Saturday, July 9, 2016

New Beginnings

I have written and rewritten this post half a hundred times now.  For the longest time, I felt far too lost to write anything at all about our family, our lives, or the direction we were headed.  I just didn't know what to say. 

Life went on, of course.  Aidan turned 5, he graduated Pre-K, and we're all eagerly preparing for Kindergarten.  Things are very much as they've always been - doctor's appointments, ER visits, inpatient stays, birthday parties, playdates, and everything in between.

But everything is different at the same time.  We live at our house.  Daddy lives at his house.  Since late last year, we have been working to figure out what's best for all of us, and this is undeniably it.  We worried about how he would take it, or what he would wonder or ask - the truth is, he seems to understand and accept this essentially without question.  He understands that he is loved without question, and we are all moving toward the happiness we deserve.  It took us a lot of time and soul searching to understand that, for our family, that happiness didn't involve all of us staying together.

Enough about that.  It's the elephant in the room, and if you didn't know, you do now.  Families come in all shapes and sizes.  Ours is no less for the changes we have made. 


 


Monday, October 26, 2015

Genetics and Complex Care

I think it's been a while since we've actually had anything hopeful to say, but as we wrap up October, we've been moving forward and feeling kind of positive about things.

We did see Genetics, although it was not the most productive visit.  Disappointing, since we've been waiting so long to get in there.  Their only idea, really, was to test him for Russell Silver Syndrome - a congenital growth disorder.  We'll see how that turns out, although I don't expect any big answers there.  He doesn't look like an RSS kid.  I don't even think Genetics expects answers.  On the up side, Aidan thought the Genetics waiting room was the most fun waiting room he's seen in a long time.

Being silly at Genetics
Thankfully, the Diagnostic/Complex Care Center visit went better.  So much better.  I have no idea how we got in to see Dr. M so quickly, but I'm thankful for whatever backstage witchcraft and wizardry made it all happen.  Anyway, the plan from our visit was to have Dr. M's office coordinate all of our future inpatient stays, which should hopefully make a big difference in our overall level of frustration every few months.  He will also be contacting Genetics to suggest that they dig deeper on the PHKB mutation.  The bigger (scarier?) thing he's going to work on is having CHOP's Mito team review Aidan's chart get their thoughts and see if we can start evaluating him for a Mitochondrial disease.  I don't know exactly how to feel about this, so for the moment, I'm going to just focus on being hopeful that this is a new idea that we haven't explored yet, and maybe it will take us in new directions that will give us betters ideas for treatment.

Aidan has been so tired lately.  I feel like all I hear from him is that he's too tired to play, or too tired to go anywhere.  I don't know what's going on.  His night sleep isn't good - but it's certainly not worse than it has been.  Weekend visits to Nikki's new house have been pretty sleepy - I just don't know how to make this better, and it breaks my heart.




But we do still get to see this Aidan - our sweet little goofball, who brings so much light into our lives.  I'll do anything - take him anywhere, to see anyone - to get just a bit more of this face into our lives.

Silly :)
The rest of this month will see Aidan at CHOP for his swallow study and his GJ tube change.  Hopefully, he'll be back on his feet and feeling good in time for Halloween - he's got big Trick or Treat plans with his best buddy.

Still working to schedule our trip to Pittsburgh.  I know they've been reviewing his records, and hope to get in to see them soon.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Lots of appointments to come!

Soooo, it's been a few days a while a month forever.  We've been okay, hanging in and trying to take things one day at a time.  Things are just so overwhelming right now, and writing about them is sometimes just a little more than I can handle.  But really, we are doing okay, we just have so much on our plates.

We've done some fun things in the past month - the Strides for Safe Kids walk was a good time and Aidan did surprisingly well in the crowd.  After that event, Aidan got to go to a Shopkins trading event - which was *awesome* - he did such a great job talking to the other children and asking if they wanted to trade.  No tears - I was so proud!  We also attended the Autism Awareness event at the zoo a few weekends ago, which has grown into a really nice event with great attendance and helpful networking opportunities.  I love that it's at our local zoo, which Aidan knows so well that it doesn't overwhelm him.

He's also been working hard on feeding skills, and has started feeding therapy.  It's only twice a week, and due to scheduling stupidity, it works out to 3 times every two weeks, which is only slightly better than nothing.  Luckily, he has a great team of people in his life, who continue to work with him and encourage him every day at school, and recently I happened to walk in on him actually nibbling at a rice flour pancake.  Proud mama over here!  He doesn't have much of a bite with his molars, especially on his left side, and getting anything bigger than a crumb in his mouth makes him gag - but he's getting there!  Unfortunately, his swallow is questionable and needs to be more formally evaluated for airway safety later this month, so until then, we're not working on liquids.



October brought us the tiniest bit of drama - an urgent care visit, and eventually an ER visit for a yucky stoma.  I really hate stoma problems, and we're always so lucky that his stoma is so beautiful and infection-free.  But really kind of out of nowhere, it sprouted granulation tissue that got infected and painful, and things were just no fun for a while there.  Right, as you would imagine, when I had no time to spend in the Urgent Care/ER all night long, because of course.  But I'm thanking my lucky stars that's all it was, because as I sit here writing this, I'm watching some of the babies I love from afar go through ten kinds of hell inpatient, and I know how much worse everything could be.  Aidan's been doing pretty well lately, and I don't take that for granted even for a minute.




We've had to stop Karate for now.  Aidan's little body is just too tired.  He just can't do it.  And I can't keep forcing him to do something that's just too much

Heis participating in soccer, which is super adorable.  Although I might be using the word "participating" loosely, since he really likes to just sit on his ball and watch once he's tired, and without 1:1 coaching, he forgets what he's doing and wanders off.  Don't care.  Adorable.  After soccer wraps up, he'll be taking a break from sports until we get his energy levels figured out, because I really think there's something awry here.  I'm hopeful that either CHOP or CHP has some ideas for us.


He's the dainty one, seated while everyone else plays.
The rest of the month is coming at us fast and furious - this week we'll see Genetics (this one's kind of a big deal, since we're looking for big answers here, or at least big ideas and a path forward) and the dentist (not a scary one for us, but a rough one for Aidan).  Next week, the Complex Care/Diagnostic Center which is another big deal for us.  I don't even really know what to expect from that visit, I just know that we need help, and we're hoping they can give it.  The following week, Aidan's swallow study, and then he's inpatient for a tube change.  Hopeful that he stays healthy and is discharged and feeling well enough for Halloween fun.

We have forwarded his records along to Pittsburgh and are awaiting word onwhen we'll be traveling.  I'm nervous - not knowing exactly when we'll go, and how I'll handle it with work, and whether it will even give us any answers - all if it makes me sick to my stomach, if I'm being honest.  But these are all the right things to do, and the right steps forward, and I just have to trust that Aidan will find answers down one of these avenues.

We'll keep you posted as appointments happen and travel plans come together.  Wish us luck!