Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm Back

Well…after a brief hiatus…I’m back, and I have lots to report. Aren’t you lucky? This could get long.

I’ll skip all the excuses about my absence for the last couple of weeks and just dive right in…except, I have been really busy and whenever I had the rare opportunity to do my own thing, I just tried to rest. I was worn out but I think I’ve rested up this week and kind of feel like my life is back in order…or getting there. You know how sometimes you just are so busy that you don’t have time to think? I like to think about things and decide how I’m going to address them or what my plan for the day is going to be…stuff like that. I’ve taken this week to think and make lists and organize and I have miles to go (I always will) but now I feel a little more together. So much for no excuses…moving on…

I have health news to report about Gaines but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, my little Reed turned 3! I cannot believe that we’ve had him around for 3 years now. He is so much fun. He’s so smart and mostly sweet…a little rough. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love that child. He was my bright spot on the hard days with Gaines and he keeps me laughing everyday. I love talking to him on the way to and from school. From what I can tell he never learns anything and most of the time he had no idea what he had for lunch. I’ll always say, “What did you learn at school today, what did you do?” and he’ll say “I rode a motorcycle…but I didn’t ride a motorcycle”. Ooookay…not sure how to take that. Or “What did you have for lunch today?” “I don’t know”. At least I usually can get a straight answer on who he played with that day. One day he told me who he played with but then told on himself and said, “But me and Chase did not listen at Jungle Gems”. Made me laugh. I tell him all the time that he makes my heart happy.

Back to his birthday. We kind of made a weekend out of it. My mom came up and spent the weekend with us so Beau and I left Gaines with her Friday night and took Reed to the fair. We wanted to do something with just Reed and really, Gaines has no business being at the fair right now. Reed had so much fun. He didn’t ride any real rides but he did ride the horses that they had. Really he was much more interested in all of the farm animals. He played a game and won a sword that is about 2 ½ times his size and we ate delicious fair food. When we sat down to eat, Reed looked at me and said, “Mama, thank you for bringing me to the fair.” Beau said, “What about me, Reed?” I looked at Beau and said, “Thanks for coming with us!” He is so good about telling us thank you for taking him places and it makes me want to say, “I’ll take you anywhere you want to go baby.”

Oh, he also fed animals in the petting zoo and gave money to a monkey in exchange for a post card. You know how sometimes you use a sentence that you never thought you’d hear yourself say? It happened to me that night when I said, “Here Reed. Do you want to give this money to the monkey?” I thought to myself, what am I saying? We also hit the little circus that they had there…it was pretty cute. Reed was in awe.

On his actual birthday, we all got up and went to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast. After we ate, Reed and Gaines played on the play equipment and Beau and I smiled when we heard Reed say to Gaines “Come here little buddy”. Gaines was all up in that play equipment right behind Reed but he wouldn’t do the slide. Kind of strange for our little daredevil.

After that we went to the pumpkin patch and had a great time. I picked out a family pumpkin for us and we let Reed pick one for his room. He walked around for a good while looking for a “perfect pumpkin”. I’m pretty sure that by “perfect” he meant tiny because the one that he finally declared “perfect” was about the size of an orange. It didn’t even really have a stem. When he found it he said, “It’s perfect” and there was no convincing him otherwise.

We decided to do his birthday party on Sunday to avoid any football plans and it turned out great. My dad lined off our backyard like a football field and we had a football party. It was so cute. This is the conversation I had with Reed when he first saw the yard. Its so much funnier in his little exaggerated voice.

Me: What is this?
R: It looks like a swimming pool.
Me: I think it looks like a football field. I guess we’ll have to have a football party!  Who do you think did this?
R: I think my pop did it.
Me: Why do you think Pop did it?
R: Because he really, really likes football parties.

Well duh…I should have known.

Switching gears to the Gainser. He’s had a couple of appointments lately so I have lots to report. First, his
hernia follow-up appointment went great (and lasted about 5 minutes from parking lot back to parking lot…I need this doctor to give the others lessons). He is healing nicely and the hernia has not come back. Good to know because I really did not know that was a concern in the first place.

We also met with pulmonology that same day…and of course, Gaines had a cold. Might have had a little something to do with the hay on the hayride at the pumpkin patch but we cannot be sure so no one put me up for mother of the year just yet. Because of this cold, they couldn’t really see how well that I think he is doing but agreed that he seemed to be doing great. He has outgrown one diuretic and is very close on the other so we’ll probably lose those meds after the next appt in January. Blue Cross probably has that date circled on their calendar.

He’d gained some weight but not as much as I’d really like so we are working on that. They did tell me that once Gaines was completely over this cold, we could try little periods of time off of oxygen. Starting with one hour and working our way up to 3 hours twice a day. Now, before we all breakout into song, I am almost certain that they do not think Gaines is ready to handle this and they only through me this bone because I kind of teared up over being so tired of the oxygen at the appointment.

The nurse practitioner was telling me that we’d lose meds first and then oxygen, especially this time of year and I told her that the doctor told me we could do oxygen first. She asked if there was any particular reason I wanted to do that and I just flat out told her, “Well, honestly, having a baby on oxygen kind of sucks”. I don’t normally talk to medical personnel that way but are you kidding me? Why? She’s a very nice lady and didn’t mean to upset me at all and I know that she empathizes but when I teared up and she said, “I understand…”, I said, “No you don’t…unless you’ve had a child on oxygen, you do not understand”. We deal with it and are used to it and answer strangers questions and untangle Gaines 895 times a day and we manage but there will be no tears shed when they come take this oxygen away.

All that said, I’ve come to realize that this is not the end of the world (take a trip to a Children’s Hospital and try and feel sorry for yourself) and it will be over one day but in that particular moment I was just so frustrated! I wanted a great report and I got a fine one. I had already decided what I wanted to hear so anything less was a disappointment. I did come to learn that day that Gaines’ BPD (his lung condition) was categorized as “severe” (as opposed to mild and moderate) when he first saw this doctor and that generally those kids are on oxygen until they are 3 (they think Gaines will be off next spring at age 2) and some are still on ventilators at this point. Kind of made me thankful for a ¼ liter of oxygen.

We got a great developmental report this week too. He was evaluated this week and was found to only be delayed in his Gross Motor skills (walking, basically) and borderline delayed in Adaptive Skills (feeding himself). The feeding himself thing is only because we don’t really let him try much. Every single calorie he gets is so important that we don’t really take chances with missing his mouth. The good news…actually I think its great news, is that he showed no delays in Fine Motor, COGNITIVE (!), Communication and Social/Emotional development. On some of those things he tested within his adjusted age and some he tested for his actual age so that is great. Everyday he seems more and more “little boy” to me. I’ve started noticing him doing things that Reed used to do and to me it means NORMAL ! Normal kids do that!

Now, if we could just get him walking. Please keep walking and weight gain in your prayers. I can’t wait for Gaines to be running around with Reed. Visions of two little boys running around our backyard kept me going when I was on bed rest and in a really, really low place. I know that God has that in store for our family. I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that Gaines is doing this well because of your prayers. I’ve said it before, but Gaines was on his way out of this world and your prayers are the reason he’s here and doing so well. And that is the reason that while I might not do it everyday, I will keep this blog updated so that the people who prayed for Gaines can keep up with their miracle.

Ok…I’m out for now…I’ll try and be back soon because it takes way too much typing to catch-up!

Love to all,


Monday, October 4, 2010

We're Still Alive

We're alive and well at the Daniel house...just kind of busy.  I think I'll update this in bullet points.  It just feels like a bullet point kind of day.  I feel like it gives me the ability to hop from topic to if I don't do that in these posts already.

-Gaines is still doing great.  I'd say that he is pretty much healed from his surgery.  All of his stitches are gone except for a few that are under some sort of tape that they said would dissolve.  It hasn't yet and I'm not messing with it.  He goes back in a couple of weeks for a check-up and I'm sure he'll get a good report. 

-Oxygen update:  Gaines is still doing great on the oxygen.  He goes back for that appointment the first week of November and I'm hoping that we'll get to start trying periods off oxygen.  The timing isn't great since we are getting into cold and flu season but I'm hopeful.  I actually made flu shot appointments today.  I can't believe its that time of year again.

-Still no walking for Gaines.  I'm trying not to worry about this but I am a little.  Actually that's a lie...last week I had a full blown meltdown over it but I'm at peace again (for the moment).  I just SO want life to be easy and normal for him.  I want him to be able to run and play with Reed and not have to sit on the sidelines. that before I have another pity party.  I swear part of it is just that Gaines doesn't seem to really want to walk.  He's got a little stubborn streak in him and no matter how hard I try to practice, if Gaines doesn't want to, he doesn't.  He and I tie up over this on a regular basis.  It usually results in me stomping off muttering under my breath about him being so hard-headed.  I really think I have a shot at mother of the year this year.  Prayers for the walking please.  You all know what your prayers have done for Gaines so far...they work. 

-Along those same lines on prayer...I am just amazed on a regular basis how powerful prayer is.  I mean, I know that God doesn't answer every prayer exactly the way we want Him to...sometimes he just has bigger plans for us...but it is just so awesome when He does.  And it happens all the time if you watch.   

-I don't know what it is about my boys and toilets but when Reed was little he was constantly playing in the toilet and Gaines seems to be following in his footsteps.  Every time it gets quiet around here I realize where he is and I have to go pull him and whatever he's got out of the toilet.  Last night it was Beau's shoe.  Oh, and now that its long-sleeve weather this has become even more of a problem because now there is clothes changing involved.  Did y'all like that segway from God to toilets?  See, I can do that with bullet points.

-Reed moved up to the next class at school today.  He is officially a Jungle Gem and he is SO excited.  His teachers said that he did great on his first day.  I'm so proud of him but I cannot believe how big he is getting.  He will be 3 in less than two weeks and I just cannot believe it.  This is the first time that I've really realized how much he's growing up and it makes me a little sad. 

-We are big into zurberts (the sound you get when you blow into some one's stomach) at our house these days and today on the way home Reed said, "Mama...when we get home...I want you to give daddy...a zurbert".  I just kind of laughed and said that I didn't think daddy would be home when we got there.  A few minutes later he said, "But, daddy really doesn't like zurberts"...I just thought it was funny because he does not.  I think it weirds him out.  A few other Reed quotes of late:
"Daddy, we've got a problem."
"Gaines, that is not what we do". 
"No, no, no Gaines!" 
"Mama, look at what Gaines is doing".
In response to me asking what he did at school that day, "I rode a motorcycle...but, I didn't ride a motorcycle".
He hears Beau call me "Brit" some times and he'll copy him and call me "Drit"
At a red light this weekend on the way to a birthday party:  "Mama, go!  I gotta get to my party".
Oh, and this is so annoying but he copies me when I get him in trouble some times.  "No Rweed"..."We don't do that Rweed".  I decided today that's a timeout offense.   

-I've started back running...which is part of the reason this hasn't been updated in a while.  Tonight is an off night.  I'm glad to be doing some sort of exercise again.  I'd kind of given up for a while.  Plus I don't feel so guilty for my eating habits.

-I am pumped about this fall weather we are having.  Any chance I get I open the windows and light my pumpkin spice candle.  I planted mums this weekend and pushed the season a little and made chili for dinner Saturday night.  Loving it. 

-OH!  We were out at a store the other day and Reed and I overheard a little boy (about 7) telling his mother that he was going to "punch her in the face".  Obviously I was appalled and quickly had a little quiet talk with Reed about how ugly it was and how we did not talk to people like that.  But, my question is do you handle something like that?  That mother seemed to be ignoring it (and I'm not criticizing because I've never been in that position and different things work for different people and maybe that's the best way to deal with that) but I can't help but think that my child and I would have had a nice little "chat" outside.  Makes me want Reed to stay 3 forever.

I think that's about it for now.  I'll try and be back soon.  In the mean time we'll be living and loving life. 

Love to all,