Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Our battle with Jacob's respiratory problems began in October 2010. And we are still fighting. I don't write much about it anymore because he has not been hospitalized since 2011. And he is seizure-free. Epilepsy and electasis do not elicit the same level of emotional distress. But it is distressing. I was always so sure about Jacob's epilepsy. I am never sure about Jacob's respiratory problems. X-rays. Antibiotics. Acid blockers. Steroids. Bronchodilators. Runny nose. Cough. Vomit. Fever. Ear infection. We first put Jacob through two modified swallow studies and a feeding program evaluation because Jacob's X-rays seemed to suggest aspiration pneumonia. He passed every test. Then we had to give him Prevacid every morning and night because if he wasn't aspirating his food and drink, perhaps it was coming back up at night in the form of acid reflux. There was no change in the number of respiratory incidents though while on the acid blocker so I stopped giving it to him. He was also put on Flovent as a preventative steroid but between the three pediatricians we went through and the pulmonologist, there was not much agreement as to the dose and duration. In the meantime, Jacob had an ear infection with each respiratory incident so we began seeing an ear, nose, and throat doctor. And several ear infections later, he had tubes placed in his ears. But still, with each respiratory incident, there has been an ear infection, and so Jacob has already been on three different ear drop antibiotics. With the last infection, he was also placed on an oral antibiotic. He has been on albuterol nearly every day since September and has been on Prednisone four times since January. Jacob's pediatrician discussed the danger of continued exposure to oral steroids and changed his Flovent to Advair. Jacob will need to see the ENT in two weeks and if the infection has not resolved, they will culture his ear. Like I said, it's not seizures but it's stressful and depressing at times.

Monday, May 21, 2012


If I had a girl? She would probably be just like her father too and I would be completely outnumbered in my house. Boys are easy because you don't have to do their hair and they look good with dirt on them. Girls are more challenging. I think. I know. I am a high school teacher. Honestly? I do not wonder if this baby will have a cerebrovascular accident or suffer from a rare catastrophic disorder. But I do want to be sure that this pregnancy is carefully monitored. I found a new obstetrician because after I told the last one what had happened to Jacob, his only response was that it was "fairly common". The new obstetrician delivered Matthew Jr. and I feel very confident and secure with him. We are almost nine weeks along and I have been so intolerable at times that there must be some baby estrogen interacting with my own. It would also explain the nausea that I have had for a few weeks that I never had with my boys. Nonsense. It's kind of nice to just think about nonsense for a while:)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

No Surprises

The conversation did not have a sense of urgency, nor was it forced or uncomfortable. We decided that we were ready to have another child. I have always wanted to have another child but it did not make sense given Jacob's diagnoses and treatments and therapies and surgery. Until now. As a colleague noted, it is a testament to how well Jacob is doing because I would never take anything away from Jacob, especially my care. He is doing so well and he will be an amazing big brother. Jacob can never be replaced. Neither can Matthew. Each is my most special child and so too will be my third.