Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Day In The Life...

A lot has been happening in our lives lately. Between appointments, tests, more appointments and therapy, Jackson has a pretty full schedule.

In the past few weeks, we have seen Jackson's geneticist, ENT, GI, new pediatrician and therapists. We have also run a number of different tests, primarily in regards to genetics and problems related to his syndrome. Some of these tests are a full abdomen ultrasound, chest and spine x-rays, blood and urine samples, carrier blood test (for me), and chromosome microarray genetics blood tests for Daniel and I. Phew. Since we found out about Jackson's syndrome, there have been a number of tests that have needed to be run, some even 3-4 times per year, to monitor Jackson's kidneys and other risk factors associated with the syndrome. None of these tests have been run until now, under the care of Dell Children's Medical Center. Just to explain a bit about why these tests are being run, I'll give a little bit of the rundown:

Abdomen Ultrasound - to check for kidney tumors and/or Wilms' Tumor
Chest X-Ray - to check for heart abnormalities associated with SGBS
Spine X-Ray - to determine the level of scoliosis Jackson has
Urine Sample - to check for neuroblastoma
Blood Sample - to check for gonadoblastoma or hepatocellular carcinoma
Carrier Testing (Halle) - SGBS is X-linked recessive inherited with a slight possibility of what's called de novo mutation. This will help us determine exactly how Jackson got this syndrome.
Chromosome Microarray Testing - There was a slight deletion of chromosome 2 in Jackson's DNA. Daniel and I are now being tested to see if this deletion was inherited or not.

If any of you are interested in more information specifically related to SGBS, this article has been the most helpful to us thus far.

In other related news, Jackson has another surgery date set. He saw his new GI doctor, and will be getting the G-tube he currently has switched out to a Mic-Key (skin-level device). Also, if you remember from last year, Jackson has two inguinal hernias. He had to go to the emergency room last year, and thankfully, the surgeon on call was able to push it back in. But we've known since then that he would need to get them repaired at some point. Lastly, Jackson was supposed to be circumcised in the NICU at Sierra Vista, but for a number of reasons, it didn't happen. Now, a few complications have surfaced, and because of this, he will be getting circumcised. These three procedures are set to take place May 18th.

Jackson is really progressing. He is crawling like a mad man, pulling himself up onto everything, walking along furniture, and using his walker regularly around the house and in the backyard. For example:

Jackson walking outside from Halle Whittington on Vimeo.

Jackson sees three therapists currently at Kid Therapy. Tuesdays he sees his occupational therapist, Cara. Thursdays he sees his physical therapist, Sara. And Fridays he sees his speech therapist, Amy. While it makes for a busy schedule, we so appreciate what they are doing for our little boy.

Or big boy... Jackson weighs nearly 30 pounds and is 32 inches tall. Everywhere we go, people constantly tell me what a big boy he is. I had this conversation with a nurse the other day:

Nurse: How old is he?
Me: 15 months.
Nurse: Wow. He is a big boy.
Me: Yeah, I know.
Nurse: But he's not chubby at all. He's all muscle!

That's our boy.

We fly out to California tomorrow. We'll be there for three weeks. My cousin is getting married on May 2nd, so we planned a trip around her wedding. It works out well because Daniel can work from the office there, so he doesn't have to miss any work. We are also looking forward to meeting the new additions! Our sweet friends, Darren and Jessie, just welcomed their son, Reuben Oliver, into their family. And our other friends, Ryan and Cole, are yet awaiting the arrival of their baby boy.

For those of you keeping up with Jackson's Smile, we just wanted to share how much we appreciate your support. Thank you to Jose Villa, Joel Flory, Riccis Valladares, Sarah Rhoads, and Gabe McClintock for their incredible and generous contributions. And thank you to all of you who have purchased a photograph in support of us and other children like Jackson.