Sorry we haven't posted in awhile, but Braden having his own Facebook page makes it very quick and easy to share information. You can see his page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beelieve-in-Braden/184511298252632s
This year was good... we only had as few hospital stays. One for gas in his belly,One for colon back-up and belly distention, and one for failure to evacuate his bladder - creating belly distention. We even had a surgery and a bronchoscopy... and it was done OUTPATIENT!! PRAISE GOD FOR HE IS SO GOOD TO US!!
This year did bring on new problems for us to monitor. Braden's urinary output has slowed to the point that he needs intermittent catheterization. So we monitor his daily output, and cath him when he isn't going like he needs to. When he's not going like he needs to, he ends up with infections, and we have battled a few of those this year.
You know for years we've always battled the monitoring of his temperature, since he throws us hot flashes. Over the past two years, we've started battling his temperature drops. So now we monitor his temperature frequently throughout the day, and have to add rice or corn bags or heating pads to bring his temperature up. Even something as simple as taking him to daycare can drop his temperature too low.
This year we have three caregivers in place - LaTacia, the daycare owner who has kept Braden since he was about 8 months old. She keeps him at daycare two days a week, to minimize moving Braden, and watches him on Saturdays at the house through our PCA agency for extra money. Erica, her sister has been with us for a year now as a PCA (Personal Care Attendant). She splits most of the time with Ebony, Braden's home nurse. Braden seems very happy and stable with this set-up. Everyone gets along great, and Braden's caregivers are so sweet - they miss him when they don't work or when we take him on a holiday or medical trip. Braden is surrounded by wonderful caregivers.
Braden's mediport surgery went great, and the new one is now working so much easier than the last one. In fact, the plan is to get Brad and I trained on how to do the port flush as well. Our anesthesia & recovery went so well, we plan to ensure we get the same anesthetist every time!
Kodi's father passed away this fall, and it was a distraction to our normal worries about how many more Christmas celebrations we will have with Braden. It wasn't until we were with family over the holidays and their inquiries about this April's birthday plans - that it really struck us that Braden will turn SIX this year. SIX people!! An amazing feat for a child who was not supposed to make THREE.
This year's goals include: 1. working on a new fundraiser cookbook for Braden (with fun new sections for cake balls, popcorn and drinks! - so send your great recipes to me), 2. to reprioritize activities to include more time devoted to doing the Lord's work (as we are His hands and feet on earth), and 3. reducing distractions and drama that take us away from peace, family time or our focus on time with Braden.
Brad's job is going really well and a student fee increase passed that will keep him busy with new construction projects for the next few years. After overseeing these projects, other doors will open for him. Kodi's job continues to provide challenges, but we are resting in patience in the Lord for the right doors to open for her, but for now, it looks like those opportunities are likely more than a year away. For now, they both continues to prepare their students for the next step in their careers.
We joined Healing Place Church this year, and had Braden and our family dedicated at a service the second week of January. We are grateful for another year with our precious angel. We are so grateful for your support and your prayers. We continue to take it day by day and remain focused on the little things in life that really matter. Braden is doing some new things this year - he stretches his legs out so straight and hard that they actually shake - hence a new nickname "Thumper", he will occasionally have fake conversations and grunt back and forth like a conversation with him (so cute)(usually putting him in the carseat & he fusses about it), he will "whine" when he wants mommy to rescue him from therapy or bathing, and today, we learned that Braden likes red balloons - he actually tracked it & stared at it - a gift from the dentist (we really like him). So it's the small things that bring us great joy.
We hope 2012 bring you many blessings and lots of JOY as well.
The Wilson family