Sunday, December 22, 2013

"You know I've seen a lot of what the world can do, and it's breaking my heart in two, cause I never wanna see you sad girl..."

I have a post sitting as a draft.  I never got a chance to edit it, so I never posted it.  It had pictures from last Halloween, because I never posted about last Halloween...
And then of course it had pictures from this Halloween...

I used this beautiful picture of Sarai dressed as a pilgrim from her Thanksgiving party at school...

And I wanted to share with you what a great little brother Caleb is, if you didn't see it on Facebook already...

"Sarai!  Fork!"  He then feeds her with a fork.
I wrote about her at-home EEG in November...

 And how we won't be weaning her off her medication like I had hoped because she still has "spiking" in her brain when she's sleeping.  But the doctor was hopeful that she will eventually outgrow the spiking as her brain matures. 

But it sure seems silly to post that post now.  We should tell you about what happened Friday.

Friday morning I went in to wake Sarai up.  It was 7:30.  She's usually up before then, but I let her sleep late because I was packing for our trip to Syracuse.  (Insert VERY guilty feelings.)  When I went in to get her, she was on her back, hands clenched, eyes open, and not really moving.  When I called her name, she didn't respond.  I touched her, and she didn't move.  Her eyes were stuck looking to the left, and there was vomit on the side of her face and on her pillow.  I yelled for Adam to come in.  She didn't respond to him either.  We both knew she was having a seizure, and she was NOT coming out of it.  We called Yvonne to get to the house ASAP, which she did, and we headed right out to the hospital.

The nurses at the hospital were great.  They all acted quickly, more quick than I've ever seen, and never made me feel like there was a reason to panic, which Adam and I were both already doing.  They immediately took her temperature, and it was a little over 94, which is hypothermic.  What the heck is that???  No one knows why.  Her doctor said, "Seizures can make your body do weird things. She was also having oxygen desaturations into the low 80's when the seizure spiked (you're supposed to be high 90's to 100).  Friggin de-sats.  Pulse oximeters are my nemesis, dating back to NICU 2009.  They gave her valium to stop the seizure, and that worked, and she rested for a long time.  She sat under a "bear hugger" for hours to bring her temperature up, and that also worked.

We had a plan to stay at Orange Regional (which is only a couple miles away from our house) with their pediatric neurologist monitoring her, but Sarai's pediatricians had another plan in mind.  Sarai's neurologist works out of Beth Israel in Manhattan, and they wanted us to go there, and they were very convincing.   And we guessed that made the best sense so her actual doctor can read her EEG, the same guy who read the one just last month.  We were transported by ambulance to the city in the early afternoon.

Once we got to Beth Israel, Sarai had a fever.  (One extreme to another!)  Not a high one, just over 100.  And she sort of fought that the rest of the evening.  The bear hugger?  The fact that the hospital was at least 80 degrees??  A virus??  No way to tell what caused it.

I assumed her EEG would show some kind of regression, and would show some seizures, but it didn't.  It was exactly the same as the one last month.  And by later that day, even though she had had a major seizure lasting at LEAST an hour, and no way to tell how long it was going on before I went in to get her, Sarai was talking and laughing, and fist pumping to her favorite pop artists...

Sarai was discharged yesterday (Saturday) with an increased dose of Keppra (which she takes every day) and diastat, to use in case this ever happens again so we can avoid going to the hospital.  She'll follow up with her neurologist next month, and probably have another EEG in a few months.  There is no way to know for sure what caused this.  It could have been a virus, according to her doctor.  This neurologist is new.  And we like him.  He seems really up to speed on research going on, alternative treatments, and is so open to questions and concerns. 
When we came home I was wondering how we'd EVER be able to sleep again!  How will we monitor Sarai in her bed??  If this happens again, how will we know?!  It's sort of ironic to me because her doctors have pushed for her to sleep on her own FOREVER, and she finally does, and now it feels like a safety concern!  Well, for now, Adam went out today and got a fancy-schmancy video monitor so we can watch her more closely.  And we moved the BabySense infant monitor from Caleb's room (he really doesn't need it) into Sarai's room (that would alert us if she ever stopped breathing).
Long story short... Friday was a VERY scary day.  The past couple days Sarai has been 100% herself.  She is happy, and cranky, eating well, and wants her music.  I can't thank you guys enough for all the Facebook love, or texts, or offers to bring us food in the hospital!  We really felt like you were all right there supporting us!  And as usual, all your prayers pulled our peanut through this. 
Aye, this kid.  What is she made of??


Thursday, August 22, 2013

"You ain't nothin' but a hound dog..."

The title of this post may be a bit misleading for the first part of this update, but you know where I'm headed with that...

Sarai had her surgery over two weeks ago, and so many people have been texting me and messaging me to find out how it went, I'm feeling terrible for not letting you guys know earlier! 

Thank you all for all the thoughts and prayers you sent our way!  Heading in to surgery wasn't bad.  Sarai, even though she couldn't eat or drink was in good spirits.  We had my mom at home so we didn't have to wake up Caleb when we were up and getting ready at 3am!  While at the hospital everything ran smoothly, and they took her in right on time (P.S., that NEVER happens in the hospital!)

(These two snuggle and nap every single time we're in the hospital!)
After surgery.... that was a different story.  Our girl was one hurting puppy. 

Even with a ton of pain meds, she screamed and cried for hours.  We were told in our pre-op appointment she would be in leg casts for 4 weeks after surgery, but the surgeon decided in surgery that with what he did with her hips and hamstrings, her feet responded REALLY well, so  he didn't touch her feet at all.  No casts.  This is how we left the hospital... not fun.

The first day home was pretty awful.  Adam slept with her on the couch.  We literally did not put her down for a second for 24 hours.  Day 2 was much better, and by day 3... WOW!  She didn't even need any pain meds.  Like I mentioned before, there were no incisions, so no stitches or anything.  Not even band aids to be honest!  The leg braces she's wearing in the picture were to keep her legs straight for a day, and she sleeps with them on at night, and they don't really seem to bother her. 
Since surgery, I mean immediately after the surgery, there is a huge noticeable improvement in her muscle tone.  The funny thing is, without all that tone, she's afraid to take any steps or stand!  She had that tone to keep her safe, and now it's gone.  What to do??  Build up her confidence and strength, and get this kid walking!  We got her fitted for new AFO's (ankle-foot orthotics) yesterday and the guy who casted her kept saying, "I'm going to make you some dancing shoes little girl!"  Sounds good to me!  This kid is a trooper.  She's come through her first surgery like a champ.  And check out this hamstring stretch...

Relaxing with BOTH LEGS UP on the seat in front of her!  It's crazy to see her with that much range of motion, and that much control to put her feet up.  She kept doing it over and over!  : )
And if you're friends with Adam on facebook, you may have already seen that we adopted a puppy.  That's right, you heard me.  There isn't enough on our plates, so we adopted a PUPPY.  Her name is Sydney, and she looks like this...

... So you can see why we HAD to adopt her.  She came from North Shore Animal League.  I got my cats there, and they're awesome, so Syd must be awesome too.  So far she's a pretty good puppy. 

How can you not love that face??  (Come on Katie, just try for me!)  : )

My cousin's wife Lindsey, when I asked her "Why did I get a dog again?" answered by saying Adam and I are just like she and her husband (my cousin Matt).  She said, "We're crazy and optimistic and EXCELL under ridiculous chaos."  That's it.  That's me.

(Sarai loves my cousin Matt!  Thanks for vising Matt and Lindsey!)

Plus I think I'm having a mid-life crisis.

I might get a tattoo next.

On my face!

OF my face!

That would be SO bad-a**! 

Except I have to go take the dog for a walk, I might not have time. 

Love you guys!  xoxo

Monday, July 29, 2013

"Must have been wild angels, wild angels... baby what else could it be?"

Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers as Sarai's surgery approaches!  I wanted to let you know, she got a little fever the day before she was supposed to have surgery, and it had to be postponed.  We had HOPED HOPED HOPED it would be just put off a week, but they pushed it back two weeks.  It's been a lot of rearranging to make this work, but it's happening Aug. 6th.  She'll be in casts for the rest of the summer, and hopefully her recovery won't be too tough!  Keep those prayers a'comin!

In the meantime, we got to enjoy a little extra outdoors time that we didn't think we could!  We took the kids swimming at Yvonne's...

And had a great time at the Orange County Fair!
(First fried dough!)

We were both pretty nervous about taking both kids out to the fair.  How would Caleb handle walking all over?  How would they like the rides?  How many rides can we ride with them??  But it turned out to be a great time and I'm so glad we went. 
(First ferris wheel!)

 "Why yes Caleb, my mama IS a llama!"

(Giant slide!)

I mentioned something in the last post I wanted to come back to... I have always been concerned about Sarai's inability to self-soothe.  Since she was an infant, she has been unable to get herself to sleep.  We bounced her on a yoga ball almost constantly until she was about 8 months old (Adam said we would burn that thing, but we still have it!).  She's slept in our bed almost every night for 4 years.  We have had to rock her or rub her back until she drifts off to sleep.  It's been.... tough.  When we went to the health kinesiologist she had an interesting perspective.  I didn't talk to her about all these difficulties, we were really there to talk about Sarai's food allergies and intolerances.  But the kinesiologist at one point closed her eyes and was still for a minute.  She then started to make a circle around Sarai and said to Adam and I, "She is... surrounded by... angels... who are trying to help her... but she doesn't know how to listen."  She then said that she can tell Sarai feels safe with he and I, but that when we're not with her she feels alone, and "out there," "like no one is protecting her."  So she told us to talk to her about angels, and to sing to her about them, so we have been.  And we've been praying with her (instead of just for her) and talking to her about her grandpa, and her GG and great grandpa Losier, her Tío Carlos and Títi Rosie... and all these special people in heaven who are looking out for her.  We've paired this with a touch of western medicine, giving her a little bit of melatonin to help her get to sleep... and do you know what??...
I'll give you one guess whose been sleeping in their bed ALL night AND waking up happy!!  God bless Sarai's angels!  Keep talking to her, keep guiding her in the right direction, we're getting somewhere!
(Sarai, 10 months old, sitting with one of her angels...)



Sunday, July 21, 2013

"And I came home, like a stone, and I fell heavy into your arms...."

Hello friends and family!  I haven't written on this in AGES AND AGES because I've been too overwhelmed to sit down and write, and because I was afraid I'd sit here and start complaining, and I'm just not that into that (not on the blog anyway).  Adam's deployment is FINALLY over, and this past year has been busy with....
house cleaning, thanks to my amazing family...
(*Thank you all again!!)
trick or treating...

new glasses (that she hardly ever wears, but we're trying to get better about it!)...

tchanksgiving celebration...
Sarai having an awesome first year in pre-school thanks to her amazing teachers!...
the best grandmother ever went on her way to heaven...

 Christmas happened...

many Mim visits to help me out at home...

 lots of time was spent on international phone calls...

Easter ...

 hair cuts were put off...
until we were finally together again...
(You probably already saw that, but I'm sharing again just in case.)

It has been a long and difficult year, there is just no way to pull punches there.  I've felt alone and isolated.  I was sure we would get some respite assistance for childcare.  I spent  hours and hours (which probably adds up to days) on the phone, filling out paperwork, sending letters and applications, and got absolutely no where.  My mom even put me in contact with someone from the Pentagon, and I called a local congress woman... nothing.  It's just been a frustrating and emotional year.  We couldn't be more happy that it's behind us.

The kids really picked up where they left off with Adam.  We both thought a year ago that this would be a difficult transition, but not at all really. 

He's such a good daddy though, how could they resist?!

Like I said, Sarai's first year at pre-school went well.  We pulled her out of the class she was in last summer and put her in a regular pre-school.  She has a teacher who stays with her and she is just SO wonderful.  Honestly, thank God for her.  She's amazing.  Sarai loves her class and going to school.  The kids are amazing with her.  It's hard for me to not have other parents there who have kids with special needs too, but I just see her thriving in this environment, it's been great.

Do you remember how we were doing patterning with Sarai last spring?  Or Neurological Reorganization with the guy from Boston?  Around November I realized it was just too much to handle with Adam gone.  Her tone was increasing, and she was regressing in some skills (not climbing the stairs anymore and hardly crawling on all fours, and I had a total freak out).  We found another approach with a similar philosophy (retraining the brain), but without much intense work at home.  It's called Feldenkrais, and it's helped her to regain the skills she temporarily lost.  We also got rid of traditional physical therapy altogether, sort of unheard of!  And suddenly she's crawling on all fours MUCH more, and can get herself into a sitting position.  She's constantly crawling up on furniture, and sometimes climbs right up, turns herself around and sits down to watch TV.  She's never done that before! 

Even with the improvements, slow and steady, her therapists (she sees two Feldenkrais practitioners) felt her tone is just too much.  Long story short, Sarai will actually be having surgery on Tuesday.  It's a minimally invasive, percutaneous, outpatient procedure.  She'll be doing it right in North Jersey.  If you could find some time to say a prayer that the surgery is successful and that her recovery is quick and painless, we'd greatly appreciate it!  She'll be in leg casts for the rest of the summer, so no swimming for my little fish!  But I'm very hopeful that this will be a great thing for her.

We've also been bringing her to a health kinesiologist.  If you thought we were off-the-beaten-medical-path before, you have no idea!  This woman, who I really like, has confirmed that Sarai is pretty much allergic to everything.  Wheat, oats, dairy, CORN.... did you know that corn is in EVERYTHING??  I'd love to tell you what she told me about Sarai and "the angels that are surrounding her," but I'll save that for later.  Just pray that her angles continue to try to help her out, and that Sarai listens to them.  I think she might be starting! 

Caleb is good, so happy to have his dad back home!

And of course I couldn't be happier myself!  Please keep Sarai in your prayers as we get ready for her surgery on Tuesday!  I'll keep you posted!  Thank you!  xoxo

Sunday, September 2, 2012

"Off he goes with his perfectly unkept hope... and there he goes..."

I just started this blog all about Sarai and what's been going on with her for the past few weeks, and then realized that you're all probably wondering more about Adam, so I'm switching gears here.

Adam left two weeks ago.  It was a very long weekend of saying goodbye over, and over... and over. 

Mom, Bill, Katie, Steve and Luke came down for the weekend.  We attended a couple ceremonies, went out to dinner, and got to spend more time with Adam than I thought we would. 

I went to the deployment ceremony at Stewart Air Base by myself to send him off.  Thank goodness I did.  It wasn't easy (as I'm sure you could imagine).  Here we are saying goodbye to about 450 soldiers, kids crying to be with their parents, and there's a USO Quartet singing "The Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy" and all I can think is, "I feel like I'm watching the Titanic go down with the orchestra still playing."  We had breakfast there, chatted for a while, I got to get into this giant plane...

I met a couple nice people.  As they all marched out the speakers blared, "And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free!  And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me!" 

Yep, they went there.  It was just awful.  One lady I met earlier saw me upset and alone and came up to me and said, "You're Tirado's wife, right?  He'll be ok.  He's a good guy."  I said to her, "Of course he's a good guy!  This wouldn't be so hard if he wasn't!"  We shared a little giggle.
(Can you see Adam?  He's waving the red pillow.)
I did a lot of crying, and a lot of eye rolling (like when they patted themselves on the back for all the "support" they provide military families by hosting Yellow Ribbon Events, I have yet to see ANY support from the military in any form, and the Yellow Ribbon Event I attended was a complete cluster).

He's still in the states for the next couple weeks, and he'll be heading out sometime in September.  We've been texting a lot, talking every other night or so.  A lot of people have asked if he'll be home for Christmas... I don't think he'll be home at all.

The kids are doing pretty good, a little out of sorts I guess.  I'm about ready to kill him trying to be supportive.  My mom's been coming down about every weekend to help out.  We recently found someone who will be helping us during the week and one weekend day each week, and my friend Lauren (Sarai's former speech therapist) comes to help out on Thursdays.  So we're pretty covered. 

Although the military has been a joke in the area of support, my network of family has come through BIG TIME!!  Am I surprised??  Not really, I've known I have the best family EVER for a really long time.  But I'm absolutely speechless at their thoughtfulness and generosity in this situation.  My whole family has gotten together and has arranged for us to get a house cleaning service every other week for the entire year!!  There is just no way I could ever say how grateful I am for this gift!!  You all know who you are.  You're amazing.

Adam's been really trying to make this up to me.  He sent Katie and me to see Rock of Ages last weekend for our anniversary (and it was totally awesome!).  His sisters and mother and nieces and nephew came up and spent the day with the kids.  It was a fun day.

Oh, and there was that little trip to Cabo... how wonderful!
So after, quite possibly, the worst summer ever (except for Mexico!), I'm just trying to move on, get this school year going, get back into routines and hope that time flies.  Thank you guys all for YOUR support and prayers and offers of help.  You're all the best!  xoxo