Friday, September 28, 2012

Another Ambulance Ride

Has it really been two weeks since I've posted.  I guess that means we've been busy!  Gracie has been learning so much and has been using the word "yes" alot.  I love that.   Jeff traveled to Chicago for work for 4 days earlier this week and Gracie definitely misses him when he is gone.  Her favorite phrase when he is away is "I want to see Daddy!"  On the final day of him being gone, she was asking for him alot.  Very nicely I said to her "Can I have a different word?"  And very sweetly she looked up at me and said "Please!" 

On Sunday, I took Gracie to her school for a fundraising event for a new playground.  They had inflatables and a big bounce house.  Much to my amazement, Gracie ran right up to it and wanted to go in.  She has always been scared of them.  I was so proud of her bravery, but it about broke my heart to see her in it.  She never could gain enough strength and balance to stand up.  Every time she would just about get up, another child would bounce and she would lose her balance and fall.   Then we headed to the Zumba dance instructors who were awesome with Gracie.  So she danced for quite a while.  Then she got to meet Chuck E. Cheese.  Another great highlight for her.

On Monday, Gracie had helped out in the daycare garden and when I picked her up her cheeks were blaze red with a definite allergic reaction and some blistery welty type marks on her cheeks.  They were definitely swollen too.  We suspect her allergy to mold might be the culprit.  I took her home, washed her up and gave her some Claritin.  By morning, she was looking much better. 

On Tuesday, I took her to daycare and she got on the bus as usual, by the end of her bus ride she started going into an anaphylaxis allergic reaction.  Gracie's emergency plan was followed, an epi pen was administered, the ambulance called, and by the time she made it to the E.R. she was cool and calm and doing well.  We'll never know for sure what caused the anaphylaxis, but we suspect it was a delayed reaction from the garden mold the day before.  Or she could be sensitive to a plant that she touched too...she breaks out from both dandelions and mums, so it would stand to reason that there are more plants that cause problems for her.

So Gracie and spent the next 6 hours in the E.R. - which is standard practice as allergic reactions many times go in waves.  She was given some steroids that help with that and we actually got to leave a little bit earlier because she needed seizure meds and they didn't have what she needed.  I stayed home with Gracie on Wednesday just to monitor for any allergy returns.  We still see a little bit in her cheeks, but have a prescription for another dose of steroids should we need it.

Gracie was thrilled that daddy returned home on Wednesday.  He brought her a stuffed Goofy from Mickey Mouse.  I wish I would have had the video camera handy...I've never seen her so excited.  She LOVES Goofy!!!!

Gracie had a great day at school yesterday and was in the best of moods this morning.  I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, September 14, 2012

To Vaccinate...Or Not to Vaccinate?

Gracie had her 5 year old well child visit with her pediatrician yesterday.  She is a healthy girl and was sooooo cooperative!!!!  The two questions on our mind:

  • A referral to see the Speech Pathologist.  She wanted to see us back before the school year started, but we can't just call and make an appointment.  Each time there needs to be a referral from pediatrics.  So we'll be meeting with her on October 30th.
  • Vaccinations:  Gracie is currently up-to-date and compliant with her vaccinations.  I'm very pro-vaccination, however prior to age 6 we need to have quite a few vaccinations take place.  One of them being the Dtap vaccination....part of this vaccination is for pertussis (whooping cough).  There is currently a large number of cases of whooping cough in our community and surrounding communities.  Our hesitation for having her vaccinated goes back to her last Dtap vaccination at age 15 months old.  We had just found out that Gracie had epilepsy, we had just started her on anti-epileptic meds, seizures were not well controlled at that point and she had her 15 month vaccinations, and then came the on-set of INFANTILE intractable seizure disorder that changed our world.  3 months later we finally beat the I.S. monster using large doses of steroids and a non-FDA approved medication that we had to have sent in from Canada.  Gracie's weight ballooned, she became constantly irritable, and she experienced many milestone don't learn very easily when your having 60+ seizures a day.  Did the vaccination cause the seizure disorder???  Gracie was probably pre-disposed to I.S., but it is believed the vaccination set the I.S. in motion.  So what happens if we vaccinate her with this again???  We've had conversations with Gracie's neurologist who we trust immensely.  She feels that she would much rather treat the seizures than possible brain bleeds that could be the result of having whooping cough.  That certainly makes sense, but I'm not quite ready to go that route yet.  So I asked if we could have a consultation with the Department Chair for Pediatrics, who also specializes in Infectious Disease and is known as the resident expert regarding vaccinations.  Our pediatrician supported our request 100% and we are scheduled for an appointment in early December.  We would appreciate any prayers for guidance.
It was a cool evening last night and Gracie was having a blast playing outside on her playset and with her pretend lawn mower...can you really cut grass while mowing the deck?  Hmmmm.  This cool weather agrees with her.  She was so happy outside.  I just love to see it.

School and daycare continue to go great for Gracie this year.  She is really at a great age and I'm so incredibly amazed at how awesome her daycare friends are with her.  Just this morning we were surrounded by a group of young girls (3 & 4) that were giving her little letters and were chatting up a storm.  I seriously considered skipping work and playing with all of the sweet children at daycare.  I wonder if my boss would have noticed I was missing?  Mitch - Can I stay at daycare and play one of these days?  :)

Have a great weekend!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie Good Girl

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The School Year Has Begun

Gracie has had a fantastic couple of weeks!  She still has a bit of a cough from her pneumonia, but it has subsided greatly.  It's amazing what feeling healthy does for her mood.  She has been the happiest kid lately and so verbal too.  I accused Jeff of increasing her meds again, but he assures me he hasn't.  The other night she said a seven word sentence....she was laying on the floor and didn't want to go to bed.  I told it was time to go read books in bed (our nightly routine) and she told me "I don't want to read any books."  I think she was surprised by the big smile that came to my face as I counted out the words she spoke. 

Gracie's good buddy at daycare left to go to school.  That last day was pretty sad!  Maddie just kept wanting to give Gracie hugs.  The realization for Gracie came later when Maddie wasn't there.  Now she tells me that "Maddie is bye, bye."  The she tells me and signs "sad".   A new little girl named Dana has started in Gracie's daycare room and they are making fast friends.  Dana is the same coloring and has the same type of hair Gracie does, although Dana is much smaller in build.  The similarities are not lost on Gracie, she picked up on this immediately and has gravitated to Dana.  I'm told they get along very well. 

Gracie started her third year of ECSE Preschool last week.  Last year was a pretty stressful year at school for her, it was turning around toward the end with the change of teachers and classroom settings.  This year it has gone remarkably smoothly.  I love her teachers and paras and Gracie really seems to love it.  The bus driver and para are the same as last year and I love, love, love both of them too.  So does Gracie. 

Jeff's busy season of working alot of weekends, long days, and travel out of town have begun.  This does not sit well with daddy's girl.  The first words out of her mouth each morning are "Go see daddy!"  When she finds out that he has already left for the day, she gets sad.  There are some nights when she goes to bed without seeing him too.  We'll just have to make sure the time they do have together is quality time. 

We are looking forward to the cooler fall temps.  That means more outside time for us.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie the school girl