Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No Vent since Monday 3/28 7AM!

So the countdown begins! Kiera is officially on her HME with between 1/2 liter and 1liter O2 24 hours a day! Her Ventilator has gone dormant! We are trying to schedule a bronchoscopy for her near the end of April to investigate our next step toward getting her trach tube out. Things just seem to be happening exponentially around here.

By the way, she is getting to be such a big girls. She is oh so BRAVELY attempting to eat some bites of "big girl" (baby) food.I may get adventurous and start grinding some things too. She can also put her HME back on by herself when it falls off. Sometimes she needs a little help, but when she can't do it, she holds it close to her trach tube until she can get help from an adult.

I guess that's all I really have for now. There will definitely be more to come!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kiera can READ!

Yup...she's a genius. :) Kiera has been reading her sign language book to us for about the last month, and I was wondering if she recognized the words or just the pictures and illustrations of the signs. Soooo...with my 1st day off for spring break I wrote some of her words on a piece of paper and tested her. She was a bit distracted wanting to do other things, but she very clearly recognized and read (using sign language) 7 words: FRIEND, DIRTY, CLEAN, GRANDMA, BOOK, READ, and TRAIN. I am pretty sure she knows others, but I will have to test her later when she's in the mood to tolerate me. :) She also correctly identifies many letters of the alphabet and has been reading her I SPY alphabet book. I think her favorite letters are E and X. She can also spell GLUE and I think reads that word too. What a smarty pants! I'm so proud of her.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I have long loved this poem


Richard Snyder

She turns them over in her slow hands,
as did the sea sending them to her:
broken bits from the mazarine maze,
they are the calmest things on this sand.

The unbroken children splash and shout,
rough as surf, gay as their nesting towels.
But she plays soberly with the sea's small change
and hums back to it its slow vowels.

*When the poem was written, the designation
Down syndrome was not common terminology.

I first studied this poem in my 10th grade Honors English class over 20 years
ago. It made an impression even then, and I thought of it Sunday at my
nephew's birthday party. The cackling, healthy, developmentally on-track
children were all playing and running around. Kiera was quite self-entertained
exploring the house and the yard. She would occasionally take notice of the
other children, but generally kept to her own plan. As the children broke the
pinata and scurried for the candy and toys, Kiera was quite content handling
pebbles in the backyard landscaping. I had to smile to myself at the full circle
nature of my life. Who knew that the poem I learned in 10th grade would hold
such a personal application for me so far down the road? I am so glad that I
was paying attention.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Major Strides!

We upped Kiera's anti-seizure meds, so seizure activity seems stable. Kiera is feeling great and getting into everything. She is down to 1 to 1.5 liters of Oxygen during the day. She is signing a ton and trying to communicate. She seems hungry for knowledge. She requests that her diaper be changed, attempts teeth brushing a little, washes her hands, and actually tried eating about a dozen pea-sized bites of yogurt tonight. She is still VERY orally defensive, but I think she is very hungry. She probably needs her formula volume increased a little, but I am trying to take advantage of her clear desire for food and see if we have a window of opportunity here. She is learning all of the topics on her sign language videos and enjoys sitting on the potty (unfortunately AFTER the diaper is dirty for now). I think she is understanding our use of reason with her when it comes to these scary developmental steps. She is also playing better with other children. She is still very self entertained but occasionally allows other children into her world. Today we went to her cousins' birthday party. They had a HUGE jumper rented which Kiera went in for the first time. Another little girl said "hello" to her and Kiera said "hi." It comes out as an airy whisper when she says it, but it was clear to me. Things seem to be progressing exponentially. We are pretty excited to see what lies around the bend.