Blessed

Do you ever have moments in life where you feel like you have been blessed with too much?  Moments in life where you feel like God has given you things that could do without?  Moments where you feel like you don’t deserve the life you have?  Today is one of those days.  I don’t know why I have been so “spiritually” connected today.  I have felt closer to God and close to my family, even though they are hundreds of miles away.
As the countdown to Jackson’s arrival draws to an end, my thoughts are continually focused around him.  It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve had thoughts of worry about our situation.  I wonder how I am going to do it.  I wonder how Megan will do it.  I wonder how the surgeons will do it.  Most of all I wonder how God will do it.
I think the answers to those questions can be answered by a scripture that is close to my heart; “But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance” (1st Nephi 1:20).
I am overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude and love for God, my family and friends.  I am feeling the weight on my shoulders of the impending trial.  I am also feeling an even greater feeling of support on the very ground I walk on. 
Many are asking what they can do to help.  In simple, pray.  A little prayer, a good thought or just a smile in our direction would be more than I could ask for.
Love you guys.

Posted in Farmer Family, Jackson's Heart Story

The Countdown Begins

As of today, Jackson will be here in 21 days.  Three weeks to the day.  I can’t believe that it’s so close!  Nine months is flying by.  As of Friday, Megan will be staying in Utah with her friend Ashley.  I will be left at home to earn money and watch the Dog.  I think this is really Megan’s way of testing me to ensure that I am still of value and that I can handle life caring for another living creature in a long term setting.  Here’s to hoping I pass.

I am slowly compiling a list of people who otherwise want to stay informed on our progress once the “magic” starts happening.  If you would like to be informed, please leave your phone number or email address in a comment or email and I will make sure you get the updates.  I am hoping to be able to give updates as often as we have news to give…. Who really knows how often that will be.

Otherwise, please keep Megan and Jackson in your prayers.  The both of them will need all the help they can get.  Love you guys!

Posted in Farmer Family, Jackson's Heart Story

We know the big day!

Great news!  At our last appointment at the OB clinic, we decided on a date.  Megan will arrive at the University of Utah hospital at 8:00 PM June 20th, and they will start the labor process shortly after that.  So with any luck Jackson will be born on June 21st!  We are super excited.

I again apologize for being so slow to update this silly thing.  I never pictured myself as a blogger.  We have since been to the outpatient cardiology clinic at Primary’s several times, and had a total of two fetal echocardiograms.  Fortunately everything is still looking good; or as good as a sick little baby can look.  No new changes to report.  Megan will stay in Utah with our good friends Ashley and Jordan Boyd starting June 1st.  I’ll travel down a few times for doctors appointments and other things.

I don’t know anyone who would wish this experience on their son or daughter.  It is an unfortunate thing that we have been asked to deal with.  That being said, I am trying to look at the bright side of things.  I have found this whole experience very educational to me.  I am learning things about little hearts that I otherwise would probably never have learned.  Having the job that I do, I hope that one day the knowledge I have gained throughout this whole experience will bless the lives of others; perhaps in their time of need.

One last thing…  If you would like to be updated on our progress when the actual delivery starts, when the little guy gets here and the results of the surgery, please get me your cell phone number or email address or whatever.  I hope to be able to send out updates as often as we get them.  Jackson has a lot of people praying for him, and I would like to keep you all as updated as you would like.

Thanks, check back soon for more updates!

Posted in Jackson's Heart Story, Uncategorized

Jackson Update

Sorry it has taken me so long to get around to giving some updates on Jackson. We have been to Primary Children’s Medical Center had an echocardiogram and were able to speak with several fetal cardiologists. The general consensus is that Jackson has transposition of the great arteries (TGA). It’s a relatively common condition among children with congenital heart defects, but still presents some unique challenges for everyone involved. I’ll go into some more detail on this when I get a minute.

We have a pretty solid game plan that goes something like this:

1. Megan will for sure be delivering in Salt Lake City at the University Hospital. She will likely be induced about a week or two early.

2. When the little guy finally arrives, he will be taken immediately to the Cardiac Catheterization lab, where he will undergo a procedure to keep a portion of his heart open. The procedure is called ballon atrial septostomy- for my medical friends. Long story short, they will use a ballon to “pop” a make an otherwise small hole, a little bigger- and allow for oxygenated and unoxygenated blood to mix. Jackson will also be started on a medication called Alprostadil (a trade name for synthetic prostiglandins). The medication has a wide variety of uses, but specifically for Jackson, it will help prevent closure of the ductus arteriosis- another spot in the heart were blood mixes in utero.

3. The hope is that with these two treatments, Jackson’s blood oxygen saturation will increase enough that he will be well enough to gather some strength for the big switch. He will undergo open heart surgery, going on either ECMO or complete bypass (i’m not really sure how they will do that- I’ll find out for sure). They will switch the arteries and bandage him all up. They’ll leave a couple of chest tubes, a central line and a set of pacing cables (if in the event they are needed) for a couple of days.

4. This is where it gets a little “iffy”… as the script goes, Jackson will heal up, his heart will recover in a couple of weeks and we will take him home and live happily ever after- we hope. However there are so many unknown variables when it comes to this operation and condition- coupled with the fact that in medicine this is still a relatively new procedure. They have only been doing this for about 20 years or so. That being said, there is no over 20 years old to see what to expect long term.

Overall these combined procedures have a very high success rate; that being said we are cautiously optimistic, and super super excited. I am so happy that grateful that we have the support system that we have. I’ll continue to blog more about the condition, updates, and things of that nature. Thanks everyone!

Posted in Jackson's Heart Story

It’s a Boy!

It’s a Boy! I can’t explain how excited I am to be having a little boy. I would have been happy with a little girl too- but I always thought we would have a boy first; and we are! I think we have decided on Jackson as a name. What do you think? Not that it matters really, because it’s our kid! And Steph- we stole it fair and square! haha

Megan had her first ultrasound on January 25th, and it was definitely a boy- it couldn’t have been more obvious. We had quite a circus of people in the room with us. The person doing to ultrasound, an ultrasound student and a nursing student. I was reminded that we are in Rexburg when the ultrasound tech referred to the penis as a “turtle.” I wasn’t sure what she was talking about then it clicked- we are in the Promise Land, so of course we can’t use anatomy words. Even with the silly word games they played, it was a very cool experience to be able to see Jackson for the first time.

With pleasure comes pain…

We were mid conversation with the tech about how interesting and rewarding her job must be, when she says “Sometimes we have to give bad…news….” as her voice trails off. She turned her head and looked at me and says “your child has a problem with it’s heart.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was like a cruel joke. I wasn’t sure what to say or do, so I just sat there and listened. Suddenly the universe and all it’s vastness seemed like it all came crashing down around me. The words of a wise friend came to mind… “you will never know what praying is really like until you pray for your child.” He was absolutely right.

The woman said she couldn’t be sure what it was but she thought that there was an abnormality with how the veins and arteries connect to the heart. We spoke a little more about it, and then Dr. Lovell came in and spoke some more with us about it. Neither of them were sure that it was what they thought it was, but were confident that there was something not right.

We got an appointment scheduled with a high risk OB doctor in Salt Lake City. We have been down there and had another ultrasound, with very little information. They are just not sure what is going on. The general consensus as of now is a condition called double outlet right ventricle. We are playing a game of waiting. We have scheduled another special kind of ultrasound at Primary Children’s Medical Center, also in Salt Lake City. That appointment will be in early March. The doctor’s want to wait until Jackson’s heart is a little bigger so it will be easier to get a good look at it

I am confident that things will turn out for the best. It’s funny that amidst life’s trials, spiritual things that wouldn’t normally stand out, start to become more vivid. I am eternally grateful for my Mom and Dad and Megan’s Mom and Dad, and the rest of my Family. I found out the other day that my two sisters (Steph and Alli) called every english speaking Temple and placed our names on the prayer role. There is power in heaven- and I can feel it.

I will keep you all posted. Keep little Jackson in your prayers, he will need all the help he can get.

Posted in Jackson's Heart Story

Great with Child

So for anyone who is still following this blog we are great with child. Actually Megan is. I don’t know why, but it has always bothered me when people say to me “your pregnant!” I appreciate the sentiment, but let me state clearly, I am not pregnant- nor will I ever be. The laws of nature have ensured that. Tomorrow we have the first ultra sound appointment. I’ve bet the farm on it being a Boy, but something tells all the women in my family that it will be a girl. So we’ll just have to wait and see.

It has been a whirlwind of events the last year. I managed to put almost 10,000 miles on my car in a matter of days. I moved 4 times, quit a job, got a job and lost a job. I finally got my little gold patch in the mail, after almost 2 years worth of work.

All in all, I’m very content with life right now. We are knee deep in school, and I’m loving the time that I get to work and learn. I’ll post again tomorrow… probably going to eat crow and say, “it’s a girl!”

Posted in Jackson's Heart Story

I’m sorry to say that all is not well.

On Sunday, while driving home from Atlanta, my XM radio was tuned to Fox News. For those of you who don’t know, Sunday Fox News aired in depth coverage of the passing of the Health Reform Bill- as it is called by democrats. My mind and my heart were saddened beyond belief. There are no words that truly describe what I was and am feeling. It is beyond imagine to me how our government, the government of the United States of America, could have started down such a wrong path. Socialism will kill this country, and I fear that we have started down this path of political and social destruction. A friend of mine shared this video with me several years ago. It’s words came to my mind as I was listening to the passing of this bill. May God be with us during these uncertain times.

Posted in Dallen

Let’s drive across the country!

Well today was my first day on the job here in Atlanta. For those of you who don’t know; I am currently in Atlanta, Georgia completing a paramedic internship. It is requisite to complete an internship to receive a degree from BYU-Idaho.

My journey out here started in Blackfoot, some 14 days ago. I spent three days driving across the country in Megan’s Honda; following my parents. Well it started out that way, until I found out that my sweet ol’ Dad didn’t know how to use the cruise control, so then he followed me. Three traffic stops later and I was following him again. It turns out the police forces of the mid-west have it out for those 24 year old paramedic interns driving black (or purple?) colored Honda’s. We drove straight into Raleigh, North Carolina to spend a couple days with Steph, Lon and Eden. Steph gave birth to her second child, baby Melody, on Friday the 15th of January at about 8:00 PM or shortly there after. The following Monday I made the 6 hour pilgrimage from Raleigh to Atlanta. It was an extremely boring drive. On the way driving became so stale that I came to the conclusion I would rather sell the car and fly home than spend another minute driving back west.
Upon reaching Atlanta I was drove promptly my future home at Armstrong Hall. I wasn’t in my dorm room there for five minutes before I felt like a missionary again; sitting all alone in a room in a building in a town where I knew no one. Then it came to me, my accommodations as a missionary were better than the ones here at Armstrong Hall. It’s straight up ghetto.
It gets old hearing nothing but sirens and shouting all day (and night). Being so close to the only level I trauma center in northern Georgia, there is a constant flow of ambulances coming and going from all different places. Here are some pictures illustrating the ghetto-ness of it all… (more to come)
Armstrong Hall

Ghetto Laundry Room

Ghetto Desk & Ghetto Kitchen (the kitchen is actually quite modern by ghetto standards)

Ghetto Bedroom

More Ghetto Bedroom

All in all, I am grateful to have a place to stay. It is actually very convenient, and very cost effective. I miss my family like crazy, but that is life and we are all making the best of it. For logistical reasons I am going to break up this post with the following one. I am going to try to keep track of my internship days in an individual post for each shift I work. So see the posts entitled “Internship Day #X” for clinical information about those shifts.
Posted in Uncategorized

Updated, Finally!

Whoa, it has been a long time since I even thought about blogging. There has been so much happen since the last time I updated anyone who actually reads this thing. I will give you a quick run down:

Summer/Fall 2008 – Started working for Portneuf Medical Center. I got a job as an ER Tech and loved every minute of it!
December 2008 – Met and fell in love with a wonderful woman, Megan Jarman!
January 2009 – Started the Paramedic Program at BYU-Idaho
April 2009 – Married that wonderful woman, who is now Megan Farmer.
June 2009 – Finished 40 credits worth of paramedic training and ready to enjoy the summer
September 2009 – Started the LAST semester of the Paramedic program, as well as the Critical Care internship with Air Idaho Rescue- my dream come true.

I am doing to try to make a concerted effort to update this every week or so. This coming January I will be in [insert unknown city?] for my Paramedic internship. I was told initially it would be Atlanta, but now who knows. Could be Vegas, Oklahoma, Montana or Idaho. Anyhow, the point is, I am going to try to update it daily- in an effort to keep everyone appraised of my successes and failures. I hope that there are at least a few funny stories to share. Anyhow, peace!

Love ya!

Posted in Uncategorized

Lazy Sunday Afternoon…

Well here I am on a Sunday afternoon with nothing to do. So… the blog gets updated. Well I’m very much enjoying my Job at Portneuf. It’s been the most educational 4 weeks of my life. There are always new opportunities to learn. It has somewhat motivated me to stay in the health care field. I’m still set and ready to go to school at ISU, though I am going to apply to the paramedic program at BYU-Idaho. So we’ll see what happens there. I made Sunday dinner today. Uncle Donny Burgers is what we call them. Needless to say it was a “man” dish as none of the women of our house wanted to partake. So the guys are full and the girls are still waiting for their chicken to marinade. Suckas. Church was good. I managed to stay awake the whole time, so bonus points for me 🙂 Katie comes home tomorrow. That will be good, as it has been a very long year without her immediate influence. So there you have it, my life in a paragraph, or at least how it is for now. I’m confident it will change soon, as it often does. Peace -0-

P.S. Find joy in your journey.

Posted in Uncategorized