Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Honor Roll & Doctor Appointment

Last Thursday-February 12th, was a very busy day. The week before, I had received an invitation from Mac's School to attend an Assembly on Feb 12th in the morning sometime. I was going back and forth thinking to myself "Should I go? I have so much to do that day, well, we will see". I dropped Mac off to School in the Morning and he asked if I was coming to the Assembly-I blurted out "Yes"-and found myself going. Mason and Mac both had some immunizations the day before. Mason was a major crank, his arm hurt, etc. I took Mason to School and then went to Mac's for the Assembly. I was sooo glad I went. I was sitting in the Parents section, the Principal announced, "This is a list of students who made it on our Honor Roll for Fall Quarter". So, I had my camera out thinking, "Maybe Mac will be honored for something". I never in a million years thought it would be for the Honor Roll. He got really good grades Fall Quarter, despite being in Football (practices were 3 days a week for 2 hours a day). Mac has had Learning Disabilities, something he inherited from yours truly. I NEVER made it on the Honor Roll. Mac had struggled with reading in Elementary School, struggled with Writing, really struggled with Math. He loved Science, and always managed to keep up with his peers and do all of the work without making concessions for his IEP (Individual Education Plan). I saw his name on the screen, took a picture of it, looked at Mac (he was standing up from the crowd of 400 kids) and I started to tear up. I thought crying would be so uncool, so I held it together.
I am so stinking proud of this kid! So is Lee, we are both so, so proud of him. Not only academically, but, because he is a good kid, and not because we think so, but because other people tell us this. So, it must be true. Good Job Mac!! Oh, and I have started making him cook with me a little.
My other reason why this day was busy....Mason had a Check Up with his Surgeon from Childrens. We hadn't seen him since he had his Tummy Tube removed 3 years ago. He has had the same Surgeon since he was born. His name is Dr. Ledbetter, and he is the best. Mason wasn't old enough to remember the "routine" that we go through when we have a Clinic Visit. He get's weighed-on the cool scale that is built into the floor (and he kept jumping up and down on the scale). He was measured for height. We go into the examination room, I was asked a bunch of questions, and then we wait........wait & wait & wait. Mason choose not to bring any toys, etc. So he got bored. "How long do we have to wait for my Doctor? When is he comin anyways?" those were just some of the questions Mason asked. I laughed at him, because when he was a baby, we had to wait for what seemed like an eternity. So in comes his Doctor. "Where is Mason Bryant? I don't seem to see him anywhere. Where could he be?" Mason looked at him like he was nuts and responded "Well, I'm right HERE!" His doctor told him it couldn't be because he was so big. He asked Mason to see his Tummy and he flipped his shirt up and then down quickly. I told him to take off his shirt, and he told the Dr. Ledbetter "Well, I have alot of lines on my body". His Doc then responded "Well, I'm the guy who made ALL of those lines on your body". Mason's mouth opened up. This was the first appointment that Mason really got to interact with him. It was really cool to see.

This is a picture of Mason with Dr. Ledbetter when Mason just turned 1. This was not the last time we saw him-and I forgot to take a picture of them last week. His doctor still looks the same. A very nice man. We will go and see his surgeon in another year. He likes to keep his eye on him, and his appointment went really well. He is keeping his eye on possible Scoliosis. This is something that could happen to him, as his left lung grows and fills into his chest cavity. His lung will grow until he is 8 or 9. He didn't see any signs, yet...But it could happen.

When we were walking out, Mason had to have his picture taken with Mickey Mouse, of course. We also stopped by the IICU (Infants Intensive Care Unit) to see of some of his nurses were there, and they weren't. They all had the day off. Mason also has a Pulmonary Doctors appointment in April, he will also see his Dietitian at the same time.

The weekend was Valentines Day, which we celebrated on Sunday. I made Steak, Baked Potatoes and I made these Chocolate Covered Strawberries. They were really yummy! I have gotten behind on my blogging...there just isn't much to say-but when there is, it's alot of stuff at once. I'll try to be better about it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Remembering When...

Sorry this first Picture is so graphic. It's a picture of ME! I was "stalking" someone elses blog-and honestly, I can't remember where or how I got there. But the Mommy who was blogging has a little 1 year old boy, who has had heart problems. She has had to travel the same road I traveled when Mason was a baby. She was so thrilled about her little boy not being on oxygen during the day. She was so happy because she had a new found freedom-not carrying an oxygen tank around with her for her son all the time. I have always been grateful that Mason never had any heart problems. For those of you who don't know (but if you are a really good friend of mine, you do know). Mason was born without a Diaphragm. His condition is called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. He had a long, hard road to recovery. The first picture, is me holding Mason for the first time, when he was about 1 month old. He had a really tough day this day, and then got better in the late afternoon and I was able to hold him in the evening.
This was soon after Mason came home from the Hospital. This "scene" of Mason sleeping on Lee's chest was a common occurrence in the evening, for both of them. For a while, this was one of the only ways Mason could get to sleep. Lee hated it when I woke him up, but I managed to get Mason upstairs without waking him. Mason came home with a feeding tube in his stomach (because he couldn't suck or eat with out gagging) and oxygen because he couldn't maintain his oxygen saturation's. He ended up with 1 1/2 lung capacity and slight heart damage from his stomach being pressed against his heart in utero. The heart damage healed itself in time, and Mason was on oxygen 24-7 until he was 11 months old, and then only when he slept for naptime and at night until he was 2 1/2. He was really, really good about keeping it in his nose-I never had to fight him on it.

Mac was 6 years old when Mason was born and came home. He was the BESTEST Big Brother, who coped with his baby brother and his medical equipment. Mac was always careful, he made sure the oxygen tube was still up Mason's nose (and would put it back in if it wasn't), he let me know when Mason's machine was beeping-and a bunch of other stuff. Mac became an expert at washing his hands. On this morning, I had to take a shower (the nerve of me huh?) and I told Mac to just keep on eye on his brother. When I came downstairs, 10 quick minutes later (I learned to be fast)-this is what I found. Mac had managed to move the swing (Mason was in the swing before I took a shower) without kinking the oxygen tubing and without tipping his feeding machine over, causing it to beep. Mac told me that Mason wanted to watch cartoons with him, so he moved him.
This is Lee's favorite Pic of Mason. He was the happiest baby! He smiled like his ALL the time. He loved his swing! Yes, his little outfit coordinated with the color of the swing, no, I didn't plan it this way. The swing was one of the easier purchases of baby equipment I made. When I bought his stroller, I left him at home with Lee. I went to Babies R Us-because they had the largest selection. I had his small oxygen tank with me. I had to make sure that the little basket underneath the stroller could hold the oxygen tank without unsnapping or "breaking" through. It took me almost 1 hour to do this. The sales guy thought I was a little nuts. I was happy with the stroller we got and had it for a long time. Lee also got me a big "hook" to clip Mason's feeding machine onto the stroller. Just something he picked up at Home Depot and thought it would work, and it did. And when I went to Childrens for Check up's, all the other Mom's wanted to know where I got it, because they wanted one for their child's feeding machines too.

This is Mason with his little black backpack on. His feeding machine was inside the backpack. When I had to go to the grocery store, I had Mason in a Baby Bjorn, I had the small oxygen tank-also in a bag/holder with a strap on one shoulder and his feeding machine backpack on my other shoulder. I had the feeding tube and oxygen tube draped in front of me, and it looked like I was going to trip, but they weren't low enough for that to happen. I sanitized the handle bars of the shopping cart with a Clorox Anti bacterial wipe before I even touched the cart. I did this before Grocery Stores offered Antibacterial wipes to wipe the cart down. I like to think of myself as a "Shopping Cart Wiper" pioneer. I always had a small ziplock baggie full of them in my coat pocket. Simple tasks like going to the grocery store wasn't easy, but had to be done. It would take me 15 minutes to get Mason out the door. I had to: get his jacket and shoes on, make sure his feeding machine bag was full, hook him up to his portable oxygen tank, get him out to the car, put him in his carseat, and then go. I think I did this in 10 minutes once. One thing that was strange to me, picking up a normal baby without tubes and stuff at the time Mason was a baby. I had a friend who had a baby when Mason was 4 months old. So, if we were together and I picked up her baby without tubes, it was strange to me. I remember carrying Mason at Childrens for a procedure before he was discharged, he didn't have his feeding machine on-because he was going to be put under, but he had his oxygen on. A volunteer at the Hospital came with us and strolled his oxygen tank for us. I was in the elevator and I realized, I was holding Mason without having anything else on me-it was nice to just hold my little baby without all the other stuff on me.

Mason was 2 years old for this pic. It was Christmas morning, and no one wanted to wait for me to "disconnect" him from his machine. He has to have his feeding machine on and running all night long. When Mason woke up in the mornings, and if I didn't come as soon as he was awake, he would kink his white tubing and make the machine beep. The machine would beep if there was a kink in the tubing, if there was an little air bubble in the tube, when it was empty, or just because it felt I needed to wake up at 3:00am for no apparent reason. It rarely beeped when there wasn't something wrong with it. But there were times when I was sleeping and thought I heard it beeping, and then run in the bedroom, and found it not beeping at all-just my imagination or something in my dreams.

Now he is a fairly healthy boy. He still gets sick pretty easily. Looking at him, you wouldn't know how sickly his was. He has a check up with his Surgeon at Childrens this week. I guess that is why I'm thinking of his past. And, that I read that other Mom's blog. I remember when I didn't have to take an oxygen tank with me. It seemed strange at first, but I still had it in the car, just in case. But it did make outings easier. And I did feel a sense of freedom too. I'm excited about seeing Mason's surgeon, we haven't seen him in a few years, but this will be the first time Mason will get to talk with and interact with him. I'll post Mason's Check up later this week.