Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Checkin' In....

Danielle is off to a great start for the New Year. We have been hibernating with hopes of staying healthy because there are a pile of germs and sickness going around right now. She is battling a bit of a cough right now, but after a couple trips to the doctor, just a virus her blood counts say. We have ventured out for walks when the weather has been warm and we have been teased with small tastes of Spring, but other days we have been relaxing and snuggling up!

We have struggled with ouchy ears tho for the past month or so. Danielle is such a tough cookie that she doesn't fuss much when her ears are ouchy but we notice by certain symptoms and can't help but know that they must be bothering. We have done ear drops on and off since the end of December / beginning of January. Drops we got from her Odo doc in IC, use them if you feel she is in discomfort, if they don't do the trick then take her in. Well they were working, we would do them for 5 days, ears would clear up so we would stop, sure enough 4 days later the ear icky's would be back. So Mom finally had enough. After a visit into her local Ped doc they suggested once again to do the drops and we would revisit the situation in 2 weeks. No way that is what we had already been doing!

So two Sunday's ago I e-mailed her most fabulous doc in IC, Dr. Smith. Fully not expecting a response until Monday, I still wanted to type while it was fresh in my mind. Low and behold by 4pm I had a response and he wanted to see Danielle the very next day. We got in Monday afternoon and the results made us sad. Her left ear that still had the tube was clogged badly with ear gunk and the tube was so surrounded that it was not functioning. My Aunt sat with us while Daddy and the nurse held Danielle and Dr. Smith suctioned what seemed like a huge amount of stuff out of the way back of her ear, but it wasn't enough. She screamed and cried, it was so sad but we knew that it had to be done :( The tube was also surrounded with granulated tissue and a lot of gunk, so the drops I had been doing had probably not even been getting to the spot. He scheduled tubes the very next day.

Keeping a watchful eye on her nurses and doctors before surgery.
Sound asleep on the Boppy during play time :)
It was a long beginning to the week but we got thru it and anything to help our baby girl get on the mend. We awoke Tuesday morning and at 6am headed off to IC. Surgery was to be at 9am but by 8:30 they were ready for her. We had been thru this routine before but it doesn't make the situation any easier on Mom or Dad. We both looked at each other with big sad eyes as the Anesthesiologist carried Danielle off to the OR and we took a right turn to the waiting room. 15 minutes later Dr. Smith came in, surgery went good. Her left ear was to be pretty ouchy for a few days, he had a hard time getting the tube out but he did and got the ear cleaned out and new tubes places in each ear. Great news! Thank you Dr. Smith!
We were home by 11am and on the couch snuggling with our baby girl. The next day Daddy stayed home and cuddled her some more to make sure she was feeling okay. Her ears were pretty sore for about 4 days, now we think they are a lot better. Instantly she started holding her head up a LOT better and she is talking even more. What a great thing! And the most comforting thing is having a doctor we love, as we left that day Dr. Smith says to us, 'thank you for letting me help your daughter.' Those words I have heard from him before but they get me every time. It is amazing to have someone so special caring for our children.
One of the reasons we are so very fortunate to have incredible Specialists so close to us at the University! We will be forever grateful to them for saving our children!

Today we ventured back to IC for her 6 month MRI and re-check with our Neurosurgeon. Danielle did great! We even got a visit from the Continuity of Care person for the NICU, Anne, who wanted to followup and see Danielle! That was a great surprise!
The MRI was the usual, quick 5 minute one, she fussed a little bit but I held her hands the whole time. They did the series 3 times to ensure we got more than one good picture. Before long we headed up to the clinic.
The doctor was pleased with this visit. Nothing had really changed since last time which is good news. Her setting is set to drain the most that it can. He is happy with how things are and we got the okay to not come back for another 6 months! We talked about Danielle's therapy and how vital it is for her to keep continuing weekly therapy sessions to help her get stronger, keep her body loose and her mind growing to explore new things! And the best therapy Dr. Menezes said, even better than the therapy she gets at her sessions.....her big brother! He is vital to her, getting her to want to interact, watch him from across the room and hear his language, all of those things continue to be extremely important. We have talked about all of these things before but he just reconfirmed that we are doing a great job at doing what we can for our daughter. We got his blessing to continue on for the next 6 months!

So our pace continues, slow and steady. We don't have to venture back to the U until June when Danielle will have her 1 year re-check for her eyes. It seems a little crazy to think that we hopefully won't even have to see Neurosurgery until August which will be the end of summer! It seems so close, yet so far away!
We continue to be blessed with our baby girl. We are blessed with the team of professionals in our life that help us help her in every way possible. We are thankful for such a wonderful place within a short drive, a place that we owe much gratitude in the health of our children. We look forward to seeing Danielle grow and get even stronger over these next months, so we can show off her and her new tricks on our next visit! This week we are meeting with our team to talk about pre-school for Danielle. She can't possibly be growing up that fast....well yes she is! We are looking forward to exploring the opportunity's that are available and choosing what is best for our baby girl. ~