Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Funny Valentine

The Amazing "Carter"

Carter discovers the joys of "peek-a-boo"...

Moving On Up...Or At Least, "Out"...

It took a few months, but finally, our security gates have been installed on the main floor and upstairs hall, which means Carter and Nathaniel can now pretty much roam free as they please and Mom and Dad can actually avert their gaze(s) for two seconds without worrying about one or both of the boys high-tailing it up the stairs. So far, the boys don't seem bothered by the presence of yet more restrictive bars--they're too busy exploring their new home base which should allow them enough personal space to avoid clobbering each other...

Wild Boys

The Most Important Meal Of The Day?

Monday, February 22, 2010

First Neighbourhood Stroll Of 2010!

Plenty of admiring glances as the boys got reacquainted with their fashionable 'hood, which they haven't had the chance to explore since last November!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Long Overdue Meeting About Genetics

That sounds ominous, but really, was it nothing more than a routine chat with a genetic counsellor about Nathaniel's condition--but an important one that should have occurred within the first months of his birth. For reasons unknown, shortly after the "fish test" that confirmed the presence of the suspected extra copy of chromosone 21 (Trisonomy 21, as it is officially known), we were provided with no additional followup from Mt. Sinai hospital--despite our constant inquiries--and not until after Dr. P. made a formal request for a consultation on our behalf.

Meeting with us at Sick Kids Division Of Clinical And Metabolic Genetics, counsellor Lucie was able to provide for us that which has eluded us for more than a year: the official Chromosone Report of Nathaniel's diagnosis, dated December 12, 2008 (nine days after he was born). It confirmed that Nathaniel's DS type is standard--not partial or mosaic (which was suspected given his comparatively minor signs), but not much of a signifier of his potential progress anyway.

Given how much time has passed--Nathaniel is approaching 15 months of age, after all--a lot of the key subjects of concern have already been addressed thanks to the expertise and diligence of our pediatrician and the good folks at Surrey Place, esp. hearing and the heart, as well as the importance of early intervention and a discussion of available public resources. Within the next few months, we've got to schedule check-ups on his vision and thyroid, as well as a follow-up hearing test. It's depressing and more than a little bit frightening to realize that such carelessness can go unchecked in a system that so many rely on for quality of life, especially with such tiny, fragile lives involved...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Gone Viral" (The Old-Fashioned Way)

As the old saying goes, don't go to the hospital unless you want to get sick. Which is exactly what happened after Nathaniel's nephrology exam at Sick Kids last Monday. Within a day, he was lethargic, restless, and eventually, vomiting up his food. It took two separate doses of the ever-reliable anti-nauseant apo-ondansetron as prescribed by Dr. P, and more than a few difficult nights before he was back to his patented silly self...

And on Thursday night, as we were prepping for baths, out of nowhere Carter suddenly hurled up an Exorcist-sized dose across the bedroom. We monitored his symptoms for a few days (longer than we should have in retrospect), but since he's usually not hit as hard as his brother, we decided to wait and see what developed. By Sunday, he was horribly pale and unwilling to take in any fluids, so he was rushed to St. Joe's Just For Kids clinic for the first of what would be two marathon hospital visits in a single day. The pediatrician at St. Joe's warned that if Carter didn't begin consuming fluids within eight hours, we were to rush him to emergency.

After five straight days of doctor's visits, no sleep, and no end in sight, we were exhausted and a the end of our proverbial ropes. Thankfully, Lidia's mom offered to come all the way from Mississauga and stay to give us a much-needed hand. After five hours, it was pretty clear Carter wouldn't be drinking anything any time soon. So off we were back to our familiar haunt: Sick Kids Hospital.

It was Carter's first visit--we've been there so often I'd just assumed he'd already had a file, but all of the past excursions have concerned his brother. For all of the urgency, he wasn't acting particularly sick--still smiling and dancing on the scale as he was being weighed, and was ravenous for his Puffs treats, but would not take anything from a bottle--which I thought would sentence us to a wait of several hours. But we were seen fairly quickly, and as Carter played with Dr. Rosenbloom's name tag (he liked the monkey clip), we were relieved to learn that he wasn't dehydrated. The doctor at St. Joe's was a little overzealous--Carter was getting fluids and enough nourishment from the solids he was taking and had likely developed an aversion to the bottle because his stomach was sore and he was associating milk with cramps. It'd pass, we were assured.

So the improvised solution was to give him apple juice via a syringe, which Carter was more than willing to accept and we were sent back to the waiting room. Shortly after Canada won its first gold medal in the Winter Olympics, we were discharged and told to keep up the routine until Carter eventually came around.

And, he did...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Family Day Visit

On Ontario's exclusive "Family Day" long weekend (which also hosted Valentine's Day), our ailing boys were treated to a brief visit from Grandma and Grandpa, aunt Wendy, and cousins Stepheny and Thomas. Best of all, they brought along some great new books, cool clothes, and an awesome new dump truck which was an instant hit...