Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ready...Set...Drive :)

Sorry I haven't written in a while. I wanted to update everyone on Kaitlyn's fundraiser for her power chair!! The fundraiser was a success! We were able to reach our goal. Kaitlyn WILL have her wheels! Our next fun....driving :) Look out brothers, walls, she comes! We are thrilled for her to say the least :)

The chair will take a couple of months to build! We are having them build specialized vent trays to carry all of Kaitlyn's machines. She is getting an Invacare base. The vent trays are being built from scratch. Her seating is also being custom built :) It will fit her like a glove. We will of course have to replace the seating more often this way, but it is much more comfortable and supportive for Kaitlyn. She will use fibre optics for drive controls. This will take Kaitlyn longer to figure out than a joystick, but ANY mobility is better than no mobility!!! She will eventually figure it out and drive like a pro!!

I cannot wait to take pictures and video for ALL who have supported us! Speaking of which I want to thank everyone for your heartfelt support! People are extremely generous when it comes to the needs of a child! We had people attend our fundraiser that won the fifty/fifty draw and donate their winnings back to our cause.....people that could have used the money themselves!!! This overwhelming support for our daughter is NOT unnoticed!! We are just so grateful to our entire community for once again pulling together and reaffirming once again why we are so proud to be part of such a small town :) We may have a city address but our hearts are rural rooted!!!

We have also been so proud of our SMA community!! You guys are above and beyond! People facing the exact same struggles as us and they scrape together a donation for our cause!!!! This kind of act is unheard of in other "communities". We are so very greatful for your support. Our daughter would NOT be alive today if it were not for the SMA families and what they have already shared with us! Then's just so overwhelming for us! We don't know where to begin to say THANK YOU! The thanks will be in our daughter's face when she figures out the freedom the power chair has to offer!!

On another note, we have been battling a string of nasty lung infections! Bacterial pneumonias, back to back, and NOT fun!!! Kaitlyn colonizes pseudomonas (two strains...oral antibiotic resistant!), Stapholococcus Aureus, and Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia! The infections almost always hit in the same way! She starts with increased secretions, developing to a level that she becomes bi-pap dependant to control them. She almost always has fever (high 38's to 42)! Secretions are always at some point green or greenish! Then her lungs get "junky" (wet)! This can sometimes develop over a couple of days or sometimes happens as fast as 12-18 hours!!

She was sick just two weeks ago! This past illness hit her fast! She woke up a Monday morning with slight increase in secretions. She had a fever (39.4) by late morning. By afternoon she was bi-pap dependant! By evening we could finally hear the junk rattling around in her chest...up to that point she had been clear! We decided to keep her home and call the pediatrician in the morning. I had planned to get up with her through the night! When Kaitlyn gets junk in her lungs she needs chest physiotherapy (chest clapping/CPT) and cough-assist every two to three hours around the clock!! After her 2:00am treatment she was maintaining sats of 82-84 on 6 litres of O2 through her bi-pap (ventilator), with increased settings!! We decided to wake the boys and take her in to the ER!

As always she grew the same things in her cultures. She had white cell counts of 27.9 (normal 6.0-15.0)!!! Her platelet count was 107 (normal 150-400)!!! Crazy! This typically indicates severe infection! There has never been any indication of bladder or blood infection. Sometimes her ear (right-the one she lays on) looks infected.

Our question to the experts is can this happen with aspiration (that fast)?? Or does it sound more like bacterial infection in the lungs?? We are wondering if there is anything we can do to prevent these pneumonias!! It is so hard on our girl being sick!! She has been on antibiotics since last September...almost constantly!! Our longest stretch is 20 days!!

We hope everyone else has had a healthier winter so far than us! We are very impatiently awaiting spring and warmer weather!!
Kaitlyn being her cheeky self :)

My boys playing baby!! They pull their shirts down over their knees and waddle around the house =D

Kaitlyn sitting in her floor sitter talking to Owen!