Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Seizures and Sass....


Tess's seizures are back; with a vengeance.

I'm trying not to get all overwhelmed and freaked out by them but we've had to use rescue meds four times this month and almost had to double down on them a couple of times because her seizures weren't stopping with the first round of the rescue meds.

I mean, I hate to sound whiny but COME ON! (said in my very most whiny voice)

The longest one was twelve minutes and last night's was nine and was a type I had never seen before. Well yeehaw, cowboy.

 Tess's average "bad" seizure lasts around three to four minutes but every ten days or so, she throws us a curveball and doesn't stop until rescue meds are given and even then, continues to seize for a few minutes after. Other times she'll stop her tonic clonic seizure at around 3 to 5 minutes but then cluster into tiny focal/absent ones. That can last twenty minutes or more. And those are super special because it's so hard to tell if it's seizures or just her postictal phase so I'm questioning and doubting myself about whether or not she really needs the rescue meds because WHAT IF she's not still seizing?

Side note: when I called her pediatrician in the middle of one of these events and he left a patient to come talk to me on the phone (even though I told his nurse to just give him a message), he immediately told me to give the rescue meds and to stop doubting myself. "You know her better than anyone, Mama Reidy. If your instincts are telling you she needs the rescue meds, as her doctor, I'm telling you to listen to those instincts and GIVE THEM." Yup, he's a good guy.

While the seizure is rolling through her little body like an earthquake, I hover helplessly over her, rubbing her arm and telling her that, "Mama's right here. You're okay, it'll be over soon.",  and praying that I'm right. I hook up her o2/heart monitor and watch the numbers. Willing the heart rate to come down and the oxygen to stay up. When they do come to an end, she lets out a big, shaky sigh. Catching her breath, I think. Then she'll sort of look around like, "What's going on?". Sometimes she laughs at me because I am so close (all up in her grill so to speak) and calling her name, and she is finally hearing me and thinks it's great fun. Other times the "earthquake" has left her shattered. Completely wiped out and so she'll sleep for a few hours.

For my part, once the seizure is over, I sit right next to her, monitor her oxygen, heart rate and respirations, and watch for her to wake up and seem more like herself as the word SUDEP! SUDEP! SUDEP! races through my brain like some sort of psychotic mantra. I wish I had never heard of SUDEP. Before I knew about it I could at least feel like once the seizure was over, the real danger had passed. Now I know different and the real danger could happen hours later.

Double sigh.

Many calls to her local doc as well as her doc in Boston have been made over the past three weeks. She's had blood draws to check med levels and then med increases that haven't touched the seizures.  I expect more med increases or a whole new med will be added to her daily regimen when I hear back again from her doc in Boston.

In the midst of all of this, there has been some fun, and funny stuff going on.

We've been trying to get in some "talker" time on her good days. In fact, just the other day my little queen was using her talker and I was jabbering back answers and was starting to ask her a question when I heard,

"Be quiet."

Um what the what?! Had my little angel just told me to be quiet?!

I wondered if maybe she didn't mean to "say" that and her eyes had landed on the wrong picture on her talker...you know, by accident, because she is still learning where the words and phrases are.  So I started to ask her the same question again because I assumed that my precious sweet little princess would never want to tell her most beloved mama to be quiet!  Well, you know the old saying about assuming things, right? Yeah.

"Be quiet."

Okay, now I knew she was for serious and I was really quite offended! In the words's of Stephanie Tanner, HOW RUDE!

I proceeded to tell Tess that telling someone to be quiet when they were asking you a question was not nice. It was rude and could hurt people's feelings.

"I love you."

Yup, the little stinker could tell I was not happy with her and decided to sweeten me up in a way that she knew would melt my mama's heart.

I immediately stopped my lecture and jumped up, wrapped her in a big hug and said, "I love you too!!!" (I was so happy she had told me she loved me that it was almost pathetic. Almost.)

Tess's response?

"Be quiet!"

Me: "TESSIE!!"

Tess: "I love you!"

Me: "I love you too!" (officially pathetic now)

Tess: "Be quiet!"

Seriously, I don't know where this kid gets her attitude from!

Must be her dad. ;)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Music to my ears...

Most of you who read my blog also follow Travels with Tessie Toodles on Facebook or are my FB friends, so you already know that we've been working hard on AAC with Tess. We went every other week to Boston Children's AAC clinic in Waltham for five trials with the Tobii eye gaze device.

Tess was a Rockstar. Rock. Star.

It's one thing to know your kid is smart, but to see her really strut her stuff so to speak (a little pun there for ya) and work that device like she's been doing it for years was just amazing to see. And to hear the AAC specialist rave on and on about how thrilled she was with how well Tess took to it and how smart she is was such sweet validation for me that I could have easily cried many tears of joy. It's just that we normally don't hear so much good news in regards to Tess at any one time and I often feel like people don't necessarily believe me when I tell them how smart she is so for her to sit there and prove it, well, what can I say?  I was so beyond proud of her.

After our last appointment at the clinic we got to bring home a Tobii on loan from the hospital. Because Tess was doing so well with it, her specialist had flagged her as a priority to get one and even went so far as to take one that came back from another kid who no longer needed it and hid it in her office to be absolutely positive that Tess would get it. Have I mentioned how much I adore Tess's therapist?

The Tobii has many pages Tess can open, that then open more and more words for her. She's doing pretty well at finding them and right now, that's our main goal. For Tess to have and find words. All the words. It gets a bit frustrating at times because she's still learning how to use it all appropriately and not just get random words to speak out loud.
a Tobii like the one Tess has at home with one of the pages of words open

When we brought it home she quickly found the "I missed you.", and the "I love you.", buttons for Ellie and looked at them repeatedly to make sure Ellie fully understood how very much Tess missed her and loves her. Cuteness overload. Then I wanted a video of Tess using it with Ellie so we switched to the "simple" yes/no/I don't know page and asked Tess a few questions. This is the video of that:


We try to get Tess to use "the talker" at least once a day for a little bit. She enjoys it but it can make her tired because it is harder than you would think to only use your eyes to make selections. Also, she has this thing about not wanting me to know how truly capable she is. She just will not work as hard or as accurately for me as she will for the specialist in Boston (or basically anyone else for that matter). It's so frustrating because I KNOW what she can do because I have SEEN her do it. I don't know why this even surprises me anymore because she does this in every area of her life. Take PT for example; stand tall and weight bear for the PT but collapse for mama. Sit tall for the PT but fall back on mama and cry like it's all just too much and mama is so mean for making her do that. Like I said, frustrating.

The other thing we have come to realize with the talker is that Tess has the ability to hurt your feelings and/or be rude. Let's face it, she's never been taught what being rude or mean are because she really couldn't be all that rude or mean with no voice/words to let people know what she was really thinking. It's not like she is purposely trying to hurt anyone's feelings or be rude. I mean, she's just about the most loving and sweetest kid I've ever known but she does get to have a say now and she is making the most of it.

During PT the other day, at the end of the session after we'd gotten her back in her wheelchair, her PT didn't like the way Tess was holding her head and went to adjust it on the headrest. Tess's eyes FLEW to her talker and the next thing I know I'm hearing, "Get away from me!", and right after that, "I don't like that!". When the PT explained to Tess that she needed to adjust her head for Tess's own good Tess, without missing a beat, looked to her talker and said, "Whatever.".

WHATEVER??!! Rude!

But so damn age appropriate to say, not to mention how perfectly Tess had stated her thoughts,  that the PT and I were all but jumping for joy because....WORDS! COMMUNICATION! In Tess's world, just like in ours, words are what? POWER! Tess had the power to say, "Get away from me.". And then to explain, "I don't like that.", and to even make sure her little teenage diva self got the last word in with "Whatever".

I swear, it was like music to my ears. My nonverbal kid is talking. Well, back talking but hey,


Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Special Needs life, Game of Thrones style...

For years my dad has tried to get me to watch The Game of Thrones and I just didn't think it was something I'd enjoy. It sounded too intense, too violent, too everything I tend to dislike in my TV viewing. Then Blake and Ellie joined the bandwagon and my interest peaked a little. They both loved it but still, I was hesitant. Finally, when the excitement for the new season on pretty much every social media platform, as well as within my own family hit a fever pitch, I caved.

But as Frank Sinatra sang, "I did it my way."

I read the books first.

You see, anyone who knows me knows I am a bookaholic. Cannot get enough books. Ever. I even bought a shirt that reads, and I quote,

"My Patronus is a bookworm."

oh yeah, I totally own this most awesome shirt.

If you can't place where the word Patronus comes from, here's a hint, start reading Harry Potter, stat.

But I digress.

I LOVE this series. L. O. V. E. it. The word obsessed comes to mind.

So the other night as I was reading the report of Tess's initial trial with an eye gaze talking device after a most successful second trip to Boston for Tess to work with it again at the Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) clinic, my mind flashed back to the report that the Maine AAC "guru" had sent us after he had evaluated her for the same program last October. Let's just say that his report was less than enthusiastic about her cognitive abilities and overall level of awareness (a totally opposite report than what I was reading from the Boston clinic-yet another reason we go to Boston instead of staying in-State-not to mention that it didn't jive at all with the smart kid that I know),  and I immediately thought of a quote from my new fave series, The Game of Thrones, which then led me to placing other famous/infamous GoT quotes with other situations I tend to find myself in within this special needs journey.

Here's my special needs life summed up in Game of Thrones quotes:

What I want to tell the AAC "guru" from Maine:

What I think after IEP meetings:

My reaction when the school fails to follow thru on IEP promises:

How I feel when other kids hit big milestones (walking, talking, sports, school plays) that Tess won't:

When I'm trying to make myself be brave when Tess is sick or having seizures:

And again, oftentimes a daily struggle of bravery and faith vs. fear:

How I feel when making major decisions for Tess:

Any time the mama bear in me has to come out:

How I feel when I fire someone from Tess's "team".

And lastly, because we live where we live and I dread the rough ferry weather. My thoughts at the end of every September:

And there you have it. My special needs life summed up in Game of Thrones memes. I would apologize to those of you who are reading this that aren't at all familiar with the show except I'm not sorry. I just love it too much. And I did sort of warn you.

Obsessed. Remember? 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Catching up...

Hold crap on a cracker! It's been three months since I've written a blog post!

I guess time flies and all that.

Let's see...when I last left you way back in January, Tess was having difficulty at night with her breathing as well has having an increase in seizure activity.

Three months later and we're in the same exact place except things are rapidly escalating. And bonus, getting any rest at night, just...no. It's not in the cards and hasn't been for a while. Toodle Bug's alarms are literally screaming at least twice an hour every single night. Sometimes it's her oxygen alarm, sometimes her heart rate alarm. So it's just been a barrel of laughs here at the ol' Reidy Homestead. Because nothing makes you feel like laughing more than fear mixed with lack of sleep.

Tessie has been officially diagnosed with Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea and it was noted on her report that she is having as many as one hundred forty three episodes per night. Yes, you read that correctly, on average, 143 times a night she has an apneic episode and her oxygen drops down to the low eighties (and yes, she has her mask oxygen and it's dumping some much needed o2 into her but it sometimes isn't enough even with that to keep her o2 levels up) , her heart rate and breathing spikes due to the amount of hard work her little body is doing to simply breathe, and the alarms scream.

Oh, and the dog whines. This past week especially. Coincidentally this past week has been the worst one yet as far as Tess's apnea goes. Ya think she's onto something? And Oreo doesn't whine with the alarms. No, it's during the silence. So, really, very very little sleep for me lately. Charlie meanwhile hears no alarms, no dog whining. Sleeping like a baby as I go into full on martyr mode with a dash of the Little Red Hen thrown in for good measure. "Fine! I'll just do it myself!".

Side note: can you guess what Charlie DOES hear? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

If you guessed "Joanna's bitching and moaning", DING! DING! DING! You got it!

But I digress.

One night, after my third time down to check on her and readjust her oxygen mask, I had just gotten back into bed we the alarms rang out. I did make Charlie get up then to deal with it. He came back to bed and pretty soon, more alarms. What the what?! I looked in the baby monitor and her mask was on. I just couldn't figure out why she was alarming so bad with oxygen on. Even the dog was whining. Cut to the next morning when I go in to check on Tess and see that the tubing running from the oxygen mask is hooked up to....wait for it.....NOTHING. It had fallen off the oxygen concentrator onto the floor, and in our exhaustion in the night, we'd never noticed.

Holy Morons, Batman! Yup, we're idiots. Or just really really sleep deprived. I'll let you decide.

Tess is scheduled for a bronchoscopy test in a couple of weeks to see if they can find a reason for the obstruction and hoping that it will be something a minor procedure can fix. Otherwise, more breathing equipment will be coming. Ugh.

And just for fun Tess decided to totally freak me, and a few other people completely out yesterday while she was at school.

As I was dropping off Tess in the morning, I noticed Oreo alerting. Well, Oreo alerts A LOT so I told Tess's nurse just to be a little extra vigilant and off I went. A few hours later the nurse called from school concerned that Tess was very sleepy, hard to wake up, and that Oreo just wouldn't stop alerting.

Hmmm...mildly concerning but we agreed that she would just keep an eye on Tess and call me right away if anything else happened. Not thirty minutes later the phone rang again. I picked up expecting the nurse and got the Principle requesting that I come right to school because the nurse wanted me to come check on Tess.

Naturally  I wasted no time in getting there and found them in the Principles office. The nurse looked upset and the Principe seemed quite concerned. Tess looked ok. Not great but not bad. Then they told me what had happened.

They had managed to wake Tess up and were sitting in the cafeteria during lunch and Tess went from totally awake to totally asleep in the snap of a finger. When they tried to wake her, she was hard to wake up and once awake, pretty out of it. This was also apparently what she had done a little earlier in the morning.

We agreed I'd take her home and the nurse rode in the car with me so I wouldn't have to be alone with Tess. The Principle sent someone to my house to pick up the nurse once Tess got settled. And on the way home, I got to see for myself what they had been talking about and let me tell you, allllll the bad and scary thoughts went thru my mind when I saw that. SUDEP. Cardiac issue. Some type of new Seizure. Sudden drop in blood pressure. Lack of oxygen. All of the above. I just didn't know. all I  did know was that it wasn't right. And I don't know how to explain why is felt so wrong except to say a mama knows her kid and literally has a physical response in her own body when their kid is in any kind of trouble. Needless to say, my whole body responded.

We got Tess into her bed and by this point, she seemed pretty happy again and quite pleased to have gotten to come home, lay in bed, and, gasp, even get her movie! She does crack me up even while she's in the middle of giving me a heart attack.

I spoke with her pediatrician that night and told him all of my worries about her sleep apnea, seizures, and those two weird "sleep/fainting" episodes at school. He didn't like it and wanted to see her but also understood my reluctance to bring her over only to have her totally rebound and be like nothing is wrong, doc. Just my crazy mama. Because she's been known to do that to me many a time. So we compromised and agreed I'd bring her to see him on Sunday if she had a bad weekend or any more of those weird episodes.  He also told me to call her pulmonologist on Monday to tell him how bad her sleep apnea has been and to try to push up the testing if possible or at least get her some help for her ragged nighttime breathing and not to wait two more weeks for something to help her. I did make the mistake of asking him if I should be very worried and he told me I should be "concerned". And me being me, just about shrieked at him, "That's not what I wanted from you! You were supposed to tell me I was overreacting!"

I know, he's so lucky to get me as a mom to have to deal with on a regular basis. I'm sure he just counts his lucky stars every night for that.

As usual our phone call ended with us both agreeing that Tessie was pulling a Tessie and then he laughingly said, "This is what my girlfriend likes to do. She'll go along pretty good for a while and then decide she wants to shake things up and throws a bunch of issues our way just to keep us on our toes."

Truer words were never spoken.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Dream a little dream of me...

Last night when I put Tessie to bed and I, ahem, PUT THE OXYGEN ON HER, I looked at her alarms like I always do before leaving her room and noticed that her heart rate was quite elevated. Tessie usually has a higher heart rate than most people but this was high even for her.

"Great, she's coming down with something.", I thought to myself, because for Tess, a higher heart rate is one of the first symptoms something is happening to her.

I stayed up another couple of hours to watch the Democratic debate then checked in on Tess again before going to bed. Heart rate was still too high. And she was sleeping which meant that it should definitely have been lower. A lot lower. Like at least 30 beats per minute lower.


I fell asleep but woke up a few times and made sure I didn't hear any alarms. I knew that if things were getting worse for her, the oxygen alarm wouldn't go off unless she was in big, bad trouble because I had actually PUT THE OXYGEN ON HER like a good mother, but that her heart alarm would go off once it hit 140. It was 130 when I went to bed so I had legit reason to be a little more vigilant.

No alarms.

Well, good. I went back to sleep and then dreamt that Tessie was getting quite sick and that I should have known it was coming because the night before last, Oreo was freaking out over Tessie and trying to get my attention and do something by whimpering and prancing in front of Tess, looking hard at her, then almost stamping her paw at me as if to say, "Come ON, lady! Something's not right with my girl! Do something!" (this part of the dream had actually happened in real life the night before last).

Then, in my dream, Tess had a big seizure. Like the kind of big seizure she used to have a few years ago. Scary big. In my dream I remember thinking, "Oh no! Not you again!", and just being really upset.

Just as I was explaining to Charlie (still in my dream here) about the whole Oreo thing and why I should have known a something was coming, I woke up. I was so relieved to realize the seizure had been a dream but then immediately remembered that her heart rate had been elevated when I went to bed and that she actually could be sick.

I got right up and went to Tess to check on her and her heart rate. It was totally back to normal.


But wait. Now I had to puzzle out why it had been so high last night for a while. And why had Oreo acted so bizarrely the night before.

It came to me soon enough.

I assumed that Tess must have been having some type of seizure as she slept. That would explain Oreo and the high heart rate and maybe even my dream of her seizing, because subconsciously I might have had that in the back of my brain all along when I went to bed last night.

But it gets a little more odd here. This morning, as Tess started to watch her movie and I was wasting time on FB, it dawned on me that her breathing sounded weird. Almost like panting. You know, like it would sound if she were having a seizure.

Sure enough, I looked over and my stomach did that old familiar flop it does when Tess is in trouble. I jumped up and took the two steps over to her wheelchair to try to get her attention. No dice. Rigid mouth, clenched fists, dilated pupils, stiffened legs with curled toes, breathing change...all meant one thing.

She was in the middle of a seizure.

And it was the kind of seizure that I hadn't seen in a long time. Like a few years. Like I had dreamt about last night.

Luckily it didn't last as long as the old ones used to but my 'Tessie Radar' is way up and on the lookout. And luckily for me, I know that Oreo's is as well.

As far as the dream goes, I don't know what to make of it but I do know that it is really a weird coincidence.

And hoping I don't have another one like it for a while.

"But in your dreams
whatever they be
dream a little dream of me"
-Ella Fitzgerald 

PS Tess is currently just fine and happily watching Frozen. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Every breath you take...

...and every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take, I'll be watching you.
-The Police

Such a good song and one that has been stuck in my head (and now yours, you're welcome)  pretty much since Tessie came home from her spinal fusion surgery in November. 

You see, since that surgery, when Tess sleeps at night, her breathing is...weird. Loud. Alarming (literally). 

When we first noticed it, we had the most awesome "Dr. Jen" come check her over because this was something we had just never seen, or heard before, not to mention the oxygen alarms that were blaring about every fifteen minutes all. night. long. I even managed to get it on video so Jen could see and hear for herself the symphony of noises that Tess was making as she slept. 

It was like listening to the worlds most annoying tight rubber band being rubbed one minute then would switch over to what I could only assume was the spirit of a departed truck driver who hadn't slept in days and was using Tess's little body to get some much needed rest. Because there was no way the noises that were coming out of her little mouth could be those of a twelve year old girl.

I mean, people, she was giving her dad a run for the money in what was the worst contest ever created: Who can snore the loudest for the longest period of time. 

Well I am here to tell you that Daddy won the 'longest time event' but my Toodle Bug for sure won the 'loudest and squeakiest' event. 

At any rate, Jen thought all those noises were just as odd as I did and called Tess's pulmonologist in Portland. Since she was still on higher rates of pain meds at the time from her surgery, that was thought to be the culprit because she takes so many meds anyway, that more on top of that was simply depressing her breathing too much. He also suggested we put her on oxygen at night to help her breathe easier.

Well, we did pull her off of the pain meds and she went back to her normal pre-surgery med routine and seemed to be doing better so I didn't bother with the oxygen because she absolutely hates it and I figured it wasn't worth the battle for the smaller amount of snoring and alarms.

Cut to the past two weeks and we are right back to square one. The loud, rumbly, wake herself up with a snort, snore. Then the tight, squeaky rubber band noise kicks in. Then, God help me, the alarms start blaring. For hours. All. night. long. 

Now one would assume that her mother would haul herself up out of bed and go put oxygen on her child.

One would assume wrong.

What this awesome mom does instead is sigh heavily, very martyr like, look in the monitor to see if Tess 'looks' okay, and waits for the alarms to stop which they always do very quickly. Then mommy rolls over and goes back to sleep and starts the process all over again about thirty minutes later. 

Good times. Good times.

I finally have gotten sick enough of the alarms, as well as concerned enough as to why this is all happening again, that I myself called the doc which totally seemed to surprise his receptionist.

Her: "You want to speak with Dr. W?!" 

Me: "Yes, please. Or I can leave a message with you and you can have him call me when he has a free minute."

Her (still not sure how to handle the clearly odd request): "Can I pass you along to the nurse?"

Me: "Only if by nurse you mean the doctor. I need to speak with the doctor myself. Not his nurse."

Her: "Okay, I'll give him the message." (still confused that a parent had the gall to ask to speak directly to the doctor)

Anyhoo, he very nicely called me back the following afternoon and chatted with me at length about what he suspected was going on. He told me that due to Tess's pretty profound scoliosis prior to surgery, muscles that wouldn't normally be needed to help a person breathe had had to step in because the muscles that she should have been using were compromised and not able to work due to the scoliosis and now that she was straight, the breathing muscles had, in a sense, atrophied and needed to build their strength back up and the other muscles were now in different positions and weren't doing the same jobs anymore. So basically, Tess is having to work really, really hard while she sleeps just to breathe. He also made the very good point that our bodies repair and rejuvenate themselves during sleep and she wasn't getting to do that because she was almost working harder during her sleep. Poor kid. 

So he gave me a plan and can you guess what it starts with? 

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Yup. Oxygen! Imagine that!

Plus he is ordering another sleep study for her and he strongly suspects she will test positive for obstructive sleep apnea and will be put on a little bit of bipap at night to help her. 

So that's the latest with the Toodle Bug. 

Oh, and she's getting the oxygen put on now. ;) 

Cheers to a (hopefully, please God) good and restful night's sleep for all of us! 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Her Person..

Ellie left the island today and flies to London tomorrow.

For almost five whole months.

I had all I could do all morning to not burst into tears in front of her so instead I joked and trounced her and Hunter in one last game of dummy rummy, which I must confess that since I do love to win, was really the best way she could have left me. But then, at the ferry as we said goodbye, I could feel the tears coming so I jokingly grabbed her in one last big hug and said, "I'll never let go, Jack!", which is a Titanic reference and one that we always joke about because let's face it people, there was room for two on that damn door and Rose basically killed Jack out of selfishness. But I digress. I just didn't want to leave her with my tears so I left her with a laugh instead then cried in the van on the ride home. What can I say? I'm not as strong as I pretend and I'm going to miss her.

And then there is Tessie. Last night, Ellie was explaining to her that she was going back to college but that she would be further away and so wouldn't be able to come home at all for quite a long time.

I literally watched Tess's face change from happy to unhappy with furrowed brow and frown as if she were going to cry at any minute, as Ellie was talking.  We finally realized this morning, as Ellie snuggled in with Tessie one last time before she left, that Tess didn't think Ellie was ever coming home. As she and Ellie were laying there, Tess just refused to smile until Ellie hollered to me that she couldn't make Tess happy which is so unusual that I went in to make sure Tess wasn't sick. I then started talking to Tess and said, "Yes, Tessie, Ellie is going away for a while but she IS coming home again!". When I said that Tessie gave out a huge, shaky, sigh and got all happy again. We just have to keep reinforcing to her that Ellie is coming home again. In the meantime,  my heart now hurts not only for myself, but for Tessie as well. Because Ellie is her person. And I am clearly codependent. Anyway, for any Grey's Anatomy fans, you'll get "her person" reference, but for those of you who aren't quite as, well, we'll just say, into, TV as much as I am, here's a few memes that should help explain what I'm talking about:

Replace Cristina with Tess and Meredith with Ellie 

Or if she needed a slumby buddy-you know, something a tad less dramatic but just as important

I'm sure Tessie told this to Ellie today...at least with her heart if not her words

See what I mean?  Perhaps a tad dramatic but that is how having a person feels and Ellie is Tess's person. I'm mama and yes, Tess loves, wants and needs me, especially when her life is scary or she is in pain, but Ellie is her person. There's just no other way to put it. And her person will be gone for five months and she will miss her so so much that my mama's heart breaks for her even as it leaps in joy and happiness for the experiences that Ellie is going to get the chance to have. Because it is going to be such an amazing time in Ellie's life. Of that, I have absolutely no doubt.

Ellie will have her semester abroad with one of her very best friends, Kaitlyn, and another really good friend from Wagner and will get to study at the University of Westminster (which I believe is located near Parliament and Buckingham Palace-eek! Exciting!) in one of the most amazing cities in the world. They are hoping to be able to travel around Europe some during their Spring break while they are there as well. Maybe Ireland, Italy, & France or even just one of those countries would be incredible. It will be an experience she'll never forget and her dad and I are just thrilled she's taken this opportunity and running with it.

And Tessie will get thru it. With facetime and letters, along with a calendar marking off the days until Ellie returns, Tessie will get thru it.

At the end of May, Ellie will come home and Tess will have her person back and all will be right in Tess's world again.


Her person. 

My world too...