Wednesday, February 11, 2015

21 Months Update

Whoever thought that parents should count their kids age in months up until they are two should be slapped 23 times. That's hard to keep track of! I'm glad it stops at two. In case you were wondering I am currently 343 months old. But I don't look a day past 300!

Anyways, Haddie is doing great. Last week we lowered the Sabril from 9mls to 4mls in the morning. And the next day she woke up. It's amazing to see how much more alert she is. She reaches for things and is awake most of the day. I'm sure this is what has been messing with her development. She's been too out of it to do much. And the good part is that after 3 days the seizures went away. This is what we call the sweet spot...alert AND no seizures. Hope to stay in the zone.

We got some AFOs (ankle/foot orthotics) this past week as well. Haddie's toes point downward due to her low muscle tone. We are constantly stretching her so they don't get stuck like that. These orthotics will make her feet go at the 90 degree level and will relieve some of the tension...and the time we put into stretching. We start with 15 minutes 3 times a day but eventually will work up to her wearing them all day long. She likes them a lot. And why wouldn't she? Take a second to point your toes downward. Feel that pressure in your calf? Now bring your toe back up to the normal position. Ahhhh, much better.

We had an all day doctors appointment yesterday that went well for the most part. The dietitian and the gastroenterologist are really pushing for us to get a G-tube. Thats the port that would go into Haddie's belly that we could give meds and extra nutrition through. Haddie has not grown in a few months and they think she is malnourished. We aren't so sure about that. Haddie eats a lot and we give her a lot of high calorie food. And I'm not sure they really consider how much energy a normal toddler would use as compared to Hadassah. Due to the meds she pretty much lays most of the day other than when we play with her. So maybe she doesnt need the numbers they want us to shoot for. But we do know that she needs to grow. So we are upping her calories again to see if we can can growth in the next month. If she's the same we will have to consider the G-tube. Everyone we talk to that has one likes it...but for us...eating is the one of the normal things Haddie does well. We want to give her a chance to do it all on her own for going to the tube. We will give her the month to decide on that.

Everything else went good. We are going to continue to lower Sabril at a slow rate and hopefully she will wake up even more.

She's making good progress. Thanks for the prayers. This post is getting long so I will end it here. Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ghost Girl

Things have started to get a little bit better for Haddie since I last wrote. She is slowly getting over her bronchilitus and is eating better. She's still pretty knocked out and lethargic from her seizure meds. We wrote to our neurologist and he had us take down the Sabril medication starting today. So we will see if that helps with her alertness.

Most of you know Haddie had a level 4 brain bleed on both sides of her brain before she was born. Doctors have told us that she will not be able to do very much. She's already defied the odds and is doing way more than ever expected. But we have to admit, this is hard sometimes. We want her to do more and it seems that things often go at a snails pace with her. We dont know how much is sinking in...or if anything is.

I picked up a book this past week that has challenged me as a parent. It's called Ghost Boy. Maybe you heard about it on the Today Show. Its a book written by a guy named Martin Pistorius (not the blade runner, shoot his wife guy...that's Oscar). He was a normal little boy until he was 12. At that point for some reason unknown to doctors he started to regress both physically and mentally. He lost all of his motor skills, speech skills, and every other kind of skills. Doctors said he was brain dead. And in his book he says that's what he was...for four years. But then his mind woke up. He became aware of his surroundings. But his body wouldn't respond no matter how hard her tried. For 9 more years he was a mind trapped inside a body. He talks about how he would be dropped off at a care center each day and often would not get any mental stimulation all day. He'd watch Barney for hours. Most people treated him like he was an empty shell...a ghost boy. But one day he was given the chance to be tested using a computer that would help him communicate. It took a couple of years but he finally showed everyone that he was there all along. And now he's a college graduate, is married, has a job and a best selling book.

You never know what's happening below the surface.

That story fills me with hope and wonder. You can see in Haddie's eyes that there is something going on in her head. Some of the doctors and therapists encouraged us and told us that we have no idea how a growing brain like Hadassah's will compensate for the damage that has been done. Maybe she is learning...but her body just isn't showing what her mind already has comprehended. This challenges us to dig deeper and provide more stimulation and chances to learn. We do a decent job at that but sometimes it is tough when you don't get a response in return.

Martin never gave much of a response either.

There are days that we do better than others. We still ask for and need your prayers. God gave us Haddie for a reason and we are beyond blessed to have her in our lives. Thanks for reading.

God is good.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cough, Sniffle, Cough

Getting used to the new year yet? We are still getting adjusted. Haddie has had some little issues lately that have been more annoying than anything else. She had an increase in those little 30 second seizures so we went up on her Onfi. That led to less seizures but then she was very sleepy. Then after a week she woke up and we were good for a couple of days. Then the seizures came back and came back stronger. So we went back up on the Onfi and you guessed she's sleepy again!

Tis the cycle.

Then on top of all that she has a virus (bronchiolitis) now. For the past week she's been hacking and had a lot of congestion. But since there was no fever and she was eating well we didn't go to the doctors office. Yesterday we decided to go since it won't go away. He was concerned and put her on a nebulizer treatment overnight. She was a little better this morning. We saw him again this morning and he said that if she wasn't better by tomorrow then we might need to stay at Camden Clark until she gets over it.

So we are loading her up on fluids and nebulizer treatments today. Prayers would be appreciated. We are used to this and hospital stays but it definitely gets annoying and throws a wrench in things. But sometimes that's how life works, right?

We don't ask God to make everything peachy and okay. We ask Him to help us glorify Him through whatever circumstances we are going through...good or bad.

Hope you have a great week. God is good!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Haddie New Year

So I said I was going to update more in my past post. Turns out I lied. Sorry. But I still love you...and I know you still love Haddie so I will get a pass this time :)

The EMU stay ended up being a good thing. We found out she was having little seizures and they were happening more frequently. We took away a med, added a new med called Onfi, and things are much better. It makes her a little sleepy still but she's starting to come out of that. And we've seen a lot less of those little seizures.

We keep working with her on head control and other basic motor skills. It's a daily chore but one we don't mind doing. There's a million and two exercises we could do with her but we try to focus on a few simple ones each day.

She's eating like a champ. And drinking. We thicken water just a bit and she slurps it down pretty well. She takes 500 calories of food off of a spoon each day.

We've enjoyed time at Christmas the past couple of days. Haddie likes to hang out with her new cousins Jensen and Sylvain. She was a good girl this year so Santa came to see her. She wasn't so sure about him though...
 Hope you all had a Merry Christmas. God is very good. We hope you remember the best gift of all...the sacrifice of his Son. Merry Christmas and a Haddie (happy I mean) New Year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

EMU Stay

It has been a while since I have updated...and I have received the complaints about that. Sometimes I feel like Haddie is a celebrity and I am her PR manager. But to be honest, I am honored that you are still following our story. So I will continue to update. And maybe a bit more frequently.

A good bit has happened since her shunt surgery back in October. On Nov 25th we had an eye muscle strengthening surgery. This was to help with her one eye that was slower than the other. Other than us forgetting to tell them not to give her morphine and her being asleep for 24 hours afterwards making it impossible to give her her went well. Her eyes are improving and she is tracking a lot better now.

We are currently in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Akron Children's Hospital. She's been having little episodes more frequently these past few weeks. When they come on her Haddie's face gets very flushed, her arms go stiff, she gets a panicked look on her face, and her tongue thrusts rhythmically. However, they only last for 10 seconds to a minute. We had caught a milder version of this a few months ago on an EEG and it didnt come back as a seizure. But they have become more pronounced now and our neurologist seemed to think a 3-4 day continuous EEG monitoring would be good for her. So I checked in with her yesterday. And she was a good little girl and had 5 of them for them to record. we figured she would be a booger and not have any this week.

Turns out, they think they are seizures. We dropped a medication last night. I am currently waiting to see the doctor and see what the plan is. They may add another med. The plan is to watch her until Friday but if they see what they want to see we could get out earlier.

Life's good. Haddie really is doing well and while we dont like seizures, these a way milder than what we dealt with in the early summer. But hopefully we will try something that can fix these little ones too. I will update with the results later on.

Seriously, if you are still following our story, thank you. I appreciate your prayers and thoughts for my family. God is good.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy World Prematurity Day Update

Today is World Prematurity Day. Their description on Facebook is this: November 17 is World Prematurity Day when we focus everyone’s attention on the global problem of premature birth. Join us in raising awareness.

 I would say that most of you are already aware. Hadassah has made me very aware. Every night before we go to bed, we say a specific prayer for several premature babies and families going through what we went through. It seems to me that we are seeing more and more of this in this fallen world. Or maybe I'm just more aware of it now due to our experiences with it. Either way, we serve a God who is bigger than the smallest baby's problems. Say a prayer today for those who are in NICUs all over the world and for those who God took home. 

We thank God that we get to spend every day with Haddie. He's a quick update: she is doing well. She recovered very well after her last surgery a few weeks ago. No problems with infections or anything like that. She is teething again now and seems to have a little cold that came with that. Next week we head to Akron on Tuesday for an eye surgery that will strengthen the muscle in her left eye. This is a minor surgery we think and hopefully there won't be any issues there. 

She continues to maintain her weight at 20lbs. She's gotten longer though. So far no one seems to be concerned that she is not gaining so we are keeping things the same. 

And that's about it really. Life is good. Hadassah keeps rolling on and is learning new things. It's a slow process but it's not like we are in a hurry any ways. She has her whole life ahead of her and we will progress and learn at her speed. 

Thanks for praying for our preemie. She's a blessing. God is so good. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shunt Surgery

God is very good. We haven't been hospitalized since last November and haven't had an major issues other than seizures since then. So we are very thankful for that. We knew, however, that sooner or later her shunt could malfunction. And that's what's occurred in the past few days.

Hadassah's head circumference has been going up and has caused some concern in the past. But she hasn't really shown any other signs of a malfunction. Yesterday Kate brought her in for a routine EEG and consultation. They were once again concerned at her head size and the EEG revealed that part of her brain had limited activity possibly due to a shunt malfunction.

Neurosurgery agreed and did a CT scan to check. It was confirmed and so they decided to do surgery this morning at 730am. Overnight they were a bit concerned at her heart rate...she kept dropping into the 50s while sleeping. She is a very deep sleeper and I tried to wake her up some...every time I did her heart rate would bump up into the 80s....which is where a child at her age should be. But then she would immediately drop again. They assumed this a symptom of the pressure on her brain.

Surgery went well this morning. The two lines that come off of the shunt that drain fluid were clogged hence the head growth. Nothing was draining. So they replaced that and said we would wait til tomorrow to go home.

Their only concern now is that her heart rate hasn't improved much. It was in the 70s for a while but dipped into the 50s between 1 and 3. So they did another CT scan just to double check. Neurosurgery took a look and they didn't seem too concerned that it was another shunt issue.

So we are currently waiting to see what the blood work shows. It could be that something else is out of whack, or this could simply just be Haddie. She likes to mess with doctors and confuse them.

We are going to stay overnight and see where we are in the morning. Like I said, God is good. Every day we pray that God will bless her, keep her, and give her peace...and often we pray that he will continually heal her. Perhaps this is His way of doing just that.

We will update again once we know what's happening. Thanks!