Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jack's MRI

Jack was born with hearing loss in his right ear, we have always known this, but for the past year I felt that we didn't know all there was to know about his hearing loss. I had noticed he was starting to compensate and turn his left ear towards whomever is speaking.

I took him to the ENT that has worked with Jack since he was 1 month old. After doing a series of audiology tests, it was determined he has very little hearing in his right ear at all and the dr. wanted him to have an MRI to see "if there was something in the brain that was causing the hearing loss." (His ear inside is perfect - he has all the right parts and they are all fine.)

In the above picture, Jack had to be sedated. I hate it, they are so suddenly still and it doesn't look natural at all - in other words he looked dead. He did much better with the sedation than Jacee however, he did not fight it at all and just slowly closed his eyes and went under, no fuss. He did, however, scream bloody murder when he got his IV in, that was not fun.

Here he is trying to wake up. When I pulled out the camera he gave his best effort at a smile...he was SO tired. When the dr. called later that day with the MRI results, the first thing he said was, well - there isn't a brain tumor. WHAT? This is what we were looking for? A tumor is what he meant when he said, "Let's see if there is something in the brain causing the hearing loss..." I'm actually so glad I didn't know this before hand because I would have been a mess waiting for the results. As it turns out, the hearing part of his brain is a little underdeveloped. So, he will never have hearing in his right ear, but his left ear compensates and he will live a normal life. The biggest problem will be that he will not know exactly which direction a sound is coming from. Oh - and his girlfriends won't be able to whisper sweet nothings in his ear.

Overall, we are grateful for the news. As you can see, he is a happy, healthy, very fun boy. We are so thankful he is in our family and love him with all our heart. Love you big guy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Hospital Stay

I have just avoided blogging this, but here I am with a slow day and so here goes.

As mentioned in the previous post, Jacee knelt on a toothpick. We went the week with the knee swelling and not looking much better so I called my brother Brian on President's Day to ask him about it. After describing it and answering a few questions about it, he was quiet and said, "It's either nothing or something pretty bad, I need to see it." We agreed to meet in Park City. He didn't have to look at it very long before he said, "I need to stick a big needle in it." Yep, Jacee was officially freaked out! (As was I...)

We discussed the options of going to Primary Children's or to his office in Evanston, WY. The problem with going to Evanston was that he was pretty sure she would be admitted to the hospital with possible surgery and John and our family were in Utah. We decided on Primary's so John could come sooner and someone could help with the kids.

While driving from Park City to SLC, I talked with my brother David who graciously agreed to come get Jack and Maddie and keep them for the day (I think this was around 1:30pm and they had them until about 9:30pm - thanks David and Julie!)

On the drive Jacee and I took turns crying. I would start so she would start. We would get composed and then she would start so i would start...not a fun drive.

Brian was following us to Utah and had called the hospital to tell them we were coming. It was so reassuring to have him there and to help us. I made sure each dr. that came in knew "we had brought our own surgeon!" He stayed with the us until the last test results came in after 7:30pm that night. Thanks Brian for being with us and thank Michelle for letting us have your husband that day.

Well, the initial reaction from all the doctors was that she would most likely need surgery. Her knee was swollen in such a way that it indicated that the joint had gotten infected and they would probably need to go in to clean it out.

One thing was weird, she was not in much pain. The doctors would poke and prod and twist her knee and she just sat there. They said with this kind of infection that she should be in great pain. They finally settled on aspirating her knee (the big needle) and running some tests.

Here is her I.V. I think this was the worst part for her. It hurt and she was sure she wanted it in her arm not her hand, but the tech talked her into the hand. And while doing this they had to get some blood for tests and that wasn't super fun. Luckily the tech won her over when he brought her a warm fuzzy blanket and a big stuffed dog - he was ok in her book after that.

When they decided they had to aspirate her knee, they put her under. There was quite a few syringes of medicine they put in her I.V. At the time I knew what they were because I asked Brian about each of them and he assured me that is what he would use if he were doing it. (I was glad that even though he couldn't do the procedure, he was there telling me that was they were doing was the right thing, and explaining everything to me.)

This was my least favorite part...her going under. They told her her nose would itch and as she was getting sleeping, she kept trying to rub her nose. Then she tried to curl up in the fetal position and then she was OUT. It happened so fast and her eyes were partly open and her mouth was open. She was so still, it was creepy. I tried to shut her eyelids but they wouldn't close. I just held her hand and did not watch when the big needle was brought out.

Here's the needle going in. I was glad to hear my brother giving a few words of encouragement to the ortho resident but not so encouraged when they pulled it out and I heard him say, "Yep, it's cloudy." All the early test results came back looking like we would be going into surgery. John's parents also came for a while and sat with us in the ER. David brought some oil and Brian, John, and Brent gave Jacee a blessing. I also found out my parents talked to some good friends and asked them to pray for Jacee and my mom put her name in the temple. Many of our neighborhood friends helped out and made sure the sheets got into the dryer and prayed for her as well. It's good to have supportive friends and family.

We waited and waited for all the results, and when they all came back, it was determined she would just stay in the hospital that night with some I.V. antibiotics and see how things went the next day. Brian got to go home, John went to pick up Jack and Maddie and went home and Jacee and I slept in the hospital that night. I am convince our friends and family prayed the worst of the infection away so she wouldn't have to have surgery.

We only had the clothes on our back, so before John went home he ran and got us some treats, books, magazines, and some fake fingernails for Jacee. The hospital provided Jammies for Jacee and a pair of sweats for me along with tooth brushes and toothpaste. We started out in a private room but had to move to a shared room about midnight. Jacee was out - they just moved her bed into the other room and banged into a door and a wall and she didn't stir at all. The other family came in about 12:30am with a sick toddler (and watched t.v. until around 2:30am).

They pushed the i.v. antibiotics all night. The attending surgeon came in the next day and told us Jacee she was the conundrum of the dept because they couldn't figure out why she wasn't in pain. The were waiting on results of one more test that finally came at noon - and then they released her. They gave me antibiotics in pill form (which I told them she couldn't swallow and they suggested I open the pills and mix them with soft foods...) and said to have a follow up in a week. My parents came to the hospital right when we were being released. They brought a bag full of fun stuff and it was good to see them.

It ended up being such a blessing my parents came. John was in charge of the Blue and Gold Banquet that night and I also had New Beginnings that night. Once we got home, the frantic preparations began, with my parents being key in running MANY errands for us. We pulled off both events with MUCH help from many people.

In the mean time - I was trying to force Jacee to take her anti-biotics. She was a bit warm and I was worried this was a bad sign. I tried the pills in ice cream and chocolate milk. She just threw them up and cried. I finally had to leave her with my parents and they tried to mix it with mac and cheese. Finally, both my brother Steve and my dad tried it and said it was so horrible they wouldn't even take it! They Brian and got a liquid prescription that seems to be doing the trick.

Boy, when they say it takes a village to raise a child - they were talking about my children. Thanks to everyone for pitching in and helping us. Jacee is doing so much better. She has gone back to school and dance class and seems to be doing fine. Her knee is still a little swollen but she is no longer walking with a limp. We are so grateful she is doing better.
We sure love this little gal.