Friday, July 29, 2016

July Update: The Fun Stuff and The Medical Stuff

Believe it or not, there is not much to report.  July has been relatively tame with the usual therapies, fun summer activities, and only 2 doctor's appointments.

The Fun Stuff:

At the very end of June and into July, my mom (Baba to Ellie) visited from St. Louis.  We had a full schedule trying to fit in everything we wanted to do.  With each visit, we make sure to get breakfast with awesome coffee and head to the mall to ride the train.  It is tradition, you know!  We went to a 4th of July BBQ at my friend's house - the friend I have known since I was 8 years-old, the one who introduced me to my husband.  We had a great time and Ellie was very well behaved.  You all know what a feat that is.

Ellie and Baba

Ellie is still trying to hard to talk.  She is saying new words such as arms, kick, and fast (sounds like *ss).  Girlfriend certainly has her curse words down. Her speech therapist had me write down 10 of her most favorite foods so that she can work on these words specifically.  At the very top of the list is "cake". Right now, she signs it incessantly while making the "k" sound only.

4th of July BBQ

At the beginning of July,  Ellie participated in a dance camp for the children who are a part of the 2dance2dream program.  The Bear had a great time and I had 2 hours for 3 days to myself.  It was wonderful.  I did grocery shopping and ran a few errands.

Enjoying dance camp

Last year, we started swim lessons with this woman who works solely with kids who have special needs and their siblings.  Ellie made great progress last year and I worried that she would have lost all her skills during the school year.  Not so, she remembered!  As a child who is petrified of water (aside from baths and a splash pad), she is doing great.  With some assistance, she can swim across the pool.  It isn't super wide, but it is amazing progress.  She knows to hold her breathe and come up for air and moves her arms to propel herself through the water.  She still has trouble coordinating kicking and arm movements together, but that will come with practice.  She is also able to pick up diving sticks from the bottom of the pool.

The Medical Stuff:

Weight Gain-- that's right, our girl finally gained weight!  Nearly 2 lbs.  The Bear is going to be a chunky chicken once again.  Well maybe not but her ribs don't hang out as much.  She is still eating the same amount of food, but we started Carafate for her ulcers.  I am thinking she is finally healing and is now able to absorb more nutrients from her food.  Fingers crossed she keeps the weight on.

Urology: Six weeks people.  Six weeks to get a pre-op appointment!!!  Apparently, GI does not do the cecostomy ostomy and button procedure [Malone procedure].  Urology does.  So on June 16th, we got referred to urology.  She already has a urologist for her chronic urinary retention (which has resolved!  Woooohooooo!), yet she was referred to a different doctor, Dr. C.  Dr. C was out of town.  Once he returned, he took an entire week to get to her chart before referring her to her primary Urologist, Dr. McQ.  At this point, Dr. McQ was out of town.  She was pretty quick to review Ellie's chart and set up phone conversations and emails with Ellie's gastroenterologist.  However, the GI doc wanted to meet with the urologist in person.  They were going to meet up in 2 weeks.  Both docs conversed this past Tuesday and Dr. McQ worked us into the schedule yesterday.  It is a good thing we had a pre-op appointment as GI told the urologist that we just wanted to catheterize and not have a button.  Um, no.  We want the button.  This is why it is good to confer with all people involved in your child's care.

Now, there will be two urologists involved in this 2-4 hours procedure.  The goal is to do this laparoscopically, only Ellie may have a super floppy colon due to the musculature issues and being stretched out.  If they are not able to do it laparoscopically, they will open her up.  I am quite apprehensive about this.  I do not want to do this if they have to make a big incision, but we also need to treat her issues.  We won't really know what will happen until they get into the OR. So coordination for surgery is tricky as both surgeons need to be available for 4 hours on the same day.  Fortunately, we have a tentative date for September 12th.  Ellie will be admitted the day before for a bowel prep and then surgery in the afternoon on the 12th.  After that, she has a 2-4 day post-op hospital stay.  How will I keep this child occupied for that long?! Fingers crossed and prayers that she can have surgery during this time or we are looking at a much later surgical date that may be affected by insurance changes. Fingers crossed that our primary insurance covers this procedure, the bowel prep, and hospital stay (recall they refused to cover Ellie's hospital stay and manometry last month).

Hanging out at the Dentist

Finally, Bear had a blast at the dentist.  I don't know why other than the toys and getting her own tube of toothpaste.  She was fabulous until it was time to floss.  It took two of use to hold her down, but she was great for the exam, brushing, and fluoride treatment.  If only she was that good at home!

As for me, my uterine ablation from last mont failed.  I am looking at a hysterectomy come November.  I am not looking forward to this.  It is a big decision and I flip flop back and forth between going through with it.  It is a 6 week recovery which should be interesting while caring for Ellie.  I will definitely need help.

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