March 2, 2006 Jacob has been doing really good this week! He's been to school every day so far and even stopped by the NICU earlier this week to visit his old friends. Brett had to pick me up that day, so he brought Jacob up to see everyone. It was nice.
Unfortunately, I will have to take down the Guest Book again. Someone has decided to use Jacob's guest book as a means to advertise and it's happening a lot. I will take down the option to submit automatically, submit the info myself. That way I can filter out the "spam." It's horrible that people waste their time doing that.
March 9, 2006 Some of you may already know, but Jacob is in the hospital again.
It all started with a fever Sunday evening, then vomiting on Monday. We thought we'd try taking care of him without going to see anyone, but obviously it didn't work out that way. His fever persisted through early Wednesday morning when we took him to the ER. He didn't want to eat or drink either, so he was dehydrated. In the ER they gave him IV fluids, put him on oxygen, took blood for testing and took a chest x-ray. Although those tests came back normal, he was requiring oxygen and the fever still wouldn't break. An examination by an ER medical student, found that he has a double ear infection. After a few hours of waiting, and the recommendation of his pediatrician, he was admitted to the pediatric unit.
Last night things got a little worse as he needed more frequent breathing treatments and increased oxygen. Doctors may repeat a chest x-ray later today because they said that sometimes when little ones are dehydrated, an x-ray can be deceiving. Now that Jacob is hydrated, he has some raspy lung sounds, is coughing a lot more, and breathing faster, all possible indications of pneumonia or bronchitis. He will be in the hospital at least another night, if not longer.
Brett and I are taking turns at the hospital. When one of us needs rest, the other stays with Jacob. It's hard. Right now I am at home, and soon after updating the site, will be going to bed for a few hours. I decided that since I work right there in the hospital, I will work for a few hours tonight. Brett will be with Jacob.
Because this is his fourth hospital stay (due to respiratory issues) since September, Jacob's pediatrician has sent in a pulmonary (lung) specialist to see him. We will likely pull Jacob out of school until the fall as well. He did not get sick nearly this often before he started, so we know the exposure to other children and germs is causing his frequent illnesses.
Please keep Jacob in your prayers and I will update you as soon as I can.
March 10, 2006 First I would like to thank everyone for your kind words and prayers. They keep us going during times like this. God Bless you!
Jacob had a hard night. He needed more oxygen and was very irritable. After a while, he calmed down and finally went to sleep for several hours. When he woke up, his oxygen need decreased and he ate and had some juice...all great signs. He will be in the hospital at least one more night, or until he is off oxygen and eating and drinking well for several hours. We hope he continues to improve this afternoon/evening and overnight, so he can come home tmw. All tests are still negative, so doctors think the fever was from the double ear infection and his breathing issues may be pneumonia. Because his chest sounded better this morning, they decided against another x-ray. They may do one if he gets worse though.
I will update again when I can. Again, thanks for your support!
March 11, 2006 Jacob is doing much better today! We were hoping he would come home today, but it looks like it will be tomorrow (as long as he continues to do well). My sister Meagan came to the hospital last night and this morning to help us out; what a sweetheart.
Brett and I continue to be by Jacob's side in shifts. I take the nights and mornings, Brett does afternoon/evening. Each day I have used the time to come home for a little while, play with Skipper and update the site, then I head back to the hospital to work for a few hours before going back to Jacob's room. Brett went back to work last night, only staying for half his shift before coming back to the hospital. We are both staying strong for our Fighter! More updates to come...
March 13, 2006 Jacob didn't get to come home yesterday like I thought, nor will he get to come home today. He managed to go a couple hours without oxygen yesterday, but has since gone back on. He cannot leave the hospital until he can eat, sleep and play several hours without it. He is doing well otherwise; playing, standing, eating, drinking, etc.
Brett has been with him since yesterday afternoon because now I am sick, very sick. What started as a sore throat and stuffy nose, is now the full blown flu, or something similar. Achy, coughing, stuffy, all the good stuff. To help us out, My Mom and sister Meagan have offered to spend tonight with J so Brett can work (and rest) since I have to stay at home. I don't know what we would do without family and friends! God Bless you!
I would like to give a special thanks to the Kennard family, for the lovely basket of treats. And to my dear friend Natasha for offering to make us a home-cooked meal. I can't put into words how much you guys have helped us. This is very hard for us, but we stay strong with the support of you and Jacob's endless fighting power!
I will update again soon, for now I must get back to bed and rest. God Bless!
March 14, 2006 Jacob made it home from the hospital late last night, thank God! We are so happy he's back home. He was sent home with oxygen to use while he sleeps and in a few days we will take him to his pediatrician for a follow up. Then in a few weeks, we will follow up with the Pulmonary Specialist.
We can't wait for life to get back to normal. Thanks again for all your prayers! They helped so much!
March 19, 2006 The last few days have been good! Jacob is feeling much better and were settling back into our daily routine. Jacob and I aren't on the best sleep schedule, but we are at least getting our rest.
Jacob went to see his pediatrician on Thursday. She said Jacob looked good and a monitor showed his oxygen level was great! She suggested we give him oxygen (while he sleeps) for a few more days. She also mentioned the possibility of Jacob needing tubes in his ears because of his frequent ear infections. From what I hear, it is a common surgery in children. And of course Brett and I want to do whatever is needed to keep J's ears healthy. He already has vision loss, we do not want him to lose his ability to hear.
In Mommy news... I am really enjoying my job at the NICU. Although the title "Cleaning Tech" doesn't sound glamorous, it is actually a nice job. Yes, I do clean beds and stock supplies, but I also talk to parents, assist nurses and observe various things in the unit. The experience I am getting is going to do wonders for my nursing career. And the more I am there, the more I want to be a Neonatal nurse. Before starting this job, I told myself I wouldn't decided which area of nursing I would work in until after nursing school (since I would work many clinical rotations in various departments) but at this point, I am definitely leaning! I won't be done with school for three years, so I have plenty of time to decide, but if work in the NICU until then, I just may end up a NICU nurse!
March 27, 2006 Happy Monday to ya! Jacob has been doing really well! He's off oxygen and antibiotics and other than sleeping odd hours, he's great! We are working with Rainbows United to withdrawal him from school and return to home-based therapy. We will try school again in the fall. We hope a few months at home will allow his immune system to get stronger.
Now that the weather is starting to get warmer, Brett and I will be taking J outside more. We'd like to take him to the park, the zoo, or even our own backyard. He loves to swing, so he'll be doing plenty of that! We would also like to get him used to walking outside on different things (concrete, grass, etc). He still needs to hold our hands when he walks, but the more we work with him, the faster he'll walk independently. We can't wait!
Be sure to visit the site in the coming days as I will be adding several new pages and will complete those that are "under construction."
March 30, 2006 Monday evening I received a call from Teresa B., the Neonatal Nurse Liaison for Wesley Medical Center (I met her the day I interviewed for my job). Teresa also serves as the Chairman of Program Services for the Wichita Chapter of March of Dimes. She asked me if I would be willing to speak about my experience as a preemie mom at a kick-off party for the local Walk America event. Of course I said yes! I'm honored!
I will be speaking to a group of volunteers who are employed by a local grocer. There will be about 60 people. I am very nervous as I have not spoken in front of that many people before. Since I have told Jacob's story before, I won't be preparing anything...I'm winging it!
The event is this morning at 8:00am! I will be bringing Jacob along for everyone to meet. Brett and my friend Kim will also be coming for support and to take pictures! Wish me luck!