Monday, December 31, 2007

Year 2007

While I am glad to see an end to 2007 we had so many great experiences this year also. We met a ton of awesome and amazing people.

January started with my tolerance level for Gabe's symptoms hitting overflow on my quest for answers we had a miserable visit with our once loved neurologist. After a very strongly worded email to our CF (Craniofacial team) the ball started rolling. We opted for a 2nd opinion for Gabe and when the awesome neurosurgeon told us that with Gabe's issues he would refer him back to Dr. Frim we had affirmation that we were in the correct place. January the Twins turned 5 and auditions for Sleeping Beauty (the ballet) were held. Lindsay was a Green Dragonfly and Gabe Grumpy Dwarf.
February brought the diagnosis of Chiari Malformation 1 (CM1). 2 MRIs for Gabe, a few (long) clinic appointments, worsening of Hannah's symptoms and talks with the neurosurgeon about her.

March brought more med changes for Gabe, MRI for Hannah, diagnosis of Chiari for Hannah, Speech therapy for Fayeth and Soccer for the Twins.

April brought MORE soccer, MORE ballet rehearsals, an extra performance, more meds for Gabe, LONG clinic appointments with both Frim and McKinnon.

In MAY Fayeth turned 2. Her speech therapy continued and she started making progress. :)


Lindsay and Gabe performed in Sleeping Beauty!
We had Fun at Disney World. We went with Gramma, Grampa and Aunt Paul. It was Aunt Paula's first trip.
MGM
Photo above: back row-Sandy (gramma), Paula with Lindsay, Me, Darren (the hubby)
Front Row-Hannah, Fayeth, Gabe and Grampa in the scooter.

Face Painting at Animal Kingdom
Sufari Minnie (Hannah)-Spider Girl Lindsay-Dino Gabe


Breakfast at the Crystal Palace with the Flanders
Fayeth and Corbin. I will have to find the picture from last year, same place, same pose.

Crystal Palace with Eeyore

Hannah-Lily-Lindsay-Kelsey-Gabe and Jason

Fun at Mickey's House with the Tabors
Gabe-Victoria-Lindsay and Hannah

We also went to a get together at Amy's house up in Chicago. :) We got to meet our friends (Aritha, Micheala, and Sean) for the first time. (I did not get any good pics of the kids together. If anyone did can you please email me one). This was the day that Gabe took a turn for the worst. My non violent little man took a toy and smashed Robin in the face with it. *I* was mortified and Robin and her mommy Dani were awesome about it. Gabe's behavior change landed us in the ER before the end of the month and with a surgery date.

June brought lots of pain, Gabe's refusal to get off the couch and do anything. When he did he would scream at us that he wanted to go to the hospital. June also brought recital. It also brought consumed coins before his surgery.

Recital 2007
Gabe, Lindsay, Miss Angela, Hannah & Fayeth

June 27th we arrived at Comer Children's Hospital (University of Chicago Hospital). Gabe had a posterior fossa decompression. That is where they remove a section of bone from the back of his head near the foramen magnum, remove part of his 1st cervical vertebra and open the lining of his brain (the dura) and placed a patch in it. The cerebellar tonsils are placed back where they belong.

July we went home from the hospital. I had nasty evil family members trolling me which resulted in me deleting a ton of stuff from my blog. We ended up at our local ER with meningitis, of course they missed it and they send us home after doing a CT that looked EXACTLY like the one that he had pre-op. Later that morning we went to Comer's and was diagnosed with Chemical Meningitis, CSF leak and pseudomeningocele after he had an MRI and LP. He started high doses of steriods and we were on our way.

August started with a routine trip to the opthamologist. Lindsay needed glasses and Gabe had papilledema (swelling of the optic nerves). Then Hannah turned 4.
A trip to clinic ended up with a return trip the next day to the OR for a Lumbar Puncture to measure Gabe's pressure due to the pain, papilledema and his general health decline. It was elevated and we got a NEW diagnosis to add to our previous ones. Pseudo Tumor Cerebri (PTC). Our game plan, back to the OR at the end of the month for a lumbar drain trial. Before that could happen Gabe developed a fever and complaints that his neck would not turn and of course our friend vomiting. Back to Comer ER and 24 hours at the hospital. The drain trial was 8 days in the hospital and 1 at the RMH. The outcome of the drain trial....he needs an LP shunt. Dance started back up for Lindsay and Hannah. Fayeth was still progressing in speech.

September brought a lot of pain and vomiting for Gabe. Auditions for the nutcracker for things 1,2, &3 all were bon bons :). We tried to resume "school" they are in 1st grade now. Flu shots came around and 2 days later we had facial drooping. Back to Comer ER. They have us all freaked out that he has seizures, a stroke or the starts of guillian-barre syndrome. 3 days in the hospital, CT, MRI, LP, EEG it is a temporary viral neuropathy secondary to the flu vaccine.

October brought our surgery date up 2 days. Surgery came and went with a nice new programmable LP shunt placed. We raised money for Comer Children's Hospital and did a 5K walk. Strollers/wagons: Fayeth-Hannah-Riley J-Alex J
Standing: Gabe-Lindsay-A Clown- Kurt J

And Halloween
Lindsay & Hannah (Fairies)-Gabe (Dr. Frim)-Fayeth (Fairy)

November brought NO TRIPS TO THE HOSPITAL!!!!! We had company (Aunt Paula) and spent Thanksgiving here with 25 family memebers that we know and love. :)

December brought 2 boughts of strep for all 4 kids.
A Nursing Home Show
Back: Donelle B.-Lindsay-Gabe-Alexandra S
Front: Audrey B.-Carissa S.-Hannah-Alexis

The Nutcracker
Back: Aunt Becca-Lacey-Sam-Gramma-Grandma Norah Marks (U.Tom's gramma)
Kids: Fayeth-Hannah-Gabe-Lindsay-Michael

5 Christmas parties over 4 days. This one being the Wilson Family Christmas
Eli(3)-Hannah(4)-Anthony(2.5)-Leila (9m)-Fayeth (2.5)-Billy (6)-Gabe (5)-Lindsay(5)

And Of course a trip to the OR on Christmas Eve. :)

The best part of the year would be the new friends that I have made this year because of this journey. Their knowledge has meant the world to us, their support has helped us through the dark times, the knowing looks, the true understanding I can never begin to tell them thank you enough. Our "old" friends have been awesome. Thank you all for the cards, care packages, emails, comments on the caringbridge page, everything you have done for us over the past 5 years. It has been a long journey and it is not over. Probably...will never be, but THANK YOU ALL for making 2007 a great year.





2 comments:

The McMommy said...

What a great update for you to do to remember 2007, despite all of the trials and tribs.
I hope 2008 is brighter.

Anonymous said...

Michelle,
I haven't been around much at all-but you and your family are never far from my thoughts. I can honestly say that at church I always say a prayer for Gabe and his sisters :) Without ever having met you all you touched my heart. I hope that 2008 has great things in store for you and your family. I wish you all the best.
I really enjoyed reading your year in review.Tammy