Saturday, August 1, 2009

Another ER trip ... but not for Ryan

So, it's Jessica's turn. On Tuesday, July 21st, Jessica started complaining of a headache, sore throat and a fever. She declined going to the coast with Dwight and the older boys because she didn't feel good. They left on Wednesday and from Wednesday through Friday morning, she laid on the couch not feeling well. She even missed out on an Art school party and a fun youth activity that she was looking forward to attending. When she was still feeling lousy on Friday, I took her to the dr. He ran a strep test that came back negative, and then determined that it was probably viral.

Her fever was gone by Friday as was the sore throat. However, the headache has remained. She's been tracking it on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst pain she can imagine. It has gone down to a 2-4 at times, but then it jumps to a 7 or 8 for no apparent reason. Movement seems to make it worse. Tylenol, Motrin, or Aleve do not give her any relief.

She doesn't typical take naps during the day ... even if she's really tired. She also doesn't typically complain much. But the past few days she has pretty much just laid around complaining of her head hurting and sleeping. So, tonight when her headache jumped to a 9 after walking up the stairs, we decided to call the dr.

The Pediatrician recommended that we take her to the ER. So, Dwight and Jessica are there now. They are doing a mono screening, and all the typical blood labs. They are also giving her some IV pain relief meds. Dwight just called and said she's quite loopy. I'll post when we know more.

11.22p: Dwight just called again. The mono screening was negative. Whew. The IV meds were actually an antihistamine. Hmmm. They are going to keep her for a little while longer and observe her. She has had quite a bit of IV fluids and has not gone potty. So, once she goes potty, if she's feeling better then she can be released. I'll keep you posted...

12:15a: Jessica is back home and in bed. Dr is unsure whether it's viral, dehydration, or migraines. We'll follow up with our Pediatrician on Monday.


Today Dwight and I went to look for a new stroller for Ryan. We currently have a frame type stroller that we just put the infant carseat into. So, there is no seat. Ryan is quickly outgrowing the infant car seat, and so we thought we probably need to start looking for a new stroller.

We talked to the Developmental Pediatrician about what type to get. We had originally thought we'd be getting a mobility stroller; however, the insurance will not pay for a mobility stroller (ie child's wheelchair) until he's 3 years old. So, they recommended we find a stroller with a 5 point harness and a reclining seat.

Easier said than done. Did you know there is a $760 stroller? A stroller for $760. I personally think that for $760, it ought to change diapers too. Anyway ... we found 2 that seem like they would work. The best option is $350 and the next best option is $200. The best part of the $200 option is that it's neon green. Ryan would love that! :)

So tonight I thought I'd do some research. What do others with similar issues use? Oh, reality has hit kind of hard. One of the websites I have read bits of is about a little boy with Cerebral Palsy. In the past I have thought, "Well, at least Ryan doesn't have all that going on." But tonight as I went back to the older posts, reality hit. The other little boy at Ryan's age could sit unassisted for 20-30 seconds, could chew food, could pull himself with his arms, could lift his head when lying on his tummy.

I usually don't compare Ryan to other babies. Geez, we had so many babies born in our church congregation within just a few months either side of Ryan's birth that I learned very quickly not to compare him. Sundays were hard for a while. When I'd see the baby that was born less than 2 weeks after Ryan doing things, or our dear friend Gabriel who was born a month after Ryan cruising all over, it was hard. But I came to terms with it. Ryan just has health issues that we'll need to overcome.

But this other boy has similar issues to Ryan. It's just hard tonight. But tomorrow as I snuggle with Ryan at church when other Moms are chasing and trying to manage wiggly little ones, I will be able to remember all the blessings that are mine. And, I am truly thankful that our other little friends are healthy and into everything.

So enough blubbering for tonight. I've got several new pictures I need to post. Hopefully, I'll get to that tomorrow.

Can't resist

Deborah enjoyed Ryan's ding dong cake.

Too cute!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Still Celebrating...

Tonight we celebrated Ryan's birthday with cake and gifts. (Jessica had conflicts on the 29th, so we waited for her to join us.) Deborah and Daddy helped Ryan open his gifts.

Since this was a celebration for Ryan, we had the lights off and used a flashlight to spotlight the neon green wrapping paper. I used a flash in most of the pictures so that you could see what was happening.

The kids went shopping and picked out a gift for Ryan. He's a tough one to buy for. :) But they did a great job with the super sized green and yellow slinky. Ryan seems to really love it.

For the last few kids, I think it started with Johnathon, we have served Ding Dong Towers as their 1st birthday cake. They are the perfect first cake. They make a mess without a HUGE mess. Unfortunately, with Ryan's severe milk protein allergies and inability to eat solid foods, he didn't partake in the cake at all.

The other kids had a tough time accepting Ryan couldn't eat any of his own cake. So, we tried some stage 1 peaches. He wasn't at all interested in them, but I think it helped the other munchkins to feel better.

Happy Birthday, Ryan! We adore you!

*You might notice that Dwight has something covering his finger in the last picture. This is actually an infant toothbrush. However, we use it for "speech therapy." We suspect that Ryan's feeding issues with solids are two fold: 1) he lacks muscle tone and 2) he doesn't like the texture. The little plastic finger piece has a really soft bristled brush on one side and little bumps on the other side. When we first started working on "waking up his mouth muscles", we would stroke his cheeks (outside his mouth) and his chin. Then we progressed to using a washcloth to gently brush his cheeks and chin. Then we started touching just his outside lips with this little infant toothbrush and now we have progressed to gently brushing the inside of his mouth with the toothbrush. When we first started each of those stages, he would pull away. Now he seems to enjoy it.

Brotherly Love

Isn't this the sweetest sight? Brotherly love! (And, no, David isn't sucking his thumb.)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My friends and Ryan's therapists, Dee Dee and Denise, brought this cute little bear to Ryan for his birthday. The bear's tummy slowly changes colors and is so soothing. Ryan ... and all the kids love it! Thank you Dee Dee and Denise! We love you!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to Ryan!

Can you believe it's been a year? We are so blessed to have Ryan as a part of our family!

Ryan's Occupational Therapist came over today and brought him the sweetest little white bear. When you push on his paw it glows and rotates through several colors. Dee Dee's visit was actually the best part of the day, at least for me. We had the sweetest conversation today. Ryan was a little unhappy about having to work on his birthday. But, we worked with him for a while, and then I let him rest in my arms. When Dee Dee was preparing to leave, I laid him down on his blanket. He obviously wanted to sit up. (He kicks, tightens his tummy and tries to move his body when he wants to sit up.) So, I sat him up. He looked up at Dee Dee ... really looked at her ... and then told her all kinds of things.

I wonder what he was telling her. He was so intent on communicating with her. He smiled several times and really looked at her. It was one of the sweetest moments I have seen with Ryan. It was as if his little spirit just knew exactly what she needed to hear and wanted to tell her all about it.

We love Dee Dee! We love that she has blessed our lives so much during this year. We love that she has helped us to learn so much about Ryan and how to best help him.

But yes the day was about Ryan. We love our Ryan and we're so proud of all the progress he has made. He has many reactive smiles now. He works hard to communicate with us. I wake up each morning to him saying, "Uuuup, uuuuup, uuuuuup." Then I get up, I walk to his crib and tell him that Mommy will right back. He then quietly waits for me to come back. No crying or yelling at me.

However, I actually love to hear him cry. You might remember that Ryan didn't cry at all for the first 10 days of his life. Even now, he seldom ever cries. So, when he does cry, it just makes my heart happy.

Ryan is also doing better with sitting and with his head control. He's still a little bit of a bobble head but it's definitely getting stronger. He also doesn't get mad about tummy time anymore. He can now roll from his back to his tummy, but he can't quite make it back to his back.

He has a couple of favorite toys that he can now hold and can akwardly bring to his mouth ... a rainbow colored koosh ball, a neon green/yellow ring thingy, and a white washcloth. Yes, a washcloth.

He still doesn't visually track objects or look at them in normal light, but in a dark room, he can track his neon green slinky, and a few other objects. He also loves a piece of slinky neon green fabric. His vision therapist calls it his snake fabric. (You can imagine how I feel about that!) I just call it his green slinky fabric.

He loves Deborah's bright pink ball, and Deborah loves all of his toys, especially his piano and his basketball.

Ryan adores Daddy, loves Mommy, snuggles with Jessica, feels saved by Jacob, loves being fed by David, needs rescued from Johnathon, and is friends with Deborah. And, now, Ryan is ONE!

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Job

Today was Dwight's first day on his new job. We are thankful that he was able to find a new job so quickly. We feel very blessed and appreciate all the networking that he was able to do.

I'm thankful for a husband who has mad interviewing skills and outstanding experience. It sure makes the job search a lot easier!