Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No surgery - yay!!

Enjoy this while you can - I make no guarantees as to how long I can continue updating the blog as frequently as I have been!

Last Friday was our followup appointment with the ENT. We had two primary goals - to discuss the results of the sleep study, and to schedule Caitlin's ear tube surgery, depending on whether or not she'd need to have her tonsils and adenoids removed as well.

We got to Kaiser early, thanks to the fact that we always put the appointment in our calendar about 30 minutes early, then forget what the real time was, so when we get there 15 minutes late we're actually 15 minutes early. We got checked in, they took us back to get Caitlin's vitals, then we sat in the waiting room for 45 minutes. They finally called us back to an exam room, and we sat there another 15 minutes. Finally, Dr. Gross came in and told us that the problem was that they couldn't find the results from the sleep study! Fortunately, Cherylle had the number to the clinic in her appointment book so they were able to call and get the results faxed over immediately.

Dr. Gross finally came in with the paperwork, but started by doing a quick look in Caitlin's ears again - and lo and behold, one of her ears actually appeared to be clearing up! The antibiotics she took before didn't appear to help, but the heavier ones from her pneumonia actually did. Then she pulled out the sleep study results, and let us know how they went. When she slept on her back or side, which was most of the time, she only had 3 episodes per hour, which is completely under the "normal" limit of 5 per hour. When she slept on the back, which was less often, it went up to 12 per hour, which classified it as "mild" sleep apnea, which was between 5-15 per hour. Her O2 sats did drop, but stayed above 80% and as seldom as it happened, she didn't feel that it was time to be aggressive with surgery. Then, she explained that since one ear looked like it was clearing up, and since Caitlin's hearing tests all showed that she was capable of hearing, and that she was obviously picking up words, it wasn't time to get agressive for that, either; so, no surgery!!

She felt that there was still the possibility for concern in the future, so we're scheduled for another audio test in three months, with a followup ENT appointment in four months. She also wants us to repeat the sleep study again in a year or so, since the tonsils and adenoids can grow faster than her breathing passages can, and there's a possibility that the "mild" problem this year can become worse by next year... So, this tells us again that we're finally working with the right doctor - not one who thinks that surgery is the right thing to do, but one who is willing to do all the testing necessary to know that we're doing everything she needs.

Thanks again to everybody who sent us well wishes while Caitlin had pneumonia - despite the FOUR molars she's cutting right now, she's still doing much better than before! We really feel blessed about that...

Here are some shots we just scanned from last year's national - if Detroit was that much fun, I can only imagine how exciting New York is gonna be! See you guys there!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tag again? Why do I keep responding to these things? Positive feedback just means they'll continue!

Hehehehehe.... Yeah, after getting tagged 7 times for that freakin' survey on Facebook I just wonder what I'm doing here!

Here are the rules:

1. Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer. No cheating {cropping, editing, etc.}!

2. Select the 4th picture in the folder.

3. Explain the picture.

4. Tag 4 people to do the same.

Well, I'm not sure how this worked out so perfectly, but this picture is from June 20, 2007, and as you may guess it's Evan holding his little sister Caitlin for the first time. I'm not sure which makes me melt faster - the look of pride and excitement on his face as he holds her, or the way she's staring back up at him while she's only a few hours old. Man, I think I'm gonna go sniffle now!

I'm not positive, but I think these four have not been tagged yet:

Kim, Alex, Sheri and Jane.

BTW - Caitlin's ENT appointment on Friday went EXTREMELY well - details will follow in a day or two...

Later, gators!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In Other News...

Two big things happened yesterday - Caitlin had her followup appointment with her pediatrician thanks to the bad case of pneumonia she had last week, and he gave her a clean bill of health! He told Cherylle that he hadn't gotten too dramatic about it when he'd first looked at her, but at the time the pneumonia was in both lungs and looked really bad - but she's a little fighter, and despite fighting the antibiotics too she's cleared up completely.

Second, Caitlin finally took her first steps! She timed it perfectly so that Cherylle and I were both there to see them, too. We'd just finished parent group, and I was standing near the door talking to another parent while Cherylle was on the floor with Caitlin getting her ready to go. Caitlin, who has been experimenting with standing on her own more and more lately, was standing mostly without Cherylle's help and trying to get my attention, and since that meant she wasn't paying attention to herself, Cherylle backed away and left her standing completely unsupported. I came over and crouched down in front of her and put my hands out just out of reach and called her to come over, and without thinking she took two tiny, shaky steps and grabbed my hands!! That was so exciting to see, although I'm terrified of what it means... She's gonna be getting into even more trouble at home! LOL

Also, now that she's gotten over her pneumonia, she's cutting two huge molars on her bottom jaw that are really bothering her. She was completely miserable last night and didn't sleep well at all, even after getting dosed with Motrin. Hopefully they'll break through quickly and it won't take too long...

Finally, Tuesday was an amazing day in our household. I have two bi-racial kids, and have always been aware that it means they will be treated differently in some settings. Cherylle and I have heard the snide comments (particularly when we still lived in Bakersfield, the dustbowl of California) as long as we've been dating, and we are realistic about what that means for our kids growing up. But when you see a person of mixed race, with an Islamic middle name, and a multinational upbringing, being sworn in as president of the greatest country on earth, it really means something special. I know I have friends, both offline and on, from all sides of the political spectrum, and for many of you the current president was certainly not your first choice. What I hope we all take away from this, no matter what you feel about the current political climate, is the need for all of us to become more involved in the community around us. This country cannot survive if we all sit back and assume that somebody else will take care of things. The idea of a national day of service is a great one, but it needs to go well beyond that. Please, find a way to contribute. If your church has a social outreach program beyond just preaching, please participate. If not, or if you are not a church-goer, please find a community center or program that needs help. Feed the homeless. Donate blood. Donate clothes. Volunteer with a non-profit service agency and help that way. Join the LPA and volunteer with them. There are many parents who don't know that their kids are okay just the way they are - find them and help. Our chapter is working on a food drive for the holidays, since we know several people within our chapter who really need the help. Take ownership of this country and we can really change things for the better!

PS - tomorrow is Caitlin's followup with the ENT so hopefully I'll have more to say then!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Announcements, announcements, announcements!

Well, as much as I blow about updating the blog, I figured I'd do one of those little quick posts like normal people do to keep y'all in the loop. Cherylle and I are now the new parent coordinators for the LA Chapter! We've been wanting to get more involved with our local chapter for quite a while, and this really looks like the perfect opportunity to do so. In addition, I'm putting together a website for the chapter, and we're working on putting together the spring regional for 2010 for District 12! You are welcome to check out the public bits of the site at LPA-LA. There's more, but I've gotta wait for the board to approve it :-)

Also, for those of you not on Facebook, that nasty cough that Caitlin had over Christmas apparently did not actually go away - it just went to hide in her lungs! About a week and a half ago she started coughing bad enough to trigger her gag reflex and her fever started spiking again. We ran her back into the doctor's office, and his x-ray verified that she had pneumonia! Fortunately a big shot of antibiotics in the rear and a maintenance prescription at home was all it took to clear things up, and she's doing much better now...

Finally, we're really looking forward to District 12's spring regional this year - hopefully some good friends of ours with some experience throwing these things will do it, and we will come down to help! *hint, hint* LOL

I'll leave ya with a few pics of Evan and Caitlin playing with cousin Lindsay, who was born less than two weeks before Caitlin.

Buh bye, y'all!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sleep study - way overdue!

As they have been for most people, the holidays have been very overwhelming and I have barely been able to catch my breath, let alone update the blog!  Still, quite a bit has happened since my last post, so I suppose there's no better time than now to get this thing updated...

Caitlin finally went in for her sleep study on Dec. 20th!  Cherylle and I had been preparing for the worst after all the stories we'd heard - we were expecting to experience one of the worst nights of our life.  Because of this, we'd scheduled the study at a clinic in Bakersfield so we could a) leave Evan with his grandma while we took Caits to the clinic, and b) have grandma watch the kids in the morning while we finally caught up on the sleep we weren't able to get the night before.  

The first good sign came when we were given the directions to a Residence Inn to report for the sleep study.  No clinic beds for us!  We got to the hotel and were directed to the back of the complex to a two bedroom suite, where we met the tech.  She had set up her control center in the living room of the suite, with a separate laptop for monitoring each patient, and one for herself to stay occupied on the overnight shift.  There was already one patient checked in and (literally) snoring away in the other room when we got there, with a large bundle of wires snaking under the bedroom door and connecting to a computer, and you could see lots of little lines on the monitor moving up and down as he attempted to sleep.

As you can expect, Caitlin really was not interested in having lots of sensors poster-puttied all over her head, but they'd instructed us to not let her nap during the day, so she was too wiped out to really struggle.  She'd had one 15 minute power nap around 4pm, since we were driving across town from visiting my sister, brother-in-law, and Caitlin's cousin, but she already has a history of using power naps to avoid actually sleeping so it worked out perfectly.  It was now 10pm, way past her bedtime, and she was COMPLETELY exhausted!  She struggled and cried a little bit, but for the most part just sat there in my lap with a wounded look in her eyes...

Of course, despite the fact that we'd told the clinic that Caitlin was a baby, there was no crib in the room, so as soon as we arrived we'd asked the tech to request one from the hotel.  Fortunately it showed up just as the tech finished putting on all the sensors, so we were able to put Caitlin down right away.  She was really exhausted, so she griped a little about the stuff on her face, but with a little encouragement from mommy (and some gentle patting on the backside) she fell asleep.  We were blown away by how easy it had been, but decided to take advantage of it and curled up in the bed next to her and tried to fall asleep ourselves.

She fussed occasionally, but no more than usual, for the first hour, but around midnight she woke up full force, discovering (now that she'd gotten some rest) that she had stuff stuck to her face and started ripping everything off!  Fortunately the tech had spotted her waking up from the readouts and was in the room before Caitlin was able to do too much damage.  Cherylle and the tech worked together to get everything back on, and after about 20 minutes or so, were able to get her back to sleep.  She woke up a few more times, off and on, throughout the night, but not enough to interrupt the study too much, and never got more than the big breath sensor under her nose to come off...

Around 5 am, the tech came in the room and let us know that she had enough data on Caitlin's sleep patterns, and that we were free to go!  We got all the sensors off, picked up the diaper bag, and headed home, very relieved that it had gone so smoothly.  According to the tech, results usually take around 10 business days, so we should have them in plenty of time for Caitlin's next ENT appointment on Jan 23rd.

I'll try to get another one up with some holiday pics, and maybe even a little about our quick Vegas trip for those of you not on Facebook!  TTFN