"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Few Fun Tidbits

* Katya seems to have recovered fairly well from the pnuemonia though she still has a slight cough that we have to keep an eye on.

* Having come home in size 3T clothing that BADLY bagged and sagged on her due to her utter lack of body fat, I'm so extremely happy to tell you that less than 6 months later Katya is now wearing size 5's and some 6's! Especially for her tops, she's outgrowing the 5s and is needing 6's.

* We are happy to report that Katya is continuing to progress in terms of obviously understanding more English, adding new ASL signs to her vocabulary, and making new letter sounds with her mouth. She obviously does struggle with many sounds and hasn't been able to make them successfully yet. We will continue to try. I'm so not ready to give up on her learning to speak! I continue to dream that she DOES speak and the wonder and joy that fill me in the dreams give me courage to keep on working with this situation while also continuing to add to her ASL knowledge.

* I really wonder what Katya will do with Christmas?? We will be having a pretty quiet and super-simple Christmas but I am looking forward to seeing what she does with her presents. We have a new Lauri puzzle for her and a giant coloring book of Winnie the Pooh. Just wish I could have found a Curious George one for her as that seems so far to be her favorite childhoold character. Ah well . . .

* This isn't so fun but it's important--Katya is now starting to grieve if the others leave and she needs to stay at home. It's not nearly always appropriate to take her to different functions due to her level of behavior, or her needing to get to bed on time so she has enough sleep to be rested for school the next day. We have never been able to get her to take a nap so cutting the night short doesn't allow her to function properly at school  Hence, we try hard to keep her on her school sleep schedule for school days. When Katya needs to stay home either with one of us or a baby sitter, she will weep quietly when she realizes that the rest have left. She will often not be consoled till the departed ones return . . . I'm going to think that it's a healthy developmental stage, much like a young baby goes through a stage where they become keenly aware of their separation from Mommy and often, Daddy! While it's hard to watch her grieving, I think it's great that she is wishing to be with the others. We know that if say just Paul and I leave and she's home with the rest of the kids she doesn't seem to mind nearly as much as if everyone leaves but her and the person caring for her. She seems to like having more people from our family around than that.

* This observation is also similar to the one above: When the SW came out a few weeks ago to make our THIRD post-placement report, Katya quickly become wary and unhappy. She clearly recognized that something was up and tried hard to avoid and ignore the stranger with the clip board. When the SW began telling us "Good-bye" and we becan repeating that back to her, Katya ran off and hid. When found by Charity, she was obviously stressed. Charity began talking soothingly to her about how she was soon going to take a bath and get her jammies and go to bed HERE at HER home and how the lady would leave but Katya would stay with Mommy and Daddy. . . Katya soon relaxed and was willing to come out of hiding. So I'm really glad to see positive signs that show she's WANTING to be with us even while I'm grieving for Katya that her little world is such a fearful place . . .

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reporting on Pneumonia

The school called me Monday about 2:45 pm, asking me to come and get Katya immediately because she was running a fever of 100.6. I grabbed the car keys and ran, calling Paul on the way there to alert him. Based on the time Katya had strep throat, I knew that this could signal the start of a mini-crisis and I wanted to give him a heads up.

When I arrived at the school and heard the rest of what they had to say and saw how listless she was, I headed with her for the car, calling the Drs office. They said to bring her in right away. So Paul met me at the house, and I ran in to alert the children. Gave Charity some fast instructions for supper and then ran back out to the van. Due to a major road being "out" on the way to our family Doctor we have a detour that snakes along and turns what is normally a 20 minute trip to his office into a good 30 minute trip.

As we were sitting in the waiting room waiting to be seen, Katya's little face kept getting more and more pink, and I began to feel very warm from the heat just radiating off her body as I was holding her in my arms. She was very listless, and I felt like I could see her just deteriorating as I was holding her. So when they got us back to a room and took her temp it didn't really surprise me when they said it was 104.  (For those of you curious about the time span--it was about 1.5 hours from the time the school took her temp till they did at the Drs office.)

The Dr. was very concerned about her, but couldn't figure out exactly what was wrong. He said she could have an infection related to her recent surgery. She could have pnuemonia but he couldn't hear any thing in her lungs--however, he did admit that she could be dehydrated, and that could prevent him from hearing the sounds.  (Katya dehydrates easily because she was never allowed to really learn to listen to her body signals in the orphanage, and because fluids were so limited and scheduled, she has a hard time knowing when and how much she should really drink).

So after some discussion back and forth and a thorough exam of all her body, he decided to go with a antibiotic shot and Tylenol in the office, and he let us take Katya home with orders to take her to the ER if she got any worse.

By the next day she was obviously feeling some better although still sick with a low grade temp. We took her back in for another check-up and this time, with her bettery hydrated, he could easily hear the noisy crackle that signals pnemonia, especially in her right lung. He told us then that he'd been within a hairs breadth of admitting her to the hospital the night before because he was so concerned about her. I'm thankful we were able to dodge that bullet!

I hate that she's on antibiotics again for the third time in less than 6 months (once for her strep throat, once for her ICP surgery due to the monitor running into her brain, and now for the pnuemonia). However, on my list of "things I will allow antibiotics for" are those things . . .  I am not a big fan of popping antibiotics for every little thing, but those are serious issues. And I have first-hand knowledge of how very, very ill people with strep and pnuemonia can get without antibiotics.

I'm not an expert, but I really wonder if having general anethesia so recently didn't perhaps make her more susceptible to pnuemonia? Also, the fact that she doesn't spend a lot of time screaming anymore, and Katya doesn't talk or sing (yet--please, God willing!) means her lungs are not getting the normal work-out that a typical person's do, leaving her likely at more risk for lung related issues.

Katya is out of school until next week. It also sounds from a little reading that I have done that this round of pnuemonia has probably pushed off her reconstructive surgery for at least 6 more weeks. I am choosing to try to trust God's timing and purposes . . . and to allow God's JOY to fill my heart and spill into our home.