Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Bionic boy, 9 months later...

We headed to Mercy this morning to have our 9 month follow-up for Sam's Calavarial Reshaping surgery!  It was fun to see Dr. Singhal again & Sam gave him a nice thank you with lots of photos for their office.

Sam had a Cat Scan last wednesday the 22nd.  We appreciate all the prayers & good thoughts.  He did perfect & did not have to be sedated once again.  I believe he is either 0-5 or 0-6 on sedation for his CT's.   The nurse, radiologist & child life specialist were all surprised & enjoyed their awake & chatty patient.

Here are some quick snapshots of the CT results we got to see today.  The first one is a profile of Sam's skull.  You can see the top of his spine on the left & his eye orbit on the right.  The gaps in bone you see are from his most recent surgery in Feb '08.  There are still lots of plates in place & where you see small circles,  those are screws that have yet to completely dissolve.

The second shot is of the top of Sam's head with the forehead at the top of the photo.  Here you can see the "tounge in groove" cuts that were made to spread out the skull & make more room for Sam's big brain.  His skull circumfrence was measured again today & it has grown at an appropriate rate although he continues to be off the charts:).  

The third photo gives you a pretty good view of all the plates & screws Sam still has in his forehead.  (I can count 36 screws just on the right side of his forehead... and I was assured that was not even close) Dr. Singhal said we will continue to see his forehead smoothing out & changing shape as the bone fills in the gaps.  This picture just amazed us...  and Sam thought it was pretty cool as well.  

The last photo shows tissue... specifically, all the gray you see inside the white lines is Sam's brain.  Dr. Singhal noted once again that Sam's brain is very large & that it keeps filling all the space it is given.  He was glad to see that this is the first CT Sam has had where the brain was not actively pushing the bone out to make more room.  We were very glad to hear that!  The white lines are the edges of Sam's skull & where you see "gaps" there is lighter gray where bone is filling in....  Fascinating!

All the news was good... but my personal favorite was hearing Dr. Singhal say we did not need to see him again for 18 months!!!  We love this man, do not doubt that & we could not be more grateful for what he has done for us!  But...  we are super excited to have an "all clear" for 18 months!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sorry about the long lapse in coverage of Team Arrandale!  Here is a great shot of Sam & his cousin Rhys who is 6 months old in a couple of days!

Sam is doing great!  As you can see by the photo, swelling on his forehead continues to go down slowly.  He's really only got one spot over his left eye that continues to be soft.  He's healing really well.  If you are a scientist at heart, ask Sam if you can feel his head...  the plates are amazing.

March & April were crazy... we had a standing weekly appointment for assessing & draining fluid.  Then on April 30th, Sam was cleared by the surgeon to return to normal 3 year old craziness with no hemet!!!  We will have a follow up CT scan in October/November to see how his skull has repaired itself

3 days later we found out we are pregnant with our second!   Timing is everything, is it not?
Kelli is now finishing her 1st Trimester &  all day "morning" sickness.  Ted is taking excellent care of her.  Sam says "I wish the baby would just come out now so you wouldn't be sick Mom." What a sweet boy.  Sam is ready to be a big brother & says he hopes to name the baby "Diego Arrandale".  We have veto power however.  We are hoping to find out the gender of the baby in the next couple of months & will let you know.

Things we are looking forward to this summer:

1.   Papa Gene is turning 60
2.  Adventures to be had w/ Gigi Cathie & Papa Bill
3.  Traveling to Hastings, Nebraska to see NeNe (Kelli's grandma Irene) & Sam's Godparents, Aunt Carol & Uncle Ron
4.  Fourth of July craziness in DeSoto at the Schrams.
5.  Sam's 3 1/2 birthday party.
6.  Attending our friend Reece's (different than cousin Rhys) Dr. Seuss birthday party!
7.  Going to the pool.
8.  Airconditioning
9.  Homemade icecream
10. Summer storms

That's all for today... we love you & thanks for loving us.     

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fluid issues

We've not updated for quite some time.  We have several reasons/excuses but basically the main one is that we had a pretty stress filled go there for a while.

Around the middle of March Kelli took Sam in for a follow up on his head.  Sam had several pockets of fluid in various places around his forehead and on top of his head.  Dr. Singhal was concerned that the fluid may be cerebral spinal fluid (csf) and the risk of draining it was too high at that time.  Evidently, csf is quite intelligent and if any part of it gets infected it may send the infection to the brain.  Dr. Singhal wrapped Sam's head with a pressure wrap that was supposed to help reduce the swelling and wanted to see him in a week.
Kelli took him a week later and Dr. Singhal now had reason to believe that it was not csf and decided to drain it.  Sam was not in favor of this decision or the draining process.  They were able to drain 25 cc's  of fluid from his head.  It was not csf, which was/is good news.  The next day, however, the fluid pockets returned.  Kelli rewrapped Sam's head, called the doctor's office and another visit was scheduled.  This time 33 cc's were drained.  Sam didn't like having fluid drained this time either and the fact that he was sick (so was Kelli) didn't make it any easier. The next week they only drained 8 cc's and decided that he didn't need to be seen for two weeks.  He is scheduled to be seen on Wednesday, April 16th.  He still has swelling, but not as much as before the draining process began.  
Kelli and Sam have been battling various virus issues for the past month.  Neither is at 100% right now; but both are doing much better.  

Monday, March 10, 2008

The power of negotiation

No updates for a while, Kelli has been sick.  She has that nasty flu virus that has been busy overpopulating our local hospitals.  She has managed to stay out of the hospital, but has been in a bad  way for over a week.  Since I don't get sick (really I don't) I wasn't interested in the medicine that the doctor's office prescribed for me to take in a prophylactic manner but we thought that Sam has been through enough the past few weeks so we went ahead and filled the prescription that they wrote for him to take to avoid catching this junk.  Needless to say, he is not impressed with his "don't make me sick medicine".  He has tried just about every avoidance tactic known to man to avoid this disgusting liquid (and I don't blame him, it's just plain gross); from refusing to open his mouth, karate-chopping the med dispensing syringe  away, having me water it down, to using it as a bargaining chip, "How about some cookies after I take it, to help get rid of the nasty taste, Dad?"  Tonight, he reached a new level of deviance....While getting his medicine ready, the crafty little three year old informed me that he didn't get his vitamin this morning.  I doubled checked with Kelli and his story checked out.  So I told him I would get his vitamin and while he was chewing on the gummi goodness that is Flinstones candy-er...vitamins I would get his medicine ready.  He took the vitamin from me after a brief game of "which hand is it in?" and I turned around to draw his nightly dose of gross.  As I'm getting into the cabinet I hear the sound of little feet covered in race car jammies running away.  The sound fades out of the kitchen and then I hear it.  The sound that I didn't expect to hear until he was twelve and hating me for grounding him or something:  SLAM!!!  He had gotten his vitamin and run away to hide in his room.  I knocked on his door, only to be greeted by a squeaky little voice that informed me that no one was home.  After picking myself up off of the floor from laughing I knocked again.  "Go away... there's nobody here!"  I can't believe it, I've been outsmarted by my own son.  Mind you, I always knew that this day was coming, but I figured I had at least until he was 5 or 6 before this would happen.  I knock again; again I hear the same squeaky sing-song voice inform me that no one is home.  So I ask, "If no one's home, who am I talking to?"  Silence.  Ha, I've still got some time left before he's officially smarter than me.
  Then he says, "It's whom, Dad!  It's whom!"  
Okay, that last part didn't happen, but he was smoking when I burst open the door.  Okay, he doesn't smoke, but he did get a cookie out of the deal.  

Monday, March 3, 2008


Saturday was "Coops" 1st birthday! Kelli takes care of Coops 3 days a week so he & Sam are good buddies.

The party was a blast... there was a clown, face painting, balloon animals, great ballpark food & good music!

Sam & Kelli spent most of Friday discussing (yes, he has discussions) how he was going to give presents to Cooper for his birthday & that the presents were not for Sam.  He just kept saying, "But, I can just share Coops toys."

We all made it to church together Sunday for the first time since we began the "quarantine" in January.  Sam wore his helmet & Ted stayed in the classroom with Sam.  The great thing about 2 & 3 year olds is that they just accept life as it comes.  Not a single kid in his class even noticed he was wearing a helmet.  Although one boy thought it was a fun surface to drive cars on:)

We went on a walk last night with Uncle Matt around the neighborhood.  Hope those of you in KC were able to enjoy the 2 days of spring!

Thanks again for all of your prayers, warm thoughts, meals & visits!  We are blessed! 


Friday, February 29, 2008

Extreme Makeover!

The photo on the left is from the week prior to surgery.  Took the photo on the right of Sam today during his morning snack... couldn't believe the difference!  Thought you all would like to see it as well.  

Sam had a visit from his "big friends" yesterday, Riley & Blake.  I asked him what he meant by "big friends".  He said, "You know, friends who can talk... who aren't babies"  I got a pretty good laugh at that one.

We are going to the 1st birthday party of the baby (soon to be 1 year old!!!) I watch on Saturday. I'm taking Sam to pick a present & out to lunch today.  He's excited! 

Take care everyone!  We love you!  Team Arrandale