Saturday, August 13, 2011

Schnitzle Saturday

Monica stopped by Friday to soothe Anaya's neck.

The morning dawned early.  Anaya was choking and sputtering.  The entire night she had been so thick and gurgley.  She was so wet yesterday that just before bed I gave her a drop of atropine to dry up her secretions.  It was a huge mistake.  I thought I was doing a good thing, because she was having such a hard time, choking on the excess saliva.  But it reacted badly and all the junk in her lungs got even more stuck.  Her breath was so bubbley, her chest rattled and she struggled to cough, but couldn't.  It was a nightmare.  I was up with her for hours, suctioning deep into her throat to get the thick white and yellow mucous.

Six am came.  I gathered Anaya in my arms and carried her, and the suction machine downstairs.

Her papa was sleeping on the couch.  "Brent, can you take care of Anaya so that I can sleep for a few hours?"

"Mmmhmmm..." He said.  He stood and stretched.  I helped to set Anaya up on the tilted surface of the wedge, head down.  I was hoping the mucous would drain from her airway and out of her mouth.  Brent sat next to her on the floor.  I went upstairs to bed.  My head throbbed and my neck was so tight and ucomfortable that I had trouble finding a comfortable position on the pillow.  Eventually I fell fast asleep.  I awoke around nine thirty, opening my eyes to a bright and sunny day. Immediately I thought of Anaya downstairs.  I jumped up, put in my contact lenses and flew downstairs to see how she was.

"Is she okay?" I asked.  Brent looked up.  His blue eyes were tired and concerned.  I knelt down and put my hand on her chest.  I felt her lungs expanding and contracting.  I looked at her color, I kissed her cheek.  Brent placed his hand on my shoulder.  I looked up at him.

"Good morning"  He said, smiling.
"Good morning" I smiled back.  Anaya seemed much better.  The mucous had started to drain, she was much less thick. Her breathing was much easier.  She slept.  Admittedly she was upside-down, but she was sound asleep.  I sat down on the couch and opened my computer.  I checked the Anaya Initiative Facebook page and my e-mail.  At that point a nurse named Meghan arrived. and we talked about her possibly working with Anaya.

She was young, tan and cheerful.  She knelt down beside Anaya and touched her.  We spoke about Anaya's key care needs, and how we like to give Anaya the best life experience possible.  I explained that although she has severe pneumonia right now, I have faith that she is going to overcome it.  Meghan liked the idea of working with Anaya and told me she is available three days a week.  I told her that nothing was certain yet, as we are still working on getting government funding for independant nursing.  We agreed that we would submit her resume to Anaya's lawyer and work on getting something set up.  If it is at all possible I know that Jennifer Williams can do it.

Meghan left.  I lay Anaya on the couch beside me.  Setting my computer in my lap I began searching for techniques that could be used to help bring the phlem out of Anaya's lungs.  Brent brought me coffee from the kitchen.  Oh, coffee. Nothing like Nelson Freshly roasted OSO Negro coffee.  If you've never had it let me know and I can help you get some.  Oh sweet heavens.  Dark.  Deep. Delicious. Smokey.  mmmmmmmmhhmmmmm.  If I have to leave Nelson I usually try to remember to bring some with me so that I'm not stuck with weak, tasteless stuff that other people call coffee.  If you like Starbucks coffee you'd like OSO better.

I gave Anaya some percussion on her back and chest and suctioned the yuckies out of her mouth.  I admired the pink and blond braid I plaited into Anaya's hair.  I posted it on facebook for everyone to see.  It made me smile.  I got a text from my friend Amelia, she asked if she could do anything to help today.  I messaged back "Do you know any amazing massage people?  Anaya's neck and shoulders are spasming and seem very painful."  She messaged back that her friend Jill would be calling me.  It wasn't long before Jill showed up at the door.

Jill was a kindred healing spirit.  Her presence was calming and beautiful.  She massaged Anaya and I took this picture.  My little love sighed and bubbled.  She was so wet, but at least it was coming out.  I placed a diaper under her face to catch the dribbles.  A receiving blanket is not enough anymore to soak up the drool.  During the massage some really thick mucous came out.  Thank God.  I'm so glad that the guck is breaking up in her lungs.  To me it means she is getting better.  I checked her temperature with my lips.  Kissing her head I noticed that her body temperature was perfect.  Not too hot.  Not too cold.  Jill finished and was about to leave when she asked how I was.  I told her how my head had been aching for days, my neck hurt and I have been so stressed out, tired and emotional.  She pulled up a chair and told me to rest my head against Anaya's changetable.  I leaned forward and held Anaya's hand.  Jill massaged my shoulders and my neck.  It was amazing.  I'm so glad that she is coming back again tomorrow.  Anaya and I both benefited so much from it.

Later in the afternoon Brent and I took Anaya upstairs for a bath.  It was short because she couldn't lay on her back for long without choking.  We got her all cleaned up though, and then took her downstairs.  I wrapped her in her mama taco towel and gave her the special teether.  I call it her Gnaw-Gnaw because she bites on it so hard.  She just loves the thing.  I brought her hand to the handle and she grasped it.  Moving it to her mouth, she bit down on it and held it there.  She was so cute, with her bambo doll, her taco towel, her braid and her Gnaw-Gnaw.  The saliva continued to pool from her mouth but she lay on her side.  She was wide awake, aware and beautiful.  It was at that moment that I knew she was at peace.  Living, dying, who knows...but at that moment she was happy.

I did some work on my computer, staying near her to suction her and soothe her.  Brent ran out to get groceries and go to the drug store for me.  Solara played in her room with her Lego.  She's a lego fiend.

I wrote out an email to all of Anaya's angels that have ever helped us out.  I asked for financial support.  I asked everyone to help out just a little bit so that I can stay with my baby.  I swallowed my pride and sent it. Shortly after that Solara came downstairs and said "What am I going to do?"  I suggested she help me make dinner, seems as how Anaya was doing alright.  We put Anaya in the wagon and wheeled her into the kitchen.  I taught Solara how to make pork schnitzle.

 Here is the Wild Leaf Recipe for Pork Schnitzle for 3:

6 thin small boneless porkchops
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 eggs
1tsp garlic salt
1tbsp Keg steak spice
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup frying oil

Mix the mustard, eggs, and spices in a shallow dish.  Hammer the pork chop with a meat mallet until you get all your stress out and the chop is paper thin. Dip meat in mustard sauce, then lay the meat on the breadcrumbs, patting it lightly.  Flip it over to coat the other side.  Do all chops.
Heat the oil on medium heat in a frying pan until it reaches a sizzle when you place a drop of water in it.  Fry each schnitzle for about 3 minutes a side.  Place cooked schnitzle in 200 degree oven while frying the rest of them.

And that's It!  Delicious!  Solara did a magnificent job.  We also ate veggies and leftover rice with it, but Sola's Schnitzle was the hit.

Anaya is sleeping soundly in her wagon still.  I should check on her again now and change her diaper.  After that it will be time to give her the steroid nebulizer full of muco-mist, ventolin and pulmocourt and give her some more chest physio (upside down chest thumping with a strategy)

Here's to a beautiful and miraculous day.  Anaya seems to be winning.  Please pray for her, or just give her a mental hug full of love.  Thank you.

P.S - I'm sorry for making everyone cry yesterday.  I'll try to write some more positive posts.


  1. Post exactly what happens. We love and support you both, good and bad days!!!

  2. Camara, you've brought tears to my eyes yet again but I promise, these ones are happy tears.

    Please don't apologize for making us cry. You post how you feel, how Anaya is doing - whatever you feel is appropriate or whatever you need to get off your chest. This is your blog about your daughter! Good or bad we all love to hear how Anaya and you 'all' are doing and that is what keeps us coming back for more!

    Your sweet baby girl is just so precious and loveable. I find myself checking on her progress multiple times a day and can't help the emotions that come from the posts you put up. The fighting spirit she possess is wonderful and inspirational. I am so happy that she is winning this battle and that you get to spend more time in paradise with your little love and for all the memories that will be forever embedded in your heart (and mine).

    Sweet well tonight, you can certainly use a good night's sleep.


  3. I cry everytime .. I can't help it.. I can't imagine your grief but I can see how strong you and your family are & that's amazing. I pray for you and your little one every day. God be with you and your family. Hugs for Anaya :)

  4. Huge mental hugs, much bigger than this font will allow, are being sent your way... from my family to your family <3

  5. we cried because we have grown to love you, to love brent, to love solara, and most of all to love anaya. we cried because your post was worded so perfectly that we could FEEL your love coming from each word. we cried because while this is such a dark valley for you you still manage to see the light and beauty in it.

    don't you dare apologize for making us cry! this is your blog, your place to vent, your place to get whatever emotions you need to out.

  6. Don't be sorry. We are here to listen. Listen and pray is the best we can do. We all love her and we all cry with you. So glad you had a good day. I hope tomorrow is even better. xoxoxoxo linda

  7. Stacey BiebersteinAugust 13, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    You don't have to apologize Camara. You have many amazing talents - one of them is writing. You are able to bring us into the room with you and have us very clearly see, hear, and feel things as you do. It's part of how even though many of us have never met you, we feel we know you - and we care about you. Despite the crying, there was peace in your post yesterday. Thank you for that and please post as you see fit.

  8. Glad you had a beautiful day! :) Praying for you!

  9. It sounds like your day was full of positive things! I'm so glad you both were able to get a little massage to help ease the stress that you are holding in your body. And please don't ever apologize for expressing your feelings, no matter the effect it has on your readers. Your post from yesterday was so heartfelt and I could just feel your raw emotion through your words. I think writing like that, pouring out your feelings and emotions is good for you. With all the love and devotion you give to Anaya all the making sure Solara is happy and given her own special time, you have lost Camara. You are absorbing all the stress, the sadness, the worry, everything. Even if it's once in a while, getting those feelings out, it's good for you. You can't hold it all in all the time. You are so unbelievably strong Camara. I envy your strength and perseverance so much. You don't have to be bright and cheerful all the time for the sake of us, your loyal readers. Just be you! Much love to you!

  10. Please don't worry about sparing the feelings of your readers. Just write your truth, whether it be joy, sorrow, fury or frustration. That's what blogs are for!
    xo to you all...

  11. I have tried often to write but felt my words to you would never be as eleoquent as the words you write every day. I do have to say that you should never apologize for making anyone cry. We share in your experiences, moving us to tears or moving us to smile but more importantly moving us all to love more! I read about you and Anaya everynight before I go to sleep. I feel grounded by your word, comforted by the love that Anaya brings to you all. She is a gift to all of us. Thank you for sharing her and your family's journey with us! With my greatest admiration, Tanya

  12. It is a Beautiful Day when you write Camara. Your words are so true and full of Love. Im Happy to Cry for Anaya and your Family. I believe when I cry for You Im showing my Children Compassion for others and that Love can be shared with anyone (even those you have not met). My Oldest Cries with me many times and prayer for you with me. She asks to see Anayas Picture and to know more about her and her Sister.

  13. ~ your doing everything right camara and brent~ and never doubt yourselves~ our time spent with your family was incredible~ i know that every day has its very scary moments with Anayas health~ but every day with her is a gift~ i know that!! and we will try that recipe this week!sounds yummy! wishing for you today a day of improvement for Anayas pneumonia~ sharon j

  14. No apologies necessary my friend, your writing is pure and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your life with us. It made our day to see Solara in the clothing we sent, my daughters were so happy! I hope she loved everything. Still many prayers being said for baby Anaya and your whole family, you are all in my thoughts every day. Much love to all of you! :)

  15. you did make us cry but that's not bad! I felt happy and honoured you shared that wonderful, intense moment with us. thank you for the posts about both the good days and the not so good ones. :)

  16. Don't ever be sorry. You, Brent, Anaya, Solara, you are all amazing people, and I count myself blessed to have shared just this small portion of your journey. Grief and joy, it is all part of life, it is all ok.


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