So. It has been WAY too long since an update as usual. It has been a hard hard hard few weeks since Thanksgiving week. I say hard because if any of you know anything about me, it's that I physically cannot deal very well with pain and stress... not my own or anyone else's either. Starting in 3rd grade I had my first "episodes" of passing out - it was while watching some guy's arm catch fire on video for a stop-drop-and-roll first aid class at school. (Leave it to Bri to say "Oh yum, pizza!" at the sight of the third-degree gore lol.) Anytime I was stung by a bee, or stood still for too long, or got a shot, or IVs, or sunburned, or whatever...if pain was involved, I was checking out for a while. Once the stress of repeated IVs was so bad I passed out and had a seizure too. Anyway...it is for that reason that I did not become a pediatric optometrist or any other medical professional (because it is not the actual site of blood that disturbs me - I can look at dead stuff all day, disect, whatever...but LIVING people experiencing pain that I can do nothing to stop?? NO WAY. FORGETTABOUT IT. You will be scraping me off the floor all day long. I have ZERO TOLERANCE for severely hurting people because it rocks everything I am so bad it literally makes me unconscious. Prolonged stress is torture...
All this to say, what a shock that the enemy of our faith (that roaring lion who walks around seeking who he can devour) has decided to go after me exactly where I am the weakest...where day in and day out I have had to watch this tiny person, my own son, who I love more than anyone can possibly comprehend, hurting in ways I cannot even imagine, and being absolutely powerless to make him feel better. Please continue to pray for me, for physical and mental strength to be the mom I need to be for Mason and Micah, and to stand strong when I am exhausted on every level and do not want to give in to attitudes and fears and spiritual attacks that threaten to crush me sometimes.
In spite of it all, it is so obvious to me that you have been praying...just when we have felt the lowest, people have swooped in to lift us up in ways we cannot even comprehend! Our church family continues to blow us away with their generosity and love. People we've never even met have flooded us with cards. And packages. And encouragement beyond anything we couldn've imagined, and right when we need it most. The timing has been surreal, and we cannot thank you enough... it is so clear to us that God is right here with us, walking through this and showing us His unending love through His people!! I am so thankful He is...otherwise I could not have gotten through these last two weeks.
So we tried everything we could think of. We read retching stories from other fundo parents online. We didn't find much hope for relief - many are still dealing. His surgeon just apologized, "There are no easy answers for this situation." While there are drugs for potentially helping retching, they have severe withdrawal potential too. Or they say, "do not use this drug if you have seizures." So we asked his dietician and surgeon if we could drop back his calories and speed with which he was eating. (He was getting 110 mLs (not quite 4 oz) in 30 minutes, then a continous drip at night, which he hated, and would grunt in constant discomfort as if begging, "TURN IT OFF" until we couldn't stand it and did -the audio is below);
So anyway, we went down to 95-100 mLs and let it run more over 45 minutes and stopped doing any continous feeding; now he eats every 3 hours, day and night, by feeding tube.) We asked to be switched to Neocate, an amino-acid-only formula to prevent any possibility of allergy. And we prayed that time would heal his throat so that he could swallow better and get over his retch reflex enough to eat without gagging. After about a week he indeed seemed to be slowing down the retching. We found a nifty gadget called the Nose-Frida that allows for less-invasive nasal suctioning (beats the bulb by a million!) and got us through some tough times. He could finally change positions without his eyes filling with tears and getting a case of the hiccups. And the nose/throat congestion began to ease. Yayyy!! If his throat his clear he doesn't retch as much, doesn't seize as much, doesn't stop breathing as much!
But avoiding triggers, even if it's just vagal seizures, mostly, will be no picnic. Avoid stress and sickness? We found out at Cardinal Glennon Wednesday that he has an ear infection. A bad one.
|Between doc visits at the hospital, all geared up with the feeding pump "mobile stroller unit" in action.|
Pray for Mason's comfort. Pray that his stress and pain is minimal. That he is able to play and laugh and be able to thrive and grow into a fun-loving little boy. That this smile you see here which he manages to summon up even through the worst of his ordeals, will be something that will become second nature..that he will FEEL like smiling more!
Lord, may Mason's precious smile remind me that "our God is bigger than I am! Strongest of all! He is able to make the summer turn into fall! He controls all that happens...His power is plain to see, and I know I can trust Him, for with His power He cares for me!"
PS - I have to remember this even now. I just discovered Mason has a dirty diaper leak. Now normally this would just be one of those "yuck" mommy moments. But with Mason it is not just gross, it is dangerous. The poop completely soaked his dressing for his unhealed G-tube wound. PLEASE pray that the combo of being on antibiotics for ears, a triple antibiotic cream freshly applied and super careful cleaning of his site will be enough to prevent infection. His mommy is not taking this well...