Saturday, October 30, 2010

Carving Pumpkins

It's that time of year again to carry on the tradition of carving pumpkins. So far every year we have done this, Tyler has not been a fan of helping in the process of gutting and carving the pumpkins. Every year he has pulled his hand away and avoided the situation. Although he does like looking at the end result. Which raises the question.

Why do we do this again?

I always think, well maybe this year he will like it. Maybe he will voluntarily put his hand in the pumpkin. Maybe he will play with the guts of the pumpkin. Just maybe.

If you don't give him the opportunity how will you ever know if he likes it or not. At least he is a good sport about it and tolerates it very well.

Tyler: "You are crazy if you think I am putting my hand in there."
"No mom, get it away"

"Seriously, get this off my tray."

The Final Product

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Back at School

Yesterday was Tyler's first day back at school since his surgery. He has been out for 3 1/2 weeks. His cast was removed last Thursday and he is still extremely stiff and not wanting to move his legs on his own yet. So we have been doing a lot of range of motion and stretching for him. He is not a huge fan of this and really hates it when you have to move him. It's almost harder to see him like this now than it was when he was in his cast and after surgery. Recovery STINKS!!!

We wanted to ease him back into the swing of things, so he only went to school for half the day. And I think that was plenty for him to start with. He was pretty worn out last night and didn't sleep the greatest. I think he was just overly exhausted and maybe a little sore from all the extra moving and stretching. We are going to try for a full day today and so far so good.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Cast is Off

It's been 3 weeks since Tyler's surgery and he finally got his cast off yesterday. He has done extremely well with the cast and it didn't seem to bother him too much. Although I think he was starting to get annoyed with it towards the end.

Really 3 weeks is not that long for a cast. But Tyler's situation was a little different. There was nothing broken directly under the cast, all it was doing was keeping his legs in place so they wouldn't come out of the hip socket. So 3 weeks was all he needed.

Even though 3 weeks isn't long for a cast, it is still a long time for your legs to stay in the same position the entire time. So we expected his legs would be very stiff once the cast was removed. And of course, they were. He did not want to bend them at all. So the best thing we can do for him now is range of motion.

Using the blanket to drown out the noise of the drill.

It didn't work. He hated it the entire time.
For anyone who has to have a cast removed, bring an ipod or ear muffs (anything to drown out the noise)


"Hmmm, so this is what's been on my legs for the last 3 weeks."

Friday, October 15, 2010

"It's Magic" says Dad

So I had a comment from Jill yesterday about how we got shorts on Tyler. According to Travis it was magic, with the help of scissors and velcro. So I thought I would post about how we figured it out.

With a cast like Tyler's it was definitely going to be challenging. I am not a seamstress at all. I'd be good if I can sew on a button. I have learned to stitch the waist of Tyler's pants and that's about it. Since Tyler is so small, most of his pants and shorts need to be taken in at the waist. So that has been about my limit with sewing/stitching. I'm not even sure if stitching is the right term :-) All I use is a needle and thread. Sewing machines are too complicated.

So what I did was cut the crotch out of each leg. I then placed small strips of velcro about an inch apart. I thought I was going to have to stitch each piece of velcro but the type of velcro I bought was sticky on one side so I was lucky enough that I was able to stick each piece of velcro where they needed to be and they stuck without falling off. Luckily he won't be needing these for very long because I'm not sure how long the velcro will stick.

Now that the velcro was in place, it was time to put the shorts on. But the waist of the shorts was not wide enough to go over his cast, which we knew it wouldn't. So instead we put the shorts on over his head and down his belly all the way down to his waist and then fastened the velcro tabs in place. Luckily he's a small guy and doesn't have a huge belly.

The crotch cut out.

Placing the velcro.

The final product.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

He's back (sort of)

Tyler's personality is back. He is still on the pain medication but for the most part he is tolerating the pain fairly well. He still gets the med Oxydodone, but has been able to go every 5-6 hours instead of every 4 hours. The other med Valium, which helps with muscle spasms, has only needed about once a day if even that. I didn't even have to give the Valium to him the day before. This makes me very happy because this is the one that zapped his personality. Now if we can get rid of that cast he would be back to normal.

Before we left for the hospital, we lined every thing up with the school and therapy schedules. The school is providing in-home therapy for 2 hours each day until he is ready to go back to school. Yesterday his physical therapist came and she worked with helping him prop sit and head control. She also laid him on his belly. This was a little tricky with his cast and all. But we figured it out and Tyler tolerated that for about 10 minutes. Did I say how much of a trooper he is? He is so0o amazing!!

Tyler playing peek-a-boo with the pillow.

Tyler swinging with dad.
And yes, I know, he STILL has a balloon in his hand. He pretty much has not let go of those balloons since he got them. I don't know what we are going to do once they deflate.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Where's my Tyler?

Since Tyler has had surgery, he has been on some pretty strong pain medication. The doctors say the first 3 weeks are the hardest and most painful. After the first 3 weeks is when we will start to "ween" him from the pain medication. The medication can be given as needed or every 4 hours. So far, Tyler has seemed to be needing it every 4 hours. He has a second pain med that helps with muscle spasms that can be given every 6-8 hours or as needed. So far, he only needed this once today.

Usually after I give him his medicine he is very tired and has a dazed look on his face. I really hate seeing him like this but I also don't want to see him in any pain, because when he gives that look of pain, it just breaks my heart.

Dazed look
I can't wait for these 3 weeks to be over, so I can finally get the real Tyler back. Now I don't want you to think that he just lays around and looks like this the entire day. He does give some smiles and Travis even had him laughing tonight. So I am sure we are on the right path to getting our Tyler back.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We made it home this afternoon after being in the hospital for 5 nights. I was a little worried about the 2 hour drive home but Tyler is such a trooper and made it the entire way without stopping. We made sure to give him his pain medication right before we left in hopes it would make him more comfortable. I guess it did because he slept the entire way home. He wasn't very happy when we got home though and I think the trip made him pretty sore. He has been flinching and cries out every time you tried to move him or touch him. Hopefully tonight won't be too bad for him and he will sleep without too much pain.

Poor little guy is hating us right now and the next couple of weeks is going to be tough on him as he begins to recover. Travis and I have adjusted our work schedules so one of us can be home with him for the next 2 weeks. After that, we will see how he is and hopefully he will be ready to go back to school. But right now, we are just taking it day by day.

Tyler in his carseat. We were lucky enough that he fit in his seat so we didn't have to get anything else. Good thing he is a little guy :)

Thank you again for all the prayers.


We are going HOME!!!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Day 4 continued...

Well Tyler ended up not taking a nap but we still made it out to the rooftop garden of the hospital. It is so peaceful and beautiful up there. When Tyler was born and we spent 3 weeks in the hospital, Travis and I spent many hours in the garden. It was a place where you can clear your mind and/or just think and pray. I started to add the images to the blog and there was just too many, so I thought it would be easier to put them in a slideshow. Sorry there is no music attached.

Here's a few other pictures from our time in the hospital. And the video that didn't downloaded from my post the day before.

Tyler sitting in a wheelchair for the 1st time after surgery. It's a little big for him so we had to modify it with a LOT of pillows. The PT didn't think his personal Kid Kart would be wide enough for his cast. We ended up trying it the second time and it worked well, if ours didn't work we were going to have to take this big monster wheelchair home with us. So thank the Lord we don't have to do that.
Tyler watching the balls fall.
Video that was suppose to be in the post the day before but it kept timing out on me and I forgot to delete the sentence about it before I posted. So here it is, Tyler "passing time".

Day 4

There has been a lot of changes today. But change is GOOD! Changes mean a day closer to going home. One of the biggest changes today was removing the epidural. He received an epidural prior to surgery to help with pain control. But today they removed that so they can begin changing to oral pain medication. He was receiving Valium every 6 hours (through IV) along with the epidural. Now he will be receiving Oxycodon every 4 hours orally in addition to the Valium through IV. They will eventually remove the Valium probably sometime later tonight or tomorrow morning depending upon his tolerance level.

Another change that happened today is transfers. He finally got to get out of bed and transfer to a wheelchair. He tolerated this wonderfully and sat up for 2 hours the very first time. He probably could have sat up a little longer but lets not push it too far yet. Baby steps are good.

The last thing that is making him feel better is being able to poop. Due to all the meds and everything else that's going on he has been getting constipated. He has always had issues with constipation but last night you could tell he was not comfortable. His stomach was very extended, to the point his belly button was an outie instead of an innie. He slowly started to go this morning and then when he heard he was going to have to be given a suppository he finally went on his own. So he has been smelling up the room quite nicely (well not nicely but you know what I mean). Being able to poop is good.

Now that his epidural is out. We are going to be able to take Tyler outside to the hospital rooftop garden to enjoy this beautiful fall weather we are having. So when he wakes up from his nap, we hope to get him out of the room and enjoy that sunshine. I'll post some pictures later tonight.

We have also been talking about discharge. The earliest would be tomorrow but we are kind of thinking Wednesday will be the big day. Keep your fingers crossed that changing to oral meds will control his pain and we will be on the right path.

Thank you again for all the prayers, they are definitely working.

Happy Anniversary

7 years ago today, I married the best person in the world. He has been my rock during the rough times and the guy who stole my heart with his sense of humor and charming good looks (I know sappy sappy).
We may not have thought our lives would have turned out the way they have but they have made us who we are today and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. And I am so glad we are taking this path together.

I love you Travis!!

Picture from our honeymoon.
I wanted to put a picture from our actual wedding day but didn't have access to it since we are in the hospital :o)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Day 3

It's Day 3 in the hospital (2nd day post-op). Tyler was moved out of the ICU yesterday and onto the main floor. It is much more peaceful on this floor. They actually changed the trashed during normal day time hours and not at 1am like they did in the ICU. Doesn't quite make sense to me but whatever. So far we have no roommate so it has been wonderful and spacious in the room. There is a couch and a chair that folds out to sleep on and our OWN bathroom. So keep your fingers crossed we don't get a roommate.

Tyler's heart rate was still in the 150's when he got moved from the ICU to the main floor. They weren't too concerned about it and thought it was just elevated due to possibly pain and a little bit of blood loss from surgery. Yesterday afternoon it seemed to creep up a little higher and into the 160-170's. They ordered some blood work and since the counts came back a little on the low side, they decided to give him a blood transfusion today. So hopefully that will help lower his heart rate.

The other big thing that happened today was that he finally got to eat. So far he has been on a clear liquid diet. The day of his surgery, Tyler was nauseous and wasn't able to keep anything down, medicine or water. Yesterday he was able to keep water and juice down all day. So finally this morning, they cleared him from that diet. I was a little skeptical about feeding him (just because I thought he would get nauseous) but I knew that he had to be hungry. For breakfast he ate the ENTIRE bowl of oatmeal and all of his spaghetti and applesauce for lunch. So far he has been keeping everything down, so I guess he proved me wrong. When it comes to that, Tyler can prove me wrong any day.

Under all circumstances, Tyler has been in a comparable mood. He has been awake most of yesterday and today. He slept fairly well last night (except for the vital checks every 4 hours). But after not sleeping at all in the ICU, we'll take 4 hours at a time. We've had several visitors yesterday and a couple today. So thank you for all those who came to see us. The hardest thing is passing time in the hospital. You can tell that Tyler is bored. He has watched cartoons and movies but his favorite thing to pass the time is playing with his balloons.

Tyler with his balloons and other gifts that people have sent.
Tyler watching his favorite cartoon (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) and even smiling and laughing

Here's a video of Tyler "passing time"

Friday, October 01, 2010

Surgery Update

Tyler made it through surgery. We're staying at least 1 night in the Pediatric ICU because there were some concerns about Tyler's heart rate. It spiked a little during surgery, and is still just a little higher than normal. So hopefully tomorrow he'll be back to normal and we can be moved to a regular room.

Thank you to everyone who has been thinking of us today and keeping us in your prayers. We truly appreciate them ALL.

Waiting before surgery
I think he knew something was up because every time a nurse would come in to take his vitals or the anesthesiologist came to talk to us he would curl his lip.

Tyler being wheeled off
Tyler was actually smiling real big as he was being wheeled down the hall. I think he thought he was going on some kind of ride (If he only knew then where he was going).

The waiting begins.

Resting peacefully with security toy in hand..aka his football.
Not to fond of his cast