine Allee and decided that we would go further.  We ended up getting off 2 stops later and it dumped us in a whole new area.  Lots of great little local shops were there, a lot of them were closing for the day, so there were very few that we went into.  I have to say though that I really did like window shopping and just walking with Gary.  So we found another Kaufhof and decided to go check that one out.  The building was really cool on the outside and like the other ones that we found, lots of levels to get lost in.  We did find some clothes for him there.  We found a t-shirt all in German that translates to small + clever + brazen = me.  We thought that it was perfect for him.  So after that we decided we would catch a train and try to find our way back.  We hope on a train and it took us to the Hauptbahnhof.  HOLY MOLEY!  Every kid that lived in the city was there hanging out in front. I would say that that was the popular spot.  We had found the main hub for all of the transportation for the whole city.  There were so many people.  We grabbed a bratwurst and some pomme frites and decided that we really didn't want to hang around there much longer and decided to head back.  We got back to the hotel and found the rest of the gang.  They hadn't ate yet so we ran down to the restaraunt together and fed Mr. Blye spaghetti and Mom and Dad had their supper.  Since Gary and I had eaten we decided that we would partake of some German beer.  It was great.  I have to say I like it very much.  A lot smoother than beer in America and did not have that really hoppy aftertaste.  So after everyone was finished we headed back to the rooms to tuck in for the night.  I have to say for a low key day it was just that.  We really needed that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday February 10 "Wear Orange for Blye"

So what is weird about this I am writing this as we are going to bed and all of you are still in your day.  So to start our morning we had a wake up call at 6 and we pretty much beat the phone up.  We were up and getting ready this morning, while Mr. Blye was sound asleep.  It was nice to know that one of us was getting a good nights sleep, and it was the one that counted anyway.  So once we got him awake, he was starving and was ready to go and eat.  So down we headed and Grandpa and Grandma were waiting for us.  We finished breakfast and headed back to the room to pack all the stuff we would need for the day.  Reinhard was our driver for the day to take us to the Hospital.  So we had gathered our stuff and was just getting off the elevator as he was getting things ready to call up to us in our room.  So once Mr. Blye was loaded, we were on our way.  When we got to the Hospital we were escorted right away back to a room.  We did have to wait awhile before they came in to get him all hooked up.  Blye's IV stayed in the whole time we were gone, but it did try to block, so they did have to flush it when they were hooking him up, and anyone who knows what that feels like understands that he did cry.  After that they hooked him up to the Manitol we were having a hard time keeping him still.  Dr. Elsisi gave him a med to calm him down.  It really didn't make him sleep, but it kept him still.  I really wanted to ask him to take some home, but I knew the answer to that. ;)  With Mr. Blye now having the medication that calmed him, we had to move out of our room to an observation room.  All they really did was plug an oxygen sensor on.  So I can't remember how well I explained this before, but they give him the Manitol to open the blood brain barrier in the head.  It is used for patients that have Traumatic Brain Injuries to help decrease swelling, by allowing pressure and blood to move past the blood brain barrier for relief.  In this instance they open it to allow the stem cells to migrate where they are supposed to.  So once he finished the bottle of that, then it was time for the injection of his own stem cells.  Even now writing this to you my heart is racing.  When they brought those in, I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest.  The whole time we are waiting doctors and nurses are coming and going and mostly all the time speaking German.  I felt like what Blye looks like when he doesn't understand things.  So to say the least we all were a little in the dark for a bit.  So once all the vials were checked to see of Mr. Blye had his own stuff they told us how many we had.  For a baseline they really like to have at least 2 million cells to do a treatment.  Mr. Blye had 9,387,857.  So you might say there was enough.  The one thing that Dr. Haberland said was that the number of cells is great but the vitality is very important.  Mr. Blye was great in that department too.  He had 100%.  So to say the least the numbers were amazing.  They had two vials and they put them together to make 7.7ml.  They injected them right in the side port and started flushing with saline.  Once he finished his saline bottle, they came and checked to make sure that he was handling things ok.  We did have to wait about 2 1/2 hours after, because there was another family that was making things a little difficult for the staff and was occupying a lot of them as well.  So once they left we were able to see the doctor and go over reports. Mr. Blye received a certificate for being brave and we got a folder with all the results and information to take back with us.  After that we went and waited for their transport to take us back.  I have to say it was a good day for us, but I do NOT want to go through a day like that for a LONG time.  Once we got back to the hotel it was 4:00 and we were all STARVED.  So Gary and Grandpa took off to find supper.  We promised Blye chocolate, but he wanted chocolate ice cream, so off in search they went for food.  They came back with pizza, coke, of course ice cream, tortellini, and pastries.  It was a wonderful meal and we were stuffed.  After that we talked to family and then decided to take it easy.  Blye, Grandma, and I ended up watching "Despicable Me" and Dad and Grandpa went to sleep.  So once the movie got over, Blye crashed with Grandma and I right behind him.  I didn't want to leave you hanging, so I wanted to make sure and update.  SO the consensus is that we had a good day, Blye is well, no side effects, and he is sleeping soundly. I couldn't ask for anything more...Thank You God for blessing us and to you for asking him as well.  We Love You All.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 9, Wednesday

So today started great.  Blye woke up with no pain in his arm and he was ready for breakfast.  So we got around and headed down.  We walked in and there was Blye's crush, Natascha.  He was so excited that he got to see her and he was ready to eat as well.  We had a very crowded dining room and we ended up setting in another part of the restaraunt.  Up until this morning we had deemed one certain table ours, and it was really nice to have it too.  After setting at this one that we had this morning it was a little difficult for us to navigate Blye through, so he had to stay put today.  Normally we take him around the buffet and let him pick out what he wants, today he just stayed put.  So after breakfast we had already decided that we needed to do laundry.  Well and doing laundry was not going to be a simple task.  There is laundry services here at the hotel, but it is VERY expensive.  We decided that it would be lots easier to find one in the city.  Well the thing was, the day that we got lost in the city we had seen a "waschsalon" but we wanted to make sure that we knew exactly where it was before we loaded up 1 wheelchair and 2 suitcases.  So Grandpa and I went in search of the "waschsalon" and we found it.  It was almost scary how fast we got there and got back.  When we got back it was almost time for lunch so we had tomato soup and sandwiches from the "Brot & Kuchen".  The sad thing was we would of had more soup if the bottom of the bag would have held.  Well it was a good thing we were going to do laundry.  So after lunch we headed out to do laundry.  We got to the "waschsalon" with no problem and got everything started.  It was pretty easy to get it going even with the language barrier.  It didn't take long after we watched someone else do it.  So after everything was started Gary, Blye and I went on a walk.  Before we came back the laundry was finished and Grandpa and Grandma had moved things to the dryers.  It took only 20 minutes to dry all the clothes and we were set.  We hopped back on the trains and headed back to the hotel.  After we got to our new favorite stop "Prinzenalle", Gary and I headed to find supper while Grandpa and Grandma headed back to the room with Mr. Blye.  We had Pizza tonight from a place here on the back side of the hotel called Tele Pizza.  We ordered the Greek and the Diablo pizza and Lasagna for Blye.  We got back and had supper, once again it was very nice.  After supper we worked on some homework for Blye and now you are finding me here updating you.  So I will sign off now, but I want to ask you to wear your orange shirt tomorrow.  We are headed to the center at 9am to receive the treatment.  Blye won't have to be put under, he will receive a medicine that will just relax him so that he can sit for the time that they need him to.  So it should be a low stress day, but a busy one for sure.  So remember Orange for Blye and we love you all for helping make this all possible.  Tomorrow is the day that we all have been waiting for.  WE LOVE YOU ALL!

Tuesday February 8

Hopefully today will be the only hard day.  We started the day with a split breakfast.  Grandpa and Grandma went down and ate.  Then Gary and I ran down and tried to eat.  I think I had fruit and a piece of toast, but neither one of us were thinking about breakfast.  We headed back to the room, meanwhile telling each other that we both had to have a stiff upper lip and not let him see how scared we were.  The van from the X-Cell Center was here to pick us up at 9:00 am and off we were.  We had a short ride with Reinhard to Dominikus Krankenhaus.  When we arrived we entered the "Krankenhaus" and were met by nuns and nurses.  We went up, we think 3 floors to the X-Cell center's own floor.  Everything is very modern like in the reception and beautiful fresh flowers on the tables.  You know I was concerned that the feel of the place was going to feel to sterile and not so comforting, but it was so nice.  It gave you a sense of sophistication as well as cleanliness that it put me at ease.  So after we presented payment for the services they lead us down another couple floors to another floor that was again the center's own floor.  We walked into another waiting room and met up with a couple that we had met when we were going through all of the preliminary process.  Their little boy was back and was getting his extraction already.  She looked how I was already feeling and it was very hard for me to not show Blye how nervous I was for this.  About 15 minutes after we were down there they wheeled out Adam and we watched them take him to a recovery room that was just on the other side of a glass wall that we were sitting by.  He looked well and it gave us some assurance that Blye would be okay.  It still was hard because we had not gone through it yet. Shortly after they had taken Adam back in recovery they called for Blye.  So I held my breath and I handed him to Gary and I watched them both walk away.  It was so hard to not be in there with him and know what was going on to the exact minute.  For once I felt what Gary goes through when I go back with him. I was so glad that he did too, because I was not handling things very well.  I was having a hard time fighting back tears.  So after Dad came back and he wiped away his tears we tried to sit down and drink a cup of coffee.  I couldn't sit though.  I was up pacing and moving around.  Gary was just as bad.  Everytime we would hear the click of the door we would snap our heads to attention and wonder if that was Bubba.  Grandma said that if she stopped crocheted she weould start crying.  Well after an agonizing 30 minutes we seen Dr. Habaland and he said that everything went well and Blye would be out shortly.  Before he could finish his sentence our Hero was being wheeled our way.  He was still very much asleep and we followed him into recovery.  What seemed after 30 minutes he started waking up, well with the help of Dr. Elsisi's rubbing on his collar bone.  Did I mention that I really didn't care for him?  Reason number 2.  Well once he was completely awake we were able to take him with us out to the waiting room with us and give him some water.  He was definitely thirsty and he had no problem wanting more.  The only thing that he was not understanding very well is he had to keep in his IV.  Yes you read right. We have to keep it in till thursday, so I really don't know how well this will go.  So after we got him to drink he really wanted to go and they said that they seen no problem with us going.  They called for our ride, but we had to wait awhile because he was picking up another family with the same transport.  So after a little impatient wait, we were on the shuttle back to the hotel.  We decided that we weren't venturing out with Little Man, so Mom and Dad stayed in with Blye and Gary and I went on search of supper.  We really needed that too, we both were still a little stressed from the procedure and it was nice for Grandpa and Grandma to stay with him.  We headed out to this great grocery store that Gary and Dad had found and picked up supper. Rolls, blue and camembert cheese, a rotissere chicken from a truck out front, strawberries, and fanta was supper.  Oh yeah, and Ice Cream.  We hopped back on the train and were back to the hotel in 45 minutes.  Which is a record for any of us.  These trains can be kind of tricky.  So after another great supper we settled in for the night.  We didn't know how Blye would do with his IV, but he did well.  We took a fashion magazine from downstairs that they had and folded it in half and used it as a splint under his arm and took one of Gary's ace bandages and wrapped it.  Let me tell you it worked awesome and he slept well.  He didn't want to go to sleep very well, so Gary sat up with him till he went to sleep.  Once he was out he never woke up the rest of the night.  To God the credit is due.  He really needed to sleep off the day.

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