Monday, July 30, 2007

Poor Jack?

Man, life is tough when you are reduced to laying in bed eating a "smiley fry". Seriously, Jack is finally awake. He must feel a bit dizzy because he does not want to sit up at all. He is enjoying his dinner. This is actually a first for Jack. He doesn't usually take bites. He either shoves whole pieces of food in or he pushes the food away.
Jack needed me so I had to stop before sending this post. Jack's bottom teeth are coming in and he was a little cranky. We've given him a little Tylenol and he is sleeping peacefully now. We'll be having neurochecks every 4 hours so I don't know how much sleep we are actually going to get.
Thank you all again for all your prayers. God continues to watch over Jack and David and I.

Out of surgery

It was a quick surgery but Jack was in recovery for quite a while. He scared us again. With each surgery, it seems like it is harder for him to recover from the anesthesia. This time we were ready with the Bipap machine but Bipap alone wasn't enough. Jack actually has nail marks on his chin from where Dr. Blakely and the nurses were applying a chin thrust to keep his airway open. Once he got a dose of Narcan (to couteract the effects of narcotics given) and a racemic epinephrine treatment (to reduce any inflammation in his airway), he woke up a bit and by the time we got here to the floor he was breathing okay without the Bipap-very noisy but keeping his oxygen levels up. He is still VERY sleepy. Right now, his soft spots are sunken in more than they ever have been. Dr. Sacco says that will fill back up a bit and then slowly sink in. It will take several weeks for them to sink back in
and Jack will be monitored with MRIs periodically.
Thanks again for all the prayers.

We met Baby Wade!

We did not expect to see any of our Apert listserve friends this trip. But this morning when we arrived to check in for surgery, Baby Wade's dad (guess we could call him Big Wade) recognized Jack and we got to meet Becky, Wade, and Baby Wade in person. Baby Wade was a cute, happy little guy. This was a sharp contrast to mad Jack who realized that we were back at the hospital. This picture was taken after Jack got his "goofy juice". He really needed it this morning!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dream Come True

We've stayed at the same hotel for all but two of our stays in Texas. This hotel has a "sport court" that Jack has always looked at it longingly especially when he saw children laughing and playing on it. Today was Jack's day. He was out on the sport court laughing and running around. (Well, he was walking fast not actually running.) He loved it! We got a basketball from the front desk and you should have seen him going after the ball. I love the sound of Jack's laughter and today I was a little "high" from all the laughter that I got to enjoy. I got some pictures of him going after the ball with our other camera. I will post those after we get home.
We got new instructions from the anesthesiologist tonight. Jack will get to eat solids until 5:30 am. He can drink Mommy's milk until 8:30 and clear liquids until 9:30. Then we will have to be at the hospital at 10 am so there will be lots going on and it should not be hard to keep him distracted.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Tourist Jack!

The MRI went fine this morning. He had no problems with the sedation. We decided to actually do a little sight-seeing this evening. We went to the 6th Floor Museum. We saw photos and read all about the assassination of President Kennedy. It was very interesting but it kind of makes your heart hurt to relive it. I had not realized that Jackie Kennedy had lost her infant son in August and then her husband in November of the same year. What tragedy and to have to live it out in front of the whole world!
Back to tourist Jack. He definitely has his lower molars coming in. The tip of the left side is poking through the gum. No wonder he woke up crying in the middle of the night.
Tomorrow we are planning on getting together with David's cousin who lives in the Dallas area.

MRI done!

We are done for the day. A nurse is going to call us later to collect some information over the phone. Other than that, we are free for the weekend. Jack did great with being NPO this morning. We got our instructions for Monday morning and Jack can have clear liquids all the way up to 9:30 am so that will be great!
Jack is walking all around again!!! We went to this authentic Mexican food place last night and he surveyed every inch of the place. He's really enjoying independent walking. David says he's a big boy now but Jack and I know that he's still Mommy's baby. :)

sent from my Palm Treo
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Monday, July 23, 2007

What to Say

Our family is so fortunate. We are surrounded by a loving family, church, neighbors, and friends so we don't get ugly comments about Jack like some other children with craniofacial syndromes have experienced. People who know us love Jack and just know him as Jack-that's just who he is. I've discovered that when we are and out about parents just don't know what to do or say. Their children, all children, just say out loud, sometimes very loudly what they are thinking such as "Mommy, that baby has a BIG head." and "Daddy, look at his weird eyes." Before I go on, let me issue this little caveat, the feelings I am about to describe are mine and mine alone. I cannot tell you how parents of other children feel.
David and I are not attempting to shelter Jack from your children's honest observations. We would rather that you not try to hush your children and quickly escort them out of Jack's presence. We know that he has a big head and his left eye protrudes a bit. If you look closely at his fingers and toes, you will find that they look a bit different, too. I think Jack knows that he looks a bit different from other children. We want him to know that he looks different but he is still essentially the same. We would prefer that when your children make their honest observations that you allow us to acknowledge or you yourself acknowledge that, "Yes, that baby does look a bit different but he is still a little boy who might like to play. How about we go say, Hi?" When Jack is older and he's on the playground and some little kid runs up to him and says, "You sure do have a big head." I would like to see him say, "Yep, so do you want to play?" No fuss, no muss. There's nothing wrong with being different and he is different. So, don't hush those kids, allow them their honesty, and come on over and say, "Hello." Your children don't require special preparation. They should treat Jack the same as they would any other child. When you come say, "Hello" you'll see that, like any other child, sometimes Jack will be in a great mood and flash a beautiful smile and other times he won't even notice you are there. Like I said, he's just like your kids. He just looks a little different. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

More Jack Fun

He's just so cute that I had to post some more pictures of Jack having fun.

First up, we finally put together the Thomas the Train set that Santa brought for Jack at Christmas. You'll recall we spent Christmas Eve night/Christmas morning at Children's ER so we were in no shape for toy assembly when Jack got his gifts. We just kind of set it aside and well, we couldn't stand it any longer and it looks like Jack really enjoys it.

Next, who says recycling can't be fun? I took our old baby pool that doesn't hold air so well anymore added a less than $10 bag of balls from Wal-Mart and voila, it's a ball pit!

Well I hope you've enjoyed the latest installment of World's Best Cutest Baby According to His Mom! :)

This is the life

Ain't it great? Jack is slurping on an "Alligator ice" while watching Baby Signing Time as he is being chauffeured to "the boundless playground" at a local park. This is the way life should be. Happy Jack having a happy day....aaaaahhhhh, oh the blessings in life. :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Not feelin so good but lookin so cool

Jack has a cold or allergies acting up or who knows what but he just does not feel good today. His little nose is running and running and running. Loud noises and high pitched voices really bother him, too. We are really getting more worried about the pressure in his head. His soft spots are very soft but you can feel them pulsating--that's not a good sign. He is just not a real happy camper. We tried to go out and have fun yesterday evening at this family event held by the folks who do Jack's home therapy but it was just too noisy for Jack and he really did not have much fun. We had to leave school early yesterday too. The only thing Jack seems a little excited about is the clip on sunglasses that I found that fit his glasses. I did not know they were made that small. As you can see, he looks very cool. Say some prayers for Jack. He does not feel like doing much and keeps rubbing his head. We need for this cold not to turn infectious and delay surgery.
Thanks for the prayers.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Surgery Scheduled

The neurosurgeons called yesterday and Jack is scheduled for surgery on July 30 at around 11 am. He will have to have a MRI on July 27 to determine exactly which surgery he will have. Bottom line is Jack has too much fluid in his ventricles better known as hydrocephalus or "water on the brain". We need to do something to prevent all this fluid from causing too much pressure on his brain. Fortunately, Jack's noggin has just given way and his head has continued to grow bigger so as far as we can tell right now we have avoided any brain damage from the pressure so far.

Dr. Sacco will be performing either an Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV) or placing a Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt (VP shunt). The way to relieve the pressure on Jack's brain is to help the ventricles drain the CSF—this is the job of the ventricles. Jack’s ventricles just don’t seem to be doing their job all that well.
We are hoping that he can just perform the ETV. If he does the ETV, he will poke a hole in the floor of Jack’s third ventricle. Ideally, this will help the CSF drain out into the subarachnoid space and eventually get absorbed into the bloodstream (no big anatomy lesson today). There is a possibility that if he does this it will not work. Jack may have an absorption problem as evidenced by the CSF that has already collected around the brain. If he does, it does not matter how easy he makes it for the CSF to flow out like it is supposed to. The other thing that could cause the ETV to fail is if there are bands beneath the floor of the third ventricle that prevent the CSF from flowing out. In most cases, neither the surgeon or the parents (or child) can know for a couple of months whether the ETV was successful. Just doing the surgery releases some CSF so you get relief for a while from that and the CSF has to build up again for the child to become symptomatic. Knowing all this, we would still prefer to try the ETV first. There is no hardware left behind that can clot off or get infected or get kinked or malfunction in any other way. Jack will have a MRI of his brain on Friday, July 27 at 7:30. He will require sedation for the MRI. The MRI will help Dr. Sacco further evaluate the anatomy of Jack’s ventricles. Based on the MRI findings, he will determine whether he is a candidate for the ETV.
If Jack cannot have the ETV or if the ETV fails, he will get a VP shunt. The VP shunt would divert CSF from the ventricles into the abdominal cavity. Basically a tube with a valve is inserted into the ventricles and it lets the fluid out into the abdominal cavity where it gets absorbed. We know and know of many children who have had a good experience with VP shunts but we would just rather not have to deal with the VP shunt because it requires hardware being left in the body. The hardware can become infected or malfunction. As Jack grows into adulthood, he would have to have another operation because the tubing that is initially put in will not be long enough as he grows.
Jack's niece, Elise, spent Saturday and Sunday with us this past weekend. They had a good time. Elise is a super easy going baby. Anybody else ever have a 2 1/2 year old volunteer to go to bed at 7:15 pm when she usually stays up until 9 or 10? We all had fun but I could barely move Monday morning.
Here are some pictures from this weekend and other recent pics....
We were trying to help Jack see that he is not the only baby that wears CPAP so notice the "baby" with a CPAP mask...

Two cuties in one tub!!!

Isn't she adorable?

A little playtime on the deck...

Jack riding a ride on toy in the kitchen, doesn't he look proud of himself?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Jack is....

1. learning more signs while we aren't looking. I noticed in the car today that he is doing signs for bird, grandma, and dog at the appropriate times during his signing time video.
2. enjoying himself tremendously. He has chuckled and laughed so much today!
3. telling Mommy when he has to go potty. He actually did the sign for potty and did go when I took him. We've been relying on timing alot lately and our timing has been off.
4. breathing much better most nights. Other than when he is congested because of weather or allergies there seems to be no rhyme or reason to his breathing "issues". We are still adjusting the Bipap S/T manually throughout the night. We are not having to do much. Either we are getting good or Jack's just doing so much better. We are all getting a bit more sleep.
5. sleeping again. I am almost afraid to type that because he may wake up at 3 am again tomorrow.
6. saying [This one is phonetic. You have to sound it out.] "a woov ooo". Hey it sounds like "I love you" to David and me so we are going with it!

Must get sleep...that's all for now!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

An old fave

This is one of my favorite pics. Jack was just a tiny tike when he started wanting to get on my computer. Now he has his own computer game that he plays. He still likes to get on my computer though. He may take after his Opa and be one of those people that jsut knows how to make a computer do things that keaves others scratching their heads.
Jack is recovering well but he keeps waking up at 3 am for some reason. We are trying to fix that problem but keeping an active 2 year old in bed when he thinks it is playtime is quite a challenge. We are open to suggestions.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

We got back this morning. Jack, the little trooper, is doing great. I'm really busy trying to get caught up on work so I'll try to post more later. It's good to be home.

In the meantime, enjoy this old picture of Jack and Elise. It's so cute.