Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter 2011

When the boys woke up Sunday morning, they were very happy to see that the Easter Bunny had come! I love seeing them so excited, even about little things like gum!

Technically, Colby should still be on "house arrest," but we called the cardiologist's office for special permission to take him to church on Easter. After speaking with Dr. Doyle, Mary Beth told us that as long as we were very careful (keep the hand sanitizer ready!), that he should be fine. This was the best news ever! We have missed attending church as a family the last few weeks. Colby must have really missed being there too, because he ran straight into Children's Church and didn't look back.

After church, we headed over to Jeremy and Tammy's house for Easter Lunch and an Egg Hunt with Emilee and Kylee, Nana, Nenny and Pa, Ralph and Melba (Tammy's parents), Poppy and Daphne, and Flora and Yaya.

As soon as the kids finished their Egg Hunt, we rushed over to Granny Shug's House for dessert and another Egg Hunt with Jeanine, Harper and Darbye, Brad and Nicole, Bradley and Daniel, Neal and Tracy, Callie and Neal IV, Patty Cake and Lee, Gacky and Poogie, and of course Shug.

We had a wonderful Easter! I am happy that we were able to spend it with all of our family. God continues to bless us far more than we could ever deserve!

Brody's School Egg Hunt

Brody's class had a Easter Egg Hunt the Wednesday before Easter. It rained that morning, so they had to do the Egg Hunt inside. Being inside did not stop these kiddos from having a great time, though. I was glad to be there and see Brody and his friends so happy about finding lots of candy-filled eggs. The Easter Bunny even made an appearance and posed for a class picture!!

After the Egg Hunt, Ms. Marianne read an Easter story and the kids ate cupcakes!! Colby always gets so excited to be in Brody's class. I hope he gets this excited in the Fall when he goes into his own class!

Brody Needs us Less and Less

Brody seems to be growing up way too fast!! He has gone from needing us for everything to hardly needing us at all. This of course makes us very proud of him, but it also makes us a little sad. Well, it makes me, his mommy, very sad!

Brody has been doing more and more on his own lately...picking out nice outfits that actually match, packing his own snack for school, making his breakfast or lunch by himself, and the latest addition to this list is tying his own shoes! He came home from school one day determined to tie his shoes, and he did not stop practicing until he got it. He is definitely persistent! It is hard to believe that he is already tying his own shoes. I didn't think this would happen until kindergarten or later, and here he is, 4 years old and doing it perfectly.

We are proud of all you have accomplished and continue to accomplish daily Brody!! You are an amazing little guy and a great big brother for Colby to look up to.

Friday, April 15, 2011

First Post-Op Follow Up with Cardiology

Colby's first follow up with Dr. Doyle went really well! His chest x-ray was clear, sats were 89-90%, blood pressure was good, EKG was "perfect," and his heart sounded just right. Jason and I were thrilled to hear this news!! It is amazing that only 2 weeks after open heart surgery, he is looking and feeling this great! He is an amazing little guy, and God is good!

Since Colby's chest x-ray was clear (no fluid around his lungs), Dr. Doyle decided to try taking him off one of his diuretics and reducing the amount of the other (Lasix). Instead of taking two diuretics twice a day, he will now only take one diuretic once a day. After the Fontan, kids tend to struggle with keeping fluid from building up around the lungs, so we will have to watch Colby closely for any signs of fluid (trouble breathing, not feeling well, etc) with this reduced intake of diuretics. Colby will have another chest x-ray and appointment with Dr. Doyle on May 10th to check his lungs and heart. We pray that he does well with the reduced amount of diuretics. He has not been happy having to wear a pull up again, but with all of the diuretics, he has not exactly been able to wear his underwear! I'm sure he will be happy to be potty trained again once he adjusts to this new dosage of Lasix and has to potty less!

Colby's First Week at Home

Colby's first week at home after his Fontan definitely had its ups and downs. Days 1 and 2 were extremely difficult and exhausting, but by day 3, Colby was having a lot more good moments than bad. I have to admit that during days 1 and 2, I was scared to death that we would never see our little Colby's big personality again. He was just so uncomfortable, tired, and unhappy. We are so used to him being loud and lively that it was hard to see him the extreme opposite of that. When we started seeing his little smile, seeing him feel more like playing, and seeing him and Brody acting silly together again, we were all very excited and thankful to God!

As you can see from the first two pictures below, Colby watched a lot of movies through the week. He didn't feel like playing with anything except his little DVD player and the remote. Ah-Ah, his monkey, was always close by his side, and he wouldn't let me far from his sight either. He got a little spoiled to constant mommy and daddy time in the hospital, and he wasn't ready to give that up just yet. I don't know if you can tell in the pictures, but he has very tired eyes! This is because he was NOT sleeping well at all!! Jason and I have had several rough nights. We are not exactly sure what is causing the night waking, but we do have a few theories: he got used to me or Jason sleeping in the bed with him at the hospital, he is having bad dreams (who wouldn't after what he just went through!), or he is still having some pain. Whatever the reason, we are praying it passes soon. Jason and I are not great with being woken up in the middle of the night any more.

The night before this picture was taken, a funny (at least it's funny now) thing happened. We were up and down with Colby from about 11:30-1. We thought he was finally sleeping peacefully, but we were wrong! At 2:30, Jason wakes up thinking he is having a dream that he hears Colby. He turns over to see Colby sitting in the middle of our bed between us patting us both on the backs smiling and saying, "Wake up mommy, wake up daddy." It was no dream! This little monkey climbed out of his big bed with his Ah-Ah and "tanket," climbed down the stairs in the dark, and climbed up into our bed. I'm pretty sure that these things are probably on his list of restrictions, considering he just had open heart surgery! He is lucky that he didn't hurt himself! I took him right back to his bed, and he slept the rest of night. He will hopefully not be trying that again any time soon!

This was Saturday, and it was actually the first day that Colby felt like getting up and moving around a lot. He and Brody were having a dance party. I love watching them dance!

We spend a lot of time outside in the afternoons, and I am glad that Colby is feeling like being out there again. He loves watching movies on the TV that Jason hung in our garage, because he knows that is the only remote control that he can be in charge of! He also loves bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and eating Popsicles with all of the neighborhood friends. He really missed his friends when he was in the hospital!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Best Helper Around

Last Saturday, Jason and Poppy put in a wall around a new flower bed on the back side of our house. Brody was so excited to be their helper, and he really did a great job! He had so much fun digging in the dirt. He has asked us every day since to do some more digging with his new shovel that Poppy bought him. Unfortunately, we are out of places to dig! I love seeing Brody so eager to help others. I also love how he listens to directions and tries so hard to do the task just right. He makes us so proud!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pictures and Details from Post-op Day 6...Discharge Day!

Colby was discharged late Monday afternoon, and the discharge paperwork could not come through fast enough for any of us. We were told in rounds that morning that discharge was a good possibility, but we have learned from past hospital stays to not get too excited too soon about leaving. Something can always come up! Jason and I joke that we don't truly get excited until we have Colby in his car seat. Once his echo was read that afternoon and looked good, though, Dr. Osgood pushed through the discharge order. Yay! Dr. Osgood has actually been with us from the very beginning. She was in the delivery room when Colby was born! It was funny when she started her Cardiac Rotation on Monday...just in time to discharge us! Thank you Dr. Osgood! Colby was not eating very well while in the hospital. When we would try to get him to eat, he would take a few bites, and then say, "No, Eat, Home." It was almost like he was boycotting eating until he could go home. When we told him that we were going home, though, he requested lunch from Subway, and ate great! He really is a little stinker!

After getting some food in his belly, he was actually in a little bit better of a mood. He even wanted to play with the remote to change the channels (his favorite thing to do lately), which he had not felt like doing all week.

Funny story! Right before our discharge papers came through, the hospital went on Orange Alert for a Tornado. All patients had to move out into the hall until the tornado threat had passed. Really?!? We were so close to leaving!!! Fortunately, this lasted less than half an hour and we were back in our room to continue waiting for discharge.

We are in the parking lot!!! We just kept thinking, "this may be real...we may actually go home on post-op day 6!"

Heading home! I am pretty sure that Colby is excited, but he was just so exhausted!! In addition to boycotting eating, he was also boycotting sleeping while in the hospital. A hungry and sleepy little guy does not make a happy little guy!!!!

We got home at the perfect time...right when Brody was getting up from his nap. Jason and I were so excited to surprise him, and Brody was so happy to see us. Colby was of course still pretty grumpy, but I can't say that we blame him. He is an extremely brave and tough little boy that has endured far more than most adults ever have.

Now that we are home, Colby still has a long road ahead of him. He is very sore and still has a lot of pain at times. With each passing day, though, I hope we see more of his great personality and contagious smile as he starts feeling a little better. We really, really miss his smiles!! Please continue to pray for him as he recovers. Thank you for all of your words of encouragement, gifts, prayers, and love. Jason and I really do love hearing from all of you...it always gives us a boost when we are feeling down.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Post-Op Day 6...Discharged!

I just wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know that we are home! We came home late Monday afternoon. It is so crazy to think that we are home only 6 days after this major open heart surgery. Colby is a true super star!! I will write more and add some pictures hopefully later today. Right now, we are trying to spend a lot of time with Brody and get settled in...not to mention continue taking care of Colby, who is only 6 days post-op!! Thanks to everyone for your prayers. Please continue to pray for Colby's continued healing.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Post-Op Day 5 (4/3/11)

This morning did not start out so great. Poor Colby had not had a bowel movement since surgery, which was causing him to have severe stomach pains throughout the night. This resulted in very little sleep for all of us. They had already tried 2 suppositories and Miralax with no success, so today they went ahead with an enema. We are all very happy to report that it was successful. Once this was done, he was a little more comfortable. It doesn't seem fair that he has already been through open heart surgery, chest tubes, IV pokes and blood draws, and now he has to deal with severe constipation and an enema!

Chest tube is out!!! They pulled his chest tube around noon or 1:00 today, which also helped him get a little more comfortable.

With his chest tube out, he had a little more freedom to move around. He celebrated by having a juice box in the big chair.

We walked around more today, even though he protested the entire time he walked. He just kept saying, "holsh me!" It was hard to not just pick him right up, but we know that walking is good for him. We only wish he understood that everything we are making him do (walk, eat, poop, take his medicines, etc) is good for him and will help him heal.

Brody came to visit again tonight, and he was so excited to pull Colby around in the wagon. I know that this has to be hard on Brody seeing his little brother so miserable, but he is handling it really well. We are very proud of him! Jason and I talked just the other night about how lucky we are to have Brody. I'm not sure other kids in Brody's position would be doing so well.

We walked by Ben and Jerry's, so we of course got the boys a milkshake to share.

Jason and I have thoroughly enjoyed and treasured all of the cuddle time we have been getting with Colby. He seems to want daddy for a while and then mommy for a while...probably because he can't get comfortable, but I like to think it's because he wants to give us both equal time. I hope Colby always remembers how lucky he is to have Jason for his daddy. Jason is so great with him, and I cannot imagine going through this with anyone else. He always seems to know just what to say to keep me going when I am emotionally exhausted.

Today has been a very difficult day for all of us. It is extremely hard to see our little guy so uncomfortable and hurting. Watching him recover has been heart wrenching! As his mom and dad, we just want to fix it and make him better, but obviously we can't do that. All we can do is hold him, rock him, cuddle him, and pray that God will heal him and bring back that big personality and contagious smile of his that we miss so much. We also have to continue praying for patience while we help him recover, and remind ourselves that this journey is not a sprint...it's a marathon!