Medical Crisis for Kasey

Posted by Aubrey, June 16th, 2009

Well we have had quite a weekend here at the kinnaman household. After a relaxing saturday afternoon at the pool, we were hanging out for a quiet evening at home. Kyle noticed that Kasey seemed like he was not feeling well and was gagging. He went to pet him and his stomach was bloated. Within half an hour we decided to take him in to the emergency clinic, hoping it was minor, might cost a couple hundred bucks and we could come home. This was not at all the case. Upon admittance, Kasey was diagnosed with Gastric Torsion (his stomach flipped) and the he would need emergency surgery immediately or he would die. For those wondering what this condition is, it is eally more common amongst Large Breed dogs like great danes, saint bernards and labs (not australian shepherds). The doctor had never seen this happen in a dog kasey’s size and nobody knows what causes it. Many have heard about it because it is what kills Marley in the movie “Marley and Me:. Despite the hollywood drama, Gastric torsion and bloat is thoroughly treatable with surgery and dogs go on to live a normal life. It’s just prohibitively expensive. But a choice had to be made and we chose to save Kasey.

Surgery started around 11PM. The goal was to decompress, untwist the stomach and anchor it to his ribcage so that it would not be able to flip again. The doctor called us at 115AM to tell us that Kasey was bleeding internally and was suffering from DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation). This is a condition in which the surface of the organs just ooze blood uncontrollably, in this case it was Kasey’s liver. We opted for a plasma transfusion to hopefully help him clot as it was our only option. Surgery completed around 2AM and he was stable. By 5 he was having respiratory distress and was intubated with oxygen. His blood panels indicated that he had internal bleeding and was most likely bleeding into his chest cavity. Because of the DIC they could not go in and try to stop it because he would bleed out so we simply had to give him time to recover on his own. He was in bad shape at this point. By noon his numbers were little more promising but he still looked really bad.

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Dr. Johnson (the night doctor and the one who performed his surgery) was back on shift sunday evening and gave us a call to let us know that Kasey was coughing a lot and so they did some chest x-rays and noted an accumulation in his left middle lobe of his lungs. This new complication was aspirated pnuemonia and they began treating with two powerful antibiotics to help him as well as adding humidyfing and nebulizer treatments in with his oxygen. When we went to bed on sunday night, Kasey was still in “guarded” condition and Dr. Johnson advised we would probably need to transfer Kasey to the 24 hour emergency facility in cobb county when cherokee clinic closed at 8AM on monday (they are only open nights and weekends).

Everything had changed when we called on monday morning. Apparently Kasey perked up around 2 AM and announced to everyone that he didn’t want to be there anymore. He had improved enough by 8AM that we were able to transfer him to Dr. Beck to keep him for the day before being able to come home that night. We are so happy to have Kasey home and are now working out how to pay the bill which at this point is $5100 and climbing. But he is worth every penny!
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At The Playground

Posted by Kyle Kinnaman, June 9th, 2009

On the slide

On the tire swing

Pool Days

Posted by Aubrey, June 4th, 2009

We’ve had beautiful and HOT weather for the past week. Monday and Tuesday we finally took Claire over to enjoy splashing around in the pool. This picture was taken from my cell phone while “adult swim” was going on.
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She wasn’t so sure of the water at first but after I showed her how to splash the light bulb when off that “hey! This is like a big bathtub!” Now we can’t drag her out.

Because I need another hobby…

Posted by Aubrey, May 27th, 2009

My uncle Doug has been in town the past few days and he came bearing gifts. He brought down his old 55 and 35 gallon aquariums with their stand as well as some pieces/ parts. Kyle and I (mostly me) thought it would be fun to set up in our office, especially since I spend so much time in there. After two days of hard work (and more money than I imagined), we have a our tank set up and the water is cycling. Tomorrow or Thursday I will take my water samples over to Creation Reef and Aquatic and have them test the water. Then we should be ready for fish. Here is how the whole display looks so far!
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The 55 gallon top tank will house an assortment of african cichlids and maybe a plecko.
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The 35 gallon lower tank will probably house an assortment of fancy goldfish…and a really cute Elmo diver which I haven’t added yet. I thought Claire would really enjoy all of the color.
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Claire already enjoyed the bubbles. I can’t wait to add fish. I promise I will post more pictures once I do.

We’ve really enjoyed visiting with my grandparents the last few days as they have been hanging out at my house during tank set up.

Happy Birthday Arianne!

Posted by Aubrey, May 26th, 2009

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Neglect

Posted by Aubrey, May 23rd, 2009

Have I been neglecting this blog or what?! Life has certainly flown by in the last few months. Claire is walking and talking (sort of) and generally changing dramatically every day. I plan to restructure the blog in the coming month as I’m seeking an outlet where I can write more about not only Claire and family life but other topics that interest me. In other words, I need an outlet…other than Kyle’s ear where I can discuss things I’m passionate about. I’m batting around sticking with this web address or going with something slightly more descriptive. Leaning towards.. www.thecrunchyelephant.com or just www.crunchyelephant.com. As the name implies I will probably write about all of those topics I love that drive most people crazy (breastfeeding, cloth diapering, conservatism, VBAC, natural childbirth, fair tax, gardening mishaps, atlanta craziness, etc). We’ll see. Don’t worry, it will be categorized so you can skip over the parts you want to roll your eyes at or you find overly self indulgent!

Just to give a brief run down and catch up, I will cover the highlights of April and May:

This April, we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. We didn’t really do anything special to commemorate the occasion but did have family dinner at Right Wing. I spent much of the month working in the yard, beginning to plant native shrubs and establish permanent landscape in our backyard. So far I’ve planted several hydrangeas, white and red buckeye, and a carolina silverbell in the back yard. I finally got around to planting some shrubs behind the retaining wall out front (drawf golden cypress and carolina jessamine) as well as a complete planting of the bed by our front door. I’ve added 8 dwarf azaleas, a camelia, lantana and a compliment of various lillies. I’ve also added a flowering vine at our mailbox that I hope will really take off and provide years of established color in that front bed.

I completed the Guest Bathroom makeover that I began in May. I think it looks great and was well worth my time and effort. New paint, new faucet and new towels make all the difference.

Also in April, we made a mid-month trip to Indiana (unplanned) for the funeral of Kyle’s paternal grandmother. It was wonderful to spend time with family but unfortunate circumstances. Claire had changed so much since we were up at thanksgiving and I know everyone was happy to see her.

May brought more yard work (patching some spots in the sod up front) and a short vacation to hilton head island. It started with the Atlanta Figure Skating Club Reunion at the Georgia Aquarium (one of my favorite places). We had a great time although I was disappointed that many old friends opted not to come.

The following weekend, we took a 5 day excursion to Hilton Head with our friends Tim and Karen and their son Caden. He is 12 days older than Claire and we had a great time as a group. We definitely made it our priority to enjoy the beach every morning and probably ate out more than we should but it was very restful and much needed. Work has been hectic lately and I needed a break.

Once we got home, we were right back in the swing of things with life and work. More yard work (bagging leaves and debris, planting our garden, and as of day… a completed pavestone walkway between the bottom of the patio steps and the steps leading down to our garden. Kyle is taking friday off to lay fescue sod in that area and we will post pictures once it’s complete. I’m really happy with how the walkway turned out. Next on the yard list will be having the deck power-washed and sealed and then I will be back to planting more understory trees and shrubs.

Now it seems that it is time for bed. I’m taking Tuesday off so for once the weekend is not half over already. My grandparents are coming into town tomorrow and will be here for the week. Excited for them to spend time with Claire. My uncle is also bringing his fish tank down so we will be setting it up in the movie room. Pretty darn excited about that. Claire will love it!

Posted by Aubrey, April 13th, 2009

Claire in her easter dress

Posted by Kyle Kinnaman, April 12th, 2009

We took a video before we went to church so everyone could see Claire’s pretty easter dress. mvi_1395avi

Claire says hi

Posted by Aubrey, April 11th, 2009

It’s kind of overcast so we are hanging inside today while Dad and grandpa finish the tread on the stairs. Enjoy the video!mvi_1389avi

The proof

Posted by Aubrey, March 25th, 2009

Ok here is video proof of her walking. This was a couple of days ago but she gets better everyday!
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And this one was just for good measure because she was being silly. She was sitting on the hearth and just bouncing away. She was pretty tickled with herself.
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