First off, it was one year ago today that Cody and I found out Jett's diagnosis/prognosis. To say that this year has been a year of tremendous trial and growth would be an understatement. Here is what I have learned...Life is hard. It can be scary and unpredictable. You might feel helpless at times. Yet, life is beautiful. The world is full of amazing, compassionate people. Angels are real. God is real...Trust in Him. Live each day like you mean it. Celebrate the small things. Be kind to those around you...you do not know what they might be struggling with. Have a plan, but be able to roll with the punches. Laughter should happen EVERY SINGLE DAY. Live moment by moment and enjoy the journey, whatever it may bring.
This past month has been really really rough on everyone. I'll try to sum it up and be as concise as possible. Against our better judgement, we decided to go back to Utah for the Christmas break. I say against our better judgement, because driving 14 hours with Jett is not possible and riding on a commercial airline during the flu season is potentially fatal for Jett. We decided that if we took the proper precautions we would take the risk and fly back to Utah.
Well it seems that we won't EVER be taking Jett on the airlines again. Jett came down with C-Diff (clostridium Difficile) the day after Christmas. This is a really tenacious intestinal bacteria that causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and overall miserable feeling, and it is very hard to get rid of. Most healthy people that get this bacteria end up losing 5-20% of their body weight over the course of the sickness. Jett only weighed 12.5 pounds and had 0% body fat, so losing weight was not a very good option for him. After a couple trips to the hospital, a couple tests, and some lengthy discussions about treatment options we were sent back home to help him recover. (one of the treatment options is a fecal transplant... yup you read that right. They take fecal matter from a "donor" and inject it through a feeding tube directly into the stomach. For some reason, we had a lot of friends that were really willing to donate for Jett. Haha, I know how to sign up to be an organ donor, but I want to know where I sign up to be a fecal donor) Doctors thought the correct treatment option at this point would be antibiotics, so thats what we tried. Over the course of the next week, Jett lost 2.5 pounds and was back down to 10 pounds. Even though he is fed through a tube and it goes directly to his intestine, he wasn't able to keep anything down. We went to the hospital a couple times for him to get IV fluids so he could stay hydrated, but that did nothing for calories and nourishment. This was a really really scary time for us. If you not taking in any calories your body will start to burn your fat. Once it has used all the fat it will use proteins. If this goes on very long, your body will not have the proteins necessary to function and your organs will start to shut down. Once this happens, it is usually the beginning of the end for kids like Jett.
Jett was still very sick when we left Salt Lake to come back to Omaha, but we were excited to get back home where we have an amazing pediatrician who knows Jett, our awesome nurses that help us take care of him at night, and friends that support us. When we left, both sets of Jett's grandparents thought they were saying goodbye to him for the last time. It was a very emotional goodbye for everyone. (Neither of us thought this was Jett's time to go, but it was hard to see our parents like that)
When we got back home and into our (and Jett's) comfort zone he immediately started feeling better and improving. The first night we were home he slept during the night for the first time in 2 weeks. He started tolerating his feeds the next morning, and stopped puking the same day. We thought we were on the mend.
(Side note: We don't give Jett near enough credit for what he knows and feels. We didn't think he has "comfort zones" or would know the difference between home or grandma's house, but he clearly does. He knows mom and dad. He knows his bed. He knows his nurses. And he has an opinion of where he would like to be)
Come to find out, we were not on the mend; it was just the beginning. We think he caught another bug on the plane ride home because it showed up 3 days after we got home.
Just as he was starting to make some improvements on the C-diff, we started noticing that he had a fever. We would give him tylenol and it would come down... at least for the 1st day. Eventually he was maintaining 104 degrees and tylenol wouldn't help at all... so, Back to the hospital. After more blood draws and a couple chest x-rays they determined that Jett had RSV AND the Flu. They let us go home because we have all the necessary equipment there and he would be more comfortable at home. 3 miserable days went by and he kept getting worse. We noticed that his lungs were sounding different when we would listen to them. Since pneumonia is a very deadly sickness for PCH kids, we didn't want to mess around at all. We went back to the hospital for another chest xray. This time they said it had developed into Brochiolitis! Thats better than pneumonia, but still no fun. (For those that are keeping track at this point he currently has the following: C-diff, RSV, Influenza, & bronchiolitis.) They wanted to keep him at the hospital this time. He stayed for 5 days with marginal improvement but at least he wasn't deteriorating either. They eventually sent us home with some oxygen because there was nothing they could do there that we couldn't do at home. But before we went home they figured out that on top of everything else he also had a double ear infection too. (that is 5 things at once!!!!!)
|Doing his best superman impression|
|Hurray!!! I'm home finally|
He has been home now for about 10 days. We were able to bring him off the O2 a couple of days ago and he really like not having that O2 cannule in his nose all the time. He has been feeling good for the last few days and is starting to get back to normal. We still haven't seen many smiles lately, but we sure can't blame him.
We always knew that Jett was a fighter, but Wow we never knew how much he could fight. It must have taken every ounce of energy in his body to keep from aspirating and developing pneumonia as well as just holding on to his life. I guarantee that it would have been much easier to let go and slip away into the light. We know that heavenly father has a plan for him and its not yet complete, therefore he has to fight as hard as possible until it is complete. Raising a special needs kid is harder than I could have ever imagined but knowing things like that helps me make it through. He inspires me, and as cliche as it sounds, he makes me want to be a better person.
Sorry for hijacking his blog, I will make sure he gets back to telling you about his travels and other stories as soon as he feels 100%