Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Birthday, Eleanor

Today is Ellie's first birthday.
Quite honestly, there was a time when neither Abby nor I thought that we would get here. There is a little trick that we learned in the NICU at Yale about hand washing that says to sing "Happy Birthday" while you was your hands and by the time you are done, you will have clean hands. This became a ritual for me that I hold onto today and every time I wash I think about getting Ellie to this goal.

Today, the Happy Birthday song has a much better meaning because we finally made it to a year. (LINK)

Along the way in the past year we have had some truly amazing experiences and seen some staggering amounts of other things. To get to a first birthday with a healthy short gut baby is a big milestone.

In the spirit of the Harpers Index, we have come up with a list of other numbers that we have experienced:

Short Gut Baby by the Numbers:

1- NICU Baptism- Yup. in the NICU among all of the other kids in their isolettes. Not the best choice, but it did the trick considering the crappy circumstances.

335- blog posts in the past year. That means that we have averaged .91 posts per day. I know that this isn’t enough for some but not a bad record.

247- Days that Ellie spent in the Hospital from the day she was born. That is 8 months and 2 days.

19- days that Ellie spent in the Intensive Care unit.

91-Distance, in miles, from Ledyard, CT to Wellesley, MA. This takes you down I-395, the longest loneliest road in the world.

11.62 Distance, in miles, from our house in Wellesley to Children’s. It can take 15 minutes or it can take 45. No matter we are a lot better off here than in CT.

157- days that Abby, Gus and I spent with Abby’s Sister and her family in Wayland. Family is family, but that was beyond the call of duty. We won’t ever be able to really thank them enough for that.

346 Claims made to Blue Cross for Ellie. Gotta love good blue cross. That is almost one a day. I guess that even the hospital billing folks take vacations for ten days each year. The pile of benefit statements is about a foot high.

~$1.8 million Total to date that has been covered. Gotta love good blue Cross.

$20 Amount that we have paid for her care. A visit to the 'regular' pediatrician and a visit to the Short Bowel Clinic before Ellie's MassHealth kicked in. Really gotta love good blue cross.

3 Inpatient Admissions

5 Trips to the Operating Room. The OR staff know us well. The others can't understand why we are so calm in the OR waiting room....

6- baby pictures of Ellie's small bowel. I bet you don't have those of your baby...

2 Central Line Infections. Knock on wood now. We are really lucky to have lasted this long with only two.

2 Central Lines. We are miraculously still working with number 2 right now.

5-The house record for most ostomy bag changes in one 24 hour period.

4 Surgeons

47- Omegaven Babies, so far.

5- Omegaven babies that are on it because of this blog, that we know of.......

6-9- months that the doctors told us that Ellie could be on PN without eating before liver damage would threaten her life.

0.1 Ellie's current bilirubin number.

7- seasons of Buffy-the Vampire Slayer that Abby watched while in the hospital.

6- weeks of Doxycycline for Gib’s Lyme Disease.

16- Days that Gib was out of commission with Lyme Disease. Abby is a saint. But seven seasons of Buffy will take you a long way, I guess.

750- milliliters of IV fluid that Ellie gets every night.

4 Red Sox Games Attended.

19- people who helped us get our house ready to sell and move to Massachusetts.

1 ½ Days our house was on the market before we got an offer above our asking price.

5 Pool noodles eaten by Gus, the WonderDog.

- calls to Ellie's doctors at odd hours since we have been home.

2:25- (AM) The latest call to a doctor at home, who was surprisingly talkative considering the hour.

1 Pecan pie eaten by Gus, the WonderDog on Thanksgiving. Yes, we still call him the wonder dog. I guess that comes from the way he loves Ellie.

(617) 266-2928- The phone number for Brown Sugar Cafe, the best Thai in Boston.

45, 30, 56- The various lengths of Ellie’s bowel (in cm) reported after three successive surgeries. We like the last, longest one.

18- different drugs that Ellie has been on. That we can remember….

3- hours of bliss that we had before Ellie showed signs of Short Bowel.

Too Numerous To Count-

Belly x-rays

Meals in the Children’s cafĂ©. Abby says Noodle Bowl day is still worth the trip.

Cups of too strong Au Bon Pain coffee.

Nights on the Children’s Chair/Bed

Words, notes, calls, meals, presents, emails, and other signs of support from our friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, bosses, and strangers.....

Zero- The amount of birthday cake that Gut Girl ate on her first birthday: (LINK)

Yes, if you haven't guessed, we celebrated her birthday on Sunday since I have to go to CT for work this week. Abby is coming down tonight to stay with me, though, so we will do presents and such tonight.


Anonymous said...

Here are some more numbers for you:
141.7 - the number of miles from your new house to Bow Street.
2 - the number of hours it takes if you're paying attention
207-807-8614 - the number of the best babysitter you know.
3 - the number of days after Ellie's birthday before my birthday presents will arrive.
See you soon.

Astraea said...

Happy Birthday, Ellie!!! May God bless the next 100! You have touched so many in your first year of life. Thank you for letting me be one of them. I can't wait to see what your parents blog about when you're 16!

Ben April said...

A few more fun numbers:

71,542 - total blog page hits.

41,690 - total blog visits.

3 - the google rank of the blog when searching for "Eleanor Brogan"

4 - the gootle rank of the blog when searching for "short gut"

9 - the google rank of the blog when searching for "omegaven"

314 - Votes in the 2006 Best Medical/Health issues blog Awards

Happy Birthday Ellie!

Stephany said...

Happy 1st Birthday Ellie. Abby, Gib, I have waited for this blog for a whole year, and am so glad you have made it here!

Enjoy the festivities with your special girl!

Greg said...

$7287.49 – The averaged out per DAY cost of Ellie’s stay at Children’s!!! Thank you Blue Cross!

0 – The amount of worry that Ellie should feel about not liking fronting… that will change when she learns the wonders of a sugar high!

As many as she wants – The number of birthday hugs Ellie can get…HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLIE!!!!

41 – the number of miles that I am away from your place… if you need any other baby-sitting help

Mikele said...

Happy #1 Ellie! What an exciting day.

Abby, I'm a big fan of Buffy... It's sort of a vice...

Sophie said...

Happy Birthday to my new best friend Ellie!!!
I am so happy to hear all the good news of late!

kate said...

Happy birthday, Eleanor! What a year you've had. Just imagine all the wonderful years to come!

mini and brother said...

Happy birthday Ellie. You're a wonder baby. We've waited for this day for a long time. Hooray!
ps- I love BlueCross

Sarah Sullivan said...

Happy Birthday Ellie!

I remember what a big milestone this was for Molly. There was a time we didn't think we would make it and we certainly didn't know how well she would be doing.

I have loved following your adventures.

Gib, I truly admire you and Abby - what amazing parents you both are!

Cheers from The Sullivan's (Sarah from Freeport)

Kit VW said...

Happy Birthday Ellie!

I love the number run-down. Thank you for putting so much energy into this blog to keep us all in the loop and for sharing so many great photos and videos. Hope we can get together soon!

-- Kit

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Ellie! I'm so thankful that you are alive, adorable, and a blessing to so many people who have read your journey over the past year. You are one tough cookie (just like your mom and dad)!

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Ellie! You look wonderful. I'd love to meet you in person someday. Hi Abby and Gib...glad to hear you are all doing well. Please let me know when you're in town again, I'd love to see you.

stevenjared0853 said...

That’s a strong baby! Happy birthday to the little one. I have to say, I have not seen such an adorable baby. God bless the baby! I was looking out for some birthday ideas for my nephew’s birthday. I really liked the big cake. If you have the recipe do share it here. I have booked a very nice event space NYC for his birthday celebration.