Monday, July 15, 2013

Surgery done and discharged...

 All went very well with Annabel's surgery today. She had a supra pubic catheter placed, dilation and a cystoscope done.
She came through the anesthesia as well as every with only a little nausea. We were discharged quickly and home in 2 hours.

But I am thanking God for my wonderful night nurse tonight. She has been in so much pain since about 5:00 p.m. She has pain spell with heart rates staying over 200 for about 30 minutes. She is resting in between. I am fairly sure it is hurting her to urinate so therefore she is trying so hard not to. We can't use the catheter yet, so we are having to let her go on her own.She was dilated as big as possible and it was bloody and he want to urine to wash all the blood out, so we much just endure the pain for hopefully on about 12 more hours.

This picture is here to the right of Tara (Annabel's sister) and Annabel watching cartoon prior to going into surgery. I am so thankful that Tara has moved back home, only one more semester of Law School! We had to leave this morning at 4 a.m. and it was nice to have Tara drive us and enjoy our talks.
She loves her sister and her sister loves her!

I am grateful for answered prayers that her surgery was uneventful and we were discharged the same day.
I am also grateful and thankful to Tara for the help and being with us today.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Best made summer plans...

I am sorry but my pictures went crazy and all ended up at the bottom. I tried to move them into place and they just won't go.. So below are the pictures that went with the text...

We had the best of plans for Annabel to really enjoy here summer for the first time in years.  This meaning she was free of any central lines.

We rescheduled all routine doctors appointments until the end of August and were going to spend most of our days at the beach.  Just spending lazy days, living a much slower pace.
So here is Annabel spending time in her little pool up on the middle deck at the beach house. We fill in the morning so by afternoon the water is just right.

If the beach water is smooth and mostly clear we do go to the edge of the water and let her be rocked by the tiny waves.  Mostly we opt for the clean water on the deck.

As we do have a pool at home she does spend sometime in the pool when we are home.

This is Annabel having lunch with her much loved teacher, Ms. Ann...who we will miss so much due to her retiring.
As you can tell she has eyes only for her Ms. Ann.

So for the update on Annabel's health, she will be having her supra-pubic cath placed on this Monday. The surgery isn't a biggie but always some concern when we have to put her to sleep. If all goes well, we should be returning home that evening
The neurologist (movement disorder specialist) wanted her to have a PH probe to rule out reflux. We have done this several years ago and found nothing of reflux. She just wants to make sure these movement have nothing to do with reflux. So they will sedate her on the 22nd of July and place the probe. We will stay in Houston for the evening and then be there in the morning to have removed.

Our newest issue is that Annabel has begun to not tolerate her feeds very much. We are still giving her most of the feeds but basically forcing her to take them (g-tube). She is uncomfortable and begins letting you know at the beginning of the feeds. Also her stomach is becoming very distended and hard. She is having very few BM's even though her stool is watery. Tonight she just had a KUB and it shows she is so filled with air. All her bowel loops, like they were prior to her surgery this past July. This new upsets me greatly, because if Annabel doesn't eat, her only option is central line and we don't even want to go there...
Enjoying the breeze on the deck!

We had to seen an ENT today after the finding of her sleep study. Back in 2009 she was said to  have severe obstructed and central sleep apnea. She was placed on c-pap which work for a couple months then needed more oxygen and there another sleep study that led to her being on bi-pap. That was a no-go. Her tummy filled with so much more air and there for hindered her feeds. Annabel has been on oxygen since then but the sleep study again was severe and they want her on bi-pap. So at the ENT they said her tonsils were so tiny (like back in 2009) and then xrays her adenoids and they said they are really big and only leaves her a very tiny airway... So she will have her adenoids also out probably August. He also went on to share about reducing her tongue by killing some of the tissue in the back, then decided the back part of her tongue was not that big it was the front of her tongue. We know this falls back when she sleeps and blocks her airway also.  He mentioned about when he scoped her that if he found things
wrong with her airway he would have to perform a tracheotomy...
WHAT the heck????  We agreed he could do the adenoids because
they are obviously an issue but likely not the only issue.
There would have to be the most significant findings that would
convince me that Annabel would be better off dramatically
with a trach.

This photo below is the morning Annabel woke
with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease(Virus). She was awake all night due to be so uncomfortable.
In the morning she was covered on her inside palms and wrist, bottom, top of feet and ankles,
and her lips were so red and puffy. She did end up with the sores in her mouth.  All in all, I don't think it was as bad as it could have been. She
basically lived on Benadryl for the first 3 days. She still has the rash but the intense itching is seeming to slow down.
Prayer request are for her to do well with the multiple times she will be going under for sedation...
Also that her stomach will calm down and that she will be able to receive all her nutrition from her g-button.

Last one is that the supra-pubic catheter procedure will give Annabel relief from the UTI's and that the more invasive surgery, vesicostomy will not need to be performed.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

New Medical Information

This is what is going on with Annabel medically. The UTI's  are continuing with maybe only 24-48 hours after her antibiotic course is complete before it reoccurs. We are now working with Infectious Disease at Texas Children's Hospital. We have been with them for about 3 months now and in the beginning they seemed to have much hope that there were antibiotics out there for Annabel that could fight this bacteria that comes back so quickly. Two weeks ago we went in for an appointment and we knew Annabel was infected again just two days after finishing her recent round of antibiotics. So the doctor wanted a urine culture and some labs. She also placed her on Keflex until her surgery on July 15th and then one month after. This Tuesday I received a call from her doctor who had given us hope concerning her antibiotic use. In my heart I knew the Keflex wasn't getting the infection because Annabel was uncomfortable during the night and wasn't sleeping well.  She began to tell me how she was going to have to change the Keflex and how she was not even sure what would work anymore.
She said that with every antibiotic given the bug just get stronger and that her fears are that soon we won't have anything to fight this bug. We know she is colonized and will have to do everything to keep her bladder drained. The upcoming procedure is the supra-pubic catheter. If this doesn't work, which I have been told there is only like a 10-15% chance, then the surgery I have put off for years will have to be done. This is called the vesicostomy. I have dreaded this procedure because Annabel will have a wet diapers all the time. She doesn't like being wet, never has. Also, from comments from other moms is that she could also wet her care givers.  The last surgery being explored is to remove the bladder completely. There isn't much finding on pediatric concerning this surgery but there is in adults. It will be a very difficult surgery as we have been told. We feel blessed to have this new Infectious Disease doctor who is young and energetic and doesn't mind seeking help from all over the country.

This past Thursday Annabel saw a doctor specializing in movement disorders. Annabel has been having seizure like activity for a while now. They have been on the increase in the last month and we had seen her current neurologist for these. Even though her doctor didn't see them in her office, we had supplied video. So a few weeks ago they ordered her an EEG while we were in her office. She was hooked up for about 2 hours and we believe what we thought to be seizure like activity did occur on at least one occasion. So the EEG was read and was report that Annabel was not having seizures. We were so relieved. I felt that this was due to some sort of pain in her abdomen or maybe her constant UTI's. They also seem to increase after she received her botox treatment for her teeth grinding. After sending videos to the doctor who had administered the botox and were told they didn't believe this to be a reaction to botox. This is how we  came to meet this new movement disorder doctor. So Thursday after showing her the video so wasn't really sure if it could be something called Sandefur's syndrome (basically reflux that has really damage your esophagus ) or that maybe it was truly seizure that weren't picked up on the EEG due to them being deep brain seizures. If anyone know me I won't medicate Annabel just because someone thinks something and I won't leave her on meds unless there is conclusive evidence that the meds are working. About that time Annabel's nurse told the doctor to look at Annabel and she was beginning what we call her seizure like activity and followed up with about 10 more. They doctor called these clusters and changed her thinking that it was Sandefurs syndrome. She is almost sure these are seizures after seeing eye deviations, muscle tone changes, etc.  As much as I was struggling with the fact that these could be seizures it came to my mind that maybe this was a God thing. God knows I would have to have black/white evidence to medicate Annabel with seizure meds.
The doctor began to review her EEG and said after seeing all the abnormal brain activity and the mis-firing that was going on in her brain she would be shocked if these weren't seizures. I told her how we felt sure she had one of these while hooked up a couple weeks earlier, and she told her she has had many patients that are truly having seizure but they can't catch them or that they are just too deep.
So I asked her what she would do if this was her daughter and she said she would begin meds right away. We talked about some of the side-effects and decided to begin on now that was a very small dose and after a week up it. It will still be a small dose. Then another seizure med that we will use when they are coming with so many a day. She is sleeping much of the day and this is what I dreaded but I have been told her body is having to get use to them.

Other than this Annabel has attended two vacation Bible Schools in the past two weeks. One was at our home church another was a Baptist church here in town. She had such a great time and her nurse was able to attend with her. I am so thankful for the new friends Annabel met while attending.

This is Annabel with some friends who came to visit.
She continues on with her speech, OT and her PT here in our home. Annabel is staying very busy and we will be spending some of our summer at the beach. We continue to be thankful for our same sweet nurses. Please pray for Annabel that her surgery will go well and that she can be on the smallest doses of these meds for seizures. We adore her sweet personality and I understand many of these drug can have an effect on the personality.

I am hoping to post very soon about Annabel's Make-A-Wish gift that maybe arriving this week. I think I am figuring out this computer finally.
Annabel waiting for her craft activity at VBS

Playing on her mat prior to therapy
Annabel on beach time....
A toothless Annabel

Isaiah and Rebekah came to visit with Annabel

Friday, May 10, 2013

Annabel's field trip...

 This is Annabel's new nurse, Rachel. We are so excited to have found her.  She will be our PRN nurse as she will still be attending nursing school. We have waited, sometimes not so patiently, but now feel the wait was worth it. We still have Rebekah, our very first nurse also but she is only working one day a week. Since Motherhood, she loves staying home with her little one and we understand even though we miss her. She normally come on Saturday. 

Earlier today she was entered into the 25 yard dash where she took 2nd place and the 50 yard dash where she finished 1st. This was a wheelchair push with her sweet nurse pushing her. Go team Annabel and Rachel.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

We now have a plan...

Vesicostomy vs. Supra Pubic Catheter...that was the debate at yesterdays appointment. Our urologist is a great doctor but is sometimes hard to get him to respond concerning Annabel. We have been very frustrated in the past with Annabel's UTI's but when she had the central line they seemed easier to manage with antibiotic IV. She has been infected since December with E-coli and they say she is colonized. I have just begun to understand that she will not get rid of this bacteria ever. They explained that once you are colonized you will always be. UGH!!! So several years ago the urologist wanted to do a vesicostomy. This is a procedure done where a little hole is place in the lower part of abdomen. There urine will leak out constantly so that her bladder is always empty. This also means that Annabel will be constantly wet. I do understand the thinking that she must always be empty but I can deal with the fact that she will constantly be wet. So there were two other procedures that I had researched for information. One was called a mitranoff (sp) and the other was a supra pubic catheter. The Mitranoff is a much more invasive surgery and it would basically give her a hole high up on her belly with a cover on it like her g-button. Then we would still have to insert catheter to drain her bladder during the day. The supra pubic catheter seems to be the easiest option and seems that maybe we can empty her more often without her constantly draining and her staying wet all the time.  This will have a tube coming out of the lower part of the abdomen with a clamp on it. This way we can leave her open to drain while sleep or at home. But when she is at school we can clamp and empty her every hour. Also, she has become very aware when a new nurse come to learn to cath her and she doesn't want anyone there except myself or my daughter. She does let our main nurses do this but someone new is very hard. I am proud of her for knowing that this is a new person and that she knows she can't trust them yet.
Anyway, her urologist strongly suggested the vesicostomy. I knew I would not be able to decide this procedure until I see if this supra pubic works first.
We have tried so many antibiotics that Annabel is becoming resistant to many. We also have to be very careful with her tummy and don't want the antibiotics to tear up her belly so therefore she wouldn't be able to eat in her g-tube. We have also don't prophylactic doses of antibiotic and she continued to have breakthrough infections. We have done antibiotic washes to her bladder which she became resistant to these antibiotics. She has been dilated twice to help her bladder drain, which has not helped.  According to the doctor we have exhausted all possibilities. I am thankful he listened to my request as to the option of the supra pubic catheter. I ultimately believe he is right about the vesicostomy but feel I need to do this other procedure first.
So sorry that was so long. Our last appointment was to be fitted for her mask for the bipap study she will have as soon as she doesn't have this respiratory infection any longer.
Annabel continues to go to school most days. She also continues to have her in home therapy. We have decided that she will not attend summer school but I am signing her up for vacation bible school. We do hope to spend much of our summer at the beach.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sweet picture...

I have tried to update but having so much trouble. Annabel continues to be free of a central line. She continue to rake in the minimal amount of feeds through her g-tube. She continues to experience since December one UTI after another. It is quite frustrating that we are not able to get her free of this bacteria. It is E-coli and they are sure she is colonized.  We have consulted with Infectious Disease to see if a plan can be made to help her out.

Annabel also had a sleep study which again confirms severe sleep apnea. She will go in for anothe
sleep study soon to see what can be done with a bi-pap.
We are looking forward to summer and spending time in the pool and also going to the beach!
I am truly trying  to update her blog more often.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy 8th Birthday to Annabel...

I am so sorry for taking so long to post! As you can tell from the pictures Annabel had a birthday week!       We celebrated whenever we could get family together and this of course with her class.  She was not a smiley as she normally is and that could be due to her taking an antibiotic. They always play tricks on her tummy.
Now that I have a working computer I hope to be posting more and keeping up with her activities. I am still trying to learn this one but wanted to get her party pictures up.
It is so amazing that we have had 8 beautiful years with our little Angel. Our continued prayers is that doctors will see that Trisomy 18 is not incompatible with life.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Hoping to post a picture this week, with more parties!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

One more day...

I haven't posted in so long. I have had computer issues and I don't like typing on IPad. I am going to get my computer this week (hopefully). I want to share pictures of her and I also for some reason can't do this on IPad .
Tomorrow Annabel will turn 8 yrs olds! I will update what has gone on with her health the last few months then. Thank you to all who email with concerns.
Happy happy Birthday to our special sweet girl!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Where does time go?

All has been going fairly well with Annabel. He stomach is still allowing her to take in formula and maintain her weight. The life without a central line has so much less stress. Now when she becomes ill we don't panic or run to the hospital. When one thing works for Annabel then one other thing acts up. Anyone who has followed the blog or a few years know she can be plagued with UTI's. that is where we have been last couple months. Her biggest issue is that the antibiotics aren't clearing her up. If we had the dreaded central or PICC line we could run I'VE antibiotic and fight the bug much better. But I don't want to be negative because I am so happy she is free without all the extra attachments.
Our Thanksgiving went well and we stayed home. Annabel has had a couple respiratory infection so it was easier having the family here.
Around the middle of December the twins came home for their break as well as their sister from her school break. I think Annabel likes all the activity with everyone back home. The boys both drop in fairly often.