Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gavin's surgery to move his pacemaker over is now scheduled for Friday, June 1st. I have to take him on Thursday for the pre-surgery work-up and then the surgery will be on Friday. I pray that this visit is VERY short! Please join us in praying for this! He's been told that we are just going to say Hi to all the great staff that we met there, but that we are headed home real quick!

He has had a better day today than the last few days. I am thankful for this! He even gave me a couple small smiles this evening! Yay!

Keep those prayers up! We appreciate you and them so much!

Love, Alicia and Family

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hope you all enjoyed your memorial day weekend! We thought we would have a boring one stuck at home, but Gavin is always so thoughtful in making sure that we are kept busy and full of excitement. He decided Saturday that he had had enough of his feeding tube and while momma was in the bathroom he yanked it right out! This used to be no problem when the end of the tube was in his stomach, because then I could just put another back in. This tube is placed just past the stomach and needs to be placed under x-ray to make sure it's in the right spot. So, we spent half the day at the hospital waiting to get it replaced. Jacob and Nolan were away for the weekend, but we had Caleb with us. His summary of our trip to the hospital? "That was a lot of fun!" Well, at least one of us thought so!

Gavin has been more fussy than usual and still not smiling much. It's beginning to wear on me! I pray that after these next surgeries, he will be more comfortable and happier. He does still sleep through the night, which is a saving grace! Without this sleep I think that I would be a wreck considering how worn out I feel from everything else.

We hope to find out when he'll be having the surgery in Ann Arbor tomorrow. We'll let you know when we do.

Thanks for your continued prayers! I feel I'm really needing them this weekend! Pray that I can have the energy (physical and emotional) to do all that is needed to be done right now. Pray that Gavin stays healthy and is more content. Pray that his surgeries are scheduled soon and that they go well! We appreciate all that is being offered up for our family! THANKYOU!

Jacob said something that lightened my heart today. He said that just like Joseph in the Bible had to go through stuggles, our family has had to go through them with Gavin. He also said that just like Joseph's struggles brought about great things, he sees great things happening to our family through our struggles with Gavin. He said he sees it everywhere. He is right! We are struggling, but we also know that God has a purpose for all of this, just like He did with Joseph! This gives us great comfort! Sometimes children are smarter than us adults! I really needed to hear this today! I thought I would share this with all of you because maybe you could use a reminder too!

Love, Alicia and Family

Friday, May 25, 2007

A change of plans again! There will be no surgery on May 29. When I cancelled the G-tube surgery, everything was cancelled! I guess Dr. Bove was going to do his part of the surgery (moving the pacemaker) in the stomach surgeons O.R. room and because that was cancelled so was the pacemaker surgery since there aren't any available O.R. rooms on that day. So now we wait until Tuesday to find out when it can be scheduled. Hopefully it can be done soon because we have a tenative date set for the stomach surgery to be done here in G.R. in the beginning of June. AAAGH!!! I know, there's a reason for this. I'm praying for patience!

Gavin had a regular check-up yesterday and is doing well. He got some immunizations done. Poor little guy! As soon as they rubbed the alcohol wipe on his leg he knew something was up! He knows from MANY needle sticks that being rubbed with an alcohol wipe only means one thing...trouble! So, he started whimpering right away. It broke my heart knowing that he knew what was coming from all his experience. He only cried a little, but today he's been more fussy and running a slight fever from the shots. He is behind in his immunizations because they don't give them in the hospital. He'll be caught up to date in a couple of months. Of course, that's if he stays healthy and out of the hospital! This is our biggest prayer! They say any little illness could put him over the edge.

Have a great weekend! Thanks for your prayers! Hope you are all doing well.

Love, Alicia and Family

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

There's been a change of plan. Gavin will still be getting his pacemaker moved at the U of M on May 29, but not the g-tube placement. I have been on the phone what seems like most of the last two days trying to get these surgeries in order. I'm ready to scream! I am quite frustrated! It all started when I received the info in the mail from the pediatic surgeon this week. It showed that they didn't have Gavin scheduled for everything that needed to be done. He is in need of a G-tube, but also a stomach wrap to prevent him from refluxing. This is the part that they didn't have scheduled. If they were to do this as well, we would have to reschedule the pacemaker movement surgery and make 3 different trips to Ann Arbor to have everythig done that is needed to be done. So, I've been calling around trying to figure out what can be done locally. We've decided to go ahead with the pacemaker surgery and then have the stomach surgery done here in G.R. What a pain! Plus, now Gavin will need two surgeries! I feel it is the best choice though because the surgeons in G.R. do the G-tube placement with a small tube that looks like a beach ball stem that you blow into. In Ann Arbor they put in a tube that hangs out the abdomen 6-8 inches. I feel there will be less of a chance that the tube will be pulled out if it doesn't hang out so far. Also, it will be easier on our family life if we don't have to make so many long distance trips. So many decisions! I have faith that the best one will be made, knowing that God is guiding us in these decisions being made. There's always a reason for everything and we just have to have patience and faith! Pray for these for our family!

Gavin is doing well despite all this craziness. He just sits back taking it all in! He still isn't smiling much since before he was last intubated with the ventilator. This really saddens me. He probably doesn't have much to smile about in his poor little life. I've been giving him a talking to again. I told him Momma really needs to see some smiles and that he owes me at least a couple a day! We'll see. I'd appreciate some prayers on this matter too. I would love to know that he is happy sometimes. He does look content most of the time and gives us looks that he is happy, but a little more reassurance would be great!

Thanks for your continued prayers and support! We REALLY appreciate them! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend and remember all the men and women who have fought for our freedoms in this country! May God bless them and their families, as well, as all of you!

Love, Alicia and Family

Monday, May 21, 2007

Gavin continues to do well at home. He's more fussy than usual the last couple of days. I think he's beginning to get spoiled. He's fine if someone is holding him or giving him attention. I asked for it though! I wasn't happy when he wasn't crying, right?! He's still a very good baby, but just showing us a little of that attitude again.

As for his brain function, we still don't know how much was lost, if any. He's not quite back to his self before the seizures, but definately getting closer. He still takes anti-seizure medicine and hasn't had anymore seizures. He goes in for an appointment with the neurologist in July for a follow-up. Only time will tell. I would probably put him at a level of a 3-4 month old. He is 8 months now. Whether this is due to brain damage or just being sedated and ill for so long, we don't know. Keep this matter in your prayers please!

Have a great day! Thanks for your support!

Love, Alicia and Family

Friday, May 18, 2007

Gavin had his first nurse visit today. She will be coming once a week, mainly to weigh him. His weight needs to be closely monitored for growth, but more importantly, that he doesn't gain too much. If he gains too much in a week's time it could mean that he is holding too much fluid in his lungs. He weighed just over 16 1/2 pounds today. According to the growth chart he's doing very well especially with having heart problems and everything he's gone through. We've heard this from several doctors. A couple have said he's great at growing and pooping. So, I guess these are his strengths! Sorry if that's too much info, but we are happy he's good at something, since his little body has such a hard time working the way it should!

We learned today that his surgery will be May 29th and that the doctor agreed to see him the same day as the surgery! Yay! Only one trip! An answer to prayer! They warned us that if the pre-surgery physical shows any problems then he might not be able to have the surgery done that day. We'll accept that risk. They also said that the usual hospital stay after this surgery is a couple of days. Of course, we know Gavin's track record, don't we?! I REALLY hope that it is that quick because I would LOVE to be home for the boy's last day of school which is June 1st. I'm not counting on it, but it's always fun to pick them up on their last day and get pictures and see the excitement of all the students. Although, Nolan is already dreading that day because he LOVES school! I ask him why and he says "I LOVE to learn!" Jacob has informed him that this won't last because it gets harder, but Nolan claims this will never happen with him. We'll see.

Gavin is doing well, but seems to be sleepier than normal. Maybe it's all the activity that goes on around our house! Caleb like to keep him busy teaching him fun things. Right now he's teaching him how to tell time with a toy clock that he has. This is quite humorous considering Caleb doesn't know how to tell time yet, but cute all the same!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Keep those prayers flowing! Thanks!

Love, Alicia and Family

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gavin continues to do well at home. We are all adjusting well with having him here again. There is a lot to do with his care (many meds, nebulizer treatments, percussion to his back to loosen lung secretions and making sure we don't let the oxygen tank or feeding pump run out), but it's nice having him home finally! I AM having a hard time adjusting to being at home all the time. I was so used to being gone all the time and I'm starting to feel 'cabin fever.' Otherwise, things are going well.

We found out today that Gavin's next surgery may be on May 29. It's not finalized yet, but that's what they are looking at. I'm a little frustrated because the surgeon who's going to do the G-tube part of the surgery wants us to go there before that date to have Gavin looked at and to do a physical on him before the surgery. I really don't feel like making 2 trips, especially since there is lots of info in his charts from the last several months, but we'll see. They said they'd talk to him again. Hopefully we can do it in one trip. Gavin's not easy to just pick up and leave with all his equipment and all we need to do with him during the day. Pray that they can work something out.

I've been reflecting a lot about the last 8 months. You know how they say you learn a lot about who your true friends are when times are tough? Well, I'm happy to report that God has certainly blessed our family with the BEST friends and family! We can definately say that all of you are "true friends" and have been with us every step of the way! THANKYOU!!! We have received many cards and messages from people we have never even met who have encouraged us so much! We've also been blessed with having met some wonderful people along this journey. We have met some lovely families and patients in 'the same boat' and some awesome nurses that have touched our hearts dearly! We just received a card from our favorite nurse at the U of M. (Hi Missy! Hopefully we'll see you when we make our trip back.) We also met a kind nurse here at Devos who gave us her phone number and offered to watch Gavin sometime so that Joel and I can get out. She said, "Who better to watch Gavin, than an I.C.U. nurse?!" So, we've had a difficult journey, but God has made it worthwhile in so many ways!

Thanks for your continued prayers!

Love, Alicia and Family

Monday, May 14, 2007

Message from Gavin

Hi everyone! I'm so glad to be home! My brothers are busy teaching me lots of fun stuff! Mom and Dad are soo happy I'm home! They say I'm keeping them busy, but I'm worth it! :) They are also very proud of me because I sleep all night long and let them get their rest too!

I just wanted to thank everyone for all your prayers and support! My family feels very blessed! God sure is good to us!

I'll talk to you later. I think I'm going to take a snooze. Brothers sure can wear you out!

Love, Gavin

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Home Sweet Home!

GAVIN IS HOME!!! He is doing great and we are so glad to have him here! While driving home with him, I felt such relief and happiness! I thought that I would be worried, but so far I'm not. Another blessing from God! We are so very thankful!

Yesterday was a CRAZY day getting prepared to have him come home again! We had a lot of help though! Thankyou so much Mom, Aunt Jennie, Bonnie and Sharon!!! We couldn't have done it without you! I felt so blessed yesterday when I pulled up to our house and saw all the cars in our driveway! It brought tears to my eyes seeing you all here to help us out! God has surely blessed us with you and so many!

I have to share a Nolan story while I'm on this topic. He told my mom and aunt to tell him when they were ready to leave. When they were getting ready to leave he brought them each a dollar from his bank to give to them for helping us! Isn't that sweet?! I was so proud of him and touched by this. They were too! He learned this from my mom, because whenever the boys help her out she gives them each some money to thank them. Those little eyes and brains sure do pick up a lot! I'm thankful they pick up the good stuff too!

Thanks for your continued prayers! We are so Thankful!

Love, Alicia and Family

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Mother's Day to me!

Gavin is going home tomorrow!!! The doctor came in and said, "We are sending Gavin home today." I was shocked, happy and worried! I asked for one more day to clean the house real good and organize his stuff. (My mom and aunt and friends are going to help-THANKYOU!) I'm so glad the doctor agreed to the extra day! The doc said that Gavin has been ready to go home for a couple of days and that they were keeping him here while they figured out the surgery plan. The plan now is to have the surgery done at U of M. This is good and bad news. The bad news is that we'll be away from home and a lot more planning will need to be done. The good news is that they can do the pacemaker surgery and G-tube surgery at the same time, instead of one week apart. So, just one surgery will probably be better on Gavin. We didn't want this, but God's plan is always better than ours! We don't know when the surgery will be, but probably in the next couple of weeks.

Gavin looks great today and is doing very well. We have a lot of things to learn before we take him home. (How to work the feeding pump, med schedule and how to give him his nebulizer treatments.) So, we'll be busy in the next 24 hours! Pray for us! It will be somewhat scary taking him home at first. I know we can do it, with God's help and your prayers!

Have a wonderful Mother's Day all you moms out there! A BIG thankyou to Julie and her friends for the thoughtful card and gift that they sent me! I cried. This year will be especially special having all my boys at home!

Have a great day!

Love, Alicia

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Gavin is doing so well that his nurse said today, "I feel like I'm getting paid to babysit, and then not even that because you're here to hold him!" There was even talk yesterday about sending him home! We haven't heard this ever! What a blessing to have come this far, considering a couple of weeks ago they were worried about him making it at all! He is a hit here too! I think it's because he's just so cute and so good natured! Sorry, but a mom's got to brag!

We are still waiting on news about his surgeries. He has his G-tube placement surgery scheduled for May 22. First he needs the surgery to move his pacemaker and about a week of recovery to prevent the spread of infection. This is what's giving us so much trouble! I'm being told that we may need to go back to the U of M hospital to do this! One of our cardiologists is going to talk with the cardiac surgeon here today. Hopefully he will agree to do it, because I don't want to have to go back to U of M just for this when it can be done here. Please pray about this! It's not that I don't want it done there, it's just so nice to be home again and to have to make the trip again so soon does not sound like fun!

Otherwise things are going well. Gavin still has a LONG road ahead, but getting him home will help, I think. He has a lot to make up for! When I see babies his age, I see just how far behind he is. I try not to worry about this and am quite proud of what he CAN do considering all that he's been through! He just needs a little brotherly wrestling to get him going!

Thanks for your continued prayers! Hope you all are enjoying your day!

Love, Alicia

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Gavin continues to do well. Not much to say today, which is a great thing! The cardiac surgeon and the pediatric surgeon are still discussing surgery options. The hardest part of it all is having to move Gavin's pacemaker over to make room for the gastric tube, or so I'm told. Nothing ever seems to be all that easy with Gavin! Medically anyway. Otherwise he's such an easy-going little guy! Caleb and I got some cute pictures of him today. Hopefully I can get them on the site for you all to see soon!

Hope you are having a great day! Thanks for your prayers! God has blessed us with all of you!

Love, Alicia and Family

How to make comments on this site

Since several people mentioned having a difficult time commenting on this new site, I thought I'd explain how you can easily post a comment that will show your name without having to sign-up to have your own account.

1.) Click on the (x) comments line that can be found at the end of the post you would like to comment on.

2.) If a pop-up box comes up asking you if you'd like to display non-secure items, click yes or no (it doesn't really matter which).

3.) Type your message into the comment box

4.) Below the comment box, select "other", which will instantly pop open a section for you to put in your name and website. If you don't have a web address of your own, that's ok!, you can just leave that blank.

5.) Click on the orange "Publish your Comment" button at the bottom, and your comment will now appear below the others.

Hope this helps! Looking forward to reading your comments! :)

Love, Alicia and Family

Monday, May 7, 2007

Gavin looks even better than he did when I left on Friday! He is more interactive and is starting to try to 'talk' to us again. He's back to sleeping through the night. (Whew!) I was worried about his night and day mixed up schedule! He even cried this morning with his bath! Now I won't have to worry about him not crying! One of the nurse techs bought a baby bathtub this weekend for the unit. They used to have one, but it disappeared. Anyway, she had been wanting to give Gavin a tub bath, so she bought a tub! Isn't that sweet?! They are so good to him and us in the I.C.U.

They are discussing when he should have the feeding tube surgery. It should be able to be done this week. Then, if he's still doing well, we'll be headed home!!! They predict a 5-7 day recovery after the surgery. With Gavin that might not be accurate! We've learned that with him, he's on his own schedule! :)

It's great to be home, but hard to leave a lot of family back in Indiana too. It was nice seeing everyone even under the circumstances. G. Doty will be missed! We had a great time remembering her this weekend!

Thankyou for your continued prayers and support! God is Good!

Love, Alicia


Friday, May 4, 2007

Gavin continues to do well. He no longer has any I.V.'s, just the feeding tube through his nose. Hopefully that will be out in a week or so after the G-tube surgery is done. He hasn't been having anymore seizures, but is still on the anti-seizure medicine. He is off all of the sedative medications and having no withdrawl symptoms. In fact, he is so content that I'm worried about him. Poor kid, it's so hard to please everyone! Everyday the nurse writes a goal for the day on a board in his room. Yesterday she asked me what I wanted his goal to be. I told her to write down cry! I guess he's just glad to be feeling better and to have that tube out of his throat that he has nothing to complain about!

I'm headed to southern Indiana this evening for my Grandma's funeral. Please pray for safe traveling and that Gavin, Joel and the boys have a good weekend. I sure will miss them!

Have a great weekend! Thanks for your support and prayers!

Love, Alicia and Family

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Yesterday's great day turned into a sad one for our family. Our Grandmother passed away (My Dad's Mother.) She will be dearly missed by our family! So, in honor of sweet Grandma Doty, I dedicate this update to her and plan on using one of her favorite words as many times as I can today. "Watchamacallit." She would say to us, "Will you get me the watchamacallit?" "We would say what's that?" She'd say, "Oh, you know what I mean, the watchamacallit!" Us grandkids really got a kick out of this! We'll miss you Grandma! Please be in prayer for her 8 children and the rest of our family as it is such a loss!

Gavin continues to do well. He is tolerating everything great. In fact, he is on less oxygen than he's been on for quite some time! He does have me worried because he hasn't cried AT ALL! He just seems so content! He continues to be more interactive and aware of everything, but I'm still concerned about possible brain damage. Please pray about this!

I always feel guilty when I leave the hospital, thinking that he'll be lonely and not be given attention. Yesterday, I'm thankful to say, when I left to pick the boys up from school I had to go back into his room again. This is what I found: One nurse tech rocking him in a chair and another one whining about not getting there first to hold Gavin! They said he's probably held more than not when I'm gone and that everyone loves little Gavin! So, my fears were put to rest and I'm very thankful for the care he's getting in the I.C.U. One of the doctors told me today that they planned on keeping him in the I.C.U. until he goes home. They know that he needs close monitoring and want to keep up on how he's doing with more continuity of care. Yay! I guess they won't have to drag me kicking and screaming after all!

Thanks for your faithfulness in praying for our family! Have a great day!

Love, Alicia and Family

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

It's a great day!

Gavin continues to improve! He is back in a crib bed, (When on a ventilator they put babies in a regular hospital bed) and I love seeing him more normal in a baby bed! It also means that he is doing better! When Caleb and I got here this morning Gavin was wide awake checking everything out. He is definately more aware and becoming more like himself! This makes my heart soar! I have been so worried about the possibility of brain damage, so it's so good to see him beginning to interact with everyone more! He's not back to where he was, but has made so much progress in the last 24 hours that I'm feeling more confident in him neurologically. I've been praying a lot about this and asking God to help me with doubting when I pray. I feel such relief when I do this.

Everyone here at the hospital that comes to see Gavin in the last day is very pleased with how well he is doing! I guess he should be called the come back kid! He keeps giving us and the doctors heart attacks, but then always bounces back! (By the Grace of God, of course!) I had a talking with him and told him Momma's heart can't handle much more, so he better shape up! I also told some of the staff that they would have to pull me screaming to "the floor" again! It is my hope that they will keep Gavin in the I.C.U. until he can go home. This way he can be watched more closely and there will be less of a chance of this happening again. I think that they thought I was kidding, but I'm not!

Please continue to pray for Gavin's brain function and that he can remain healthy! Pray for our family's patience. Pray for the doctors and nurses, that they are given wisdom. We sooo appreciate your prayers and support!

Have a great day!

Love, Alicia and Family

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Gavin is OFF THE VENT!!! They took it out around 10:30 this morning. He is doing great so far! I even got a couple of small smiles out of him! I'm so happy! He seems more aware the last couple of days too! He still exhibits some posturing and rigidity in his legs, which shows something isn't quite right neurologically, but he is definately improving! Keep up those prayers!!! We are so thankful for them and all the progress that he is making!

Happy May! You might remember that I said that Gavin would be having surgery 4 months in a row. I had also said that April was out of the question because I planned on being busy. Well, we've definately been busy, but God was gracious in sparing Gavin from surgery for April! I guess I got ahead of myself and His plan! So, it looks like maybe May for Gavin's G-tube placement surgery. He'll have to be more stable first. Though it looks like Gavin has pulled through again with God's healing mercies!

Have a great day (a wet one!) Thanks for your continued support!

Love, Alicia

Hello from Gavin!!!