Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Good The Bad The Ugly

So we always said this blog was to document every little detail about Jack's life.... even if it meant sharing with him some of the not so fun stuff life sent our way.
Ever since birth Jackson has had a deep chest congestion, which has turned into severe apnea episodes at times. Where he won't breathe and takes huge gasps in his breathing, which at times is down right scary! He snores at night and not the cute snoring, it's really loud and we know he can't be sleeping soundly. I had this mother's intuition that it just wasn't reflux or something that would go away. So I made an appointment with our pediatrician and expressed my concerns about this lingering issue. She acknowledged that it had indeed developed into something that she needed to start to focus her attention to. She sent us last Friday to Texas Children's Hospital to get x-rays of Jack's chest, even though she was sure that wasn't it she was trying to rule out the most scary of the possibilities, a tumor in his chest. Thank the lord that the x-ray came back that afternoon with a perfectly clear chest and nothing abnormal. So our next appointment was today to the ENT (Ear Nose Throat) Doctor. We originally had it scheduled for later in March but we got a call today that the ENT Dr wanted to see us today per my pediatrician's recommendation. I was a little freaked out that it got moved up so soon, but it's something we needed to do so I told myself at least we get one step closer to figuring out what's wrong. Our appointment was scheduled for 4 pm. We got to the Dr's office just on time, it was freezing outside and the traffic was awful! I was rushing around to make sure that we got there on time and Jack was looking at me like I was a crazy lady no doubt!We met up with Daddy and had a quick bottle while we waited for the audiologist to get us for the hearing test.
The hearing test was a challenge because Jack was such a wiggle worm, but we managed to get through it and passed it! One more thing marked off the list that it isn't and on to what it is. We went back to the waiting room and then waited for the ENT Dr. We met with him and right away he told us that he knew what it was but he needed to do some tests to verify. So off we went to another room and waited for the tests. If you saw Jack you would never know anything was wrong with him until you heard him, he is such a happy baby!
We went through an endoscopic procedure where he put a camera down Jackson's nose to get access to his throat. Jack hated it and I hated holding him down! Right away the doc said "yes this is what I thought and I have just confirmed it with my camera." He told us that Jackson has Laryngomalacia, which is a softening of the tissues of the larynx (voice box) above the vocal cords. This softening causes the tissues to become floppy, and they fall over the airway opening and partially block it. It actually is a really common condition that usually fixes itself. However there are about 10% of children that have Laryngomalacia where it's severe and surgery is required. So here I was, relieved that we had the answer of what was wrong with Jack... but was not prepared to hear that we are a part of that 10%. So our sweet little boy will have to undergo Supraglottoplasty where the extra tissue above the vocal cords is trimmed in the operating room. Jack will have to go under general anesthesia so that they can operate on him, and he will have to spend the night at Texas Children's, but we will be able to stay with him in a private room. We will be in the best hands as this surgeon has come highly recommended and has done this procedure numerous times for children that come to him from all over the world. We have a few dates to choose from but none of which are until the first week of April, as this surgeon is booked solid until then.

So there we have it, our answer. It isn't what I hoped for but while we were in the waiting room there were other children waiting for their appointments that had severe issues that you could see just by looking at them. It made us thankful that we have something that is fixable and should not present a problem for his future.We finally got home around 7 pm, and Jack was plain worn out!

Just look at this face, he is such an angel.
Thank you God for giving us to him, he is just plain perfect to us!

We shall press forward and when April comes around we will ask for some extra prayers but we know everything will be fine and our little boy will finally have relief!
The Strehlows


Jane said...

Oh my goodness Jess!!! That is crazy! I am so glad you listened to your intuition, telling you something was wrong. I know you are worriesd about the surgery, but glad that it is something that is fixable. Extra prayers for you all and Jack.
We are so blessed! xoxoxo

Carl&JulieFamilySite said...

This just tears at my heart, Jess! I'm so sad you've all been going through this. Poor little Jack! I'm so glad to hear that it's treatable! I can't imagine how you felt when you heard that he had to have surgery. Reading this gave me that mother-bear feeling of wanting to be very protective over Jack and he's not even my baby! You're such a good mom for documenting all of this. I will keep you, Jack and your family in my prayers.

Carl&JulieFamilySite said...

Oh, and he's so precious in that hat!!!

Roger and Nicky said...

I am so happy you followed up and found the cause. You guys are in our prayers. It is very common our little guy had the same thing. They noticed it minutes after his birth when they had some problems clearing his air way.
Abrazos :)

Jumping Jax Designs Blog! said...

Aw I am so sorry he has to go through all of that but I am glad you caught it and will have it taken care of soon. He's adorable in that cute hat!

Averill said...

Oh Jess, I'm just playing "catch up" on your blog now and I saw this. How scary! I know that Jackson will come through this just fine, but I know that doesn't make it any easier for you and Kev. We'll be praying for you!

(And yes, he's the cutest thing. Can't wait to see him again!)