Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back on 2010

The 31st of December, I can't believe it's here already. Or 2011 for that matter! I remember when I was a kid in the early 80's, watching those futuristic type tv shows about what the 2000's would be like. My thought was always, 2000 is SO far away, it'll never get here! And here we are, 11 years in. Crazy!

I try to be a more positive type of person, I really feel that your attitude has a lot to do with the outcome of things. But man, was 2010 pretty rough for us. No, we didn't face unemployment like a lot of people did - we had a steady home over our heads, food to eat, and for most of our family, good health. But I will still look at 2010 as being a very stressful year.

March: Luke's first anaphylactic reaction. I watched a video recently where parents talk about having kids with severe food allergies, and one mom mentioned that the sound of your child struggling to breathe when their airways close during an ana reaction continues to haunt you. Luke never really struggled to breathe, as far as I could tell - but the sight of him losing consciousness twice, his lips turning blue and his skin losing all color, him covered from his chin to his toes in angry red hives, and his head flopping around from being lethargic (among his other reactions) still continues to haunt me. I can still see him laying on the hospital bed in the ER, staring at me and crying, his eyes begging me to help him. I can still hear the nurses whispering to each other about how low his blood pressure and oxygen levels were. It's as if it just happened, and I imagine it will be something to haunt me for a very long time. A week later we learned that Luke had pneumonia (2nd time since November 2009), and we eventually learned it was probably related to him aspirating during his food reaction.

From that point on we began our journey as a food allergy family. The stress of testing for his allergies, trying to find the right doctor, worrying about what he was eating or what others were eating around him. Always being worried that I would forget the Epi-Pens, and that be the day that we needed them.

April Came home on Easter, after being gone all weekend, to find that the faucet in our downstairs bathroom had burst off, and our basement was completely flooded.

May: Trip to the beach! The only real worry I had was that we ate out pretty much every night (my Thermos Foogo Leak-Proof Stainless Steel Food Jar, Blue, 10-Ounce came in handy bringing Luke's food to the restaurant with us).

June: Second ana reaction, after eating a burger with mayo (he reacted to the egg in the mayo). We were driving out of town and didn't realize it was a reaction, and didn't give him an epi. I later learned we should have, and I deal with the guilt of failing him that night.

July: I had to edit to add this-I guess with so much going on, something was bound to be left out! In July Luke had an endoscopy to test for EE. It came back negative thankfully, but the scope itself wasn't much fun.

August Luke caught a cold, and it quickly turned to pneumonia. Luke also saw his orthopedist for a follow up, and we were sent home with corrective shoes for him. The positional clubfeet he was born with was being stubborn about going away completely, and he needed the shoes until November.

The last week of August Luke got sick again, and again it turned to pneumonia. This time it was bad though, really bad - his pediatrician had use go to another hospital north of us after seeing his xrays, because they are known for their children's ER. Thankfully my friend is an ER nurse there, and offered to come with me. We spent several hours there, going through blood work, an hour long nebulizer treatment, etc.

I left there with an appointment for Luke to see a pulmonologist. Probably the best thing that had happened to us medically. We saw the pulmo about a week later, and they diagnosed him with asthma, and put him on a twice a day inhaler. That pulmo appointment led us to switching to an allergist in the same office. Again, best decision.

September Trip to South Carolina, sans my husband, for my grandpa's 80th birthday. My only minor panic attack happened when a bowl of nuts was put on the buffet table at the party - thankfully I had food for Luke. We spent the rest of the week at the same beach as earlier in the summer, the boys had a blast.

Then Cody started school - and I cried =) Just for a few minutes, in the parking lot when we left him. I was so proud of him. He didn't get upset at all, he was so excited to be there. But it made me a little sad that my baby was so big already.

In late September Luke had pneumonia again. By his 3rd round of pneumonia I had gotten good at being able to look at him, and listen, and know. I know more about pneumonia and the symptoms of it than I would like to! His doctor sent us straight to the same ER. Oh, and of course this time my husband was out of town. I was not a happy camper. They treated him and released us. Pretty much a repeat of the last experience.

His allergist, who is also an immunologist, started testing him for immune deficiencies. The initial results came back very low - I was given information about lifelong deficiencies, treatments for it, etc. It was extremely overwhelming.

November Luke caught a cold (we all did), and had a fever, but no pneumonia! It was very exciting, as it meant his body was working at fighting it off. We also had a successful trip to the orthopedist, as we learned that his feet were perfect, and unless I noticed anything funny, we were done! We also met with our county's early intervention in November, about Luke's lack of speech, and she decided that he was definitely eligible for further evaluation.

December We have all been sick again, and once again, no pneumonia. We also got the results back from his latest immunology testing, and the numbers were right where they should be. Excellent news! His immunologist considers his immune case to be closed, whoohoo!

We also met with the early intervention evaluation team this month, and they determined him to be 25% delayed in expressive speech (he's at a 13-14 month range), and 25% delayed in fine motor skills (at 18 months). We should be starting therapy (speech 2x a month, and physical every other month) in January.

So here we are now, on the last day of the year. We have managed to finish with two areas of specialty - orthopedist and immunologist. Hopefully over the next couple of years I'll be able to say that we're also done with the allergist and pulmonologist.

I pray that 2011 will bring us a much healthier year. I pray that my little guy never has to experience pneumonia again. I pray that my bigger little guy will continue to flourish as well has he always has. And I pray that the Redskins will be less embarrassing in the 2011 season =)

Happy New Year!


  1. I know! I can't believe we are 11 years into that 2000! It's amazing!!

    I pray you have a healthier year too! and one with no leaks!

    This past year has put you all through a lot. Parents are so good at putting that guilt trip on themselves over stuff like that. I know it is scary but you can't be that hard on yourself. You didn't know.

    I pray that this year is a little slower, calmer and healthier for you and your family. Have a Happy New Year!! It went fast!

  2. Melinda, wishing you the best in 2011!

  3. Many thanks to both of you! Happy New Year!