Monday, April 11, 2011

Update on Caleb

Caleb is doing well, praise the Lord!  We are so very thankful for all the prayers and thoughts from so many people for our precious little boy!

Thankfully our worst fears of leukemia were ruled out once we got the blood work done.  Unfortunately, when we had the blood work done we saw a new doctor, different from the one we usually see or the one we had seen before (the one mentioned in the previous post that could really tell something was wrong with Caleb).  While the previous doctor had mentioned mono as a possibility, the new doctor didn't test for it (I think he was mostly concerned with ruling out leukemia).  Since we didn't want to put Caleb through more testing, and there really isn't much to be done for mono, we didn't worry about testing him for it.  However, just a couple of weeks ago I found out a friend's son, close in age to Caleb, has had mono, and we recently received a prayer request for another 6 year old boy here locally that has had mono.  These other cases of mono in young boys here locally (and we live in a small town, not a big city) make me think mono is all the more of a possibility for Caleb.  His symptoms certainly fit.

Regardless of whether it was/is mono, bad allergies, or something else altogether, the important thing is that he is feeling better.  When he went for his first allergy shots they were concerned about how sick he was (the way he had been for so many weeks) so they gave him a breathing treatment and put him on prednisone.  They warned me about the side-affects of being on prednisone, but for him it was a wonder drug.  For the first time in many weeks Caleb finally had energy!  Even when he had been on antibiotics for a couple of weeks, while some of his symptoms seemed to improve, he had never really had much energy.  While his wild energy can be hard to keep up with (his daddy calls him the "blond tornado"), it was much harder to see him so lethargic.

Although Caleb hasn't felt well the past couple of days, overall he has been much better.  He is still not completely back to his normal level of energy, but he has at least been playing a significant portion of the days lately.  However, he has had a VERY hard time adjusting to the allergy shots.  He goes twice each week for his shots and gets one in each arm every time he goes.  While they are supposed to be subcutaneous shots, on his skinny little arms they are going much deeper.  He bleeds after the shots, his arms get bruised, and they stay sore for days.  Often when he gets his shots he still has bruises on his arms from the last TWO times he went in for shots, meaning not just the time a couple of days before but even the time a whole week ago.  His arms are always sore - before they start feeling better he gets more shots.  Sometimes the injection itself really burns, like last week due to the pollen count.  I have to hold him for the shots (he doesn't fight, he just wants the comfort of my lap), and he always cries.  Since I had allergy shots myself I never expected it to be this bad for him.  I asked if they could use a smaller needle but they said they wouldn't.  It's very hard to see him hurting so much!

Here is a recent picture of him.  You can see how much better he looks.  It's amazing how much the prednisone helped him!  This was on the day he lost his first top tooth (he had already lost 4 on the bottom).  It had been loose for awhile, but it just wouldn't come out.  It was really causing him a lot of discomfort, and because of the way it was sticking out it really looked bad also.  We just couldn't get it to come out.  It ended up getting knocked out while Caleb was riding on a zip-line in a friend's backyard.  It really shocked him at first, but I was so glad to finally have that tooth out!

He is wearing a shirt we got for him when we went to Russia to meet Christina for the first time (Russia requires multiple trips to adopt a child, that was our first trip).  He was only 12 months old at the time, but that was the smallest shirt we could find.  Traveling all the way to Siberia with a baby was not easy, but I am soooo glad we did not leave him behind (and since I was nursing him it really wouldn't have been feasible to leave him).  It's too bad he doesn't remember going to Siberia!
On a final note about that tooth and Caleb's misery lately, when he started feeling so bad Caleb went back to sucking his thumb a lot.  He always sucked it when he was little, but he had gotten to the point he only sucked it when he was tired or not feeling well, which meant he was sucking it pretty much all the time lately.  When that tooth started getting loose it made it uncomfortable for him to suck his thumb.  Then one day I happened to get a good look at Caleb's thumb and notice he had a TERRIBLE infection on it.  I had noticed it getting a little red from him sucking it so much, but in a matter of a few days it had gotten much worse.  I think he sucked it until the skin got raw, then it got something in it (quite possibly from Caleb's own mouth) that caused an infection.  He kept it hidden from me so I wouldn't notice, and by the time I saw it it was green/brown and VERY infected looking.  I started using a surgical scrub solution to clean it off every couple of hours, followed by hydrogen peroxide and then a prescription strength antibiotic cream I had gotten as an emergency medicine when we traveled to China.  Much to Caleb's dismay, I also kept it bandaged so that he couldn't suck it.  In cleaning it every couple of hours I was able to make sure it wasn't getting any worse, and after a few days it was definitely getting better.  I won a few points from my husband on that one because he was so concerned about me not getting it checked out by a doctor (I would have if had started getting worse).  I won a lot of points from Caleb when it was all better, but of course he thinks I used to be a doctor anyway.  I think healing and fixing boo-boos is just a God-given gift that becomes essential as a mommy!


FaerieMama said...

So glad to hear he's feeling better!!! And FYI, Jennifer, we found out recently that it is nOT too late to change Nastia's age, so we are going for it. She is miserable being 18 but knowing she isnt 18 emotionally, mentally, behaviorally or soocially. She asked me to look into changing it, and found out we still can! Just an FYI in case that would help Christina!

The Kings said...

I am so happy to see this update.

Praise the Lord!!

And he looks great!

Jolene said...

He looks amazing compared to some of the last pictures! Praise God that he is feeling so much better!

I have a rare form of arthritis that is only controlled by prednisone. When it flares up I take the pred. and it puts it back into remission.

My doctor explained that sometimes the body will just randomly start attacking itself and the prednisone makes the body straighten up and act right.

It is my sincere prayer that your is healed and will never again be plagued by those symptoms again!

Chris said...

So happy he is feeling better, and that anything really serious is ruled out!
Hope each day gets better!
Sometimes I have seen pneumonia or something else come on top of mono-but I know you will stay on top of it!!