|My favorite shot from the family pics we had taken this past fall- it showcases the personalities of the kids pretty perfectly! Faith strikes this "model" pose in a lot of pictures...|
Preschool has been a bit of a challenge for her immune system. We weren't expecting it to be quite as bad as it has been, since Noah was in kindergarten the year before and presumably brought home a lot of germs, and it was never an issue... Starting out the year though I think she was sick at least twice a month, which is a pretty big deal when she only goes 2 days a week! Somehow she avoided getting the flu, in spite of Noah and I both having it, so that was definitely a blessing. It seems like every little cold she gets lately results in a week of vomiting, so I hate to think what the flu would have done to her!
|Faith's first day of school!|
The daily antibiotic idea didn't last very long, because it caused her to have bacterial overgrowth within a month or so of starting it... so we stopped that and treated the bacterial overgrowth. Since then, she has been cycling with the bacterial overgrowth about every 6 weeks, and we've been treating it when it comes back with an antibiotic called Alinia and a probiotic called Florastor. That combo works really well, but the probiotics are expensive and not covered by our insurance at all.
We can't figure out why the bacterial overgrowth continues to come back in spite of treatment... it goes away every time we treat it, but still pretty much every six weeks or so, it comes back again. Faith has stumped the docs again too, because consistently the week before the bacterial overgrowth comes back, she has 2 or 3 random incidents of "sleep-vomiting", where she will cough once or twice and wake up covered in throw-up. Then the next week comes all of the typical bacterial overgrowth symptoms- the excessive (and stinky!) gassiness, diarrhea, and stomach pain. No one seems to be able to understand why she is throwing up in her sleep for no apparent reason, and they don't think it's connected to the bacterial overgrowth (but the timing seems awfully suspicious to me...).
|Picking out a pumpkin on her field trip to the farm|
While I hope that she doesn't have an anatomical (aka potentially surgical) issue, I would love to have a definite cause so that we can come up with a solution. It is so hard to deal with, because she is getting to an age where it really affects her emotionally. I hate seeing her sick, and it seems like lately she isn't feeling well way too often. The worst is when she does her "sleep-vomiting" and apologizes to Dave and I for throwing up in her bed, and cries and says how much she hates throwing up. I have always been thankful that she was too young to remember everything she's been through, and now she isn't too young anymore and it hurts me to see her suffer. Still, she is an amazing testament to God's healing power... I cannot believe that the rambunctious little tomboy princess constantly asking to ride her bike or go to school is the same baby I spent so many hours blogging about four years ago!
|Faith's school picture from the fall- a little "before & after"... it makes me cry every time I look at it!|
When Selah was about ten weeks old, she got a fever and I took her to the ER. Turns out she had a UTI (which was the start down the road to getting her and Faith diagnosed with VUR), but the very first thing the ER doc asked when she came into the room was, "Has anyone ever said anything about her head?" No one had ever said a word, although we had noticed that it had kind of a funny shape... The doc recommended that we follow up with a neurosurgeon, to rule out a condition called craniosynostosis, where the plates of the skull fuse together prematurely. We took her to the neurosurgeons at Children's, where they basically took one look at her and positively diagnosed her as having sagittal cranio. They wanted to wait until she was 6 months old or so to do anything about it, which didn't seem right to me, so I took her to a neurosurgeon at the other pediatric hospital in Denver for a second opinion.
In the meantime between appointments, I found a great organization, Cranio Care Bears, that supports families affected by craniosynostosis, and it turns out that one of the founders lives about 20 miles from us. We met up, and she actually came along to the second opinion appointment. She has seen a lot of cranio babies' heads, just because of what she does, and she also agreed that Selah had sagittal cranio. The second opinion doc believed Selah had cranio too, and we scheduled a CT to confirm the diagnosis.
The whole experience of having a second child with a 1 in 2500 birth defect had majorly shaken my faith and I was feeling pretty depressed about all of it. On top of that I was having a pretty hard time adjusting to having three kids, and then Dave left to go hunting. I went to church that Sunday and found our pastor afterwards, crying about how it wasn't fair, and when was it not going to be our turn for all of the bad stuff, etc, and he offered to pray. Selah was in a sling on my chest, fine and dandy, her normal mellow self, and then he put his hand on her head and started praying. She screamed, like she was hurt, until he finished praying, and then she was fine again. On the way out of church, a friend saw me and asked what was wrong, and also offered to pray for Selah. The SAME THING happened- Selah was fine, but as soon as the friend started praying and put her hand on Selah's head, she started screaming. Then she finished praying and Selah was fine again.
A few days later, I took Selah down to the hospital for her CT, and an appointment with the neurosurgeon to discuss the results. She had the CT scan, and then the neurosurgeon sat down with me in front of the computer and showed me every single suture (the joints between the plates in the skull) in Selah's head. Every single suture was open, not a single one was fused! We believe without a doubt that this was a miracle.
I could say I will update after the tests Faith has coming up, but I'm not sure anyone will believe me... I will definitely try though! :)