Sunday, December 30, 2012

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

December 2012

The Research Reserve's 73,000+ acres are within a half hour of our house. We visit the preserve at least once a year as part of the park borders the Atlantic Ocean and is the sight of our yearly Christmas pictures. The upland portion of the park contains many miles of trails. On this beautiful December afternoon (59F and mostly sunny), we would pushike approximately 6.5 miles.

We were pushiking a long loop trail and shortly after the picture below, we passed two men on the trail coming from the other direction. They stopped to warn us that the trail in front of us was impassable and they strongly recommended we turn around. They explained that the trail was flooded and that they had to detour through dense forest to get past the wet areas. I thanked them for the information and we all went on our way. 

I never thought about turning around. Not because we were already 5 miles into our loop hike or the possibility that the men were trying to lure us deeper into the forest for unknown reasons. I pushed ahead because I was hoping to cap the hike off with a little sludge. I was just hoping I would be able to push Kellisa through while keeping her dry and not dropping the camera or Ipod in the water.

The men were correct, the trail was flooded:

The dense foliage would make pushing Kellisa around the obstacle impossible:

Kellisa was giggling the entire way:

The Freedom Push Chair handled the challenge and we didn't even have our "off-road" modified tires:

One pair of boots stayed dry:

Friday, December 28, 2012

Francis and Mary Usina Bridge

Francis and Mary Usina Bridge
St. Johns County, FL

December 2012

The last thing we need is another list, but since this is the first large bridge I've pushed Kellisa's not really a list...yet! Truth be told, I've had the idea of walking across bridges for a few years and today while driving across the Usina bridge, I noticed a safe pedestrian lane and had to pull over.

65 feet above the Tolomato River:

Safety first- the Freedom Push Chair is tethered to my wrist:

Totals: 1.6 miles round trip

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Graham Swamp Conservation Area

Graham Swamp Conservation Area
Size: 3,084 acres in eastern Flagler County

December 2012

This was our first visit to Graham Swamp and we were quite surprised at the hills:

Trip Totals: 2.14 miles in 54 minutes 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Health Scare

Back in November, Kellisa had some routine blood work done. Not thinking too much about it, we lost track until the doctor called with some alarming news. A couple of Kellisa's hormones were off the charts, almost 5 times higher than her previous tests. The doctor suspected a tumor on her adrenal gland and recommended a CT Scan. When the doctor's office called back and told us the CT Scan was scheduled in only two days at Wolfson's Children's Hospital, we knew it wasn't good. Kellisa has had many CT Scans for her hydrocephalus and shunt. CT Scans scheduled that quickly can only mean that the doctor is very concerned and wants the results as soon as possible.

The CT Scan was scheduled for Tuesday, December 4, 2012. As always, Kellisa was a trooper and it went well. We were told to expect the results from the doctor in a week. Not that you would want any tumor, but a quick google search told us that a functioning tumor on the adrenal gland was definitely a tumor you DO NOT want! During this waiting period, I couldn't focus or sleep as my mind was constantly racing with horrible thoughts no matter how hard I tried to block those thoughts.

Kellisa has overcome many difficult medical issues over the years and I can say that it does not get any easier with all that we've been through as parents. If anything, it gets harder to deal with because you know that sooner or later...

Kellisa went to see Holiday Pops with The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra on Friday, December 7, 2012. I can say with 100% certainty that Kellisa was the only attendee wearing a spider shirt:

A huge thank you: Glenn and Rick for the amazing seats!

On Sunday, we went to the beach with Kellisa's new Freedom Push Chair:

One week had finally passed and we were anxious to hear the results and start dealing with the diagnosis. The doctor called Lisa in the morning with the unbelievable news- the CT Scan was negative! No sign of a tumor! Kellisa had many people thinking about her and praying for her and we can't thank them enough! We were hoping for the best, but this was even better! The worst case was avoided! 

With the positive CT Scan and no other symptoms, the doctor doesn't want to do anything else at this time. It still hasn't really settled in yet, but it's going to be a great holiday season for Kellisa! 

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