Thursday, July 10, 2008


Thank you to everyone who posted about my dog.

I can't remember if I mentioned it or not, but a dear friend of mine kept Kenzie right after Robbie was born. He just came home last Friday. My friend has a greyhound. Since there is a chance it's some sort of infection, I called to let him know that he should check his dog out. I don't know if it would be contagious or not.

Of course, my friend is horrified. He apologized for missing it. Honestly, it was purely a fluke that I saw it today. Just the way he was looking at me gave me a profile view of his cheek. And even then, I almost dismissed it. Even after I felt it, I almost thought I was feeling a tooth under the skin. It took another investigation- this one with my hands in the dog's mouth, which he didn't appreciate- to really find it.

And it had to have come up recently. Kenzie was just knocked out a few months ago and had both his teeth cleaned and 5 moles removed to check for cancer. The vet even commented today that she hated having to knock him out again since she'd just done it.

There is a woman at my vet's office who also has a boxer. She answered the phone when I called this morning. I'm pretty sure that's the reason we got an appointment in an hour. She lowered her voice and whispered "want to come at 9?" (it was a little after 8, then.)

She said her dog had something similar when she was 7 and it was benign.

The vet said she just had 13 year old labrador with 5 growths the size of Kenzie's large one and they turned out to be infection.

So there is hope. The liklihood is that it's cancer. I'm working on wrapping my head around it, but I haven't given up. In the meantime, I love him just a little bit extra.

Speaking of my head- a better subject.

Today was my neurologist's appointment. She has declared that my brain is "perfect." Yes, she used that word.

She came in and got my scans. They were burned onto CD, so she took them out to view them. She came back in and I could see that she had the radiologist's reports (CT & MRI) in her hand. She put everything down and said "I looked at the MRI. Your brain is perfect."

I laughed and said that I always liked to hear from a doctor that I was perfect. She said I could tell anyone who asked that she said so.

Then she read the radiologist's report. She was looking at the CT scan and got to the tidbit about the cyst & tumor and she scoffed, "CYST? TUMOR? WHO READ this thing?" and read off the doctor's name. I sort of half shrugged and explained that's what I was told. I told her that they said I had a cyst or growth on the right side of my brain.

She shook her head in disbelief.

I said I'd been fairly upset about it. She said she'd imagine so but again reiterated that my brain is fine.

She did do a neuro exam. Also perfect.

She explained that with my history, she was looking for things like white matter changes or blood flow changes. With my numbness, she was concerned about lesions indicating MS. There were none of those.

As far as the numbness is concerned, she speculated that perhaps there had been some damage from the pre-eclampsia. Since there was a month lapse between delivery and MRI, she can't say what she would have seen if it had been done sooner. She said that perhaps there had been something there that damaged the nerve that seems to be affected. (She named the nerve, but no way do I remember that.)

She also said it could be stress. Me? Stressed? Posh!

She asked about Robbie and how he was doing. As we were talking, my head tingled and I scratched it. I caught myself and pointed it out. She nodded and said that it wouldn't surprise her at all if it was a manifestation of anxiety. That our brains do very, very odd things when we're anxious.

As I have a history of anxiety attacks (fortunately I haven't had any in a great number of years) I certainly know that to be true. And it seems as good a theory as any.

We did discuss my history of migraines. She said that once I'm done breastfeeding, come see her. She'd be glad to help. But they were unrelated to anything going on. Since I've had them since I was 9, that didn't surprise me.

But that was that.

I went back to the NICU and held Robbie for 3 hours. They switched him from CPAP back to high humidity while I held him. It's a lot easier to manage plus it gives his nose a little break. He did great. Right at the end, he had a couple of decelerations and a brady. He was getting tired. Back to the CPAP he went.

I talked at length with one of the respiratory therapists and she'd kind of like to try him on a rotating schedule of the two types of air. The nurse suggested the same thing today but the doctor rounding didn't think so. But the RT is going to bring it up tomorrow.

The doc came in to talk to us. He's concerned because Robbie isn't gaining enough wait. He stalled at 2lb 9oz for several days. They've boosted his calorie intake to the maximum they usually give babies, though they do occasionally go higher. He was going to up him today but then he gained well overnight.

Tonight he gained a whopping 8 grams. I thought it was more like 15 (and they'd like to see 30) but when we compared and saw it was 8, the doctor said "we're going to have to do better than 8." So I think tomorrow, they're going to add even more calories to his breastmilk.

I asked how concerned I would be and the doctor said not to. That with Robbie's breathing troubles, he just uses a lot more calories than other babies. He said it's not uncommon for a baby with chronic lung disease to use DOUBLE the calories of other babies. He just works THAT hard to breathe.

When I seemed upset (I was) the doctor consoled me. He said that I was doing everything I could do. I'm at the hospital every day. I hold him. I give breastmilk. That's everything. There are things he (the doc) needs to do and they are. The rest is up to Robbie.

It helped me a little, but I still wish there was something more I could do.

I'm not really fond of this helplessness.

But overall, Robbie had a good day. We had a lovely snuggle time minus the last half hour or so. Since I started much later than I normally do, we were still cuddled up when he got into his cranky time. (He gets cranky around 7 or 8 every night. The leading theory is that he hates shift time. Probably too noisy & hectic.) That was when he also started having more trouble with his breathing but he also was just generally fussy. But it was almost normal-baby-like. He grunted and squeaked and generally expressed his displeasure. And I talked to him and soothed him as best I could.

He had a new nurse tonight. She gave him the quickest and frankly, less gentle bath I've ever seen and got him back to bed quickly. He had a little trouble settling in but finally around 9:00 he seemed to get there. Other than the fact that she was so abrupt with her bathing technique, the nurse seemed pretty decent. She listened to my advice about his mouth breathing & positioning. She even thanked me for it. And she got him snuggled in and positioned nicely, so that's bonus points for her.

We'll see how he does overnight.

I'm off to sleep. Something I've had very, very little of the last two days.



Tracy said...

Sounds like Robbie and you had a great day! I'm so happy that your brain is perfect! Now you have medical proof. ;)
I can't believe you've been worried over what sounds like nothing on the scan. That doctor that read the CT scan and got this all started should be kicked in the shins. At the very least!

You're being a great mom, Trish. I'm glad Robbie's doing so well. Gain some more weight, little guy!

chipz95 said...

I am so happy to hear the neuro appt. went well. Yea!!!!

I hope Kenzie's appointment goes ok today as well.

Take care

Rachel said...

That's great news on the neuro appt and I'm glad Robbie is holding up so well with the different breathing therapies

Spork Fashion said...

Haha! Now you get to brag to everyone that you have a perfect brain!

When do we get Kenzie's results back?

LOL - I love that Robbie has a "cranky time"

Heather said...

Glad your brain is OK and Robbie continues to do well. Hope your dog is OK. Let us know as soon as you find out if it really is just an infection or something more serious.

Amy said...

Glad for the good news on you and potentially Kenzie, too. Praying Robbie gets better and better!

Just Me. said...

I have been praying for you and your family everyday. *hugs*