Friday, October 5, 2012

Turning a Corner

Happy news!! Aidyn gained a pound since last month! He is 27.7 pounds, 12.6 kg and 36 inches. He was a champ getting his B12 shot and giving blood to check Vitamin D levels. The Dr. was enthusiastic about his progress since he had been stalling with weight gain for many months. She is happy to discontinue the use of antibiotics for overgrowth. He is absorbing more and he has not had any setbacks. Aidyn does not need to go back to clinic for four months. I am so proud of Aidyn, and myself!  It was a great day!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Summer in Fall

In Arizona it’s hard to believe Fall has started. Temperatures still top the high 90’s, and sometimes 100’s. Fortunately, the evenings and mornings are cooler. Aidyn has done very well keeping hydrated during the summer. I think what has been helpful is that I have weaned Aidyn off the antibiotics for bacterial overgrowth. It always gave him runny/watery stools the first half of the week long antibiotic cycle. This is how I weaned him: In June, I started to space out the antibiotics by adding a week to the time Aidyn had off of Flagyl (initially only one week). By August he was able to go three weeks off the Flagyl. He’s currently on his fourth week off. 

First ice cream!
Two weeks ago I started adding ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to every 20 oz of water Aidyn drinks. Any extra gas build up he usually got seemed to disappear. Aidyn now consistently has soft-formed stools. They are smelly, but without tons of gas and liquid. I find if I give a drop of oil of oregano for a couple days, it will kill the bacteria that the probiotics missed and the smell will lessen.

Big Boy bed!!
Aidyn received his first dose of B12 shots the beginning of September. He will continue to get them, with labs done every three months. His weight was checked and I was surprised Aidyn didn't gain weight. He has been hanging around 26 ½ lbs since the beginning of summer. I am hoping Aidyn will have gained some weight by Friday, the next GI appointment.
Much needed haircut done by Mama.
I have some exciting news! Aidyn has started Preschool! He goes half a day, four days a week. It has been over six weeks and it is going smoothly. He did catch a cold three weeks into school, but he recovered quickly. His speech has improved and it is probably the combination of Speech Therapy at school, his peers and just plain time. So far there have been no potty accidents at school. He has good control of his bowels and is pretty regular. Despite that, potty training is very slow. He just doesn't want to take the time to go to the bathroom. I am hoping by the time he is four he will be potty trained AND off the bottle. Drinking Elecare formula out of anything else just won’t do. I shouldn't complain because at least he will still drink it and he has no feeding tubes.

Ready for school.
Finger paint!
Recap on Aidyn: He has only 5 – 10% of his small intestines left, no ileocecal valve, no appendix and 50 – 75% of large intestines left as a result of NEC. He has been off TPN/Omegaven( IV nutrition) for 21 months and drinks Elecare for half his calories. He eats what he can tolerate which is most meats, gluten-free starches and is limited to carrots, apples, tomatoes, and strawberries for fruits/veggies. He is allergic to wheat, cow’s milk, beef and bananas. Each day he drinks about 24 oz of Elecare at 36 cal/oz and another 20 – 24 oz of water with electrolytes and sodium bicarbonate. Along with liquid vitamins, he takes 16000 units of Vitamin D3, 2800 mg of fish oil (when I remember), almost half a sachet of VSL#3, and Ursodiol every day. I give oil of oregano as needed. He recently weaned off Flagyl. He has 2 -3 bowel movements a day, soft formed. That’s it!

I always pray for the miracle that he wakes up one day with everything intact inside. That’s the kind of faith I have and it has gotten me through it all.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Summer in Boston

Well, I thought I posted this entry, turns out it was waiting for pictures to be added. Here it is:

June 26th marked the 15th time Aidyn had flown to Boston. He knows about everything when it comes to flying on a plane. He has traveling by air since he was 6 weeks old. Our family of four headed to Boston for another clinic appointment at Children's Hospital Boston. I am still very cautious about germs from the general public even though Aidyn doesn't have his central  line anymore. Each time we board a flight, I whip out my handy antibacterial wipes and wipe anything within arm’s reach.  Using the plane restroom is a task in itself for the average person, imagine bringing in your baby or toddler in, instructing him not to touch a thing so you can wipe all the surfaces before laying him down for a diaper change, or in the case now, getting him to hold on to you while he sits to do his thing during turbulence. Speaking of that, Aidyn did an impressive job at using the commode on the plane, TWICE on the way to Boston and once on the way back. He had dry pull-ups after each landing. 

This time around, we wanted to make a vacation out of the trip. We took advantage of all the miles we had and were able to pay for two tickets at $99 round trip each, one for free and the other at full price. We stayed in Burlington, a suburb of Boston and enjoyed the cooler weather Massachusetts had. It was nearly 100 degrees in Phoenix when we left and a nice, cool 67 degrees when we landed in Boston. It averaged about 85 degrees during the day, perfect. We arrived a couple nights before Aidyn’s appointment to relax and recover from the three hour jet lag. After a day at the Burlington Mall (where "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" was filmed), Aidyn had his first dip in a public pool, the hotel pool. He had fun going in and out of the cold pool, which surprised me because he never likes playing in the splash pads back at home .

Although long, Aidyn’s appointment with the CAIR team the next day went very well. He happily picked out a toy from the gift shop for having had to wait so long and for giving what a lot of blood for lab work. Everyone, the surgeon, nutritionist, GI specialist and nurse practitioner, all agreed that Aidyn was doing quite good. His weight was 27 lbs 12 oz (maybe a little inflated due to him having his clothes on) and it calculated just right for his height. They felt he was actually taking in enough calories for his growth and encourage us to keep doing what we are doing. We found out his Vitamin D results were 26.1 ng/mL and his B12 was 169 pg/mL. Both a bit low. We will continue to give the over the counter Vitamin D3 at 8000 iu/day and retest in a couple months. As for the B12, Aidyn will start B12 injections again.

Dr. Puder's Omegaven nurse came to see us while we waited for the CAIR team. Alexis chatted with us and with a sense of accomplishment she reminded me that Aidyn was one of the youngest babies to receive Omegaven there at Children’s Hospital. You can see the happiness in her face when she looked at Aidyn, seeing how big and healthy he got was remarkable. She let us know that Dr. Puder would love to see Aidyn and had him paged. We just love that man! He looks at Aidyn and without a second thought says he’s doing just fine. He chats with us about this and that, and then tells us of a conference in Phoenix that he will be attending early next year. He was hoping he could see us and we said we would definitely make it work. By then Aidyn will be almost 4 years old and in preschool.

Before coming back home to AZ, we spent a few days relaxing, going to the Museum of Science (which is amazing) and spent an afternoon at Revere Beach. 

It was a very nice trip to Massachusetts this summer. We got to spend a wonderful time together and came back with great reports for Aidyn. Aidyn is due back in another 6 months.