Sunday, September 28, 2008

The New and the Improved

I'll start with the Improved. Here we were last Sunday night.
Whew! So glad that this little adventure is over! Sean is doing much better. His legs are still a little sore - especially after working all day. Each night he has come home and crashed on the couch. He won't be running a marathon anytime soon but is definitely feeling better than when this picture was taken.
And now for the new... Cooper has also started baby food. I neglected to mention this is my last post, sorry! We have successfully introduced applesauce for 4 days and today moved onto squash, which he loved as well. Actually, I think he liked the squash more than the applesauce. Here are pictures from eating squash. (Please ignore the mess on the kitchen table *blush* - it tends to hold the mail that I need to sort through, toys, apples that our neighbors dropped off this afternoon, etc. It definitely shows that we live here!).

And a new shirt that proudly displays Cooper's (and his daddy's) team of choice! Notice how happy he is over that amazing win yesterday! And lastly, some new fun for Parker. Poor dog - he is dearly loved but has not been getting all the attention that he used to get pre-Cooper. Our friends Ned and Lia went away for the week and we're keeping their dog Winnie until next Sunday. Parker and Winnie have a blast together and are oh-so-doggie-compatible. Here they are winding down for the night. Having Winnie here has been so great for Parker. He has a non-stop playmate once again. They have been running all over the backyard and wrestling up a storm.
Have a wonderful week everyone!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

We have a roller...

***It feels really good to be blogging about normal everyday life here in the Giese household and all things Cooper, rather than Sean in the hospital. ***

One of the reasons that I became a teacher are those "lightbulb moments." Those moments when all of the pieces finally come together and you see a moment of recognition on the child's face. I've seen many of those moments in the seven years that I taught but perhaps the greatest moment was the first time that I saw the recognition and understanding from my own child. To illustrate...

In the past month, Cooper has rolled over about four times from back to front - just enough to let us know that it wasn't an accident that he ended up on his stomach but he was still wary and cautious getting there. The first time he did it, I heard a funny cry coming from his crib in the wee hours of the morning. I rushed in there upon hearing the weird cry and found him stuck on his stomach. Smiling, I rolled him over and he went back to his sound sleep.

Yesterday though it's as if he through caution to the wind and became a little rolling machine. Every time we put Cooper down, he rolled to his stomach. It was so fun to see him finally gaining the ability and understanding to roll and roll and roll. Now, mind you, he has yet to roll from his stomach to his back without help. He cries when he gets stuck on his stomach and can't get back but hopefully rolling the other direction is not far behind.

He is also sitting some without assistance. He can sit for a short time but once he starts leaning back or to the side he gains momentum and just tumbles on down. Of course, I'm always there to cushion the fall but it's neat to see him gaining more independence - one step at a time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sean is HOME!

His levels were down to 11,000 today. With strict orders to continue drinking LOTS, he was able to go home. He is currently on the couch with two jugs of water at his side. The doctor wanted him to take it easy today but said that he could go back to work tomorrow. He should take it really easy tomorrow and absolutely NO STAIRS!

Praise God that he is home and on the mend!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sean Monday Updates

Hi Everyone,

Sean's levels today are actually something that we can count - his CK levels are 37,000! Woo-Hoo! The doctor wrote orders that he can go home with anything less than 15,000 and is doing that as a favor to him, another medical professional. She said that they normally don't let people leave until they are less than 5,000 but is trusting him to keep drinking TONS of fluids to flush out his system if released. We are optimistic for him to come home tomorrow.

The doctor also said that she has never seen a patient with levels as high as his who did not go into kidney failure. We are certainly feeling the hand of God and his provision in the fact that his kidneys are still functioning well and have been through this entire ordeal. She said that Sean must have awesome kidneys.

His legs are working better each day. He was able to actually get his pants and socks off by himself for a shower this morning - something that he has not previously been able to do even though it was still a little painful for him. The doctor has also now given him permission to walk further than just to the bathroom and back. He wasn't allowed to before because of the risk of further muscle breakdown so we have had several trips up and down the hall and he is walking better each time.

My mom has replaced my sister on "Cooper duty" so she is holding down the fort at home.

Thanks again for the food, visits, calls, cards, and most of all prayers. We feel the love of our heavenly father through each of you.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sean updates for Sunday

They tend to draw Sean's labs during the morning 4-6am and then during the evening around 5pm. At both counts, his CK levels were above 50,000 each time. His CKMB levels continue to come down though. They were 7.1 this morning and went down to 6.5 this afternoon.

The doctor came by this morning, as she does every morning, and told Sean that her best estimate for his CK levels at admission was over 200,000 (YIKES!) based on his CKMB levels. She said to get a more accurate estimate of his CK levels to multiply his CKMB by 10,000. So....currently they estimate his CK levels at 65,000.

Cooper is doing much better. His temperature went down steadily overnight and it was a cool 98.4 this morning when he woke up. He has not had a fever since - Praise God!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sean update IV

Hi everyone,

Sean has had his levels checked twice today and both times his CK count has been above 50,000 still. We don't know the exact number that his levels started out as because they do not count past 50,000. So, they could have come down but are still above the 50,000 mark. Remember, normal is below 700. His legs are feeling some better today. I have personally noticed an improvement since this morning with him getting in and out of bed. His overall MB levels have come down so that is promising. Normal is between 1 and 3. His level entering the hospital was 23, last night was 13 and today was 9.

Cooper, however, is now running a low grade fever of 100.4. I am hoping and praying that it is just teeth. I gave him some children's tylenol and will be monitoring him through the night.

I want you to know how blessed that we feel to have friends like the ones that we have. We have had phone calls, visits, dinner brought to the hospital, magazines and snacks. Not to mention all the prayers on our behalf. We truly covet your prayers and feel as if we are surrounded in the arms of our saviour.

My mom and dad, who left for vacation only yesterday, came home today and my mom came down here to be with us and relieved my sister. Mom has the week off because she was planning on being on vacation so it is a blessing to us but sad that they do not get to finish their vacation. I also came home to feed Cooper today and found Sean's mom mowing our lawn and weeding our flower beds! I am so grateful to the wonderful families that both Sean and I have. They really go out of their way to show their love to us.

We love you all and are now going to try to get some rest. I spend the night at home because of Cooper's early morning feeding. Still not much luck taking a bottle. Thanks for the suggestions that have been sent to me. This might have something to do with him not feeling well too and wanting to nurse to help soothe himself. I will update again tomorrow - hopefully with better CK numbers and no fever!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sean update III

Lab work is back. Levels are indeed greater than 50,000. He is still on an IV drip and he still needs to drink water continuously. They think that his levels have gone up because of ongoing muscle injury that continues to produce a harmful amount of enzymes.

His kidney numbers are actually better than they were this morning so that is good. Please keep him in your prayers.

Sean Update II

We've had a setback in Sean's progress. He had his levels checked out again at around 5:00pm and they came back at over 50,000 again. They are redoing the lab work plus rechecking his kidney function (they didn't do that at the last lab). Obviously he's not going home tonight. I don't have answers from the nurse as to why they are going back up again - she has been in constant contact with the doctor about this. Will let you know when I have more info.

My sister is still here and is going to stay the night to be with Cooper. Sean's mom is at the hospital with Sean and I am floating back and forth. Cooper is refusing to take a bottle (any tips would be GREAT because he used to do this just fine) so I have to come home and feed him every 3 hrs. or Keisha brings him to the hospital to me. Cooper just went down for the night and should be out until 4:00am-ish, so I'm heading back to the hospital to spend for a while. I will come back home after we get the new lab results and plan of action. I will update then. Please keep praying!!!

Sean update

We got Sean's test results back from his lab work today and his CK levels have gone down to 15,000. Praise God! He's still got to get them under 700 to go home but he has made quite an improvement. His kidney function is still doing well and his kidney levels are all checking out fine - Another huge praise!

Sean is in the Hospital

Hi everyone-

It is really late and I'm really tired but wanted to send out a quick update.

Quick background: Sean joined the hospital gym and had a marathon workout session on Tuesday. Since then, he has been experiencing some muscle soreness - nothing that you wouldn't expect from a harder than usual workout.

Today: He got up this morning and could hardly walk. He couldn't bend his legs at all. Thinking he was just incredibly stiff, he went on to work. His co-workers noticed his funny gait and began persuading him to go get it checked out (thanks Hope). He declined until this afternoon when his urine began to get a reddish tint. He knows enough about this kind of stuff to get nervous.

He calmly calls me at home and told me that he was going to be late because he was having some stiffness and wanted to get a couple of labs run - maybe an IV. We thought, no big deal. Cooper and I went and met him in the ER (I am too much of a worry wart to stay home and wait on a phone call and Cooper had to come because he's suddenly refusing to take a bottle). After 3 hours in the ER, his test results come back and give us quite a shock!

His CK levels (don't ask me what that stands for - I just know it's some kind of enzyme) are supposed to be less than 700. His were 50,000 - no, that's not a typo. He has been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis. This disorder usually occurs during an automobile crash or other trauma to the muscles - in this case, over exercise. So.... he has been admitted to Forsyth hospital room 8437 and will probably be there for at least 2 nights - could be more depending on how fast his CK levels get back to normal. They're giving him fluids and a medicine to protect his kidney. Levels that high could result in kidney failure. So far, his kidney tests are checking out fine.

Please pray for Sean's complete healing!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rainy morning

This morning was heavenly. With the pitter-patter of rain on the roof, I woke up next to my husband around 9:30 and smiled. Sean has to work this weekend so he had today off instead. Mornings like this are what dreams are made of. Cooper was still snoozing (gasp! - I guess he likes the rain too) so I lazily made my way into the living room for some "God time." While reading I heard Cooper talking and cooing in his crib - still listening to the steady rain on the roof. My time with God was only emphasized by these evidences of his goodness. " is the Lord who makes the storm clouds." Zechariah 10:1

We were still in our PJ's at 11:00 am as we enjoyed waffles, bacon, and Sean's most perfect hot chocolate - mmmm.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

10 things you might not know about Cooper

Our boy...

1. Doesn't take a pacifier but prefers to suck on his fingers or a blanket instead - the jury is still out

2. Is very tickilish

3. Puts EVERYTHING in his mouth

4. Says what sounds like "ma ma" when he cries

5. Babbles... lots

6. Loves any and all toys that make noise or light up - both is a bonus

7. Prefers sleeping on his left side

8. Smiles - at everyone - only cries if something is wrong

9. Does this funny little thing where he sticks his tongue out and licks his top lip over and over (see illustration below)

10. Loves ceiling fans

Saturday, September 6, 2008

So much to update...

So last week, we rented an oceanfront condo in Cherry Grove, NC and went to the beach. I love my husband very much and adore his sense of adventure but after 5 years of marriage and like 3 days total of beach time since we had been married, I was more than eager for some sun and fun. My parents took us to the beach every year as I was growing up - that was our yearly vacation, so I had been dearly missing the waves and sand and sunshine.

We decided to go to the same beach that my parents took us to, north of Myrtle Beach, because I was familiar with it - and Sean had never been. Unfortunately, my mom was in the middle of summer semester closeout at work so she and dad couldn't get away with us.

We did have a ton of fun. Cooper was intrigued by the ocean. Not necessarily in love with it but didn't hate it either. He just had a very curious look on his face each time we brought him down to the water and stuck his feet in. He did not love the sand. It tended to stick to his sunscreened body and he couldn't get it off - in fact, it seemed to keep accumulating on him. He did LOVE the pool though. Splashing and floating around was right up his alley.

Days were spent by the ocean/pool and nights were spent seeing local attractions such as the Dixie Stampede (Cooper loved the music and lights), Barefoot Landing, Outlet Shopping, Broadway at the Beach, and mini golf. Sean won mini golf even with Cooper strapped to his chest in the baby Bjorn. I thought I would really have a chance with his handicap, but no dice. We played at Hawaiian Rumble golf which is a neat course and the mini golf PGA tour is held there - seriously. Once Sean heard that, he refused to play at any other course - just to say we'd done it.

We also went north for a day to Oak Island and Bald Head Island to see some lighthouses and get some stamps (part of my barganing chip for Sean to go to the beach). We rented a golf cart on Bald Head Island and drove around the quaint little island for a couple of hours before returning to the ferry to go back to our condo.

We arrived home on Saturday and Monday Sean started his first day at his new job. This week was filled with lots of paperwork (getting a name badge, ordering white coat, getting a parking sticker, etc.) and shadowing of other doctors/nurse practitioners but he seems to like what he is doing and learning so far.

Cooper has had an interesting week. We were at the doctor 3 times in a span of two days. He had developed a rash on his stomach on Saturday. It was not getting worse but it was not getting better either so we went to see Lia, the pediatrician, on Tuesday morning. She suspected that he had a virus and that was the body's response to the virus. She said that he was probably not contagious anymore. Tuesday night when changing his diaper, I found blood in his diaper. I immediately called Lia again and she wanted me to bring it in for a culture on Wednesday morning. It is likely nothing more than a small cut on his bottom since it has not happened again but we will receive the official results on Monday.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon Cooper had his appointment with the specialist. Sean was able to come to the appointment. Upon explaining the situation to his new boss on his SECOND day of work, they responded, "family first" and gave him the ok to come to the appointment. What a blessing! At the appointment, the doctor gave Sean and I news that we did not want to hear - Cooper is scheduled for surgery on November 3. I have to remember that my God is in control of this situation no matter how nervous I am about this whole thing. I continue saturating myself with scripture and praying earnestly. I hope that you will continue to lift Cooper up as well.

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." Philippians 4:6-7 The Message