8.22.2008

To whom it may concern...

Hey all!!! Let me start out by prefacing the following post with the fact that we love all of you so so so much. We appreciate so much all your love and support and even more especially your constant prayers. I know a lot of you feel helpless, and that is understandable, but there really isn't anything we need other than lots of prayers. We're just eating at the hospital most of the time, sleeping when/where we can, and that's about all we can ask for. We feel helpless looking at Grace as well, but honestly there's nothing that can be done that isn't already being taken care of by Grace's amazing hospital caretakers.
But we truly do appreciate everyone wanting to help out. We know everyone would be here in a heart beat if we asked...which leads me to this post's general purpose...
Topher and I felt like we should probably post a blog to let everyone know more about visiting Grace and also about what the next year will probably look like.....
As much as we love you all and we would love for everyone to get to see and love Grace...its just not possible right now.
The visiting protocol is so much more strict now that it ever has been, and she is so so so much more fragile.
For the next 6 months to a year her immune system is going to be highly suppressed. She is going to be on up to 10 different immunosuppressants, and so she will be extremely vulnerable to any and all infections, sicknesses and diseases. If she were to catch so much as a cold, it could very easily over power her and possibly kill her.
The Transplant team has told us that for the next 4-6 months, and possibly a year, Grace will be under 'house arrest'. We literally will not be able to take her anywhere but the outdoors. We can take her outside on walks, with the stroller covered up...and that's about it. We can't take her to our family's houses, we can't take her to church, not to any stores, not anywhere. Along with that, we won't be able to have more than about 2 people at a time come to visit her at our house. And if people do come to visit, they can't be sick, nor can they have been exposed to anyone that is sick.
This has been something really hard for me to swallow, because I want her to have a close relationship with all of our families, but, Gracey's life depends on her not being exposed, and to her remaining healthy healthy healthy!!!
While she is still in the hospital, the Doctors and nurses have told us that we have to limit her visitors to parents and Grandparents, and possibly immediate siblings, if and only if, they are in perfect health and haven't been exposed to anything. Also, they have age restrictions, so not even all of our siblings will be able to see her. The visitors that do come in have to gown up, wear a mask and gloves and sanitize like crazy.
So...as you can probably gather, it is overwhelmingly strict for the next little while, and although we love you all and want you all to be able to love on her, you may have to save your kisses and cuddles for a couple months. :)
Please please please don't be offended or hurt if you can't see her for a while, the last thing we want to do is hurt anyone's feelings. But please also don't make us be the bad guys by having to turn anyone down. If our siblings and close family can visit, we will let you know. But if we can follow the strict rules for the next year, which will hopefully go quickly, she'll be healthy and we can start to let her have a normal life doing all the things other little babies do.
We love you all lots and appreciate so much your understanding and support as well as your eagerness to be helpful in any way. :)
Love the Andersens

12 comments:

Carl & Karen said...

We will all do what we have to do to ensure that Grace has the best chance at a full recovery. Of course, that means that when she's home, all of your posts will need to include many, many pix!! I'm glad you're aware that so many people love you all and would drop everything in a heartbeat to help in whatever way possible. Don't ever hesitate to ask, because sometimes it's hard to know what you really want or need at any given time. I loved that you asked me for muffins--it was something tangible that I could do for you. Ask, ask, ask for what you need, and anyone and everyone will jump to help. Love, Karen

aj said...

Alysia & Toph,

You were very smart to post a blanket "it would make us feel better if we don't have to turn you down" sort of message, because it makes it more comfortable for all of us to know the "rules" you have been given by her transplant team.

Though I wasn't intending to ask if I could see Grace today (or anytime in the near future, actually) I have wanted to be at the hospital - desperately. I've just been afraid of causing you just one more thing to think about - one more person to explain things to (this blog is SO wonderful for that purpose!!)

But most of all, even if I'm not sick, my kids are in school and they pick up all sorts of things there. And even if THEY aren't showing signs of being sick either, they could very well be carrying germs that they can pass along to me.

So I'm staying completely clear of Grace - and probably you two as well - until you are given the official word (in 3-6 months, or whenever) that her immune system is stable enough.

I think I've thought of something even better than balloons and teddy bears to give you - so I'll go that route instead.

Since Grace's health is our main concern, not how cute her chubby cheeks are - though yes, they are super cute! - I can promise that there won't be a single offended person who's been reading this blog and knows what you've already gone through to get her to this point.

But those in your neighborhood or ward, who aren't as familiar with what you've been told concerning visitors, might be another issue. We are just so famous for spreading the love, aren't we?

So my suggestion is for you to ask your Relief Society president, or Bishop, to announce in church that GRACE CANNOT HAVE ANY VISITORS - NOT EVEN IN HER HOME - FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS! Then you might be able to avoid a lot of thr "sorry for being the bad guy, but you can't come over," conversations :)

What I'm really trying to say with all this rambling is that I'm glad you said things so clearly, so I can stop wondering if you're asking yourself why Aunt Amy can spend so much time online - stalking your daughter - and not any time at all up at the hospital, offering you hugs.

The thought of being any part of Grace not healing perfectly scares me to death - that's why :) But I'm just happy to know that you'd prefer I just be her cyber-stalker anyway.

I love you all to bits! And Gracey, here are some kisses for you - in pixels :* :* :* :* :*

Kira said...

Luckily Zac and I are too far away to bug you guys about visiting, although if we were closer we certainly wish we could stop by and see you, so I guess its ok that we aren't "allowed." :)I have been checking your blog every couple of hours for updates, so thanks for posting so often! I hate that I can't be there knowing whats happening! And I agree with Karen, as soon as you can start posting some pictures that would be awesome! Buggy, you, Topher, and Grace are always in our prayers. (Also we just found out that our little niece, Geneva- Zac's sister's daughter- has a serious blood condtion- so if you guys could keep her your prayers too it would mean alot to us.) Thanks for keeping us updated! We love you.

Kira said...
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The Butcher Family said...

Very well stated...Grace is the MOST important person and she is so lucky to have you two as her protectors!

Praying often & always...

Heart hugs~ Rebecca

The Butcher Family said...
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kalani said...

Kiani and I agree that seeing pictures of Grace will be enough to get us through the next six months. We love her and you guys too much to in anyway put her in danger. Please let me know if you get tired of hospital food because I would be more than happy to do arrive by at the hospital with food. You guys are great and I don't think anyone will feel bad about the limitations. Good luck. When you can give Grace big hugs and kisses from her aunt.

Andrew and Marti Enke said...

I guess we will just be sending some fun presents for while! Not only for Grace but for her amazing Mom and Dad too!

Allie said...

I so understand what you are saying about visitors I have been so afraid of giving grace something cause I never know if I could be careing somthing working with the public so much. If you guys need anything done at your house while you are at the hosital let us know we can run errands wash cloths. If you have learned anything about the Anderson blood line we do know how to clean. I hope no news means good news and I hope you are getting sleep and Grace is still showing improvment. Let us know we do understand not to come to the hospital, but we are here for anything you need. Allison

Gourley Family said...

We totally understand. We will just wave from afar and know that we are thinking and praying for you guys!
Heart hugs,
Emily

Sara and Company said...

Well, I guess I'll just turn my car full of coughing kids and I around and come home then! Hee hee! I am totally kidding! You have every right to protect your sweet baby and I don't think anyone will feel hurt for you to do that. And, it is so great that you have this little blog to get us all filled up with beautiful Grace!!!

I do not envy whatsoever you having to be under house arrest. I remember when Will was born in October, Jason was so worried about RSV and everything and I was a new, once independent, now homebound mom around the holidays and he would have loved for me to just lock ourselves in the house forever. I just about went out of my mind and wanted more than anything to be with my family and in society (which I of course did regardless). I can't imagine not being able to do that. But it is amazing what we CAN and WILL do for our children and how long it may seem at the time and so quick in hindsight. You are, have been, and will be amazing!!! I love you!

Lauren K said...

hugs and kisses to you and Grace from far away then and I'll see you in 6 months to a year, but seeing as how the phone is not restricted you better believe I will call :)