Monday, June 2, 2008

Family "trip" to Arizona

Sooooo. ......Here we go.

Cara decided to get together with her friend from high school. She hadn't seen her friend Ashley in a few years and was really missing her. So she decided that she was gonna take a road trip to Anthem, Arizona (just north of Phoenix.) She packed up all 3 kids into the new minivan and headed out west.

Oh wait...She had to take care of some important business first. See our daughter Ella woke up on Wednesday morning (the day they were set to leave) complaining about a pain in her right shoulder. This quickly developed to Ella not being able to lift her right arm at all. So Cara was off to the ER for a little pre-vacation hospital trip.

When they get to the ER, the doctors tell us that somehow Ella dislocated her shoulder in her sleep. WHAT? How does that happen? Well if you knew Ella like we do, you would know that all things are possible with her.

So after the trip to the ER, and a bit of pain medicine, the road trip begins. Ella is still in pain but Cara expected that since she DISLOCATED HER ARM SOMEHOW. The kids did a great job for the 6 hour drive through the desert. Thanks in part to the wonderful people that invented the DVD/TV systems in cars.

Cara arrives at Ashely and Shawn's house at about 4pm. They are having a great time. Starting to unwind and catch up a little bit. Ashley was so welcoming to our ever growing family. They have a beautiful house with an awesome big backyard for the kids to play in. At least Bryce got a chance to enjoy it.

Because by 6 o'clock that same night (2 hours or so after arrival) Ella spiked a big fever. Once again not uncommon for Ella. She is prone to high fevers. So they rushed her to the ER. By the time they got her to the Hospital she was not in good shape. Very hot, couldn't lift her arms. Not our normal, fiery red-head daughter.

They admitted her into the hospital at 1am on Thursday morning. Meanwhile I am at home in Temecula, not knowing about any of this. Thinking that Cara is having a great time, and the kids are running rampant in the Hancock household. Totally wrong.

Come to find out Ella had an infection in her shoulder. They were not sure the extent of the infection, so they had to do an MRI on my little 3 year old, 24 pound Ella. Terrible. After they did the MRI, they realized the infection had not gotten to the joint, thank the Lord. That would have been really bad. It did take them quite a bit of time to come to the conclusion, and in the meantime I am at home in California trying to figure out how I am gonna get myself to her.

They started IV antibiotics on her to try to get the infection out. All this time, Ella is just laying there with zero energy, whining, and just not looking very good in general. Obviously in a lot of discomfort. The next 24 hours were extremely hard on her as the antibiotics were running their course in her body. It was a very hard time for Cara as she was in a hospital in Arizona, while our other 2 kids were with Ashley. Cara was so alone and felt like she was going to be there forever.

I ended up flying into Phoenix on Friday night at 6pm. I got there and saw Ella for the first time and it was horrible. I know how much of a nutball she is and this was not my little girl. Shortly after I got there, Shawn drove Cara back to their house where she was able to get a good nights sleep. I stayed with Ella on Friday night. She fell asleep next to me in her hospital bed. It was kinda nice actually. Just laying next to her.

By the next morning it was obvious that the antibiotics were working. She was giving me kisses with her stuffed animals and being a bit more silly. Although not at 100 percent, she was showing much more hope for recovery. After they monitored her for the majority of the morning, the decision was made to release her. So we finally got outta the hospital and went on our vacation in Phoenix.

When we left the hospital that day, Ella still had a fever of 101 or so. But the doctors were confident that the antibiotics were working. And they were right. By that night she was up playing with little Hayden and Bryce. Kids are so resilient aren't they.

We had a chance to finally hang out with Shawn and Ashley. What a great time we had that night just sitting on the couch and talking. Lotsa laughs. Lotsa stories. And by the time we called it a night, lotsa yawns. So much fun. The kids got along great. Which is amazing since there were so many of them in one house.

Thank you Shawn for being such an awesome guy. You went outta your way to pick me up at the airport and then drive Cara back to your place. Even though you were clearly exhausted from working so much. Thank you Ashley for being such a great friend. You never broke away from the smile on your face even though running around with 5 kids is a HUGE job. I think even Supernanny would have had a meltdown.

You guys are so awesome and we miss you already. Although it was nice to be home and back to feeling a sense of normalcy, we are incredibly bummed that the trip is over. One good thing came out of it though. At least I got a chance to fly out there and spend a few good quality hours with all of you. Thank you so much for everything.

There will be pictures to follow. Until then, just read the loooooooong story.