So since my last post everything is pretty much the same. We went and saw neurology a month ago as we haven’t seen her in almost a year. I have to admit that she really has come a long way from way back in the day. I think it has been very difficult though as she has been A’s neuro since day one. So for years she blamed all of his issues on being a “preemie” and it wasn’t until we have seen her the last two times that she truly feels that he is missing another “diagnosis.”
Today we talked about A and how tight he is with his legs. We are going to get him fitted for “gators” that he will wear when he sleeps to help stretch his legs out. He used to have a very low tone over his entire body however over the last year or two things have changed and he is spastic most of the time in his lower half. A perfect example is how he sits HORRIBLY in his wheelchair and it is very odd to see him “relaxed” even while sitting. Arching is definitely his thing!
I mentioned that we are in the works of getting him a stander which she thought was great. She did tell me that he should spend at least 90 minutes a day in the stander to give him the effects that we need to give him.
Disappointed yet again.
It never fails that we truly seem to get the shitty end of things for A. Neuro wanted to know why he doesn’t have these things already? Had PT not talked to us about using gators? Hmmmm yet again I have no idea. I had asked his PT in the past about getting some sort of braces for his legs and I was told “he doesn’t need them.” So what am I supposed to do with that? These people are supposed to know what they are talking about right? HA! I should have known from our history that this isn’t the case.
Stander. Well *I* asked to first try one a LOONNNG time ago. I think A was about 15 months old the first time we tried one. We don’t have one yet because they are SO slow and keep messing around. We don’t have one because nothing ever seems to work for A the way that it should. And these standers are NOT cheap. The one that we just got the quote on is almost $5000!!! It is absolutely crazy and makes me sick to think that we as special needs families are totally taken advantage of!
Heck, A is almost 5 and we have YET to get a seating system for in the house. We have YET to get his wheelchair the way that it should be.
We will be going to her spasticity clinic in July. She will have her therapists there to look at A and we will go from there.
However on a good note we also met A’s new PT a few weeks ago. It was a blessing actually because his most recent PT was as useless to us as it gets. She however has left the company hence our new PT. She actually seemed to know what she is talking about. We really miss our old PT who moved away!!!
Next a dreaded word for me.
This has been the biggest stress in my life lately. Now don’t get me wrong, I really want A to go to school HOWEVER I am really really concerned, worried, scared…just about any word you can imagine.
J and I had a meeting about a couple of months ago with A’s homeschool. It was the first of a few that we will be having. So my biggest thing the last few years is that I don’t want A to have a nurse at school. However now with the trach we do not have a choice. Fine. But I told them that the ONLY way that he is going to school is if he has a nurse AND an EA. Period. No ifs and or buts. They said they could probably work that out.
Even still I am nervous. We were told that any time that A is to have an “episode” they have to call 911. I am sorry, but I don’t want to be called into the school everyday or the hospital for that matter because of his episodes. Now I did tell them that I do have an EA that I would like to work with him in school but they just say over and over that I can’t choose his EA. I realize this, but would you not be more comfortable with someone that KNOWS A and how to handle him then to have someone learn? Yes they would. I won’t be giving up my fight. I think they got the idea at the end of the meeting just how much I fight for this little man!
On Tuesday we had the much dreaded/feared appointment to get the results for his muscle and skin biopsies. All was NEGATIVE!!!!!!!! Actually the doctor said that A’s mitochondria is the best he has ever seen on a biopsy. Go figure eh?
He did however send me up for bloodwork as well as he is concerned about my repeated miscarriages. He thinks there is a possibility that I could have what is called Anti APL Syndrome. Long story short, lets just hope I DON’T have this. I am not sure when the results will be in.
Wednesday night we spent the night in hospital for a sleep study. His last one was in 2008 when it was done at Sick Kids. This should be very interesting to see the results to compare them to pre-trach.
There has been a lot more going on but I will get into that on my next post. I think this one is long enough already!
Well let me start off two weeks ago today. I got a call from A’s chest team saying that they believe that he just might have cystic fibrosis even though his sweat test that we did in March came back negative. WHY? Well because of the pseudomonas. And if he comes back negative for cystic fibrosis then they want to look into primary cilliary dyskenesia. So a lot of people have been saying “well at least they are doing what they should be now.” Yes, very true, BUT they are only looking into things now because of the pseudomonas. That’s it. I have been telling them for YEARS that they need to look closer at his lungs. In my mind it is the ONLY thing that they have not ruled out 100%.
Last Monday we headed to Sick Kids. We were told to not be late for our appointment as they would rebook us and that would be it. We have been waiting for this genetics appointment now for over a year. Anyhow we were there on time and placed into a room. A nurse had come in and took a little bit of information down about A and left telling us they would be right back. This was at about 1pm. At 2:30pm I went out and asked the man at the desk if we were forgot about. I mean for real, one and a half hours sitting in a room with a child that usually is napping at this time?? He told me the doctors were probably in the back room talking about A. Hmmmm well they didn’t know much yet, how could they be talking that in depth about him? That so wasn’t the case.
Guess what time we finally saw the doctor? 4:30pm!!!!! No apology, nothing! I was not too impressed and can’t believe that a doctors office can get THAT behind. Just not right at all for families to wait this long.
Anyways, we talked about A. He had read his files. Well some of them. He would need a year to read everything. He feels that something else is going on with Ashton but again just has no idea what or where to begin. One of the things that he was really hoping for was a new MRI. Unfortunately this is not going to happen as A has his cochlear implant and cannot have an MRI. The only way this would be possible would be to remove the implant, do the MRI and then replace the implant. And there is not a chance that I would do this to him!
So we left the appointment to head down to get a bunch of bloodwork done for this genetics doctor as well as the gentic bloodwork for the cystic fibrosis. When we go back to this doctor in 6-12months we will discuss the results as well as talk about doing biopsies and a spinal tap to check for neurotransmitters. Nothing like moving slow eh?
In other news. We had H’s service here on Sunday, Mothers Day. It was perfect for us and I feel much more at ease with everything. I definitely needed to do it to help me heal. To ease the pain. To put him to rest. We did a balloon release for him at the end of the service which was really awesome. I had pictures laminated of him and we attached one to the balloons before they were sent off. I also mailed out a ton for people that wanted to be a part of this for him. I have had six different people email their pictures already of the release that they did and WOW how touching. I cry every time I look at them. It means so much to me that people care enough to want to do this for us.
I will post the pictures we took soon…I have no space left on this blog so I am trying to figure that out!
Wow it has been a long time since I have blogged!!! A is back to himself and has been for about a week now. He came off the oxygen last weekend and by Monday of last week he was smiling and his happy self. Not too sure what the issue was with him, but I am not complaining!
So things have been interesting with him yet again. We went to Sick Kids last week to see his complex care team and his chest team. More or less just a follow up of his stay that he had there in March. Anyhow, as you probably all remember, he tested positive for pseudomonas while he was intubated. Once we were out of ICU and onto the floor the chest team had come and told me that they did not believe that he really had pseudomonas. They believed that it was a contaminate of some sort. So they wanted to do a swab of his throat to see and the main doctor said “I can guarantee you that it will be negative.” He was VERY sure of himself. I had to trust him as he has been doing this for many, many years.
Well we found out that A’s swab was POSITIVE. His complex team and the chest team have NEVER seen a positive pseudomonas swab of the throat. It is just mind boggling to me how A ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS is different. So while we were there they did another swab.
I just got word yesterday that this swab was also positive. YES, I can’t believe it. I don’t understand it. And I hate how we NEVER EVER seem to have ANY answers for everything that happens in A’s life and my own for that matter. The chest team called today and they are going to start him on tobramycin. I was so upset on the phone I was in tears. When they first found the pseumdomonas in the ICU, they had started him on two different antibiotics to treat it. But after only two days they took him off those and decided NOT to treat as they believed it was not a real positive. WHY couldn’t they have just finished the course of antibiotics?!? UGH it makes me so angry.
Anyhow, besides that there is not much new with A. We are patiently waiting for his metabolics/genetics appointment which is next Monday. We have been waiting for this day since last March!!! I have started a list of things I want to talk to them about so that I do not forget anything. The complex care team also told me to make sure that I mention our recent loss of H as maybe they will wonder what is happening too.
Speaking of H, I just got my tattoo on Saturday for him. I absolutely LOVE it and I am so happy that I did it. It is hard for me at times because it is like I can NEVER not think of him as I see my arm all of the time. I am getting used to it though and love the fact that I can see him whenever I want. It is just beautiful.
I can’t believe that it has already been almost five weeks since we lost him. Time just goes so fast and it really makes me stop and think about how I have to slow down and enjoy things in life because there is no turning back.
I went on Monday to see high risk to discuss my loss of H. We are starting with some smaller ideas to see if anything shows up and then we will discuss the results. I had bloodwork taken to check my thyroid as well, she is wanting to test me for diabetes. There are some swabs she wants to do as well but we are going to wait for a few weeks for when I go in for another procedure. They are going to insert water into my uterus to see if there is anything wrong with the structure of it. Any of things would be okay because they are FIXABLE. But over 50% of women never have answers that are that easy so I am not getting too hopeful about it. Wouldn’t it be nice though if just once things went in my favor?!
On another note, this little girl needs all the prayers she can get. Every time I read her blog I am in tears. She had went into hospital for a g tube placement and a fundoplication and is now brain dead. Just so horrible that I don’t even know what to say.
Well for starters the weekend was pretty good. Daddy and I were able to take our little man out of here yesterday on a day pass!!! So we left here about 1pm and headed home. He really didn’t know what to think about being in the vehicle…but after three months who can blame him? When we left here his shoes would not even go onto his feet! LOL So we know he has grown!
I’ll tell you though, I was more nervous leaving here yesterday with him than I was the day we left the NICU after eight months! I was so afraid that he was going to have an episode in the car but thankfully he didn’t.
It was very cute to see how he reacted when we got home. As soon as we pushed his buggy into the living room he was going nuts!!! And of course daddy got him a big huge TV so that was put on right away for him and he thought it was great!
We got ready to head over to my aunts for Easter dinner which was nice because we have a nighttime routine of Ashton having a shower. He loved it! When I was drying him off he started to gag and went very off colour and into one of his fits. It didn’t last long but it really freaked me out.
Everyone was pretty surprised when we walked into my aunts house with A! We had a great dinner and A slept for a couple of hours because he had not napped all day. We had to be back here for 10pm but traffic was absolutely insane that we didn’t get here until about 10:30pm.
Today…I spoke to his complex doctor and told her that I wanted to give the botox a try. Well botox is tomorrow!!! I was told to go down to IGT (where they do the botox) to sign a consent. When I got down there I told them that I wanted to talk to the doctor that would be doing the botox before I signed. I don’t think this is a common request because she wasn’t too thrilled about looking up who was doing it and then asking when he would be available to speak to me. I ended up going back about an hour later and he was great. He explained everything again to me and did happen to tell me that botox is not usually used for pooling of secretions. What?! The docs told me that this was a thing that is common here. Well he told me it is common to use for drooling but not for pooling. So A will be there first case like this…he did however say that it makes sense that it COULD help so I am holding onto that. I have to say though that I am VERY nervous. A couple of times today I almost thought about cancelling it. But I know deep down that if I didn’t at least try it that I would always wonder what if.
He will also be getting a long awaited CT scan tomorrow since he will be under a general. The docs aren’t thrilled and keep saying it won’t show them anything but I cannot stop wondering so it needs to be done.
I had another genetics doctor come in to see me today and meet A. She is actually a neuro genetics doctor which kind of fits him better I think. She was also very kind and caring and took her time. She looked A over for about five minutes and just watched him. Well her conclusion was that his issues and what she sees are not related to his prematurity. I asked her about the CP diagnosis and like she said, CP is such a wide range that it easier to diagnose that anything else. She really doesn’t feel that this is what is going on though.
She said that she was happy with the testing being done but that she does have some other ideas if everything was to come back okay. She did mention a spinal tap to check his neuro transmitters as well as a muscle biopsy. And the last thing she mentioned was mito. Hmmmm interesting is all I have to say. Scary too.
So please hope and pray that this botox does the trick for his nasty nasty spells. I don’t have high hopes but somewhere inside I still have some left….
Well I waited all day to finally see the doctor this afternoon. She really didn’t have much to say to me but did of course ask when I would like to go home. Hmmmm ….I said I would love to go today but I don’t have any answers yet. So then she asked if it would make me more comfortable if I took a CPR course. Ya, no thanks. The last thing that I was thinking in November when I had to call 911 was how to do CPR. It is one thing to learn about it and use it possibly on someone else, but when it is your own child it isn’t as easy as saying so.
I had another breakdown today when the chest doctor came to talk to me. I find it so hard to stay strong anymore when I am talking about A. It just isn’t fair that he has to suffer because the docs don’t want to be the ones that are wrong. If they had of listened to me the day that we got here I think we could be home by now. But it took ten weeks (today actually) to finally get that to happen. I told her how I felt that if A was a typical child everything would be done. How no one listens to me. How I know this child SO well it is scary but yet I am treated like I don’t know a thing. It sucks.
The bloodwork was done today for the genetics testing but I have no idea how long it will take to hear anything back. Hopefully I might see one of the docs about that tomorrow. Poor little guy knew as soon as the lady for taking blood came over to his bedside. His sats were down in the 40s before she even got the band around his arm.
The complex doctor was not thrilled to hear that genetics has a new way of thinking about A. Well of course she isn’t…once again she isn’t the big savior in all of this. She asked me what I thought of him and I said he was wonderful. He thinks what I think. He acknowledges my concerns and the rough road I have had as A’s mother. He cares about A. And yes, I got this from the man in a matter of ten minutes. I did tell her that the biggest thing I heard was that A doesn’t have cerebral palsy. She said that he didn’t write that down in his note but rather it said that there is no primary diagnosis. Hmmmm same meaning to me.
I had a nap today and when I woke up it was 6pm. I asked the nurse if the doctor had come back yet with the probe results. She said that she was in and put the paperwork in his chart but that she needed someone to interpret them for her from GI so it would be tomorrow. So I asked the nurse to see them. And voila mom was able to interpret the results. Kinda scary don’t you think? A mother can read the results but a complex care doctor can’t?
So what do you think it showed? Do you think the mother who wanted to put her child through the unnecessary testing for reflux knew best or the doctors? Well if you guessed mom you are right! Now I can say that I was actually surprised that it was not MORE than it showed, but all in all he is still refluxing. He had 53 episodes of reflux in the 24hours with the longest being 7 minutes. Much better than before the fundo, but I knew it didn’t fix it. So I was thinking that maybe when she comes in the morning to tell me that she needs someone to interpret the testing I could do it for her?
What a day!!! I have been smiling since about 5pm tonight because I am SO happy that someone finally is listening to me. Someone finally agrees with me. Someone thinks what I do. And this someone said it before I said what I thought! What you ask?
Well this morning the genetics fellow came in to talk to me. She took the full history of my health, my family, J and his family. Then we went onto A from pregnancy until now. She was very impressed about how much I knew about his NICU stay, what infections he had, the dates and just all of the issues in general. She then told me that she would be speaking to the genetics doctor and they would come back.
At noon daddy went in with A to have his ph probe placed. It was not fun at all but it will be coming out tomorrow afternoon and I cannot wait to see the results!!! The doctors are positive that they won’t see ANY reflux where I think different.
Anyhow the genetics doctor came in along with the fellow I spoke to and a resident. He was very caring and concerned from the minute he walked in. He told me that he had heard all about me and what a wonderful mother I was. Yep, I try to be I told him.
We then laid A on the bed and I took his clothes off. Within about thirty seconds of him looking at him he said “this kid doesn’t have cerebral palsy.” Hmmm wasn’t it not too long ago I was telling everyone how his CP just isn’t typical. How he just doesn’t present how he should. I was blown away. I then told him that the doctor that diagnosed him was the only one that would say CP. He said “of course…you have a former 24weeker that isn’t meeting milestones and you label them CP…it is the easiest thing for them to do.” WOW!!!!!!
He then told me that he thought of course that A had some effects from prematurity but said that with what he was seeing he didn’t think it had anything to do with it. OMG!!!! Have I not been saying for months and months that I am so tired of docs blaming everything on his prematurity?! His CP?! I thought I was going to burst into tears!!!!!
He also is very concerned about WHY A is deaf. He said that it isn’t normal to have a child come in after their first birthday and find out that they are profoundly deaf when in the past they had passed two hearing screens.
I told him that the day we came the docs asked me what I thought was wrong. I said reflux, airway and something no one has figured out yet. He looked at me and said “I think you are right mom. You are a great mother and I am so glad that you have fought how you have to try and get answers. I can’t promise you anything but we will do our best. A doesn’t have any features that make me think of where I can start but we will start somewhere. This must be so hard on you.” He then told me that they are going to involve metabolics as well to start with a workup on him.
I cannot even tell you how good this feels to hear what I heard today. To have someone tell me that they think something else is going on without me saying it first. I cannot wait until I see the complex care doctor tomorrow. Wonder what she will have to say?!??!?!?!??!?!?? Genetics was just coming because I bugged and bugged. She didn’t hesitate to tell us over and over that it would just be genetic counselling and that they probably would not end up doing anything more.
On the other side of it I am very scared. IF A ended up having something genetic that most likely means that the chance of J and I having another child is slim. I long for the day I can get pregnant again….have a big belly….enjoy every minute of being pregnant and then have a big fat term baby. This brings me to tears just knowing that maybe, just maybe I will never get to experience it.
Mothers know best…..that’s all I know. When are MOST docs going to learn this?
Well I think that maybe, just maybe the doctors are getting their acts together. On Wednesday they came back and started to talk again about going home. I told them that if they made sure the discharge papers said that he was having cyanotic episodes then I would take him home. Well needless to say I didn’t see the doctor again until Thursday. They know that they cannot send a child home that isn’t stable.
I was also told by the doctor on Wednesday that one day soon I need to start advocating for A. I think I almost fell out of my chair. I asked if she was kidding and she said no. I said that from day one that is ALL that I have been doing. I haven’t stopped advocating! And as far as I am concerned I advocate WAY too much in my mind. I shouldn’t have to fight and fight to try and get answers for A. She then told me that doctors are always going to come in and want to do tests and that isn’t fair for me to continue to let this happen. She said at some point I need to start advocating that enough is enough. WHAT?! But no one wants to do tests. And then she told me that it isn’t fair that I am requesting all of these tests for him. In particular the probe that he is having done on Monday. She said it is unnecessary testing that I am willing to put him through. Now give me a break. The last thing I like to see is A having anything done. It is hard for me not to get emotional when they take blood! But I feel the probe IS necessary to see if he is refluxing … end of story.
After some more fighting about the echo cardiology finally (but reluctantly) agreed to do an echo. So that was done yesterday and from what I heard last there was nothing seen. This is wonderful news! Just another thing that I can rule out.
Genetics came up in conversation again and she didn’t feel that was necessary either. I was confused because I had another doctor mention that A could have some sort of genetic mutation. She told me that the next time that I was pregnant I could just have an amnio done to tell me if anything was wrong. I told her that I couldn’t do that. I already had one preemie and there wasn’t anything that I would EVER do to risk that again. She said if I had it done early enough then it would be okay. Ummmm NO!
Well guess what? Genetics is going to be doing a consult. They came up yesterday but will be coming back on Monday to speak to me.
I also told the doctor that I felt that if A was “typical” then they would be doing everything possible to try and figure out what was wrong with him. That if he wasn’t a preemie and didn’t have cerebral palsy they would figure it out. I really am getting the feeling that they look at him as TOO disabled. But A is my child and that doesn’t matter to me. He is my life and I will continue to fight for him as long as I have to. I think they are starting to realize this.
He continues to have episodes. It seems odd too that most times they are at 2pm and 10pm. I can’t seem to figure out what is going on at that point that would cause this to happen. Two nights ago he had one that really scared his nurse and she is a nurse that usually works in the ER. This says a lot to me. Today he had one for about thirty minutes where he didn’t come above 60. I just don’t know what to think about them. All I know is that they are very hard for me to deal with and I myself feel really scared at times.
Now for some long overdue pictures…
Well nothing new is really happening here. I went home on Thursday night and didn’t come back until Sunday morning! I wasn’t planning on staying that long but the nurses that I had on were wonderful and knew that I needed the break. It will be eight weeks tomorrow that we have been here! And really we aren’t much further ahead than when we started. The only real change has been the fundo and g tube placement. I have to tell you again how impressed I am with how well he is doing with this! I was so anti fundo and it has truly been awesome!
I was able to book the photographer and the DJ while I was home (whole reason I went home) so I don’t have to worry anymore about that. I can’t wait until the day that I get married!!! J and I have been through SO SO SO much together and we have been able to overcome all the bumps in the road. And to top it off we have the most AMAZING son in the world who has changed our lives in ways that we never could have imagined!! Good and bad LOL
So I am waiting to see IGT to discuss more about the botox. And there is one guy in particular that I know in IGT and he is NOT going to be anywhere near A for the botox. He had issues putting a gj tube in and *I* had to tell him that it wasn’t right. So there is NO way that he is injecting botox into saliva glands!!!
I also spoke yesterday for quite a while to A’s nurse practitioner. I told her once again that I would really really like to see genetics. I remember this coming up a LONG time ago when we were in the NICU but it never came to anything. And I have been bugging since we have been here. So finally she agreed to it because there IS the possibility Ashton could have some sort of genetic mutation which means that if I was to have another child they could have the same issues. And I told her that I know a few moms that didn’t get things looked into until they had their second child who started to present with the same issues as the first. I also said that I would be pretty upset if this were the case when I had asked to see genetics many many times. I want to be able to make an informed decision. Now I truly hope that this isn’t the case but maybe genetics might help us lead in a way that could be helpful.
Please say a special prayer for our little friend Ryan…he is on life support and not doing well. He was born at 28 weeks and was just diagnosed in September with mito.