One day Anni was twirling and singing one of her original compositions.
"It's my gift!" she declared.
Dizzy, she fell with spectacular gracelessness.
Laying on her back on the tile floor she began flapping her arms and legs
as if she were making a snow angel.
"Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

vacation, all I ever wanted

Come on, sing along with me. You know it's already in your head, so you might as well. OK, so it's not a real vacation, but Annika is going to get a Hospital Vacation. She came up to 6 west on Monday evening, and then lost both I.V.s in quick succession, which meant that she did a power-wean on the dilaudid. Today Plastic Surgery pulled her JP drain, and so she is now tube-less for the first time since mid-November. She's doing well off the dilaudid, and so the doctors are going to let her go to the Kohl's House for the weekend, just to get out of here for a few days. She still needs to have an upper scope to check out the state of her esophageal varices (her original problem, which seems almost forever ago by this time), so she'll come back early next week for that. If they are still there, even after her shunt surgery... Well, I just don't know. And it doesn't seem like any of the doctors know exactly, either. It seems like giving her a break right now is a good idea. Michelle over at the Kohl's House has offered to put back up the Christmas tree for her, and I think I'm going to take her up on the offer. With Frankie and Jörg and maybe even my parents on the scene, we could have a real blow-out party of a weekend. Today I bathed her and combed her hair and put her in the shiny, silky pajamas that my friend, Andrea, sent for her. She feels beautiful and so much closer to normal in non-hospital-issue clothes, you can just tell. We're going to go on a wheelchair ride around the floor (she can't hold her weight just yet), looking out windows and enjoying the feeling of open space.


Anonymous Laura said...

I'm so happy for Annika! Have a wonderful weekend with your family all together as it should be.

1/18/2006 12:49 PM  
Blogger Scrivener said...

Awesome news! Do have her put up the tree and have a blow-out! I'm grinning reading this. Thanks again for the update.

1/18/2006 12:50 PM  
Blogger Jenevieve said...

Yahoo!!!! Merry Christmas again!!

1/18/2006 12:58 PM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

How wonderful! Hurray! And yes, as Scrivener said, thanks for keeping us informed. Enjoy the vacation!

1/18/2006 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay! And the go-gos to boot. Thanks, Moreena. May Annika thrill to her freedom.

xo Catherine

1/18/2006 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have so many goosebumps! I am just so excited for you and Annika...and your family as well. Who knew a bath and silky pj's could be SOOOOOO fun! Have a wonderful Christmas party!!!!


1/18/2006 1:12 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

FABULOUS NEWS! So thrilled for you. Have a fantastic time...with lots of love, hugs, cuddles, more hugs...

1/18/2006 1:13 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

Praise GOD!!! I am so happy!!Enjoy your vacation and your Christmas!!! Please let us know how it goes! Have an awesome weekend!!!

1/18/2006 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Shelley (Caroline's Mom) said...

Woohoo! Hooray for you all! I remember when we had our "weekend pass" after C's transplant... it really helped us recharge and replenish. Best wishes for a wonderful 'Christmas'! We'll pray for a little snow in Chicago this weekend to make it even more magical!

1/18/2006 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Toni Donnelly said...

We are a CMH liver family too. Ronan (my son) was transplanted there this past September, he was 7 mos old at the time. When I got the opportunity to take him for walks around 6 West, we always went to the big window by the parent shower. It seemed very peaceful to view the city at such a distance. I've been watching Annika's progress and I am so relieved she is doing better. Take care and I hope she continues her progress.

1/18/2006 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

Yeah, Annika! Enjoy your vacation, guys. And Merry Christmas. :)

1/18/2006 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Crystal said...

Merry Christmas Anni! What a wonderful belated gift. I hope your party is a good one! What a tough little girl! Enjoy your vacation, your family needs it the most right now!

1/18/2006 1:57 PM  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

Wonderful wonderful news. You must all be so excited for the break. Frankie is going to pee her pants with excitement, I suspect.

1/18/2006 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is wonderful news. Merry Christmas, Anni.

Mary, Ayden's grandma

1/18/2006 2:13 PM  
Blogger ccw said...

Such wonderful news!!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas weekend!

1/18/2006 2:28 PM  
Blogger Rev Dr Mom said...

That is just the best news! I have happy tears in my eyes. And I hope you have a super dooper blow out Merry-Christmas-in-January weekend.

1/18/2006 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl and Angel Haley said...

I am so glad Annika may get out this weekend and celebrate a belated Christmas.
You all have been through so deserve a break!
Love and Hugs,

1/18/2006 3:24 PM  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

Well Merry Christmas to you all! What a fabulous gift of togetherness and joy.

I am thrilled for you and Anni--and all of your friends and family :)

1/18/2006 3:44 PM  
Blogger Elle said...

Oh hurray for vacations!! Enjoy!!!

1/18/2006 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Mary Lee said...

Fabulous news! Great idea to have Christmas at the Kohl house; you won't have to deal with all the decorating and undecorating when you finally go home!

Merry Christmas, Annika.

1/18/2006 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Miriam said...

I'm so happy to hear this - how exciting. I hope your family has a fantastic weekend together - and a merry christmas. :)

1/18/2006 4:28 PM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

I'm totally singing along. I'm not even embarrassed to admit it.

Wishing you a wonderful vacation and celebration with Annika and the whole family together at the Kohl's House. I'm so, so happy to hear about it.

1/18/2006 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am soooo happy for ALL of you. Yea Annika, I just know she must feel so awesome in her new pj's and all dolled up. Have a great weekend with everyone together.
Merry Belated Christmas!!!
colleen (spencers gramma)

1/18/2006 6:34 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS ANNI!!! How WONDERFUL for all of you! I'm thinking pix of our little trouper in her silky jammies in front of the Christmas tree are in order if possible.

1/18/2006 6:49 PM  
Blogger moxiemomma said...


1/18/2006 7:19 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Oh Moreena, this is so great. Tears of joy are being shed for you, this is such great news! I hope Annika has a very Merry Christmas!

1/18/2006 9:11 PM  
Blogger liz said...

I'm all for the tree!!!!

Hoooray for a weekend out!!! And for silky jammies!

1/18/2006 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Tammy & Janna said...

What GREAT news! I am so glad the two of you will get of there for a while and hopefully for good. Have a great weekend with your family! Our thoughts are with you.

1/18/2006 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great news! Enjoy.

Frank (Marisa's Dad)

1/18/2006 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Nikki said...

What incredibly excellent news!!

1/18/2006 10:29 PM  
Blogger Bettie Bookish said...

Yipee! No IVs, no JP drains, no tubes!!!!!! What wonderful news.

We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we WISH you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Upper Scope result!

1/18/2006 10:45 PM  
Blogger Jane Dark said...

I think I will put on my own satin pajamas, just to celebrate. Yay!

1/18/2006 11:16 PM  
Anonymous Hypatia said...

Hooray!!! Go Annika! (And all of you!)

My dad's office isn't having its Christmas party for another week or two. No reason Annika can't "procrastinate" Christmas just like the grownups. :)

1/19/2006 2:11 AM  
Anonymous Beanie Baby said...


Have a great weekend!

1/19/2006 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Kim, mom to Sami and Kyle said...

I am crying tears of joy for you all right now! I hope you have a memorable and joyful Christmas celebration this weekend - you all deserve it. Yeah Anni!!!

1/19/2006 6:46 AM  
Anonymous Robyn, Emma's mom said...

So so happy for you all!

Merry Christmas!

1/19/2006 6:53 AM  
Blogger mc said...

woohoo!! enjoy!! and you kow you've just brought christmas back to all of us, too, don't you?!?

1/19/2006 6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WONDERFUL NEWS!!!!! I'm so happy for you all. And - MERRY CHRISTMAS - I hope you guys have a wonderful family celebration. Now that Annika is up and about - I have a package to send.


1/19/2006 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Becca said...

Yeah for Annika and isn't Michelle just the best? I hope that you guys have an awesome weekend!!! Yeah for Kohl's house! Yeah for Anni!
Just yeah!!!
(And did I mention streaming tears on my face?)

1/19/2006 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Christi..Caden's mom said...


1/19/2006 9:18 AM  
Anonymous peripateticpolarbear said...


1/19/2006 1:54 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

I know you'll enjoy your weekend! Glad you all get to do something fun as a family again!

1/19/2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger angie said...

YEAH!! You got a "get out of jail free" card (that's what we like to call them)....although only on "parole". I know...a little hospital humor (who thinks of those things unless you have been there for TOO long!). I am so happy for all of you. I am also glad they are putting the Christmas tree back up. What a thoughtful gesture, and who deserves it more than all of you. Enjoy!

1/19/2006 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Mary M - KatilynsMom - CLASS said...

Merry Christmas!

I am so happy for Annika. I am thrilled she has made so much progress.


1/19/2006 7:59 PM  
Blogger susan said...

Hurrah! and Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope the weekend is a wonderful respite for all of you. I'm so happy to read a post full of good news.

1/19/2006 9:45 PM  
Anonymous moirasmom said...

Have a wonderful Christmas celebration. Thinking of you this weekend.

1/20/2006 7:18 AM  
Anonymous peripateticpolarbear said...


1/20/2006 8:34 AM  
Blogger purple_kangaroo said...

Woohoo! Have a wonderful weekend.

1/20/2006 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome! :)


1/20/2006 1:39 PM  
Blogger Amanda M said...

Does this mean you get to open your presents? Finally!!

Have fun Annika! Just remember, baby steps....not everything has to be done at once. Take your time ;) your wonderful, lovely time in the world....


- Amanda, aunt to Katie

1/20/2006 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Rowan said...


I am so happy for you all! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

1/20/2006 3:57 PM  
Blogger Shelli said...

Yay! I hope you tied streamers to the wheel chair so she looked royal with them blowing behind her. Yay! I am so happy that she will be able to breathe non-hospital air! And maybe get Christmas.

1/20/2006 4:31 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Saturday night here in the UK, so I guess that may make it Christmas Day at Kohl's house. Just sending you lots of love and prayers and happy thoughts for a real celebration together. xxx

1/21/2006 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Joanna said...

Merry Christmas, Annike, Moreena, Jorg & Frankie - thinking of you today celebrating and being rid of all those IV's. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for good news from the endoscopy tomorrow. Today when I look at Jessica exactly 6 months post-tx I see no veins in her face or on her stomach, and no blood from continual nosebleeds in her bed. I wish for you to see the same as Annike continues to recover.

1/21/2006 6:22 PM  
Blogger Jane Dark said...

I hope the weekend has been all you could want it to be...

1/22/2006 3:14 PM  
Anonymous anni metz said...

i hope the weekend was wonderful!

1/22/2006 6:41 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Great news, Moreena - absolutely fantastic!

1/24/2006 10:25 AM  
Blogger The Complimenting Commenter said...

YEAH! I real party with people and normality. At least for a little. I hope that she does well with the change and that you get some good time all together. Great post.

1/25/2006 5:27 PM  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

Just checking in to tell you I am thinking of you!

1/25/2006 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Kim, mom to Sami and Kyle said...

Moreena - I hope all is going well and you are enjoying time with Anni and your family...we haven't heard from you in a while!

1/26/2006 6:14 AM  
Anonymous Sheryl, Justice's mom said...

just checking in to tell you we're still thinking of you and praying for healthier months ahead!

1/27/2006 3:26 PM  
Blogger Doug's Mom said...

Annika is doing well, though she is still very weak and doesn't have much desire to eat. Her scope on Tuesday showed no varices! She and her mommy left Chicago yesterday evening (Friday) to return home!
~Annika's Aunt Monica

1/28/2006 3:43 PM  
Blogger Rev Dr Mom said...

Aunt Monica, thanks for the update--that is such good news!!

1/28/2006 4:53 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

That is great news...thank you, Aunt Monica, for keeping Anni's "public" up to date...
We'll just keep on praying that her recovery continues smoothly.
and send our best love and hugs, of course

1/28/2006 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Kristy and Ashlee from liverfamilies said...

Thanks Aunt Monica!! Excellent news on going home... and to NO vercies!!! Get better soon Annika!!!

1/28/2006 9:00 PM  
Blogger liz said...

Hooray for going home!!!! Thanks for the update!

1/29/2006 1:30 PM  
Blogger deepThoughts said...

I just read Annika's story yesterday and was deeply moved. You have been through lots of hard times and I wish you and your family all the very best for the future.

Have a wonderful vacation :)

1/29/2006 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so pleased to here that you finally got to leave that hospital.Hope that Annika continues to do well and hope that she enjoys her christmas tabitha logans mom

1/29/2006 4:53 PM  

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