Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

I miss writing on the blog but I always seem to run out of time at the end of the day and before I know it, what I intended to say was old news! Even now, Ramsey doesn't sound quite ready to go to sleep. He hasn't broken into a full-fledged cry yet so I will try to finish this.

Ramsey had a well-visit yesterday with the pediatrician. He weighs 10lbs 14oz!! The doctor is very pleased with his progress. He received his scheduled immunizations, but not the RSV booster. The insurance company refused to pay for a third shot. Apparently two is their limit and each shot runs about $1,000. I am not too concerned since they haven't seen any cases of RSV in the last two weeks. If we play it safe a couple more weeks, maybe we can finally venture to visit some family or friends. I look forward to ending this cabin fever, especially if the rain stops and we have more sunny days like today.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter! We are spending it at home, but hopefully we will have a few visitors. I also hope to make it to church if I can break away from here for a little while. I can't wait until we can go to church as a family and introduce Ramsey to our congregations. I say congregations, because Dennis was raised Catholic and I was raised United Methodist; we try to attend both of our churches. There are other churches that were so supportive of us during Ramsey's hospital stay that we would love to visit them too.

Since I know what you really want are some new photos, I'll stop rambling, and share them here...

Reed sports his "Ramz" shirt  thanks to
my Oregon relatives, the Ramsey's.

This photo was too funny NOT to post!
The boys

My bunny!
Ramsey discovered his hand - he could stare at it
for hours if he could just stay awake that long!

Reed decorates "Monster" eggs

Thursday, April 14, 2011

No more Actigall!

Ramsey's blood work from Monday's appointment came back normal! That means he can stop taking the Actigall to prevent gallstones. Also, since Monday, we stopped giving him Zantac, for reflux. However, he definitely needs to start taking it again. He cries and is uncomfortable after eating and he spit up a few times.

Tummy Time!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ramsey's Checkup at CHP

Ramsey waits for his X-Ray
Today we took Ramsey to Children's for a checkup. It has been one month since he was discharged! He had an X-Ray, bloodwork and a meeting with the surgeon who did his repair. She was "overly ecstatic" at his progress. He weighed in at 10lbs 7oz, which is in the 10th percentile. It was awesome to see how far he has come on their graph! His lungs looked great on the X-Ray. However, his diaphragm seemed to curve up a little on the left side. She said the patch may have stretched, but there are no signs that he has re-herniated. We will take him back in a month to take another look at it. She reviewed the signs of possible re-herniation so we will know what symptoms to look for.  Symptoms include labored breathing, flared nostrils, vomiting, and a decrease in bowel movements. Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all which is why we're relieved to be monitoring it closely.

I took this photo of Ramsey's scar today to show how well it has healed. You can hardly even see it, so I added the white line to point it out. His stomach bulges a good bit, on this side. I can't explain it well, and I don't want to confuse anyone, but it's basically a result of trying to fit all his organs into a stomach that was once empty. If the bulge remains, they may suggest a "tummy tuck" to correct it, but that would be a long way off. If he would ever re-herniate, they would take care of it when they did that repair.

Chicks dig my scar!
The bloodwork drawn today was to check his hepatic (liver) function. This will tell us if his billirubin is still heading back to normal. We don't have those results yet, but his appearance tells us that things are improving. We should probably have those results tomorrow. Hopefully they are good so we can discontinue his Actigall, a medication given to prevent gallstones. We are also going to try stopping the Zantac, which he is taking for reflux. If we can quit both medications, the only thing we'll have to give him are the nasty liquid vitamins that all babies take!

We will continue to use the monitor for the next month. We really don't know what caused it to alarm a few weeks ago; sometimes you just can't explain it, but most likely it was the leads.

We are continuing to "seclude" the boys for a little while longer.  The doctor believes it is best to keep Ramsey away from children and large groups until warmer weather officially arrives and the chance of respiratory infection decreases. I'm disappointed because we'll most likely miss our families Easter celebrations, but we'll do whatever is needed to keep him healthy and out of the hospital. I look forward to spending more time with family and friends, and especially introducing Ramsey to people he hasn't even met yet; that warm weather won't come soon enough!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hospital Dramas

I have always loved watching Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice on Thursday nights. Having lived my own hospital drama, however, watching TV has lost something for me. Tonight as I watched one of the shows from my DVR, I wondered how I would have reacted as a viewer of Ramey's battle with CDH. I've decided it's different when you're on the outside looking in. On so many levels, it is harder experiencing the drama. Yet, I was stronger as I lived it. If I could replay those difficult moments, I'd cry harder watching them than I did as they were occurring. It may sound strange, but I wish I could see it all again. I've said it before, but I can't understand how I was as tough as I was throughout Ramsey's fight. (Particularly during the days that I remained at West Penn Hospital while he was being treated at Children's. I don't recall feeling the despair that I expected to feel). Dennis suggested that they gave me something for my nerves, which is possible. I know God helped me through it, and the prayers of so many people. I am so thankful that I have this blog as a way to look back on every incident that led to Ramsey's homecoming. Otherwise, I'm afraid much of my experiences would remain a bit of a blur. One thing that is clear is how well Ramsey is doing. His nurse visited for the last time on Friday. It feels odd knowing he won't have any appointments this week. We are so thankful for his progress!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thursday's Dr. Visit

I took Ramsey to the pediatrician's yesterday for his weekly checkup. I was completely shocked to learn that he had gained a pound in one week, he weighs 9lbs 8oz! I think we can officially stop worrying about whether or not he is thriving. Our next visit with the pediatrician won't be for another month. We can't wait until his appointment on April 11 at Children's- we are so anxious for them to see how well he is doing!