Sunday, November 21, 2010

Halloween 2010- By Jimmie Gravitt

Hi Everybody,

Auntie is letting me tell you about Halloween. My mommy had the idea to make me a Dalmatian Puppy. I was pretty awesome.

I felt a little funny at first, but I got used to the ears and the tail. My Halloween was full of fun.
Fun at Great Grandpa and Grandma EuDaly's house.
Fun playing with these cool old wooden clothes pins.
I had fun making Auntie Amber laugh while...
I panted like a dog . . .
Um- yeah you all didn't see that . . .
The fun STOPPED though when mommy and auntie tried a photo shoot with my cousins...
I was not and I mean NOT going to go through that again.
That Fall Photo Shoot we had was not far from my mind . . .
I posed perfectly the whole time for that shoot. . .
while my cousins messed around . . .
So this time I gave them a dose of their own medicine . . .
What?? You want me to smile and pose for the camera . . .?
Not gonna happen . . .
Is there a way out of this . . ?
Cause I'm finishing this before it gets started . . .
There was one great photo . . .

This one right here . . . It even includes Ma's dog's rear end. HA HA!!
And that's when mommy and auntie gave up.

The fun continued when I trick-or-treated Great Grandpa and Grandma Hester and last, but certainly not least . . .

Grandma and Grandpa Gravitt!!!
Grandpa is . . .
always FUN!!!

So that was my happy Halloween!

Jimmie Jim Jim

P.S. Auntie wants me to tell you my doctors visit Tuesday went great. My g-tube site is healing wonderfully. It's pretty much closed up already. I have no bandage, my tummy is free and bare!! Woohooo!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

G-Tube Adieu

A lot has happened since my last post about Jimmie's g-tube!

Rachael received this letter of referral from Dr. H.

"Dear Dr. S.
I am referring James Gravitt to have his G-Tube discontinued as he is no longer using it. More specifically, his mother discontinued using the G-tube in mid-July, and James even managed to continue oral intake though a gastrointestinal illness in August. He is maintaining his height growth. While he may be falling off a little in his weight growth, mother professes she is unlikely to resort to the G-tube. Rather she will optimize even more the food choices she is offering (wheat germ, peanut butter, fortifying his milk, etc.) as he does eat pretty well.

Removing his G-tube now, before the winter season seems more prudent than waiting.

Please give me a call if you have any questions or concerns."

Dr. H."

Rachael was a bit chagrined at this letter. She wasn't sure she liked how it read. It seemed to place it ALL on her. I laughed out loud when she read it to me. I told her to take it as a compliment. Dr. H. respects her. He did not try to talk her out of this line of thinking. He did put the responsibility squarely in her lap. I'm sure he has to. This is not the normal mode of operation with g-tubes and kids like Jimmie. (here in the states-anyway) I think Rachael has reconciled herself to the tone of the letter. She has fiercely advocated for her son. She has done all of her own research and found a doctor who would work with her not against her. This is what she wanted and she got it. I think there was just a little bit of last minute second guessing herself. Of course that's understandable, but she does not need to doubt this!

So Jimmie was scheduled for g-tube removal November 16th!

Amazingly the last few days have just served to encourage her and bring her peace with this decision.

First and foremost - Jimmie has been eating like a HORSE!! AND-- he's gaining weight!

Second - His g-tube has been having trouble. It hasn't been rotating like it should and Jimmie hasn't wanted Rachael to touch it at all. On Friday it started coming out on it's own. Justin refilled the inner balloon thing with a few mls of water and tried to get it back into place. Friday night Jimmie had a horrible night. His g-tube was making him uncomfortable, the stoma looked really red and inflamed and by morning it was starting to come out again. So Rachael called in to the clinic and they gave her permission to take it out herself and dress the wound/hole. They told her to keep his removal appointment so they could check everything out and make sure the healing process was starting properly.

Unfortunately Justin was at work yesterday so Rod and Kathy drove out to help Rachael remove Jimmie's g-tube.

Here it is before . . .

It's gone! There is a tiny hole in it's place . . .
All bandaged up!
Here is Jimmie holding the g-tube . . .
The end!

This is so exciting for us! While Jimmie's time in the NICU was relatively easy, his reflux and resulting eating issues once he was home were very very challenging. The months of Jimmie screaming in pain and refusing to eat were probably some of the darkest months of Rachael's life. A lot of stuff caved in on her during that time including hormonal/mood issues, post traumatic stress and extreme exhaustion. Exhaustion that was not only physical, but also emotional. A complete weariness of fighting what felt like a constant state of crisis involving her child. And all this while still trying to recover from enduring the death of her daughter only 8 months before the crisis with Jimmie began.

Rachael sent me her thoughts about yesterday:

"I did not realize how aware I was of the tube. It is so freeing to not have to worry about it when he slides off the couch, or when I pick him up, or when he is naked. I don't have to watch him constantly making sure he's not pulling at it. It has been a great day. I thought I would be apprehensive and scared. I wasn't!! I was so happy and proud of Jimmie at how hard he has worked and how much he has overcome. We had the G-tube for less than a year! I let Jimmie run around today without a shirt! I know it sounds silly, but it was huge for me. When I see him eat and drink I get teary because he is eating! We take these things for granted until they are taken away. As we were preparing to remove the g-tube I explained to Jimmie what we were doing. The process did not seem to bother him at all. He has been very happy and comfortable today."

It feels wonderful to say "goodbye" to the g-tube! It is symbolic I think to that time of Jimmie's crisis. I am so grateful to our Holy Father for His presence, His leading and wisdom for all of us during this. God is truly our Shepherd!


P.S. Please scroll down and read the next post! Jimmie's 21 Month Birthday Post!

P.S.S. Little Gideon is being released to go home with his mommy and daddy tomorrow!! After 16 weeks in the NICU he begins this new part of his journey. Pray for Reghan, Kaleb and Gideon as they adjust!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dear Jimmie - Happy 21 Month Birthday

Dear Jimmie,

Happy 21 Month Birthday!

This you right after you were born.

And this is you today! (This is the very funny face you've suddenly started making!)

Look at how you have grown next to your Rottweiler Puppy!

Look at how you've grown in your father's hands!

Here is your special "Watch Me Grow Montage"!

You have gained 11oz this month! You are 17lb 11oz.

Your height has increased 1/8 to 31 1/8 inches long!

Your head is 18 inches around!

You have 123 followers on your blog Jimmie! That's 3 more than last month.

Your "Faithfulness" Video Montage has been viewed 13,879 times. That's 565 times this month!

Your "Jimmie's Wonderful World" Montage has been viewed 973 times. And your "High Places" Video Montage has been viewed 683 times!

Your blog has been viewed 3,007 times this month for a total of 113,765 hits! You have a lot of very cool people who love to check on your progress Jimmie.

Your g-tube removal date is this Tuesday, November 16th!!

Physically you are doing great. You are jumping on the beds and furniture and you love to turn on the radio and dance to the music. You are pointing to many body parts and you will climb up in your chair when you want to eat. You love to watch your momma cook and you "help" her sweep, fold clothes and change the laundry over.

You have 9 teeth and are working on your 2 bottom molars right now.

Unfortunately you've started having night terrors, especially when you are over tired. You scream, cry and twitch. It's hard for you to settle into peaceful sleep. There isn't much mommy or daddy can do to help except try to get you to take a good nap during the day and sometimes you refuse to nap. This bad cycle of you being over tired and then having night terrors which makes you, mommy and daddy very tired is driving your momma crazy! She is trying to remember- "this too shall pass."

You are saying, "momma" and "dadda" and learning 2 or 3 new signs a week. You learned the sign for "Grandpa" recently and are very excited about that. You love to be read to and you will bring books to your mommy all day. You only sit for a few pages though before you want to move on to a different book.

This month we had a photo shoot out on your land with my kiddos. It was fun!

You also went on the annual church hayride!
Your daddy's cousin took these next 2 pictures!
You loved jumping on the trampoline!
Here you are with your momma and dadda!

You also helped Grandpa Rod prepare to lay some cement in your daddy's shop!

And you dressed up like a Dalmatian Puppy on Halloween for Trick-Or-Treating!
(There is another post coming with the rest of the Halloween pictures in a few days.)

Jimmie, I love writing you these letters and keeping this blog for you. It helps me feel a little more a part of your life. The truth is, I don't get to see you very often. Especially during cold and flu season. If I dwell on how little we get to interact with you it makes my heart hurt and tears come to my eyes. So instead I choose to focus on the good! How amazing you are doing and how important it is to keep you healthy. I know some day we'll have sleep overs and campouts and there will be no reason to stay away from you!

I love you so much!!
Auntie Amber