The Amazing Owen
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I watched that video about 20 times! The music is great, but it was great seeing him take a few steps! I'm already designing version 2. The music was perfect!
Comment By Uncle Rich At 10/24/2009 11:42 PM
Those videos are fantastic!! Owen is fantastic!! I hope the keppra continues to agree with him, and I'll be thinking of you guys for his next surgery! Thanks for the update - it made my day! :)
Comment By Melanie At 10/25/2009 7:53 AM
LOL..My son also will do ANYTHING to get to the register? Boys??!! Glad to see his wonderful progress! Hey do you have a facebook account? We should start a community there!
Comment By Cindy At 10/25/2009 9:58 AM
Oh Michelle, it is sooo exciting to see how Owen has progressed! I am so proud of the little guy and his Mom! Kathy "Grammy" of Baby Joey
Comment By Kathy McFadden At 10/25/2009 12:53 PM
UNBELIEVABLE! I am totally psyched for him and all of you!!!! The parallel bars are simply AWESOME! He looks so great upright :-) A big round of applause to all of you!
Comment By Vesna At 10/25/2009 6:37 PM
Wow! You can really see how STRONG he is getting! They really do learn things in clumps!! Those videos were so exciting to watch. Can't wait to hear how the big surgery goes and I loved the "pester of doctors" :) What an awesome little guy you have!!
Comment By sherri At 10/25/2009 8:36 PM
Wow, so much going on in that post! Choice of "Footloose" was great! And I love the new haircut - he is looking so grown up. Keep it up, Mr O!
Comment By Val At 10/26/2009 11:33 AM
I am beyond words. That is amazing!!!! He'll be walking on his own before you know it :) As always, Owen gives me hope of good things to come for my own little one. Thank you so much for this inspiring post.
Comment By Lisa At 10/26/2009 7:47 PM
I am beyond words. That is amazing!!!! He'll be walking on his own before you know it :) As always, Owen gives me hope of good things to come for my own little one. Thank you so much for this inspiring post.
Comment By Lisa At 10/26/2009 7:48 PM
Wow! Look at him go! Way to go, Owen! That is fantastic! After you're recovered from your surgery, I bet you'll be walking all over the house in no time. :c)
Comment By Jennifer At 11/1/2009 10:33 PM
Forgot to add HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY, OWEN!!!
Comment By Jennifer At 11/1/2009 10:34 PM

Original Entry:
September and October

Oh I have lots to update about!  This is going to be a long one, but I promise there are pictures and videos with this one!

Where to begin??  Well, let's get through the medical stuff first and then work our way to the fun new things Owen is doing.

A Pester of Doctors
There was a cute little anecdote that I wanted to share when I finally got back around to discussing Owen's seizures.  Owen's last seizure was much less severe and he was back to himself by the time the ambulance got to the hospital so we weren't in a panic when we got there.  We brought him to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, which is a teaching hospital and so you expect there to be some extra bodies in the form of students and residents, and this time was no exception.  There had to be 8 different people in the room all at once, with a doc, a resident and student from three different specialties all in at once.  We are generally patient with this sort of thing - everyone has to learn sometime.  This time I did get a bit testy when there were two different people actually trying to put their stethescopes on him at the same time while another was trying to examine him.  I kindly explained that hospitals are stressful places for children and that perhaps only one person should be examining him at a time :-)

Anyway, after they all filed out of the tiny room in the ER I turned to my husband and said, "If a group of geese is a gaggle, and a group of cows is a herd, what is a group of doctors?".  He answered, "I don't know, maybe a Pester?".  And so from that day forward I will never be able to see a group of doctors making rounds without smiling and thinking of them as a "Pester of Doctors".


Seizures
OK, so before this August Owen had only had one known seizure and that was as a result of an incredibly high fever during a shunt infection.  On August 23rd he once again had an incident where he threw up and stopped breathing properly.  His O2 sats dove - we had seen this once before on April 12, 2008.  Both times when we found him he was limp and unresponsive and required intubation for about 8 hours before his body started picking up the slack.  He showed no sign of his body shaking as if in a seizure until hours after the initial incident.  In the April incident they *thought* that maybe he was having a seizure a few hours later because he was shaking, but it was so mild and it didn't *look* like a seizure, it looked like he was shivering.  This August there was no question that a few hours later he had a full blown grand mal (these days known as a tonic-clonic) seizure and it took ALOT of meds to stop it.  In the past few months Owen has also had a few minor incidents where he has thrown up a bit and then soon after gone to sleep but they were so mild and it was at nap time anyway and he woke up happy that I assumed it was reflux and late naps.

When he had another seizure on Sept 9th we started looking back at things in a different light.  This time there was no vomiting and no breathing issues, but it was a fully involved (meaning the entire body, not just one side or part) tonic-clonic seizure.  In both of his previous incidents we assumed that the breathing problems were due to an aspiration, but in both cases the chest x-rays were clean.  We were forced to accept that perhaps it was a seizure that caused the vomiting his breathing problems, not the other way around with the breathing problems causing the later seizures.  In all cases he was asleep when the incident occured.

We also looked at the fact that the last two seizures were associated with the onset of a virus.  In some kids the ramping up of the body's immune responses can trigger a seizure.  Given that we were entering cold and flu season, and every other virus season, it seemed that it would be prudent to put him on a low dose of anti-seizure meds to try and prevent this from happening.  Since Dr. Wilson, Owen's neurologist, had been so against medicating him in the past for a few isolated incidents we really valued his opinion when he said that he thought it was time.  So, in addition to the emergency Diastat, pulse-ox sensor and O2 that we had before - we have added a low dose of Keppra.

We were worried about side-effects but Dr. Wilson assured us that this is a very safe medication that has an extremely long track recond.  And seizures are bad, and in Owen's case infrequent but usually life threatening.  The thing is though, the Keppra seems to be agreeing with Owen.  He has made some sudden leaps in his physical abilities.  We know that he might have just been ready to do that anyway, but it is rather remarkable how far he has come since that last seizure.  So it certainly isn't hurting him anyway!


Cranial Vault Reduction Surgery
OK, I want to end with the fun stuff, so I'll get the surgery discussion out of the way here.  All of the plans have been made.  We have shipped everything we will need for the 10 days out to Dallas.  The airlines want $20 for the first checked bag, and then $30 for each bag after that.  Given the fact that we have to bring Owen's food since he's allergic to milk and eggs this would have gotten expensive to bring it with us.  Plus you run the risk of them losing the bags.  We figured it would cost at least $60 and probably $90 to bring our clothes and supplies with us.  It only cost $50 to ship it out (thank you Uncle Tom for storing it and bringing it to us when we come out!) and now we don't have to fuss with it in the airport.  Getting Owen through security is going to be interesting with all of his hardware.  The cochlear implant will set off the alarms nicely I should imagine - though it's fairly obvious what it is. 

This week we are in quarantine - nobody in or out. If Owen has even the smallest temp or sniffle they won't do the surgery so we're not taking any chances.  Sammy and Owen are experiencing a week of home-schooling.   We run a risk on the airplane but it's three days of driving from here to Texas and that just isn't realistic.

So in just over a week we'll be sitting in Dallas awaiting surgery again.  It's not easy to think of going back to the worries of infection and such, but when you see the videos further down you'll know why we think it's worth it.  Owen is working sooooo hard toward moving on his own and this will hopefully make that much more possible. We will be posting during and after the surgery from my phone and laptop so that you can keep up to date.

OK, Now the Fun Stuff
OWEN TURNED THREE!! 
We had a dinner with his Aunt and Uncle, and then a few days later we did a cake with some family friends:

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Sitting Up Like a Big Boy!
Owen's sitting skills have improved to where he can now have a snack in his green cube chair without sliding down onto the floor:

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Mmmm, pretzels and juice - with a side of architectural training!

Crawling
Remember how I said that he's made huge progress in his physical abilities in the last month, well here's the proof!  Owen is a tiny little guy.  He's below the charts on height, but his head is bigger than mine - so progress in self movement has been slow.  Suddenly though he decided he was going to do this, he was going to get to his toys under his own power and he wasn't going to roll to do it.  He started with the register in the little upstairs bathroom.  I have no idea why the register holds so much fascination for him, but if you put him down in the room he will do everything in his power to get to it.  And here is a video of him doing just that:

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He has now gone from just crawling a few feet across the bathroom to crawling from the living room, through the office, down the hall, through the bathroom and into our bedroom.  He doesn't get his belly off the floor - it's more of an inch-worm kind of thing - but it's effective!

Walking
And now for the big kahuna.  For Owen's third birthday his Uncle (with design tips from his Aunt) made Owen a set of parallel bars that are fully adjustable.  They started out like this:

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And ended up like this:

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He took them apart for moving them to our house and he and Daddy assembled them in Owen's room:

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And a few days later he was giving them a try in physical therapy!

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And you can see the results here:

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It has been a crazy, exciting month for Owen and we can't wait to see what he will do next.  I'll close with two pictures of Owen and his sister:

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