Monday, April 27, 2009

Center of Attention

Zachary had a wonderful weekend with Grandpa, especially with an extra day to visit!!  Grandpa missed his flight Saturday night and didn't leave until Sunday night, an extra 24 hours of fun!  Zach even had both Grandpa and Aunt Kelly to play with for a few hours Sunday afternoon before Grandpa had to leave, so his Love Meter is all filled up!  
Aunt Kelly and Zach hit it off right from the start.  It didn't take long for her to have Zach smiling, giggling, and enjoying her company.  Today we all awoke to a surprise snow storm that dropped a couple of inches on the grass overnight.  Not so great for outdoor activities, but it meant that Daddy came home early from work, and all four of us enjoyed a fun lunch date together!
Aunt Kelly will be here until late tomorrow night, so Zachary will have lots of time to soak up all the attention.  Then it is a couple of  "normal" days with Mommy before Uncle Dana arrives Thursday night!  Our little fighter is definitely growing stronger by the day, and all the visitors have noticed how much better his head looks each day as well.  He's healing wonderfully, and we continue to pray for his success, and for safe travels for all our special guests arriving in the next few weeks.  With Love and Praise - Brian + Kimmie

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Whole New Boy

Zachary has had a great week of recovering and returning to his routine.  We're not sure if they tweaked something a little extra in Zach's head when they replaced the shunt, but it seems as though he talks much more now than he did before the procedure.  It's become his new favorite activity... place finger in mouth, and talk non stop until he falls asleep. Overall, his new shunt is working wonderfully, his head has shrunk slightly, and he has a much more pleasant demeanor.  
Zach also had a new visitor this week when Grandpa arrived Thursday night!!  Grandpa had not seen Zachary yet, so they both had a wonderful time hanging out together, and reading a lot of books.  Grandpa was also able to go to Zachary's follow-up appointment at Children's yesterday, and get the good news about Zach's progress firsthand.  
Tomorrow, Zachary will have yet another visitor when Aunt Kelly arrives to meet the little guy for the first time!  It's a pretty exciting time in the Zurliene household with all the visits (unfortunately they are all too short!) and Zachary growing by the day.  He is quickly figuring out his new shoes, and sleeping well with the bar.  Tummy time is much more productive without the bulky casts to restrict his leg movement.  
Enjoy the video and pics, and we will post more after Aunt Kelly arrives.  Love - Brian + Kimmie

A Whole New Boy

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ready To Go Home

Zachary had a great night.  He slept very well (as usual), and his appetite has returned as well.  The doctors came by this morning and gave him the all clear, so after his 10am antibiotics, we should begin the process of being discharged.  
Yesterday was a very long day, but as we mentioned, the surgery couldn't have gone better. Zachary was not allowed any food 6 hours prior to surgery, so we woke early and fed him at 4am.  All was well until we arrived at the hospital and began his prep for surgery.  The nurses had a very difficult time inserting an IV, and Zachary was very tired and hungry (not a good combination).  After an extended period of discomfort (aka screaming), he pretty much cried himself to sleep for about an hour.  The surgery was also delayed, adding further to his hunger pains, but he finally went into the OR around 10:45.
After surgery Dr. Handler met with us to discuss what he had discovered. It seems the catheter that runs into Zachary's ventricles (the rear parts of his brain) had been clogged up when the tissue in the ventricles began to grow around the shunt tubing.  Dr. Handler replaced this upper section of tubing, and all seems to be working wonderfully.  It is incredible how quickly his appearance has changed.  When Mommy and Daddy first saw Zach in the recovery room we immediately noticed his forehead was not as large or red as before, and his soft spot on top of his head is almost concave.  When the shunt is working, it's REALLY working.  Zachary has a pretty good sized incision on his head.  They went in through the old incision site, but increased its size slightly to accommodate the new procedure.  Other than that he has his IV in his arm, but no other incisions, or areas of concern, which makes holding and feeding him much easier. 
Mommy and Daddy have been passing the time blogging, watching the snow fall, and enjoying the comfortable confines of Zachary's room.  For those of you who may not know, Children's Hospital opened a beautiful new facility here a little over a year ago, so everything is state of the art, and modern, and new.  Zachary's room is on the 6th floor, in the neurology wing, and looks out towards the mountains (although we can't see them trough all the snow). It also has its own bathroom, shower, couch, fold out bed, LCD TV, Xbox, and PS3.  Sadly, Daddy has not been able to utilize the gaming systems, but we did watch Wall-E last night when the snow storm disabled the satellite reception on the TV.  A few door down the hall is the floor's game room, complete with a Wii, air hockey table, toys, tons of board games, books, movies, and stuffed animals.  It's great to see the kids who are here with smiles on their faces in that room. This truly is an amazing place where there are some incredible people who do great things, and we are extremely blessed to have it close by for Zach to receive the best care possible.  
The plan for tonight is drive home safely in the snow, get settled in back home, and rest, rest, rest.  We were somewhat bragging last week when we said Zach had no doctor's appointments, but boy did we more than make up for it this week!  Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes these past few days.  We are incredibly blessed and continue to pray in thanksgiving for all God has given us and all he has done in healing Zachary to this point.  Love, and God Bless - Brian + Kimmie

Friday, April 17, 2009

Back to Normal Size

Just a quick one this evening.  It's been a very long day and we all are exhausted.  Zachary's surgery went wonderfully (Praise Jesus!).  Dr. Handler said it could not have gone any better.  He had the upper portion of his shunt replaced, and when we saw him in the recovery room it was already obvious that his head was getting smaller.  We are at Children's for the night and should be discharged tomorrow afternoon.  For now we are feeding Zachary once again, letting him get plenty of rest, and trying to fit in some rest for Mommy and Daddy s well.  We will post in more detail tomorrow.  For now we are off to bed.  Love - Brian + Kimmie

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Back to Anesthesia Dreamland

Today's visit to Children's did not go as well as we had hoped.  After meeting for a short time with the nurse practitioner is was pretty obvious that Zachary's head has been swelling in the past few weeks.   A look at the ultrasound confirmed their suspicions, with Zachary's ventricles very swollen as well.  Dr. Handler stopped by to notify us that Zachary is scheduled for a shunt revision tomorrow morning at 9:45 am.  They will go in and see if something is blocking the shunt's functioning, or if the valve might need replacing, and fix the problem.  It all should take about an hour and a half, and they expect to discharge Zachary sometime Saturday morning.  
To make things just a little more interesting, we are expecting yet another large spring storm, and the forecast is for anywhere from 12 to 36 inches of snow.  So off we will go, extra early, tomorrow morning.  Please pray for a successful surgery, wonderful results, and Zachary's continued healing.  With Love, Hope, and Praise - Brian + Kimmie

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Zachary had a wonderful Tuesday.  At 9 o'clock he had his casts removed once and for all, and after his x-rays, he received great news from Dr. Miller.  She said all looked great, the bones were good and parallel, and he was ready to move on to his leather shoes.  Unfortunately, the prosthetic specialist (the guy who sets up and maintains Zach's shoes) was not at the hospital until later in the day.  So after a few hours running errands and visiting Mommy's school, Zachary was finally fitted with his new shoes, and Dobbs device.  
It is amazing how the casts weighed him down.  Without them on now he is much less bottom heavy, and much easier to handle.  Having full movement in his legs is proving to be very fun as well.  He definitely has ticklish toes, and his "oompa loompa" legs are pretty cute too.  It seems as though after taking off his casts we not only freed his legs, but his voice as well.  Zach has never been as talkative as he was today.  He was talking to his toys, the doctors, and anyone else who would pay him any attention!
Today was a bit more of a reality check for the Zurliene household.  Zachary had a pediatrician's appointment this morning, and all seemed to be just fine.  Zach now weighs 15lbs. 12oz., 24 inches long, both very good news, but then came his head circumference.  It seems his head has grown quite a bit since his last visit, and Dr. Black felt we should call the neurologist.  He advised us to have Zachary undergo a head ultrasound, which was conducted today at 3, and tomorrow afternoon we are off to Children's for an evaluation and hopefully some good results.  We are praying for positive news tomorrow, and a return to some "normalcy".  For now we are encouraged with the fact that Zachary seems very upbeat, happy, and overall a pleasant little boy. Please pray for Zach's continued healing, and very positive results tomorrow.  Until then, our Love to you all - Brian + Kimmie

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!!

Zachary has had a wonderful past few days, and a very eventful Easter Sunday. Saturday we were able to color eggs, and prepare for the big Resurrection day!  Today our day began early, with 8am mass.  Zach usually sleeps at this time, and it wasn't too long into mass that he decided he was ready for sleep.  He was resting comfortably on Daddy's lap until Communion, when he was awoken by our movement and the music.  That was pretty much the last good rest he had for the entire day.  
After church we had a brief Easter egg hunt at the house, and some pictures.  We were hoping for a little more time, but Zach didn't want to sleep for more than 30-45 minutes.  
Zachary had his usual noon feeding, then we headed over to the DiSalle's for Easter dinner.  He did very well for the first hour, then slept for another 45 minutes, but decided to wake up yet again and join us for some afternoon Master's coverage and Rockies baseball.  After a few more bouts of happy/sad/happy/sad, Zachary decided it was time to eat once again.  
Overall he did very well, and Mommy and Daddy had a wonderful time at dinner and visiting with everyone.  The food was fantastic as always, and Daddy enjoyed his first beer after Lent!  This week is a big one for Zachary.  He gets his casts taken off Tuesday for good.  It has bee three months with various degrees of casting and surgery, and now he finally graduates to leather shoes, and legs free to move as they may.  We are all very excited and anxious for the week ahead, and thankful that God has blessed Zachary with such a wonderful recovery to this point. and pray he can continue down the road to a fully healthy and Happy life.  We hope you all have had a wonderful day, Happy Easter!  - Brian + Kimmie

Monday, April 6, 2009

No Doctors This Week!!

For the first time since Zachary entered this world, he will not be visiting any doctors, nurses, specialists, or practitioners!!!  Mommy and Daddy were just talking about the week ahead at dinner and it was somewhat strange to not have any appointments planned for an entire week.  Needless to say we will all enjoy the "time off" and are actually a little anxious for next week's appointment, when Zach will have his final set of casts removed.
We all had a pretty enjoyable weekend.  The "huge" spring storm never materialized, but we were able to enjoy the time spent together waiting for the storm to arrive.  Cindy and John were at the house Friday night and watched Zachary for a few hours while Mommy and Daddy attempted (albeit unsuccessfully) to accomplish a few errands.  He had a fantastic time listening to the books they read to him, and seemed to be very pleasant for most of their stay.  
The rest of the week has been spent getting Zachary into a slightly different routine.  We've eliminated one of his evening cluster feeds, and have been putting him to sleep during naps without swaddles.  So far, so good.  We hope you all have a wonderful Holy Week, and enjoy the pictures of our little chunker.  Love - Brian + Kimmie