Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I like to walk at PT!

I just wanted to let everyone know that PT is going very well and things are looking up. Penny, our PT, has told us to focus on standing and cruising. Landon just loves the fact that he can walk around again. He is a total maniac outside, its a great thing to see. I hope you all enjoy the video. More to come! (Sorry for the horrible quality on the video, its from our cell phones :/ )

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Going to see Penny...

Hello all!!!

Hope everyone had a great day. We've been very busy today with going to see Penny the physical therapist. Landon was feeling kind of crummy this morning, so he was really irritable going to "work out" with Penny. :) He got over his little crumminess as the day went on.

When we went to see Penny she had Landon work on kneeling at a bench to play with some toys. He preferred to play like that before his episode, and he seemed very happy being back in that position. He played for a little while until Penny started making him stand up and sit down....he didn't like that very much.

Penny had Landon standing in a little contraption that looked like a wheelchair. It was supposed to help him get the movement of walking without having to worry about holding his other extremities up. He was strapped into this chair that held his body up and let his feet dangle. He cried the whole time he was in it, but as he got moving his cry changed from hysterical crying to "i'm only crying because i want to remind myself that i was upset". We didn't torture him too long though...he got out and was quickly side-tracked to something else. Overall he did really well today and Penny said that he is still making small changes...which is good. We definately need to keep the changes coming. :)

I've included a couple of pictures from the past couple of days. The one on top is Landon playing in his highchair today with "Mack" from the movie Cars. He obviously loves it. When we asked him if he wanted to watch Cars today, Landon immediately looked up and stared at me as if to say, "heck yea"! It was super cute. The bottom one is of Landon with his Aunt Heather and cousin Logan. They have been here visiting with us this week.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We are home and lots of other updates!

In the Denver Aquarium Landon is trying to decide which ocean to destroy....I hope everyone got to spend some quality time in the Pacific!

Wow it has been a long time since we have updated Landon's blog and I'm sure everyone is dying for some updates. Dawn is taking a small break from updating the blog and I told her I would write some updates for everyone.

So for those of you who were following Dawn's last post, we found out that Landon was not suffering from any sort of drug withdrawals (unfortunately). As they started to take all the drugs off, Landon started to become more and more upset and more and more unconsoleable. He spent the first few days off drugs being exhausted but only managing to sleep for 2-3 minutes at a time. Whenever he would get angry, his entire body would become stiff and he was unable to move.

The doctors took note of the posturing and the worry from Dawn and I and they ordered an MRI for the next day. Dawn and I were so filled with anxiety when he had to go down for his MRI because they wanted to put him under again. I couldn't allow myself to sign the consent for that and would only allow them to sedate him. Dawn and I did our best not to go crazy for the next seemingly year long thirty minutes. Then we got a call from our nurses that Landon did great and he was on his way back up to the PICU...*WHEW*

We did our best to console Landon and tried a myriad of different drugs to try to get him comfortable without much luck. He was inconsolable all night. He wanted nothing more than to be held, but any time you touched him he would get upset and become super stiff making it almost impossible to even hold him. It made for some very tough nights, physically and emotionally for both Dawn and I.

The next morning, I left to go back to the hotel to shower and got a text from Dawn that I needed to get back to the hospital ASAP. Immediately my heart sank and I quickly called Dawn. Dawn's voice was definately saddened and she informed me that Landon's MRI showed that he had suffered brain damage from the arrest. I raced back to the hospital and when I got there I took all the news pretty hard. Dawn did her best to be strong and we went through a few days where we really needed each other's strength.

The neurologist came in to talk to us and let us know all the findings. They categorized Landon's brain damage as moderate to severe and let us know that it is difficult to really see how far a person can recover from a brain injury. From what we later learned, people can all have different results to the same injury to the same area of the brain. So now we have to play the waiting game and its up to Landon to fight his way back to us.

And fight he did. Landon began to slowly recover, showing a little less tightening each day but he was still super sensitive to touch, making him scream and cry. He would eventually fall asleep in your arms for hours. We expressed to our doctors in Colorado that we were ready to go home and were confident that we would be able to take care of him. All of our nurses and doctors were amazing, but we were so drained from living in a hospital that we knew it was time to go home.

On the night of June 4th, my mom came out to Colorado to help us on our long trip home. And the next afternoon we left for Nebraska. It was a very difficult trip as Landon was still very difficult to console, and it pulled at our heart strings to see him so upset when we couldn't really do anything for him. I truely owe that trip to my mother. We drove straight home, except for a few leg stretches and little boy diaper changes, from 4pm to 2am. Battling through a strong midwestern storm, but nothing was going to stop us from getting to our little house on Offutt AFB. I bet that same trip would've taken us 2 days if it was just me and Dawn. From the bottom of our hearts....THANK YOU BONNIE!!!! Thank you for helping us get our little man home safe and sound.

When we finally got home, we started to relax and called Landon's pediatrician to get all his physical therapy, occupational therapy, and any other therapies that would expedite his recovery, all lined up. Then we set him up with some movies and just let him relax. We were lucky enough to get to see our physical therapist just a few days after getting home (Thank you Carol for all the insurance magic!).

Penny (our PT) was obviously shaken up after seeing him. She had helped Landon learn to crawl and walk, so she knew how he was before all of this happened. Landon was so agitated that all she could do at that session was turn out the lights and just let him lay by himself. Finally, after an hour of crying, he calmed down enough to allow her to stretch out his muscles a little bit. She was very, very worried about him and the patterns that his limbs were moving in. Penny told us to just let him relax. Do whatever made him comfy and just let him be. She was going to contact Dr. LaCroix (Landon's pediatrician) the next day. For four days straight, thats what we did.....

And for those four days Landon began to improve and improve and improve. We all began to joke with each other when we woke up each morning saying, "What new thing is he doing today?" to which someone would reply "He's moving his arm!" or "He's rolling around!". Slowly... slowly things started to look up.

Our spirits all took a drastic turn one night when we took Landon out for a walk in his stroller. We were all expecting an uneventful walk and Dawn, my mother, and myself were all just enjoying each other's company. Then, as I was pushing the stroller, Landon made an odd sound. I quickly leaned down to check on him thinking he was upset. But I quickly noticed he was LAUGHING!! I said "he's laughing!!" and we all started crying in the middle of the street. Its amazing how healing the sound of a single laugh can be. He continued to laugh all the way through the walk and all of our spirits launched sky high.

That was his turning point...his personality started to return to us. He began to remember old games we would play, and old things we would say to him. Finally we made it in to see Landon's pediatrician. We were in her office and Landon was rolling around on the paper bed laughing and giggling. He was doing fantastic and we were all laughing with him. His doctor was beyond confused. She had be informed by our PT of how poor his condition was and couldn't believe how amazingly far he had already come! We learned later that the doctor was so worried about his performance in PT that she was contemplating readmitting him into the hospital. After seeing how far he had come, she reconsidered. Landon is truely a fighter.

Over the next week, we went to physical therapy and occupational therapy every other day. Landon continued to make amazing strides. He is no longer stiff and enjoys to be touched and played with. He is moving the left side of his body extremely well. His right side is loosening up and he is starting to use it again. Our therapists are so pleased with his recovery that they are even having trouble setting goals for him because of how much he progresses from each visit.

More time went by and he recovered more and more! We have now been going to PT and OT for about 2 weeks. We have been working on Landon's weight bearing and some other gross motor skills. Just two weeks ago he couldn't move at all, and now he can almost sit up by himself! We may have a really long road ahead of us, but we have all been inspired by Landon's spirit and I think he is the one keeping Dawn and I up now. We are amazed every day!

Thank you to everyone for all your energy and all your prayers. It has truely done magic and I know Landon will never give up. He is my hero.

One final note, we went and saw Landon's doctor again today and heard the results of the MRI after a radiologist in Omaha took a look at it....and well, they said it was normal. As in normal normal, no brain damage. We need to do another MRI to find out what the deal is, but we are apprehensive about putting Landon under sedation again, so we have decided to wait a month and see how he progresses. Landon's doctor said that Landon's loss of skills is still a normal result from an arrest. Unfortunately, no one knows anything else at this time. We will post more as soon as we know anything.