Monday, March 28, 2011

Five Days After Botox....

I guess I should start with the positive : Maggie's vomiting has gotten dramatically better since the Botox! It is really quite amazing - she has not vomited at all the past few nights whereas she usually is soaking wet in the morning. We even felt so confident as to switch her from baby formula to pediasure (which is what tube fed babies consume). And still no vomiting- which means she must have outgrown her milk protein allergy.
She's still on a continuous feed so our next step is to slowly wean her off of that. We are still going to switch her button for a new brand. But the GI doctor says it will be really uncomfortable for her if he changes it while she is awake, so we have the option of waiting until her next Botox injection in June when she will be under anesthesia. I don't want to be cruel, but I really don't want to wait three months for that....

Anyway, despite all of this good news, I was very discouraged over the weekend because her neck did not respond like I had hoped. I just cried much of the evening on Friday I guess because I had so much hope that this would be an instant fix and make her neck pop back into place. But it wasn't. The Botox did it's job in loosening up the tight muscles on her right side, but the muscles on her left side are not strong enough to hold her head up. We are doing intensive physical and occupational therapy in addition to craniosacral therapy (which is an alternative therapy that's really cool and probably sounds cooky to most but we are desperate!). We usually do OT and PT each twice a week but we have hired an additional person to come in between so we can maximize these first few weeks when the Botox is most effective. We are doing stretching and straightening exercises five times a day in addition to the therapy visits. She is taped up on her weak side with hot pink therapy tape (supposed to stimulate weak muscles) and her new neurologist prescribed a medicine used on Parkinson's patients to help with muscle rigidity. In short, we are doing everything possible to know for sure if this is or isn't a muscle issue.

Here are some pictures of what the last week has looked like for Maggie:

(at the hospital)

We're even positioning her at night with the boppy (at least until we go to sleep because I worry about her suffocating):

she's on the verge of crawling...

we've had some fun times, too:

There is so much riding on these next few weeks and months. Will she or won't she have to have a permanent halo drilled into her head if this therapy doesn't work to teach her hold to hold her neck straight? Or if it is not a muscle issue related to not having any fluid, then it's got to be something else much worse. This new neurologist agrees that the lack of amniotic fluid is a compelling reason for her neck issue. But he said if the Botox doesn't work we can do some more (painful) nerve and muscle tests to see if she has a neuromuscular disorder. He said, "I mean, if she gets RSV, and is on a ventilator and we have to put a trach in, it'd be nice to know if the trach would just be temporary or if she had some neuromuscular thing that would keep her on in the rest of her life." WHAT!!!!???? Seriously? I just can't handle that kind of talk right now. I thought we were past all this talk?

Anyways, I am sure that visit contributed to my feelings of discouragement and defeat over the weekend about it. Justin can't figure out why this issue is so hard for me. And I don't know the answer. Is it that it's almost been two years since I got pregnant and this all began and I am just tired? Am I being selfish in wanting a normal life back? Is it a superficial thing where I just want her to look normal? Is it my type-A personality where I just want one of her issues to be checked off my list (thinking about the feeding issues we have to tackle next)? Or is it just plain unbelief?

I feel like I was able to trust the Lord with Maggie's life as I walked through the shadows of her imminent and probable death, but I can't seem to trust turn this one medical issue over to Him?  If the Lord can spare Maggie's life, can he not also heal one body part? If he can give us the strength to endure four months of agony on bed rest, can he not give me the strength to endure this seemingly minor trial in comparison? How quickly we forget as humans what God has done for us. If God adorns the lilies to be more glorious than Solomon's temple, how much more will he provide for His beloved children.

So after a thoughtful weekend, I am feeling encouraged once again and motivated to move forward. Thank you to all, as always, for continuing to pray for Maggie.

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Matthew 6:28-30

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