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Crazy Week – A Rough Fall

Crazy Week – A Rough Fall

Not sure how many people know this. I certainly had no idea before this past week. Noonan’s Syndrome carries a decently high probability of having a bleeding disorder of some kind or another. Having a bleeding disorder can mean a lot of different things. Sometimes the bleeding is slow to stop. Sometimes the wound re-opens easily for multiple different reasons. I didn’t know any of this until our son took a spill face first onto the hardwood floor from standing height. He falls a lot but this one was different. A blood vessel in his head burst on contact.

Instantly he had a golf ball sized lump on his head. I wasn’t sure how serious that was so I was dialing the pediatrician when it gradually doubled in size before my eyes. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so comfortable waiting on hold. I called our emergency number and waited for the medics to arrive. When they came in the lump was about 90% of the size it would eventually become. They advised I take him in as a precaution so we grabbed my purse, both of our shoes, and loaded him into the ambulance.

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What Can I Do to Help?

What Can I Do to Help?

This is the number one question we hear from family members and friends. It doesn’t always come out explicitly and sometimes it’s not even clear. I can see it in their eyes. They want to help and they have no idea how. They feel powerless and it doesn’t feel good. It’s uncomfortable, confusing, and frustrating.

It makes it even more difficult that we don’t always have an answer. Feeding our son isn’t as straightforward as it is for most kids. If someone does watch our son for us we need to be back before it’s time for him to eat. Some aren’t comfortable watching him at all because they don’t understand what it means to have a feeding tube or how to handle an emergency.

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Noonan Syndrome Awareness Month

Noonan Syndrome Awareness Month

February is Noonan Syndrome awareness month, so I would like to share some information about the condition I’ve learned through my journey with our son. It’s a genetic diagnosis. Our son was diagnosed in late 2015 through whole exome sequencing. There are characteristic facial features for Noonan Syndrome and a large head size is common.

Many children with Noonan Syndrome need feeding tubes. Even if a feeding tube isn’t necessary they’re likely to need some kind of high-calorie drink or formula to supplement their diet so they can gain weight. Those with feeding tubes do have a reasonably high chance of outgrowing the need for one if they do not have an oral aversion.

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Unpredictable Digestive Hiccups

It’s always so unpredictable what’s going to set our son’s digestive system off. You would think since he eats the same thing every day for most of his calories that he would be relatively consistent. You would be wrong, unfortunately. No matter how consistent we keep the external factors he has his own ways of surprising us.

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Beginning a New Chapter

Yesterday we went to see, what we expect to be, our son’s last new specialist. It was an emotional day for me because this felt like our last chance for new ideas. We left empty handed. All we have left to do is implement his care plan, which is straight forward albeit time-consuming.

Have you ever had the feeling you’ve hit the end of a chapter? Today feels significantly different from yesterday. Yesterday our son’s care plan still had the potential to change. Today we know exactly what we need to do for at least the next six months. While his care takes up the majority of my day, it’s a relief to know the load isn’t going to get heavier even if it doesn’t get lighter.

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A Scary Turning Point

A Scary Turning Point

We’ve been through a lot with our son. He’s been admitted to the hospital a few times. We’ve been in and out of the ER to run tests only a hospital can run on short notice. So far we’ve come through with news that’s left plenty of room for hope. I’m terrified tomorrow’s going to be different. Now that we have a diagnosis, even though it’s a rare one, there are still going to be expected outcomes depending on how other children with the same diagnosis have developed.

These expected outcomes could all be wonderful. There are certainly other children with the SHOC2 gene mutation which have had feeding tubes when they’re young and have come off of them as they’ve gotten older (you can find Facebook support groups even for very rare diagnosis). There is a lot of room for concern, however. One of the main sources of concern for any of the Noonan Syndrome or Noonan Syndrome-Like disorders is problems with the heart. We thought his heart was just fine, but he’ll have to be followed by cardiology to make sure that doesn’t change.

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Caregiving

Caregiving

This last week has been difficult. If you follow my Twitter feed you’ve probably seen me mention, the toddler and I both came down with a nasty cold. Dad’s surgery has left him unable to lift more than 10-15 lbs, which means almost everything but the toddler.

So, the two of us have been having our own little mini-party while Dad does his best to help me without being able to lift the poor fella and tries to avoid getting sick at the same time. So far he’s been successful.

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