Thursday, September 2

How Blessed Are We

It can often be too easy to slip into a pattern of self pity, well at least Bryce pity. Especially on days like these when he's undergone yet another surgery and is enduring yet more pain. But as I silently plead, "why, hasn't he been through enough?" to the universe I'm reminded of how lucky we are to have Bryce with us today.

There is no question that being born four months early, at home without medical care and weighing only 1.5 pounds meant that Bryce's chances of survival were slim. But as you spend your days, weeks and months in the company of other sick babies, life saving doctors, nurses and specialists it's all too easy to expect the most, the best, the miraculous.

The sad truth is though that many of these families eventually go home without their babies. And sometimes it's only after much suffering and valiant fighting that these tiny souls return to their beginnings. We find solace in the belief that they go on, they find peace and comfort. But my heart aches for the parents they leave behind.

Yesterday I prayed for one such tiny preemie, whom I have never met and whose parents I have also never met, but who was introduced to me only yesterday morning by a friend's prayer request. Later in the day I learned that that baby passed away during the night the day before.

Many months ago, when Bryce was fighting for his own life a friend of a friend told her little girl, Hayley, about Bryce's struggle. Hayley herself was very sick and spent many of her days at Dell Children's fighting for her own life. But countless times I was told that she prayed for Bryce often. Hayley passed away on Friday, August 20th and though we never got the chance to meet this special little girl, I will always have a place in my heart for her and her family.

This Saturday there will be a benefit to raise money for Hayley's family to pay off her many remaining medical bills. If you can make it please do, it'll be at the American Legion Hall at 1000 Georgetown Street in Round Rock from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow. There will be family activities and bar-b-que. If you can't make it but would still like to make a donation you can send it to Randy Batten c/o Jeff Uhrig at 519 Virginia Dr, Round Rock TX, 78664.

We are planning to try to stop in and make a donation tomorrow morning, as long as Bryce is feeling up to it.

Wednesday, September 1

Post Surgery...eyes

I wouldn't even consider showing you Bryce's boy business and let's just say you're better off not seeing it anyway as it's pretty awful! But here are some pictures of his after surgery eyes:

You can see the red in the middle corners of his eyes but today being day three I'm surprised by how much better they already look. The first day we came home and he was in a lot of pain he was crying tears of blood while looking up at me pleadingly with these huge, blue bloodshot eyes - let's just say it broke my heart.

We're so used to seeing Bryce's eyes misaligned that we were shocked by how odd we found his correctly aligned eyes. It was an immediate change that we're still getting used to.

He's still not quite himself but I promise he's not as sad as he looks in these pictures. I took these this morning as we were going out for a walk and much as I try to make him like the outdoors he is simply not a fan.

Pre-Surgery Pictures

Bryce and Daddy waiting for surgery.

A last look at Bryce's misaligned eyes. (If you look closely you can see his two bottom teeth in this picture too. He also has one on the top left and one about to break on the top right.)

Our perpetually happy baby boy with his favorite toy, the octopus pirate.

I'll take some pictures today and post them later so you can see the post-op difference.

Monday, August 30

Holy Hurt

My poor Bryce! We'd heard horror stories from our neighbors who have boys about the aftermath of a circumcision and the care and cleaning thereof but nothing could have prepared us for the world of hurt Bryce was in yesterday afternoon.

It was a long day of Bryce crying - not like his usual cry which is actually just a whine, but full on sobbing and staring at me like how could you did you do this to me, which of course means that we were both crying. It was just awful and the only thing we could do was hold him and rock him and try to get him to sleep.

We finally called the doctor's office and his nurse suggested we try Motrin, which seems to me to be some sort of undiscovered miracle drug because we had it right here in the house and it could have saved us hours of misery. At any rate, we eventually got Bryce's pain to a manageable level with a combination of Vicodin and Motrin late yesterday afternoon and just in time for him to go to sleep at his usual 7:30 p.m. bedtime. We woke him a couple of times to give him his medications but otherwise he slept through to 7 this morning.

And now we have our Bryce back - he woke up happy and playful as ever! I'm trying to get him to take a nap right now because I'm scared he's trying to do too much and will end up hurting again.

We're hoping today will be a better day!

On Our Way Home

We never thought we'd be home for lunch today but Bryce surprised us all, again. His discharge nurse was so impressed with him as he played and kicked his legs despite the epidural numbing his bottom half, she said he never even cried. He's asleep in his car seat now and we're all ready to get home, get some food and crawl back in bed!


Bryce is out of surgery and off the ventilator. I just traded out with Caleb as only one of us is able to be in the recovery room at a time. Once he wakes up a little more and can take a bottle then they'll move him to a post-op room where we can all be with him. The doctors said we'll probably be in that room for a couple of hours and then should be on our way home.

Bryce looks pretty tired and is a little whiny, they said the chordee repair is probably going to be pretty painful when he first pees. It looks absolutely awful and he also has a separate incision where the hernia repair was done.

His poor little eyes (both) are bloodshot and goopy. Apparently it will be 2-3 weeks before the redness goes away and he will have bloody tears for a few days.

Our poor baby went through a lot this morning but we're hoping this will be the last surgery for a very long time.

Once he is out of recovery I'll update on how he is doing.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Sunday, August 29

Surgery Tomorrow

Sorry for the late post regarding surgery happening in just a few hours but I think I thought that if I ignored it perhaps it would just go away. Note to self, not an effective coping method.

When Bryce was discharged from the hospital last November we knew that this surgery would be necessary so it comes as no surprise. Bryce was never circumcised (more pressing issues took priority at the time) so that is one of the procedures the urologist will perform tomorrow morning. He'll also be correcting Bryce's chordee - see link for explanation. And last, for urology, they will may be surgically repairing a hyrdrocele - once again, see link.

Bryce also has strabismus and so his optometrist will be doing an eye muscle surgery on at least one of his eyes as well tomorrow. She said that once Bryce is fully under anesthesia she'll be able to freely move his eyes and will decide at that point whether she'll need to correct the muscles on only one eye or both.

We have to get Bryce up super early so we can give him his nebulizer treatments and reflux medicine and be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. There will likely be a lot of answering medical history questions (again) and waiting, waiting, waiting until sometime around 7 a.m. when the surgery is scheduled.

I was informed that the doctors reserved the OR for 2 hours, 15 minutes so we should hopefully be meeting Bryce in the recovery room sometime during the 9 a.m. hour. I'll probably update the blog via my phone so anyone wanting updates should please check back.

We are on the books for outpatient surgery so we are fully anticipating everything going well, Bryce having no trouble coming right off the ventilator and being home in time for his bedtime at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night. Of course, my worst fear is that his fragile lungs will make extubating after surgery an issue. But we have been prepping them diligently every day with nebulizer treatments for weeks. And we have the encouraging memory of how quickly and easily he came off the vent after his emergency shunt revision surgery at the end of May.

As always, thanks for taking the time out of your day to check in on us via this blog, to think of us and to say a little prayer for our precious little Bryce.