Sunday, February 22, 2009

Getting Better Everyday

First of all, we would like to thank you all for praying for Austin and our family over this past week. It has definately been a trying time and there is nothing worse than watching your son be sick and not be able to do anything about it. The events over the last week really puts life into perspective and you realize that common everyday problems are not a big deal. On the other hand, it is amazing to see the power of God during our weaknesses and to see just how small and meek we are. It is very comforting to know that God is bigger than we are and larger than any of our problems and to know that everything is in his hands. Sometimes we forget just how many people love and care for you and are willing to pray for your needs and it is a humbling experience.

Austin has been doing much better this week. He has formed back into himself. Medically, his blood levels are back up into a normal range and he is making his own blood! Physically, his appetite has been amazing, eating everything in his path. He is back to being happy and laughing a lot. We did not realize how bad he looked until looking at recent pictures and seeing him so pale and sick looking. He will continue to go back to the doctor and have periodic blood tests to make sure that he is progressing like he should be. Again, thank you all for praying for him and keeping him in your thoughts and prayers.

We will continue to have updates on baby EVA arriving soon!

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Austin's Blood Test

Austin had a doctor's appointment this afternoon with Dr. Porter. His blood levels have improved! His hemoglobin was 10.8, up from 9.2 and his hematocrit was 30.5, up from 26.2. This is great news and we were extremely excited about it. His reticular(retic) level had actually fallen a little bit. It was .7 and now is .0. This is the level that tells if he is making his own red blood cells. He has a re-check Thursday morning. Please continue to pray for him and we hope that the retic level improves!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday the 13th in Little Rock

As most of you know, Austin had to go to Arkansas Children’s Hospital on Friday. He is actually back home and being monitored by Dr. Cindy Porter here in Texarkana.

The last couple of weeks we have noticed him being lethargic and just not himself, but he had no other symptoms of anything. He was being extremely needy and clingy and we thought he was acting like this because of the new baby coming in a couple of weeks. Finally, last Thursday, he did not want to play outside or with his toys or anything. All he cared to do was lie on the couch and watch TV and was extremely tired all day. Obviously this was very strange for him and most 2 ½ olds. He went to bed fairly early Thursday night and slept in Friday morning. I had left for work, but talked to Erin once they woke up and she said that he was acting the exact same way as he did the day before and she had already made him an appointment for 1:30 and the only physician she could get him in with was Dr. Cindy Porter.

By the time 1:30 rolled around, Austin had developed a fever of 103’-104’. This was the first symptom he had of any kind. Dr Porter checked him out very thoroughly and ran several blood tests. She initially didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. She continued to dig and try to find out what was wrong. Over the next 4 hours of running extensive blood tests, she came across some numbers that she knew were not right. She contacted Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and was in touch with the lead Hematologist who told her that we needed to come up there ASAP.

The drive to Little Rock was extremely nerve racking and I begin to wonder why we did not airlift him. All we knew was that his H&H, or Hemoglobin and Hematocrit, levels were extremely low, hemoglobin(3.0) & hematocrit(10.0). Once we finally made it to Little Rock, we checked him into the ER and they begin running more tests and trying to figure out the cause of his low blood levels. After several hours of being in the ER Triage, he began his first series of blood transfusions. He had three blood transfusions in the first 12 hours and then another one for another 4 hours. I stayed with Austin all night and made Erin go to the hotel to get some rest with Annette, Gary and Jill. Saturday morning Austin woke in a psychotic state and was going crazy. I had to pin him down and was not succeeding very well. He was definitely not himself and I was wondering if he was having a reaction to the blood. It went on for about and hour until Erin arrived and he seemed to settle down. He had another crazy spell while Erin and I had stepped out of the Hospital to grab something to eat later that night. We soon found out, that he was allergic to the Benedryl they were giving him with the transfusions. At one point, Austin jerked his IV out of his hand and he had been poked so many times from the needles, it was difficult to find a vein. By Saturday night he had completed 4 transfusions and his levels were up, but not like we were hoping for. He was unhooked most of Saturday night and they were going to run more labs Sunday morning. We were hoping for the best and praying his levels would go up or at least stay maintained. He was tested again and the levels had actually fallen marginally. Emotionally, it was the lowest point of the weekend because our hopes were so large. We were expecting the worst at that time and then one of the doctors came in and told us that it might be his spleen. We were then thinking about the removal of his spleen or what else might be occurring. Finally, the lead specialist, Dr. Suzanne Saccente arrived and told us that sometimes the levels actually do go back down and it was not that uncommon. It was definitely a relief to hear her be calm about what was going on. She told us that he would have to have another transfusion for about 4 more hours and hopefully his levels would be up enough for him to be discharged and then she could let Dr. Porter in Texarkana monitor him and hopefully his body would start making red blood cells on its own. Dr. Saccente told us that we just did not understand how critical Austin’s condition was when he arrived. He had lost 2/3 of his blood.

Dr. Saccente explained to us how impressed she was with Dr. Cindy Porter for running the tests that she had run. She explained that most of the physicians she deals with, would not have known what to look for and even if they had, it would take a couple of days to get the results back. Dr. Porter had them back as fast as Children's could have gotten them back. We later found out that Dr. Porter walked the tests to the Hospital and waited on them while we were at her office. Dr. Cindy Porter, who did her background at St. Jude’s Hospital, probably saved Austin’s life by her actions and desires to find the problem. She actually diagnosed him with what he has and stated that it was the only time she had ever seen it in her practice. His condition is called Transient Erythroblastopenia for those who want to know. What this means, is that when he contracted a viral infection it affected his bone marrow and it is not allowing his body to make red bloods cells. The virus can be caused from a million different things. They are still not sure exactly what caused it and it would almost be impossible to test for every virus. An example of what they thought it could be is actually called Parvo B19 and commonly referred as Fifth’s Disease or Slapped Face infection, and yes Erin has been tested for it(not good for pregnant women to be around). He was then given the blood transfusions to get his blood levels back up and we just have to wait and see and hopefully his body will start making his own red blood cells again. If it does not, he will have to go back to Children’s and have another blood transfusion at the outpatient clinic.

We would like to thank everyone for praying for him and thinking about him during this extremely scary time and ask everyone to continue to pray for him. Hopefully his body will return to normal within the next few weeks!

Friday, February 6, 2009

David Crowder Concert

Tonight Lori, Caleb and I went and watched David Crowder in concert. Brent helped with security so we were able to take Caleb backstage and meet him. He was so excited!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Weekend Pictures

Here are a few pictures we took over this past weekend. Austin had a blast playing with his new friend Alexis. He even gave her hugs and sugar when she left.