Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 26, 2010 - Update

I can't believe it's been 2 weeks already since my last post. I meant to do a better job. We have had a lot going on and I have a huge list of things to do. We are slowly marking things off.

Let me start with Conner's recovery. He recovered swiftly from getting his adenoid out. He was pretty much fine by the next day. The doctor put him on 5 days of Amoxicillin because he said that getting this done sometimes stirs up a festering infection. He was right about the infection...however, the antibiotic was not the right one for Conner. We never see many results with that one. So after about a week, he ended up at the pediatrician and she put him on a double course of stronger antibiotics. They would like to get this thing knocked out so that hopefully he won't keep getting these infections over and over again. That was the whole point of getting this done in the first place. So the new medicine seems to be working and Conner is doing great. The snoring (don't know if I mentioned, but he was snoring REALLY loudly the first week after the procedure) is pretty much gone and he seems to be doing great. Since January 11 (the adenoids and tubes), he has slept through the night a few times and the other nights, he is only waking up once. We are dealing with it. At this point, it seems like it has developed in to a pattern and he just needs some comforting for a minute. He goes right back to sleep (after David takes him back to bed) and is waking up happy in the morning. His daytime nap is pretty much eliminated, which has been a challenge. At a certain time most days, the crankiness comes out, but he can't sleep at night when he naps, so we are all adjusting to the change and hopefully it will get better.

There are a lot of changes going on in our house too. Conner moved in to his new room a few nights ago. We had it painted and David moved all of his furniture. It's still not 100% done. His clothes are still in the old room and his books are still not back on his bookshelf. We haven't hung anything on the freshly painted walls either...we are trying to decide what we want to put up first before we put any holes in the wall! The hardest part for Conner was losing his rocking chair. We were going to keep it for the baby's room, but Conner has other ideas. He wants to keep his chair and so he will. We can't make too many changes at once. So, he has so far been fine in the new room. No changes in sleeping or anything. He has needed an extra book before bed and we will probably end up rearranging the furniture to make it better for him, but so far, the transition has been okay. He still prefers the "old room" and says he likes it better, but hopefully in the next few weeks, he will adjust.

We are in the final stretch for Baby Girl Larson. 40 days from today as long as everything continues to go well. It seems like such a short amount of time...but it's going so slow. I am pretty tired, but I think mostly because I have a terrible cold and have a really hard time sleeping at night. I have some serious hip pain, but it's just an old pain that happens to be worse right now. Other than that, I am feeling pretty good...better than I thought I would at this point. I really can't complain at all and we are grateful for every day. I'm happy to be at 33 weeks. It seems so hard to believe that I will be back in surgery, in the operating room, in the hospital, in just a few weeks...I never imagined I would be back there. I'm a little anxious and praying it goes much more smoothly this time (considering how different this time is, it should be much better). I don't really know the doctor doing my c-section...I've only met her once, but she was my second choice (out of 7 doctors) because she seemed really good, she has a lot of experience, and according to the lady who does the appointment scheduling, she is the most requested of the doctors (I didn't know that until afterwards). I start going to the doctor twice a week starting next week and will see her a few times so that should be good.

I will post more soon. There really is a lot to catch up on...and will post some photos too.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 12 - Success

Conner had his adenoids out, one old ear tube removed, and 2 new ear tubes placed yesterday. He was totally calm when we got there (very early) and was excited that he had a TV in his pre-op room. That's all the kid needs to be happy, since he doesn't get to watch much at home and he's pretty obsessed with it at the moment. We got checked in and the anesthesiologist came to chat with us. They decided to give him a breathing treatment before the procedure, just to make sure his airway was good...he said sometimes putting a breathing tube in stirs up something in the throat (or something like that). Conner does fine for breathing treatments. I think the nurse was shocked. She asked if I wanted to hold the mask in front of him and I told her he would wear it...I guess that's not that common. Again, as long as the TV is on, Conner is pretty calm. They gave him some liquid medicine to "calm him"...although I don't know how much more calm he could get. Basically, it made him drunk.

David went back to the OR with him and stayed in the room while he was knocked out with gas. After he left, they put an IV in (judging by the marks on his hands, they tried at least twice) and intubated him. We went to sit in the waiting room...and while we were both nervous about the intubation, we were pretty calm. By the time we called our families, it was over. The whole thing (including intubation, IV and everything) took less than 19 minutes. The breathing tube was in for probably about 20-30 minutes total.

The worst part of the day was recovery. Conner woke up really upset and out of it (obviously...he got "calming medicine", gas, and IV sedation). He wouldn't drink anything but after about 30 minutes of him sleeping in and out on David's shoulder, they let us go home. He had had a whole bag of fluid so he was very well hydrated. Conner was not happy at home either...he just wanted to lay on me or on the couch the whole morning (we were home before 10 a.m.). Before his nap, he wanted a piece of toast. He ate half (nothing to drink still) and then went straight down for a nap. When he woke up 2 hours later, he was a new child. He was happy and running around. He complained of pain in his throat only one time all day and we gave him some pain medicine before bed...but that was it. He went to school today and had a great day. He is so tough. He has no desire to lay around for a day like I did yesterday!

Today Conner was fine except for he complained of some pain in his mouth...we aren't sure whether it's his cheek, jaw or teeth that were hurting so we are going to keep an eye on it. It was only tonight that it seemed to hurt.

We are glad to have this over with and hope for fewer sinus infections and ear infections in the coming months...and some better sleep. Last night, he still woke up in the middle of the night once, so we'll see.

Anyway, now that that is over with, we can post some more fun stuff...I have a bad headache tonight, so I will save it for another time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 10, 2011

Conner is having his adenoids out and new tubes put in his ears tomorrow morning. We are checking in to the surgical center at 6:30 a.m. and he is scheduled for the procedure at 8. We are hoping that this will help with the chronic sinus infections and that the new tubes will help with the ear infections (he's had 3 since the last set came out in November).

If it was just new tubes, I don't think we would worry as much. As much as I hate the sedation part, it's such a quick and easy procedure and we are familiar with it from last time. The part that we are nervous about is the intubation for the adenoidectomy. People who don't know us or Conner well may not understand this, but his medical history is very involved for a 3 year old. The pre-op phone call with the nurse was long...has he had surgery? yes, 6 times. has he been scoped? yes. was he premature? yes. does he take medication? yes...and list them. does he have asthma? does he have reflux? does he have developmental delays? And on and on and on. We had to have a letter from the pulmonologist releasing him for sedation. For us, this is serious business. Conner was intubated for the first 2 months of his life and came home on oxygen when he was 4 months old. We had oxygen tanks in our house for a long time and we still have a pulse ox (which Conner will probably wear for a while tomorrow when we get home). I'm not discounting anyone else's fears for their own children...just explaining why we have fears for ours.

Anyway, we haven't really explained what is going to happen to Conner. We don't think he will quite understand and he hasn't been sleeping well need to add to his anxiety.

I will post more when it's all done...hoping to be home quickly. They said the tubes take 10 minutes, adenoids take 20 minutes, plus the sedation and intubation and 45 minutes for recovery. Hoping it's as pain free as possible.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Conner at school playing with purple play doh...

January 2, 2011 - Sleep Troubles

Well, before we switched over to this new blog, I hadn't posted in a LONG time about what was going on with us or with Conner. The biggest thing going on for the past two months is trouble in the sleep department. Conner has been a great sleeper since the day he came home from the hospital at 4 months old. He has napped well and slept through most nights unless he was sick. But those days seem to be over. For the last 2 months, we have been trying to figure out the problem and have had varying degrees of success "fixing" the problem, only to have it resurface a few days or week later.

So this all started around the first week or so of November. I only remember (it seems like it's been forever) because we considered that losing his ear tubes might have bothered him and that happened at the ENT on November 5. Around that time, his reflux medication also changed to generic and his reflux really got bad. Those were the top 2 reasons we could come up with that would possibly change Conner's sleep. In the meantime, while we were trying to figure all this out, we also played around with skipping naptime to see if that helped and it didn't make any difference. Conner is in a much better mood when he naps and whether he naps during the day or not, he was still having trouble sleeping (and still is), so we would rather let him nap and have him in a good mood at least during the day.

We talked to our trusty pediatrician and she suggested maybe the problem was separation. I tried her suggestions and not one of them worked (and usually, she works miracles, so I should have known we were in trouble). What seemed to work was changing Conner back to non-generic reflux medication. Once we did that, he had about 10 days of great sleep with no problems so we thought we solved the mystery.

But then those 10 days were over...and so was sleeping through the night. Conner did get strep throat and 2 ear infections so we thought maybe the ear drops were causing a problem, but now those are done. The problem seems to have evolved...and not in a good way. It started off with difficulty falling asleep, but staying asleep through the night. It might have taken 2 hours for him to go to sleep but he stayed asleep until morning. Now he is waking up several times a night, screaming and running in to our room. He is consolable and goes back to bed, but he is not getting a good night sleep at all and neither are we. The last few nights have been a combination of difficulty falling asleep and lots of nighttime waking. It happens about the same times every night. It is very frustrating.

We wish Conner could just tell us what was bugging him, but that might not happen for a while, so in the mean time, we are trying to be detectives and figure it out. We have tried lots of different things...and are obviously having limited success. We took him off Singulair as well because the doctor mentioned the possibility of it causing sleep trouble...but that doesn't seem to be helping either. Conner will have his adenoids out and hopefully get new ear tubes on January 11, so if any of those things are bothering him, that will fix a little of the problem.

Well, that is only a tiny bit of what has been going on...but it's too long already, so maybe I'll write more tomorrow about the other good and fun stuff that has been going on with us.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

January 1, 2011 - A New Year and a New Blog

Well, it's been a while since we last blogged. We were having some trouble with our old site, so we're trying this one out, for the new year! We thought we would start out fresh. So here it goes...(and it might take me some time to figure this out and make it pretty!!).

A little background, if you're just joining us...
My wonderful, caring, loving, best husband in the world and I got married almost 7 years ago. We lived in Texas until July 1, 2007. At that time, we were expecting twins, our first children, and we moved our lives up to Michigan where I grew up. The twins were due to arrive on November 19, so we thought we had plenty of time to find a doctor (I was 20 weeks at the time) and get settled before the boys' arrival. We knew there was a possibility that they would come early, but had no idea what was in store for us. I met a doctor a week later and told her that I wasn't feeling great and told her my symptoms, which she ignored and told me that the symptoms were normal. She didn't examine me or anything. I had a very bad feeling about this doctor and thought I would try to find a different one within the week. Well, we went to the hospital to have an ultrasound, in the mean time, and our lives immediately turned upside down. The symptoms I was having were not "normal" and I was already dilated. I was only 21 weeks at the time. They told me I would most likely have the boys that day and they had no chance of survival. The doctors were not very kind and just told us like it was. It was a crazy and stressful rollercoaster. We were whisked out of the ultrasound room, my head was put down and I was told I would not be able to get up until after the delivery.

To make a very long story short, We stayed at the hospital for 8 days before I ended up with an infection (from being dilated and my water broke for so long) called chorioamnionitis, and I had an emergency c-section. Conner and Braedon were born very early in the morning on July 25, 2007 at just 23 weeks gestation. The doctor told us they had about a 5% chance of survival and they would most likely have serious physical disabilities and health problems. Braedon was very sick from his first day of life. They were not sure if he would make it one day. For 2 weeks, the doctors tried to save him, but he was too small and too sick. He finally opened his little eyes before passing away on August 8, 2007 at 14 days old. Not a day goes by that we don't think about how different our lives would be with him in it.

Conner was very sick too. He struggled with many different problems during his 109 days in the NICU. He had several surgeries and he were told he most likely would never reach many of his motor milestones, like crawling and walking. Conner is now 3 (in January, he'll be 3 1/2!). He is definitely delayed, but is doing so much more than anyone could have ever imagined. He continues to amaze us and challenge us on a daily basis. He runs around everywhere and has enough energy for 10 kids! His biggest challenges are speech and fine motor skills. He is diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech, hypotonic cerebral palsy (mild), chronic lung disease and terrible reflux...but if you met this boy in person, you would see a 3 year old just like any other. He continues to defy the odds on a daily basis and we are so very proud of him. He also continues to be a normal crazy 3 year old that makes us pull our hair out sometimes, but this is a good thing (as long as he outgrows this stage!).

So, we were happy with our family. We stay very busy with all of Conner's appointments, school, playdates, and everything else when again, our lives were turned upside down. We found out this summer that we are expecting another child this coming March, a girl. We are both nervous and excited about this new addition and know our lives will again be changed forever in just a few short months. We are grateful to have made it to 30 weeks so far and know that my doctor's are watching me very closely for problems this time. Lots of Conner's friends from school have little brothers and he seems to really love the babies...but we'll see how he does when this little girl comes home with us. Should be interesting!!

So that's where we are today, on January 1, 2011. We hope to keep this blog updated and let our family and friends know what is going on with us.