Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kyleigh's First tooth is....a

MOLAR!!!! Seriously, I am not even kidding. That kid just cut her very first tooth and it is on the bottom right and it is a molar. Talk about a reason to be grouchy---ouch! Not sure why my girls never cut teeth in the right order. Kaitlyn cut her first tooth at 11 months old and it was a top tooth. Kyleigh is 15 1/2 months and just cut her first tooth and it isn't bottom front or top front but a crazy molar!!! My children just want to be famous for rewriting the baby books on teething :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Surgery is Scheduled

So the girls went for their check up at Duke Eye yesterday morning. We had high hopes that both would have a good check up. However, we also felt that the inevitable was looming about us. The exam began with Kyleigh and they told us her pressure was still very high. Then they examined Kaitlyn and found that her pressure was also very high. I've explained in the past that lower numbers is better. Unfortunately, both girls had readings above 25 yesterday. We like numbers that are 10-15. This meant that the intraocular pressure of the eye could be causing damage to the optic nerve which is the source of vision. Kaitlyn's optic nerve has a small cupping on it that has been there for the past 2 years. It hasn't changed despite the up and down pressure of her eye. So Kaitlyn was given a grace period and we were told to keep having her eyes checked in Greensboro between now and our next visit in July. They tested her vision and there isn't a change since last time. She definitely uses her right eye for the vision. When her right eye is covered she can not see and tests at 20/400. Her right eye tests corrected at 20/50.

Kyleigh's optic nerve however has changed. She has a larger cupping that is being created by the extreme pressure on her eye. In addition, Kyleigh has been having difficulty with her breathing lately. The one eye drop she takes can trigger breathing difficulty in a person that already has asthma. Although she needs this drop to reduce her pressure, she also needs to have better breathing. She will take this eye drop up until one week prior to surgery. In addition, her asthma doctor has ordered that she be placed on a nebulizer treatment twice a day. This aggressive treatment for the asthma should better prepare her for the unavoidable eye surgery.

Dr. Freedman explained that surgically placing a shunt on her eye was the last chance we have at reducing her pressure before permanent damage and blindness occurs. Her surgery is scheduled for April 9th. She will have Dr. Toth the retina specialist surgically remove all fluid from behind her eye first to make room for the shunt device since her eye is so small and the fluid can attach to the shunt if left in there. The retina specialist has to do this procedure to protect the retina from detaching. Then Dr. Freedman will insert the shunt on the back of the eye near the top. Then they will attach a donated sclera as like a band-aid to hold the shunt in place. They will also stitch the shunt closed at first. Her pressure will go down from simply removing the fluid at first. If the shunt starts working immediately then the pressure could go too low too fast and that is another problem. The stitches around the shunt will dissolve by 6 weeks and start working to reduce pressure in the eye. Hopefully, we can then also reduce the need for so many drops too. The goal---save the vision!

I must be honest when I say, I just want my beautiful baby girls to be able to see better and give them the best chances in life. It saddens my heart to know that they have both endured so many surgeries. However, it makes me proud to know that they are both troopers and they rebound so quickly from all obstacles put in their way.

On another note, the nebulizer arrived last night close to 10pm. We waited to give Kyleigh her first treatment this morning. Boy, oh boy, was that a disaster! She hated it! She squirmed, cried, scratched, pulled the mask, pulled the tubing loose, and just plain made it almost impossible. I was dreading her second treatment tonight. Thankfully, we switched scenaries and went to the rocking chair in her bedroom. Kaitlyn followed us and sang and danced to help entertain. Kyleigh lay still and calm the entire time for both treatments lasting almost a total of 40 minutes. AMAZING!!! There must have been people praying because it was completely opposite of what I faced with her this morning.

With a heavy heart but hopeful spirit...until next time.....go hug your children and thank God for them today!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Allergies, Asthma and All

So Spring has sprung and brought with it allergies and asthma to our household. Kaitlyn has change of temperature related allergies and a terrible cough due to drainage. Kyleigh is wheezing and has a cough that mimics a old smoker of 50 years. She is currently using an inhaler and spacer to help with this but she isn't showing much improvements. She may be heading to using a nebulizer soon.

Monday we take both girls to Duke Eye for a checkup. Kaitlyn's is just a normal routine checkup and we hope it will bring good news. Kyleigh's is a recheck of her pressure and a visit with Dr. Toth the retina specialists. If Dr. Freedman or Dr. Toth have any concerns about the pressure of the right eye and the damage it may be causing then we are facing yet another surgery already scheduled for April 9th to input a shunt on the right eye that will drain the fluid.

This past week I met with Kyleigh's teachers and therapist for a goal team meeting. It was great. They had many positives to speak of her development and how she engages in the room. They suggested she start wearing actual walking tennis shoes. They tried an assistive walker with her but she is too short and moves backwards which is opposite of what they want her to do. So for now they will try push toys and holding her hands and letting her cruise by herself. She cruises along the play fence at school all of the time but we have yet to see her do it at home on the couch or other area besides her crib. So this weekend we are going shoe hunting for size 3 shoes for tiny feet :).

It is currently spring break so we will be finishing up workdays this week, taking the kids to the doctor, visiting friends and family. My niece will be in from Ohio so we are planning to spend time with her and my brother and sister-in-law in SC as well during the break.

Happy Spring --- allergies, asthma and all!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The nutritionist came by yesterday to meet with us and measure Kyleigh. She is now weighing in at 18.2 lbs and measuring 75 cm long. This is a 1 lb gain and 3 cm growth since January 21st! So awesome considering she endured a major surgery and recovery, and was sick during the past 6 weeks. So very glad to know she surpassed it all. We were given the go ahead to start transitioning her to 1/2 Soy Milk and 1/2 Soy Formula. She can decrease her bottles from 5 a day to 3 and increase her solid intake. We were encouraged to try to fatten her with other foods which will be challenging given her allergy to all dairy products. We will also begin giving her corn kernel size bites of foods to help her learn to chew. She takes the Gerber puffs really well but she doesn't really chew yet, she more sucks and swallows.

She goes on Friday for her 15 month check is flying by!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

First Week Was a Success

Kyleigh and Mommy both had a first good week back to school. Kyleigh didn't cry even once when I transferred her to Ellen. Ellen said she did great going to her teacher Ms. Gina. The notes home and the phone calls made during the day indicated she was having a terrific time. She has really taken off with her scooting around. In her classroom, she has a gate that she pulls up on and cruises along. She is drinking from a honey bear with a straw and taking sips from a cup. Major progress is being made!

Mommy is adjusting to returning to working. The children have been good this week. The math lessons were fun and the days went quickly. By 3:30, mommy was ready to go pick up her sweet girl from Ms. Carrie. That is Kyleigh's afternoon sitter which I must say is wonderful as well.

We have been so blessed to have things work out for Kyleigh. Now, if only mommy could manage to get two Saturday's in one weekend she would be a happy woman!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Big Day

Tomorrow morning at 5am there will still be a small baby wanting to drink her morning bottle and have her diaper changed. There will still be a four year old getting dressed along side her daddy as she prepares to go to preK. But the difference is that mommy must get out of her pj's sooner, dress Kyleigh sooner, pack bags for Kyleigh and mommy and go to work. Yes, I said work. Tomorrow is the day I take Kyleigh to my friend Ellen for transporting her to Gateway Education Infant Toddler classroom in the morning and then I go back to teaching 5th grade math at Pearce Elementary. When Kyleigh's day ends at Gateway we have found a new friend, "Carrie" that is going to pick her up and babysit at her home until I get off of work. I wonder if I will watch the ticking of the clock all day. Of course, I will probably be so busy getting used to being back that I will probably forget to do many things, much less look at a clock. The strange thing is I'm ready to return to teaching but I'm so wishing that having my 15 month old hanging out in the room playing peek-a-boo and scooting across the floor could be a part of that day. But she is so cute that most students would spend their time wanting to entertain her and not learning math so the reality is she won't be going with me tomorrow---boohoo! I was told that it's always harder for the mom to separate from the child than for the child to separate from the mom and I agree it is true. She may cry for me for a few minutes when I leave the room but then she goes on to play. On the other hand, while teaching about graphs, data, problem solving and much more I am also wondering if she is happy, sad, sleeping, playing, missing me, and so on. But what I can count on is she will be so happy to see me tomorrow when I pick her up from Carrie's house and that is the most exhilerating feeling of all to know your child is happy to see you. So, three cheers for Kyleigh making a big leap to school and prayers for mommy adjusting to the entire thing.
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