Well another week has come to an end with no therapies or care workers for A. I have to say that I am quite enjoying it! Not getting A up out of bed in the morning so he is ready for them. Not having to rush out the door to get somewhere on time. Just being able to live life “normally” and do as we please.
We still have ten days until A gets his second dose of H1N1 so we are still pretty much in “hibernation” as to not expose him to any of those sick people who still think it is okay to go out into public places and pass on their germs.
Sunday we went down to Toronto to visit with Auntie A. We had not seen her since two days after her LVAD was placed. When we walked up the street to the hospital, she was sitting outside with Uncle S and grandma and grandpa C. She looked MUCH better than the last time that I had seen her. Every time she looks better. We walked around the hospital with her, which by the way is a fair distance for somebody who has just gone through what she has!
Grandma and grandpa C left and then we headed to go have dinner at Swiss Chalet. It was just across the street, so not too far. It is pretty scary leaving the “safety zone” of the hospital with all the gear that Auntie A now has. Uncle S also has a backpack that he wears with spare batteries for the LVAD if needed.
Monday A and I headed to Waterloo to see the amazing Dr. Wiggins again. He is an eye specialist that works with special needs kids. I am always super excited to go and see him with A.
So A has kinda confused another doctor. EVERY time that we have gone to see Dr. Wiggins, A’s acuity -sharpness, clarity in vision- he is at 20/200. Now of course with kids like A you cannot get them to read off the chart that we would. So they use these cards that have a picture on the top or the bottom of the card. The cards are grey and have an outline of say a duck on the top or bottom in white. They show them to A quickly and see if he looks in the right place for the picture. Once he stops, they know he is not seeing it.
So, like I was saying, normally he is 20/200 for his vision. The easiest way to explain this vision is that he can see only at 20 feet what a normal person can see at 200 feet. There are some complicated physics and optics to further explain it but this is the bottom line. 20/200 vision in each eye is the definition of legal blindness.
Well Monday he decided to show his acuity at 20/50! So this means that A has almost good enough vision to drive-as per Dr. Wiggins! haha Needless to say I was VERY confused by this. There is no real way to explain it though I guess as A cannot tell us what he is seeing and how. We will see Dr. Wiggins again in six months and see how A does then.
A still does have the problem with only using one eye at a time to see and his right eye really wanders. We spoke about surgery, however like he said, it is really only cosmetic at this point so that other people wouldn’t notice it. Sorry, no surgery for this boy to make him look better “cosmetically!” In my eyes he is perfect the way he is. And honestly I don’t think many even notice his eye wandering. I know even his dad doesn’t see what I am talking about!
Today my little man trialed the Kidwalk Gait Trainer.His PT was not a huge fan of it but I however really would like A to learn to use something like this to give him more freedom and ability to do things on his own. I have to tell you, that he LOVED it despite the fact that there are a few things that would have to be custom done for him to use it properly. I was amazed today looking at him in it, because it isn’t like a stander where you can tilt it back a bit. It is pretty much straight up so he really has to hold his head back. And he did this just fine!!! It has a bouncy mechanism on it so if he jumps he will go up and down. This is absolutely loved as well since this is something he likes to do when you hold him standing up.
After the sales rep and his PT left I decided to take him outside in it to see how he did. Daddy had just pulled in the driveway and as soon as he saw A moving in the walker he said “right on.” I think we both thought we were going to start crying. A was just as happy as could be in it because he definitely knew that HE was doing all of the work. We walked down to the mailbox to get the mail and back. I think this is something that he could really get the hang of and use it for his advantage.
It is supposed to be a gorgeous day tomorrow so we may just be out and about again! By the way, that first picture is when I opened the door to go outside….he was AMAZED. Nothing like seeing the world in a whole new way at 4.5 years old!
As for Auntie A news, she came home tonight! I talked to her not long ago and she was happy to be home. It has been a LONG 39 days for her being in hospital, and WOW what she has been through! Keep up all the prayers for her…she still has a very long road ahead of her but has proved every single day that she is up for the challenge!
So I have some very exciting news to share with you all! A has gained weight. Yes, you read that right. We have been really struggling with A to gain weight for an eternity. To be exact, about two years he has hovered around 23-25 pounds. It has been very frustrating for me to say the least as I was getting as many calories into him as I could. I have been working SO hard to do the blended diet with him since his gj tube was changed to a g tube last February when he had his fundoplication.
On October 22nd A’s dietician had come to weigh him. He had gained about two pounds since we saw her on October 8th. This was VERY odd to me because Ashton had been sick and was on just formula for the whole week prior to her coming here. As well, instead of the usual 1700calories per day he was getting on blended, he was only getting about 1200calories per day. This seemed VERY odd to both of us. So I agreed to continue with just formula until she came this past Thursday. Low and behold, he gained TWO more pounds! So my little man is now 28lbs!!!! We are not really too sure what to make of this but I am continuing as we are now to see what he will weigh when she comes on November 19th. I told her that if we EVER hit 30lbs I am going to have a huge party! A was 28lbs at one point last August from her notes, however it was one of those times where we didn’t really believe it.
A few thoughts go through my head about this. It seems that obviously A’s body does not use the blended food probably to do what it needs to do. Problems with digestion. Not absorbing properly. Who knows. I feel kind of bad because for so long we have been doing the BD and now I know that obviously he wasn’t getting what he really needed on a day to day basis. I feel like this past 21 months of doing BD and working so hard has been a waste. It sucks when you think you are doing something wonderful for your child and then it doesn’t work out. I really really wanted this BD to be successful because I really don’t like the idea of A eating out of a can every single day of his life. I guess I am just going to have to do what works and what is best for him though right now.
J said to me the other night that he could tell A was gaining weight. And when I really looked, I can tell too. You can’t see his ribs anymore like you used to. Makes this eating out of a can seem worth it!
An update now on Auntie A. She is still in Toronto at the hospital. It will be two weeks tomorrow that she had her LVAD placed. I have not been down there to see her since October 27th when I took J down to see Metallica. When I saw her that night, she was in a lot of pain and really tired. It was really hard to see her like that. However that was expected as she was only two days out of having a MAJOR MAJOR surgery.
I spoke with her last night. First time we have REALLY talked since she has been taken to Toronto. She sounds very shaky when talking and she thinks it is the LVAD because it is always running and it does run at almost 9000 RPM. What a trooper she is. Amazing.
She is pretty scared to come home, as I can only imagine! My brother took her outside yesterday and she said that was really scary. I can’t imagine how she will feel when she does go home. Home is a long way from the hospital in Toronto! It is even scarier for her because the chances of EMS or firefighters even knowing what an LVAD is, is scarce. So if they have to call 911 because they need help, really it probably won’t be of much help. She told me that just down on another floor in the same hospital they had NO idea what an LVAD was.
They practiced yesterday changing the device which is always attached to her. It sounded pretty scary. Basically when you unattach her, the blood flow stops until she is changed to a new one. Then when you start that one up it gives a “bump” feeling in the beginning when it starts up. There is so much for her and my brother to learn!
She is not back on the transplant list yet as it has only been two weeks, but I imagine that she will be shortly.
I just can’t believe what one family seems to go through. My brother is very strong and I am so glad that he is such a big support to Auntie A.
Keep up the prayers for them both!!!!
Well this is now A’s new website. It is a work in progress so be patient with me. I have a web designer working on it for me as well. As you all know, I would really appreciate if you do NOT add this to your blog list. There are reasons I had to go private before and I just don’t want certain people finding this new site. That is why we are now referring to my boy as “A”. So if you have A on your blog list, just leave his old address listed as I do not want this listed anywhere. SO PLEASE DO NOT HAVE THIS AS A LINK ON YOUR PAGE!!!! Thanks everyone!
So it has been kind of crazy around here once again. On October 16th my little man was really struggling in the morning. So much that I really thought that he was possibly heading into respiratory failure again as he did he March. By lunch time I was nervous so I took him into his doctor. I was so positive that we were going to be admitted that I packed all of my bags and A’s bags before heading. He was requiring oxygen at times and was struggling to breathe.
So we got him into the doctor and he was NOT concerned about him! He said that his throat was kind of red and irritated so he placed him on an antibiotic to be safe and then sent us for an x-ray.
Saturday morning (the 17th) his doctor called to tell me that his x-ray actually looked pretty good. I couldn’t believe it. Friday night was HORRIBLE. A had to sleep in his chair and every time that he fell asleep his sats would drop to the 70s and stay there. If I woke him up he was above 90. I cried and cried because I felt really bad for him suffering, but I didn’t know what else to do for him. I told his doctor that I was really angry and that I felt something more was going on. He told me if I was that worried about A that I should take him to the ER. Ummm that is why I brought him to see YOU, so we could avoid the ER!
Anyhow, on Tuesday the 20th we had an appointment anyways with his respirologist at Mac that I absolutely LOVE. It is the vent clinic that A is now under even though he isn’t trached.
We did a cap gas first which showed that his CO2 was at 54 and his O2 at 75. He was very junky and had needed a lot of suctioning over the weekend. They did swabs for viruses and then his swab to check for pseudomonas.
He wondered why A was on the antibiotic that he was on and stressed that when it comes to A that doctors really need to be more aggressive. He has very crappy lungs and anything can happen. So he placed him on cipro (in case the pseudomonas was active) and on prednisone as well as many extra breathing treatments.
I felt MUCH better walking out of there because I feel like this doctor is so PRO active with A. It is about time that someone really cares for this kid and his well being!
So A and I spent just over a week sleeping on the couch together and trying to keep him out of hospital. As of today, he is doing wonderful!
On another note, I really need people to send lots of love and prayers to Auntie A (my sister in law), my brother and her family and friends. As most of you know, about 18 months ago she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy with a heart function of 20%. She has stayed so positive and strong that it is just amazing!
Well for about the past three months she has been telling her cardiologist that she has severe stomach pain, is nauseous 24/7 and cannot eat. He told her that it was probably her GI issues/gallbladder. Twice she almost had her gallbladder removed which would have been for NO reason.
Long story short, she ended up in hospital on the 5th of October after going to a class for people with heart conditions. There was a pamphlet given out with symptoms of heart failure. She had them. These were what she had been complaining about to her doctor for months. It was then she found out that she was in severe congestive heart failure.
October 12th she was transferred to Toronto General. It was there that she started to really rapidly decline. Last week she was officially listed for a heart transplant. However with her poor days they just couldn’t let her go as she was.
On Friday October 23rd she had a code blue called. I went and saw her on Saturday and she was HORRIBLE. I couldn’t believe how much she had deteriorated since I saw her last which was only four days prior.
Sunday it was decided that she needed to have the LVAD (left ventricular assist device) placed. They were hoping to avoid this until this coming Friday because they didn’t want to do the LVAD and a heart transplant as it would be very hard on her. However a heart had not come yet and she could not keep going the way that she was.
I was up at the hospital last night to see her and spend some time with my brother. She was very tired and in a lot of pain. The things this girl has gone through are just incredible. Her fight is inspiring to say the least. Please keep praying for her and all who love her.
Well a year ago today was when A heard for the first time!!!! I cannot believe that a year has gone by already because it feels like yesterday that we were all really excited about getting him “turned on”. The cochlear implant is the best thing that has been done for him yet. I am so amazed at how well he has done and how he hears EVERYTHING!!!! I am still getting him to work on saying mama but it hasn’t happened yet! LOL
Some more exciting news about A. He got his first haircut two days ago!!! Mommy finally gave in and cut it off. Daddy and I did it together and I have to say that I am VERY happy with the results!!! He looks so much older and more like a little man.
That is about all of the exciting news around here. A continues with his episodes at night and continues with turning blue during the day. I happy to say that FINALLY the team at Sick Kids replied to my email that I sent two weeks ago Friday. They are concerned and want to see him in clinic. I emailed them back asking what their thoughts were and what the plan was because I wasn’t going to waste my time going to Toronto so that we could sit there and look at each other. As well I told her that I wanted the date for his next sleep study, ENT followup and genetics.
Now, just needing all you guys to pray again. Auntie A (my brothers fiance) is in ICU right now and is very sick. She was diagnosed about 8-10 weeks ago with cardiomyopathy with a heart function of 20. Well she is now at 17 and is having a tough time. I’ll tell you though, her spirit is AMAZING!!!! She is only 25 years old and needs all the prayers she can get right now. Thanks everyone.
Well this weekend was very busy but VERY fun!!! On Friday night we had our stag and doe which went amazing!!! We made a TON more money than we even thought which will really help us out around here. The turnout was great and everyone had a good time. Here are some pics from Friday night…
My bridal shower was on Sunday at my mom and dads place. There was so many people and so many great gifts!!!! I don’t have any pics yet uploaded from then so I will post those in a couple of days.
I had a nice surprise visit today from my friend Vickie and her two daughters Sophia and the new baby Ava. Hopefully we can get together with all three soon…been SO long since we have seen Alina!!!
I’ll tell you, I could not get over how small Ava was and she is about 12lbs!!!! I don’t even remember A being that little. He wasn’t too impressed with mommy holding a baby. And when Ava cried there were a few pouts. He better get used to it because hopefully one day he will get to be a big brother!!!