Sam was happy, but also nervous at times, when we left the hospital. He walked out with excitement, but would stop here and there, and clench my leg with with fear. I can’t imagine what was going through his head. That’s the thing about having a nonverbal child. I can read his emotions, but I also know there is so much more attached to those emotions and so much going on in that little brain of his. I would love to hear it all. Someday.
Overall, Sam has been doing well. His nights have been rough, but his days have been mostly good. Home care nurses, priceless. Both him and I are definitely happy to be home.
You couldn’t put a price tag on when Sam saw his Abby for the first time, in over six weeks. Let me remind you, Abby wanted nothing to do with having a little sister or brother five years ago. The bond they have now, is priceless.
Most of the time he’s happy with his spoons or forks at his favorite spot in the house, his Elmo desk. Or dancing in the living room to his toddler music.
Sam will have another esophageal dilation tomorrow. Unfortunately, for Sam, this is a routine procedure. We know the drill. I’m not saying the drill is easy, but we definitely have it down to a science. If you’ve ever had a child have surgery and remember the process, it’s quite the ordeal. When you’re asked to be on a committee to make the patient/family experience better, pre and post op (before and after surgery), you must be a be veteran. Yep, true story.
Pray everything goes well tomorrow. Pray for Sam’s surgeon, nursing staff, and anesthesiologist.
As always, Sam Strong and Faith Over Fear!
Happy Thanksgiving! Remember, you can always find something to be thankful for. Focus on what’s good in your life. I promise, there’s something.
I’m happy to report, Sam’s had two great days in a row! Sam is back to swooning all who enter the room. The rough days were due to ANOTHER infection brewing. Ugh. Darn hospitals. Thankfully, we caught and treated it quickly.
The bleeding is less. Although there is still differing of opinions on where the blood might be coming from, it’s not a huge concern right now. They are watching his hemoglobin levels, which have been overall good. If the blood continues, he will be simultaneously scoped by Pulmonology, ENT, GI, and Surgery, which we can come back for.
They have been able to control his blood pressure, with meds we can go home on, and he has been pooping. Today, for the first time in almost six weeks, he did not have any retching episodes! All good things!
The Care Conference could not have gone any better. It’s a bit emotionally overwhelming to sit in a room with several people who have played a role in saving Sam’s life the past four years. We have a good, solid plan that everyone was able to agree on. The tears were unavoidable as they thanked me for the role we’ve played at home, in caring for Sam. When they say, it takes a village, that might be an understatement when it comes to Sam.
I decided to save the best news for last. Drum roll, please. If Sam “follows the rules”, we’ll be home this weekend without the PICC line! Hallelujah!
I’m going to spare you the many details of the last few days. Sam did have his dilation, and again, it was needed. Since then, there have been new reasons to keep everyone on their toes around here. I’ve had more than a few doctors and specialists tell me, they were pretty worried yesterday.
Today was a better day. Period. End of sentence.
Pray they will be able to figure out the source of the bleeding, or let’s believe it will stop all together. Pray for Sam to poop. 💩 Pray for his blood pressure. Pray for everyone who is on Sam’s care team and that they will all be able to make it to his Care Conference they are working on setting up.
Enough about that.
Right now, I am thankful for…
…Sam having a better day.
…doctors who lose sleep over my son.
…nurses who advocate for my son.
…being able to see my daughter yesterday.
…a family who continues to support us in so many different ways.
…being able to see my husband today.
…friends, who I know I can lean on.
…Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Music Therspy in the hospital.
…the Ronald McDonald House Charity.
…all of you who continue to pray for Sam and the rest of my family.
On Monday night we strolled Sam down to surgery again. They discovered his esophagus had narrowed down quite a bit since the last dilation done, only about a week prior. It wasn’t as strictured as the the first time, but enough to have it difficult for things to pass through. They dilated again.
He rested overnight and started feeds the next day. He’s on day two of feeds. The feeds were going well, up until later this evening. We decided not go up on his feeds at the designated time, and try keep them running at the slow rate they are. He’s sleeping well now, without any symptoms. Let’s hope, pray, and believe he can continue to go up on feeds without having to stop them.
Sam’s Surgeon has decided to schedule another endoscopy for early next week. He will take a look and dilate his esophagus again if needed. For whatever reason, Sam’s esophagus thinks it needs to close up post surgeries. We may have to continue this process, which is not new to Sam, but not fun for him either. Pray his esophagus stays open and will need minimal dilations.
Home. I’ve decided not to bring it up anymore. Sam has a great team, who has his best interest at heart. Home will happen when it’s best for Sam.
Sam needed a dilation. This is what we were all hoping for and the best case scenario. His esophagus was pretty much shut. A thing Sam likes to do after surgeries and in general. They didn’t dilate all the way being only three weeks post-op. Later, when he heals more, if he needs another one, we can come back for that. And that, is a one day ordeal, which is something we are accustomed to in our world.
He will rest tonight and we will slowly introduce feeds tomorrow. If all goes well, we will be here a bit longer, but will get to leave the PICC line here. Please, let us leave the PICC line here, Lord. Being on “PICC line watch” is really hard and especially hard with very busy little boy.
We also figured out why the blood is coming from his trach (breathing tube)! This morning, before surgery, ENT did a bronchoscopy. The blood is from suctioning past his breathing tube, something that shouldn’t be done too much. His airway is irritated, but it will heal.
Believing for no more surprises and the feeds to go well.
Thank you again for your prayers! Keep em’ coming!
Today at 2:00, Sam will go down to surgery to have another test. They will do an endoscopy with contrast into his esophagus and GJ-tube (feeding tube). They are basically taking moving pictures of where things are going when he is being fed. They are mainly checking for an obstruction.
Here’s the thing, we don’t want them to find anything, but if they do and it’s an easy fix, that would be the best case scenario. Otherwise, we’re back to square one, the guessing game.
I’m not even sure what to ask you to pray for. For now, pray we can figure out what’s going on and it will be an easy fix.
The Intensivist said, “His (Sam’s) CT scan was reassuring and disappointing, at the same time. Reassuring, because the CT scan didn’t show any emergencies. We were checking to see if his bowels had twisted. Disappointing, because it didn’t tell us what is going on.”
Long story, short, Sam started throwing up earlier and didn’t stop. It became more violent and frequent as time went on.
They have him sedated again and he will stay off his feeds for tonight. Surgery will put their heads together in the morning and discuss the next best steps.
This was Sam earlier today when things were going well. He’s wasn’t quite able to walk yet, but with his determination, it won’t take long.
This will just be a little bump. Please Lord, let this be a tiny bump.
Thank you for your continued encouragement, prayers, and support. It would make this journey a lot harder without it.
Fourteen days later, Sam seems to finally have turned the corner. Thank you Lord!
It’s been mostly hard and exhausting for both Sam and I since my last post. If I’m being honest, it’s been rough since the day of surgery. Let’s not focus on that. I tried my best to capture each glimpse of hope on camera.
The Pulmonologist said, “I think he gave us a scare, but he looks great.” Yeah, unfortunately he’s known for that.Those scares sure do a toll on a mama and daddy’s heart. PICU docs are the last docs you want to scare, butmy little boy is a fighter.
He smiled for the first time! Oh, how I love that precious little smile. Or I should probably say big, because when he smiles, it’s with his whole entire being.
His first smile was for his Abby (sister) on FaceTime. He melted every heart in the room. The nurse got a little choked up. This little boy wants to go home, so do I, and everyone at home wants us home. We’re getting there!
He got his catheter out!
He finally pooped!
No bumps of morphine!
Sam was actually himself the entire day today! The little boy we know, who is very medically complex, but the happiest, easily and self entertained kid was back yesterday.
He’s completely weaned off the drugs we can’t take home and up to full feeds. Pray for another day like yesterday and no more surprises so we can bust this joint in the next few days!
For most part, we’ve been able to manage Sam’s pain. When the morphine wears off, he’s not a happy camper. The Intensivist went up a little on his morphine today, but he’s not quite to the full dose. Pray we can go down, not up.
He had another good night until they had to put a permanent cath in him because he went for a second time without peeing. Bummer, but not the end of the world. The rest of his night was good.
We tried yesterday and today to wean him off the oxygen, but that didn’t go so well. We’ll try again tomorrow. Because of Sam’s pain, he’s been on scheduled morphine, which can mess with oxygen levels and the bladder.
Sam had a very major surgery on Wednesday. All of what’s happening is not out of the norm. Although, it’s not fun to watch, all of the docs are happy with what they are seeing so far.
We are not out of the water for leaking. Keep praying for no leaking.