Wednesday, December 31, 2008

for those who asked

Here's the site for the Athan bear.

good news, bad news

Good news: The rehearsal went smoothly, and rehearsal dinner was lots of fun! The kids did well during the shuffle from here to there, and had lots of fun with Aunt Loy and Uncle Joe last night.

Bad news: Athan didn't sleep much last night, and he wasn't any happier about it than we were. Ryan and I still feel - to quote him directly - "poopy." We probably need antibiotics, but we're unlikely to be able to obtain any until next week. Ugh.

Wedding tonight. I think I'd better start the process of getting ready if I hope to make it by 8 tonight. It's not as easy to be stunning as it used to be. :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the update from Austin

Ok, I think I've offered this disclaimer before, but it applies again: I hesitate to write when things are stressful sometimes. I feel like I'm whining. So that explains the gap in the report - this have been stressful in Strebeck-ville for a few days.

Before we left, there was the ongoing indecision about whether or not Athan was up to the trip. One by one, however, his struggles seemed to get easier, and we decided Athan was good to go.

Morgan, as always, is a champ. She was antsy and ready to come to Austin for two weeks before we could leave, and her cough finally went away, too.

So Thundercats are Go!

And then, Saturday morning (before the scheduled departure of Sunday morning), Ryan and I woke up with nasty sinus infections. Weekend - no docs open. Not enough time to sit all day in Urgent Care waiting room if we're to be ready to leave in time to make the wedding. So we had to finish getting ready to be gone for 3 weeks with monster headaches, etc. Yuk.

Then - two days of driving. Athan is the best traveler in the car. He did great on all 3 of the important factors - eating, sleeping, pooping. Morgan was cranky, but healthy. Ryan was not cranky, but still sick. I was very cranky and very sick.

But we made it. Whew. Austin is a welcome change of scenery - mostly I like that it's 68 degrees out today. Rehearsal dinner for my brothers wedding tonight (Ryan is the minister performing the ceremony, and I'm and attendant). We both still feel a bit like we've been beat up (no one should have to feel this way unless they got to drink alot the night before... and I didn't, in case you're wondering...), and we could use some extra prayer for the next few days.

Kids are staying with Ryan's folks during the wedding stuff (thank you Sid and Selena!). Wedding tomorrow. Family Christmas deal the next day. Cotton Bowl for Ryan the next day. Then back across Texas (10 hours) to Clovis for a couple weeks. If I don't get to it before, I'll update again once we get to New Mexico.

Anyone still reading this whiny novella, thanks for you patience and prayer. :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the only way he'll sleep lately:

rough night again, but better day

Athan was awake alot last night again, but is asleep at the moment and has been for 2 hours. Yeah!

Our sweet friend Trish brought us dinner last night. Many, many thanks! I can hardly say how much I like food that I don't cook. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008


Ryan's computer is back from the shop. Mine is still weird. But I can post some again, anyway.

Ummm... More of the same. Morgan's month-old cough is still there. Athan's "off-ness" is still very much there. He slept last night in 20-30 minutes stretches, and only if someone was holding him. He had a fever, which has gone away now. He's starting to cough some, too.

Ryan's taking our car into the shop right now. A pick-up came too far into our lane after church yesterday and knocked off our driver side mirror. Annoying.

But to end on the UP side...

We finally were able to celebrate Morgan's birthday last night. A green cake, of course. Thanks, friends, for loving us and loving our kids with us.

I got to make a quick trip to Chicago with my friend Kelly. She ran up to see her fam, and I got to visit our friends the McCallisters. Great time with Kelly, Josh, Candace, Jedi, and Gonzo.

Ryan is very much NOT in school right now. Big fat sigh of relief.

Soooo.... that's us today. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tech Trouble

Athan has had a better day and is much more himself today.
Our posts may be abit thin for awhile. Ryan's computer is in the shop and Amberly's is on the blink. Our internet access may be limited until one of the computers works again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

in an odd place

Just can't decide what's going on with kiddo. He's not himself, but not dangerously sick. Just... off. I don't know. He ate some tonight. Drank a little. Seems exhausted, but not sleeping. I guess that's the best update I can give tonight.


Athan seems to be feeling well. He is sitting in the floor playing with Dad and sister. He's not fussy or lethargic. Dad gave him a bath, and he's sipping on juice here and there.

we need you again

We're a little nervous this morning. Athan just threw up again. His sugars are fine right now (71), but we had to repeat morning dose of meds. Now we need him to drink enough to keep his blood sugar up.

We go see Dr. Coburn at 2:30 today (previously scheduled follow-up from hospitalization).

Monday, December 15, 2008

better evening

Thanks for praying, friends and fam.

He seems better. He ate really well at dinner, had a bath, fell asleep, and (for the first time all day) is sleeping in his crib instead of in Mom's or Dad's arms. That's 2 of the Big 3 - eating and sleeping. Now if he can poop...

In other news, Morgan went for her 4-year-old check-up today. Ryan took her, and reported that she was quite entertaining reading the eye chart and answering Dr. Coburn's questions. She weighs 32 pounds and is 42 inches tall. Healthy kiddo. She also got a round of immunizations today, poor girl. Her leg is so sore she was walking funny for a while. Ouch.

I'm off to accomplish (hopefully) the Big 3 myself, and be ready to try again tomorrow. Night, all.

not a great day so far

He's miserable, and I don't know why. Not eating well (drinking lots and eating enough, apparently, to keep his sugars up), not sleeping well, not pooping at all. He's super fussy, poor guy, and I can't find any way to help him. Could use some prayers again today - for all of us.

restless night, good morning

Not that it is a big surprise, but Athan didn't sleep very well last night. I'm not sure how long he was in his crib, but I'm pretty sure he spent at least an equal amount of time on Ryan's chest in the living room chair. His sugar is fine - 95 at 5 this morning. He's still drinking lots of juice, and is currently in his high chair eating some cereal and raisins. And yawning all of the sudden. Maybe he'll take a nap now...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

before bed

Ummm... O.K. It's been an O.K. evening. Not great - he still obviously does not feel very good, he didn't eat very much, and had difficulties filling his diaper earlier. But not bad - he's drinking lots of juice, his blood sugar is fine (82 at last stick), and he had fun playing in the bathtub for a while. I think he's asleep in the chair with Ryan now.


They boys got home a while ago. I only vaguely remember - I was deep asleep at the time. As with every time we leave the hospital, I'm glad and nervous. Certainly glad to be at home - hospitals are difficult places to heal, ironically. And also nervous - there is no team of trained professionals ready to rush in the room at the push of a button.

Athan is better, certainly. He's still tired and a bit on the cranky side (understandably), but his sugars have been fine. Ryan said he ate lots of good stuff at lunch, and shows no signs of tummy trouble right now.

Morgan was sweet when she saw Athan. She ran to him and said "Bubba! I'm so glad you feel better." Cute kid, huh?

First Smiles

I caught one of Athan's first smiles in 3 days or so. I got him to ride around in a hospital Radio Flyer and he agreed to eat a little lunch. Laurie (Athan's PT), along with Lance and Jordan, came by for a visit after church. Thanks guys. Athan was glad to see them as soon as he figured out Laurie wasn't going to put him to work! He's sleeping now, so hopefully he'll rest well. Below, you can see Athan making a hat out of hospital dishes (since, of course, none of Mama's mixing bowls are handy).

discharge orders in

As long as Athan keeps his meds down (we switched from IV meds to by-mouth meds) and tolerates a normal lunch, he'll be discharged at 3 this afternoon. Yeah! :)

He is pretty fussy this morning, but I think that was due to a miscommunication on the orders for his meds that led to a delay in his morning dose of Cortef. Otherwise he seems to be more and more himself.

Ryan is at the hospital with him now. I'm home to shower and rest, get Morgan, and get the house ready for Athan to be home (which won't be difficult - MANY thanks to the little elves who cleaned my gross house!).

Soon I'll try to hammer out some kind of reflection about our first "crash." It will start with relief...


Awake and fussy this morning. I think the poor guy was just hungry! He's sitting in bed now, munching on cheerios.

Morning, all.

sugar check


Saturday, December 13, 2008

up and back down

Athan woke up about an hour ago, so we took that chance to do all the stuff: check vitals, check sugar, change diaper, give meds, offer juice. All looks good. Vitals are good - no fever for the first time in a couple days. Blood sugar was 107 (that's good - normal is between 70 and 120). His diaper was soggy (very important his urine output stays up). He chugged more apple juice, then cuddled with mom for a few minutes and went back to sleep. For tonight he is on clear liquids only per doc's orders, but hopefully we can get him on some solids tomorrow and see if he can tolerate it. Still no idea how long we'll need to be here. Hopefully more info/answers at rounds tomorrow.

A thousand thanks, loved ones.

more fluids, more fussy, more sleep

Athan woke up just after I posted last. We moved to a different room (we were sharing before, now we have our own room), and he drank some more apple juice. He was super fussy for a while, and I couldn't tell why. Then Dad and Morgan came for a short visit (and brought me dinner), and it was Dad to the rescue! He patted Athan for a bit and he let out a monster belch, then went to sleep. Whew...

No real updates aside from that. We're still just trying to find out why his tummy hurts. May have been the antibiotic he was on for his earache, so we've stopped that med (his ear is fine now). May be a virus (reported to be going around). Maybe something else... We won't be going home until we are sure he will eat and drink enough to keep his meds down and his sugars up once we get home.

Again, thanks for praying. I suspect we'll be awake some tonight. I'll probably post again in a few hours.

sleeping still

Athan is just a tired, tired baby. He is still asleep. He has been awake for small stretches today, mostly when we have to get vitals or x-rays. Otherwise, asleep. The general opinion seems to be that it's ok to just let him sleep as long as he wants. He still has only had about 10ml of liquid to drink, but his diaper was really wet (from IV fluids), so they were happy with that for now. It may be a while before he is willing to eat or drink more.

I (Amberly) am here with Athan for tonight. Ryan went home to be with Morgan and finish his last assignment of the semseter. I am, of course, happy to be with my boy, but I'm sad to be away from Morgan on her 4th birthday. [I'm sure Ryan would say he is glad to be with the birthday girl, but sad to be away from the sick boy...].

Thank you, again, for the prayers, comments, e-mails, texts, calls, offers to help... We are grateful to be surrounded by people who love.

Athan is finally stirring a bit, so I think I'd better go see if he will drink more. I'll post again when he falls back to sleep.

need him to drink stuff

We really need Athan to be willing to drink some stuff so he can pee. That's the current prayer requst.

Children's Hospital

We made it up to a room a few minutes ago. Athan is sharing a room with Chan, a baby who had intestinal surgery a few days ago.

Sugar levels remain plenty high, thanks to the IV. Athan does not have much interest in eating or drinking anything yet. He is worn out from being sick and then from fighting so hard this morning. His blood work all checked out normal and x-rays look good so far. Everyone mostly suspects something viral at this point. The plan is to keep him here until he can keep food/drink down and therefore his oral medications.

The Morgan reports sound like she is having a good day with friends. We sure appreciate everyone in Wilmore. It's a good problem to have, deciding which willing family will take care of Morgan for a while. Thanks to all -

Update from UK

Athan and I made it to the UK emergency room around 6.45 or so, and Amberly was right behind us. The big guy's blood sugar was still alarmingly low, but he was fighting and showing signs of being alert. They were able to get him an IV solution after a few minutes. Shortly after that his sugars had climbed back to within the acceptable range. He's very tired and still a bit lethargic. We're checking sugars every half hour and have started an IV drip. He's resting well now, and the challenge now will be trying to get him to eat/drink enough. We're not sure yet how long we'll be here.

Morgan is still at home asleep. (She turns 4 years old today, by the way) Rob and Kat are there waiting to feed her breakfast and take her to play with Eve and Claire for the morning, then bring her back home for a nap this afternoon.

We very much appreciate your prayers for our kiddos - for Athan's body to be better and for Morgan to be O.K. waking up and spending a morning suddenly without Mom and Dad.

Athan's sugar is back up

Amber just called and they got his sugar back up, but they are going to go ahead and admit him. All of his doctors will be able to check on him. They also want to find out why he is throwing up. Ambie will post more details as soon as she can. Happy 4th Birthday Morgan! GT


Hey this is Amberly's mom. Amber is dictating as she drives to the hospital in Lexington. Ryan and Athan are in an ambulance ahead of her headed to the ER at UK. Athan's blood sugar crashed this morning. Amber will post an update as soon as possible. Please PRAY!! Thanks again and again for traveling this journey with us, many times on your knees. Grammy Tammy

Friday, December 12, 2008

in case you're up

Athan is throwing up again. Lots. So far his blood sugar is fine, so would you just pray with us that he can eat enough for it to stay that way?

prayer request

My Aunt Gwen (my mom's sister) had a stroke yesterday and remains in ICU today. Would you pray for her recovery, and for her husband, kids, and grandkids?

plodding along

Athan still isn't feeling well, poor guy. He is finally resting at the moment, so I hope this helps! We had to cancel PT again today.

Morgan and Mama had a fun morning: Claire came to play with Morgan, and Claire's Mama (Eve) came to play with me! Seriously, when I'm home all the time with the kids, other adults who are willing to brave the kid chaos and come hang out - golden. Thanks for helping restore some sanity, Eve! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

more about poo

Sorry. I know I said I'd take a break...

We've gone from not enough to too much. I think it's the antibiotic. He had 5 or 6 dirty diapers today, and it is burning his bottom, poor guy. I think the rest of him feels much better, but he's been fussy all day because his bottom hurts.

On the upside - he ate really well today, and is asleep at a semi-normal time. Yeah! :)

feeling better, but...

Athan is feeling better, I think. No fever, and he's at least energetic enough to be grumpy. :) He's still not sleeping or eating well, but I think we're on the right track, at least.

Morgan, poor kiddo, is bored and tired of Mom being so occupied with brother. I think it'll be a great break for her to get to play with the boys tomorrow morning (thanks, Erin!).

Monday, December 8, 2008


We saw Dr. Coburn this morning, and Athan has an ear infection. He started an antibiotic this evening, so we hope that'll clear up in the next couple of days.

Also, we think his tummy is having a hard time with PediaSure. We started that to get him more calories to help with his weight gain. Actually, we tried a knock-off brand. So we'll try name brand, and Dr. Coburn also suggested that we check with Dr. Bay and Dr. K and see if we can try Carnation Instant Breakfast (also loaded with calories).

It was a tough night/day for us. It is no fun when Morgan gets sick, but when Athan does, it is scary. We have to monitor sugars, repeat meds if he throws up, double dosages, and make sure we're watching for any signs of a crash that would necessitate a trip to the hospital. And doing all of that in the middle of the third sleepless night in a row... well, you know how clear your thinking is (or more, is NOT) at that moment! :)

So, once again, thank you all who stay with us in this. I know you read, and I feel it when you pray. Thanks for the comments, calls, e-mails. For babysitting Morgan so we can do the doctor thing, and for babysitting the Mama when she's falling apart. We remain deeply grateful.

sick and tired

Athan is not well today. Tossed his dinner last night. Fever and thickly snotty this a.m. A bit lethargic and blood sugar was low (not dangerously low, but lower than it's been in a while). Not much sleep last night again.

Athan and I need your prayers today. Thanks, loved ones!

Friday, December 5, 2008

the s*&@ hit the floor

Not the fan. The floor. Athan has had a marathon of pooping yesterday and today, that included a blow-out that ran down his leg, out of his high chair, and onto the kitchen floor I had just mopped. Ryan was studying at the library, so I actually called Kat (gracious neighbor) to come be the extra set of hands that I needed to get everything and everyone clean.

But he's not constipated! Yippie! :)

We did address this with Dr. Coburn and Dr. Bay. Basically, we just keep trying to find the right rate to give him the meds and foods he needs. It'll take some time to figure out what works for our boy.

But while I'm at it - thank you to all who have left comments or sent e-mails with suggestions. We've tried most of them, and will keep trying. Some of them work sometimes, which is worth the trial-n-error ups-n-downs we go through to help kiddo feel better. In case you've got a young one with this problem, here's what we've got: Miralax (or knock-off), Little Tummy's laxative, dark Karo, baby food prunes or prune juice, dried fruit (cooked into oatmeal works well), all with a diet that includes lots of fiber, and avoids too much cheese and white bread. Oh - and pumpkin, oddly (we mix some in with oatmeal).

In case you're grossed out, I'll try to refrain from more posts about poo for a while so you can recover.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dr. Coburn and Dr. Bay

Athan had a couple appointments this week. First, we had the 18-month check-up with his pediatrician, Dr. Coburn. He is doing well. We got some butt medicine for stubborn diaper rash, and caught up on Athan's over-all development and status with his various other specialists. Aside from his gross motor skills (like not crawling or walking), Athan seems to be doing well in all other areas of development. They're also going to refer us to a new optho person, so we'll probably have an eye update soon.

Ryan took him in to UK this morning to see the geneticist, Dr. Bay. It went fine. She had some advice about how to keep his caloric intake high and combat the constipation at the same time. They also had the lab draw some blood to do some further testing that has become available since we saw them last. It may not be any more conclusive than the others have been, but it might give us some helpful information about keeping Athan healthy. It was difficult to hear a geneticist refer to our Athan as one of "our kids," but also encouraging to hear her be pleasantly surprised at how smart he seems to be.

Mama and Morgan time

Due to some odd sleeping (and not sleeping) schedules of late, Morgan had some extra energy in the evening yesterday. So we left the boys here to play and had a little mother-daughter night out on the town. We had a healthy, satisfying meal at McDonalds... Ok, that's a stretch. But at least the company was good (thanks Chad and Mer for meeting us). We intended to go to Story Hour at the library, but dinner was so fun we missed the event. We still went to the library to do all the puzzles in the kid room, read a couple of books, and see Charis for a few minutes. The we grabbed a few groceries, gave Charis a ride, and headed home. Fun girls' night out! :) I'm hoping Morgan will sleep 'till noon...