Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Chistmas 2007

You can spend so much time making plans, shopping for the right gifts and trying to make things "just right" for the holidays, but you can never really predict if it will be good or not or if all will go off without a hitch.

I have to admit that I was excited for Christmas 2007 since last years Christmas was so hard. However, I had also prepared myself for the reality that things would not look like they should for a typical 18 month old little boy. So with that in mind I had prepared myself for the holidays.

It is with that prelude that I share our Christmas story with you.....

Kurt had to work, as he usually does, on Christmas Eve until 7:30. He left the house at 2, so I put the kids down for their nap and we prepared to attend the 4:30 Christmas Eve Service at CLA. We sat beside the sound booth so that Daddy could take part in our 'family tradition' as best he could, while still working. It was a great service and we really had a great time.

After the service, I took the kids home and we prepared dinner for when Kurt arrived. Karter had a quick cat nap so that he could stay up and enjoy the opening of the gifts. After Kurt arrived and dinner was eaten, we gathered all the gifts that friends had given our kids and that we had purchased and we started out on the journey of opening. Karter in his walker, was able to take in all the excitement. And we were able to enjoy watching him take it all in. There were many "video moments" as he giggled at pop up books and light up toys and as he watched with delight as his sister ran like crazy all night long.

We have a few traditions as a family on Christmas Eve, the first of which is going to the service at church, secondly, Christmas PJ's, the kids get a pair from us each year. So they opened and sported them through the night. The third tradition is the preparation for Santa. We put out cookies and milk and the kids put them under the tree in the playroom, then off to bed to await Santa's arrival!

Christmas Day started with Paige waking up at 8:00 and running downstairs to check on the Santa tree. After discovering that Santa left gifts and stockings we opened them as a family. We spent the first few hours playing with the gifts that the kids got Christmas Eve and just relaxed before the days festivities began.

At 10:30 we went down to Mom and Dad Eckert's place for brunch and gift opening with Kevin and Julia and their family. Karter opened his gifts and went down for a long nap (5 hours!!!! he must have been exhausted from all the last days excitement).

We had dinner at 4:30 and Karter opened a few more gifts and spent the rest of the evening with the guests that arrived for dinner. He was so happy and interactive, it was really nice to see.

It was really beautiful this year to see Karter participate and enjoy Christmas. My fear was that we were going to have another Christmas where he really did not understand or enjoy the holiday. It was so amazing to be able to see the joy in his eyes and share the laughter with him as he opened gifts and enjoyed the company of so many. What a blessing that was for us, a gift no one could have found in a store for us or spent money on to give us. What an amazing blessing it was!

Things may not be the way we expected them to be when we thought about it two years ago, but all in all, good times and bad, we love our son and would not trade him for anything in the world. I am learning that traditions are what you make them to be not what you expect them to be. Expectation are so easily shattered by the circumstances of life, but traditions are made up of the unexpected things that happen when we allow ourselves to enjoy life. And that is what it is all about, enjoy life the way it happens to you, not expecting anything from it but rather enjoying what presents itself to you. The laughter, the time together, the funny moments; no amount of money, planning or orchestrating of events can ever ensure that things will go "our way". Life just happens the way it does and that it how we need to live it, just as it is.

We hope you enjoyed your holidays as much as we did. For 2008, our prayer is to reclaim the months that have been lost to Karter and to blow the "expectations" that are humanly put on Karter. Here is to another year of living life the way it is!

Many blessings. Kurt, Char, Paige and Karter Witt

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas

we have done a lot as a family preceeding Christmas, checkout our family BLOG ofr updates

Merry Christmas! We wish you a wonderful season together with your firends and family.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It has been a long time....

I was kindly reminded that it has been a long time since I have updated Karter's blog...oh and it has....over a month....shame on me!

Well Novemeber flew by, as did the entire fall. We had an MRI mid-November at Children's and we will be meeting with Dr. Conoly and Dr. Steinbach on January 2nd. At that time, we are assuming they will give us a time line and idea of the course of action for Karter over the next months. We anticpate that surgery will come up again in the conversation and prepare ourselves for that option.

Karter maintains a very slow pace of development. Where he is moving forward, it is very slow. This can be overwhelming for us at times, but we remain thankful that, at very least, we are moving forward.

Karter continues to be a very happy and content child. He smiles often and continues to be an active part of the Witt family. It is beautiful to see, even thought he cannot move around or play with Paige, that the relationship between brother and sister is growing. Karter adores Paige, he will smile and coo at her each time he sees her. I love to watch that.

Major milestones....right now, he seems to be gaining lots of core strength. His sitting is starting to improve as is his head control. Right now we are working on keeping the head in midline and not letting it flop to the left side. We did see some rolling a month or so back (twince in one day) but have nto seen it since. Obviously, we want to see things pick up at alarming rates in his development. It can be hard to continually see other children pass and surpass him. But we wait patiently and trust that God has it all under control.

We are looking forward to a great Christmas together. We are thankful for the improvments this year over last year and look forwrd to 2008 being another year of great things for Karter.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Friday's EEG

I totally forgot to update upon our return from Children's last week, sorry.

The EEG was 6 hours long and there were a few "questionable" moments on the test. The technician was unsure if she captured seizure activity and so she asked a colleague to look at the test, that person was also unsure and so they called in Dr. Conoly, she too was unsure. In the end, Dr. Conoly decided that she would look at the test a little more closely over the weekend and then take it to her neurology meeting this week. She will call us when they sort out the results.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Yesterday's Appointment

We met with Dr. Conoly yesterday afternoon. It was surprisingly a very easy appointment (beside the fact that they made us wait over an hour). In a nutshell she said that she was very happy that Karter had made some developmental gains since the last visit. She commented on how well she noticed he was communicating with us, both verbally and through eye contact. And she was very pleased that he had gained weight and grown in length.

The basic outcome of the appointment was that she would like to do some further testing because he is still having seizures. This would indicate to her that there it is very likely that they did not get all the abnormal tissue with the first surgery. Even though she did mention the option of surgery again, it was not at the forefront of conversation as it was in our appointment in August. She ordered a prolonged EEG for Friday morning at 7am and is trying to move up his MRI appointment (which I think is scheduled for February or March). After Friday's EEG, I will meet with her and we will discuss what will "happen next". They will possibly put him on another medication just to see if we can control the few seizures that he is having. the med's that he is on now are at their top dosages so we cannot increase them any more.

When I started asking "surgery" questions, she was very emphatic about keeping me looking at today (Yes God I get it...:-)). She informed me that we will probably look at the option of surgery again and talk about it with the surgeon, but that in no way mean it is the road we will or have to go down. We all agreed that we want to do what is best for Karter and we will cross that bridge when we need to.

So I will take Karter tomorrow for an EEG, we will be there for an extended time, not sure how long, but not overnight :-). I will let you know what happens as soon as I know.

We thank you for all your prayers and continue to be steadfast in our belief that God will heal our son. We may not know how or when or what that looks like, but we hold to His promise everyday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Children's Hospital Appointment-TOMORROW

Tomorrow at 2:30, we will be going to Children's for an appointment with Dr. Connonly, Karter's Epileptologist (that's the fancy name for neurologist, she just has more credentials :-)). As you know, we had an appointment book for November 28th, but it was bumped to tomorrow instead. Partially because they may need to alter his medication dosage, as he is growing!!!

I am feeling both peaceful and anxious about tomorrows appointment. As I have said many times before, we never seem to go there for good news. They will be checking on Karter's progress since surgery, his growth, his seizure frequency and will discuss with us the options and treatment for the upcoming months.

As you know, at the last appointment, they had put out the idea of further surgery. Friends, I don't want to go there. I will be honest, I do want the best for Karter, but I would prefer that not to include further surgery. His development is so slow, but we are making progress. Sunday he rolled over twice, unassisted and at different times throughout the day. He has not done it since, but it is obvious that he is capable of doing it.

So I ask that you pray for us as we go through today and tomorrow. Kurtis is sick, so please pray for health for him so that he can accompany me to the appointment. Also, pray that we rest easy and that we have such peace as we sleep tonight and then as we go to the appointment. Pray that the doctors would see, as we have, significant changes in Karter and that for the first time ever we would get GOOD news.

Also, please continue to pray that karter's development picks up. I feel like we are on the verge of a flood gate opening. So please pray for him in that. Pray that he gets well 9has a cold and double ear infection) and that he stays well this Cold Season. His asthma is acting up again and we are aggressively treating that, but we believe that God can heal Karter of that as well.

Thanks so much for your prayers.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Karter's new equipment

The other day, Karter's physiotherapist brought by a "stander" for Karter. This is a piece of equipment used for children who are unable stand on their own or, in Karter's case, need to build the muscles up in their legs so that they can stand on their own.

I have to admit, when Sandy (the Physiotherapist) rolled it through the door, I was a bit shocked. On its own, it looks like a small torture chamber. But after adjusting it to fit Karter, it works wonderfully and he LOVES it!

The other day he spent 40 minutes playing happily in it. I think he likes that he can be at everyone's level and see eye to eye with them. It has a tray on it so he can play while he is in it. I included some pictures so you could see it. It really is a eyesore but it works amazing and hopefully it will help him build up strength in his legs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

...Oh yeah I almost forgot...

In August we had asked that you pray that the Lord would bring around the right job for me. I shared with you the challenges I faced with having a job and yet I needed to be able to contribute to our families finances each month. Well as usual God came through once again. This time it was so evident that He heard my specific prayer and answered it to those specifications.

When we returned from Maui I starting talking with a company called They are an online music chart company. They offer downloadable music to different churches, schools and other organizations. They offer music charts and orchestrations for Prasie bands and orchestras. I work in the Customer Service department. I offer answers to technical issues related with downloading music and other issues with the website, I deal with refunds, invoices and a few other accounting details. Most of the time the questions are through email but there are also some phone calls. I love it, it gives me something to do that uses the organizations and administrative parts of my brain. The greatest part of the whole thing is that I can work from home 10-15 hours per week when it works for me! I usually work while the kids nap in the afternoon and some mornings when Paige is in preschool or at dance.

In addition to this job I also took in a 4 year old girl one day a week. That has been great, it is more like a playdate for Paige than a job. The girls get on so well and have such a great time together that my job is so easy.

In the summer when I started praying about what I could do for work, I shared my heart with the Lord and shared my anxieties and concerns with Him about going back to work. I had to leave it with Him and trust that He would take care of it. I never would have imagined things would have wored out this perfect. I had a revelation the other day when I was thanking God for "bring it all together". I felt like He said "See I hear you and I answer your prayers". This was a real encouragment for me. I have often struggled and feared that God doesn't hear my prayers or that He won't answer them. Again He reminded me "Do you trust me?". It was so amazing to be reminded that He is there, He does hear and He does answer. I continue to ask just as He comands us in Matthew and I know that at some point He will answer. I am also remined that sometimes He answers differently than we ask but in the end, He knows best and His answer is best. "I love the Lord for He heard my cry...long as I live while troubles come I'll hasten to His throne". That is my heart song. I love you Lord!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October update

I realized that we have been home for nearly a month and I have not updated either of our Blog's. It always amazes me how time can get away on you.

Karter is doing about the same as last time. His development is moving forward but it is quite slow. We noticed such a rapid change in him after surgery but it has really slowed down over the past two months.

One thing that we have really noticed with Karter is that he has really stared to communicate well with us. He is starting to verbalize more and communicate with his expressions more each day. We love this! I have shared with many of you that Karter feels like he is a participating member of our family now. He was always a part if the family but was unable to contribute personality to it (that may not make sense, but I know what I mean :-))

He is putting his hands in his mouth and really watches them a lot more these days. He feels so much stronger when holding his head and sitting. He is still rolling from his tummy to his back, but is not rolling from back to tummy yet. He is also not using his hands to grab at anything. We are hoping that these things will come along quickly over the next month or so.

We rejoice in the fact that Karter's seizures are far less frequent than before. He went three weeks between his last two seizures. Last Saturday marked the one year anniversary of our visit to Children's Hospital, at which time he was diagnosed with Epilepsy. It is hard to believe where we have come from and where we are today. Things still feel very up in the air and we continue to rely on God's strength each day and grasp to Him for comfort and the knowledge that He has figured it all out already.

We ask that you join with us and pray specifically for the movement in his hands to pick up and for him to roll over. We know that these things will come at some point, but we feel like they are the pivotal point for Karter's development to move forward. We anticipate that it will be like a flood gate once he realizes the freedom there is when he can move around and do things on his own. We pray for motivation for him to reach these milestones.

Please pray for us as we watch him each day move so slowly forward. It can be so discouraging and overwhelming at times to see how far we have to go and how slow things are progressing. We do our best to be thankful in all things and look at how far we have come, but some days are harder than others. We love our little boy and just want the best for him. We pray for his complete restoration and we anticipate AMAZING things!

I have included some pictures from this month for you to see how he has grown and what he is doing. most of them are from the pumpkin patch last week.

Friday, September 28, 2007

We are home and life just keeps ticking on by....

Well we are home from our fantastic trip to Maui. I have posted many posts on our family blog if you are interested in pictures and the adventures of our vacation.

We were really able to relax and enjoy and leave all the cares, concerns and unknowns here in BC. It was wonderful to be able to have the luxury to just "forget it all" and leave it behind for a few weeks. We arrived home and I there was a call from Children's Hospital. I called back and they scheduled another "three month check up" for November 28th. In the meantime they will be scheduling an MRI.

I have to admit that I was relieve that the appointment was still a ways away. Karter is moving forward but it is in very small increments. He is still unable to roll over completely and doesn't have full use of his hands yet. My prayer for him is that those things come before our appointment in November.

As I spent some time in prayer the other night I was reminded again of my momentary struggle to take things day by day. That then led me to think that instead of praying for Karter to wake one day and get up and walk, talk etc (lol)I am going to focus on each little thing and ask for those miracles each day. So right now I am praying for his ability to use his hands. that the strength be restored and that he be "healed" in that area. Also for his rolling. He is so very close yet is seems like we keep saying that. So I pray that his desire to be mobile would peak. he s fully capable of rolling on his own, I just don't think he wants to. Anyhow, that is where I am with the whole thing. i ask that you join me in my prayers.

Otherwise things are good. His seizures are still happening, but they are far better than before and happen less frequently. So we are thankful. He is happy, he is engaged with us and we feel like we can communicate with him and he with us.

So as we approach the "one year mark" of this journey we are thankful for many things and waiting for many others. But though it all God is good and he remains the constant in our lives.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bath time fun...

Karter was in desperate need of a haircut so I decided that bath time was the best time to do this. I put him in his bath seat...this was the first time...and away I went with the scissors. I think the cut turned out pretty good. He enjoyed the seat as well. Here are a couple of pictures.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We are going to MAUI!!!!!!

I just thought I would share our exciting news. As most of you are aware we had booked a family vacation in the Spring to Maui and three days prior to leaving we had to cancel as Karter's condition changed thus not making him qualify for out of country medical insurance. We have been looking forward to taking the trip ever since he was through his surgery but just did not find the right time. We feel a vacation is well overdue with all that has been going on this past year.

With the possibility of further testing or treatments for Karter's Epilepsy and with his current stable condition, we felt we had this small window of opportunity to take this trip with him. He does qualify for insurance at this point so we thought "why not?".

We will be leaving on Monday September 10th and heading to Seattle to stay the night there. We then fly out on the 11th and return on the 25th. As you can imagine we are very excited. We have bathed this decision in prayer and have asked for guidance when making the plans. The other night I asked God to close doors and put obstacles in our pathway if we were not to go. All I can say is it has been smooth sailing since we decided to go. We booked everything and have felt such favor in all the bookings. We got an amazing price on our flights and our rental car and we are renting a condo there from someone we know, who is giving us an amazing deal too. So we feel blessed and anticipate a wonderful trip as a family. My parents will be joining us on the trip. They have never been to Maui so we will play tour guide to them, should be loads of fun!!!

We ask that you please pray for us that nothing would change in Karter's condition prior to leaving or while on vacation. We have asked the Lord's protection and favor for this trip and we ask that you just keep us in your thoughts and prayers as well.

We will update the blog as much as we can while we are away, but if we don't you know we just got too busy having fun! :-)

If you read our family BLOG as well, you will see this post there as well, we just wanted to share it with everyone, so excuse our redundancy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The call from Children's Hospital

I got a call from Children's Hospital yesterday. It was from the Neurology department nurse Kelly. She had to called to both check up on how Karter was doing and also to talk a bit about his EEG a week back. She did not have the actual report yet however the EEG department had called her and so she knew the gist of what had showed on the EEG. There was no hypsarhythmia on the scan, so for that we are most thankful. If you recall that is what shows up on EEG when Karter is having Infantile Spasms. Also in the hour that Karter had the EEG there were no seizures both seen and not seen to the naked eye. So as far as the EEG department was concerned this EEG showed improvement from the last. Of course Kelly had to be the conservative one and let us know that it was only one hour out of the day and just becasue we didn't see anything that doesn't mean it is not happening.

I asked what the next step was then. She said that we wait for the MRI appointment and see what the MRI shows. I asked again why we were doing the MRI. She said that they want to view his brain post surgery and look at the pathways that have been created etc. So it looks like sometime in September we will have an appointment for that.

The "surgery" word was floated again on the phone. Kelly felt that Dr.Conoly was leaning towards the option of more surgery as a possibility. If his seizures continue and his development doesn't have a major pick up, it looks like we could be facing that road again. This time however surgery is more invasive. Karter had a brain resection, which basically means they removed a portion of the brain that appeared to be abnormal, thus causing seizures. This time if they did surgery it looks like they would remove the entire front right lobe, they call it a hemispherectomy. Obviously, God created the brain whole for a purpose, so losing a portion of it will have its ramifications for Karter. The most major, some weakness on the left side seen in the hand and the leg. He would still walk, but could limp and he could still use his hand but it would be weaker and he may not have the same control as on the right side. Also the other implication for him would be some loss of periferal vision in the left eye. This is something that could effect his changes at a drivers license later in life.

Obviously, the idea of more sugery is more than I can even imagine. Also, the idea that we may have more losses in motor development and sight are pretty difficult. But I have to stand on the fact that God has it all figured out and He already knows that outcome for Karter, it is done as far as God is concerned. My job is to take it one day at a time and not waste time and energy worrying about the things that may be, but rather focus on what is.

We still pray and believe for Karter's healing. I know I serve a God that cannot only make the abnormal brain normal but also restore what has been lost thus far. That is my constant prayer, that Karter would be made whole and new. Please pray that we would not hear the negative when we speak with the doctors but rather let it roll off our back and remain able to see the best case scenario, trusting and believing that we are in the best hands of our Father. Also, pray that we see a significant pick up in Karter's development. I am thrilled with the progress this far but we need to see some major milestones met so that we don't have to face the decision of more surgery. Our God is able to do far beyond what we can see or ever imagine!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

EEG pictures

I thought you may be interested in seeing some pictures of Karter when he had his EEG. This is after all the wires are on. In one of the pictures you can see he was not too happy about the whole thing but all in all he did fine.

We still have not heard anything from Children's Hospital. i will keep you updated when I hear anything.

This week Karter has been moving to his side a lot more. We have come to realize that Karter is fully capable of rolling over but he hates being on his tummy so much that he really has no reason to roll from his back to his tummy. Our prayer for him this week is that he would start to enjoy that time on his tummy more and have the desire to get there by rolling. We are spending as much time with him as we can making him lie on his tummy and playing with him.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

And a light went on...

I wanted to take a moment a share with you some thoughts that came to me as I spent some time with God before finally drifting off to sleep last night. If you are reading this blog, you have walked with us through this tough journey and so I feel like I want to share this with you.

This week I had someone share with me that "strength" is a spirit in which we can call on. Much like the authority we have over darkness we have the authority to call on the spirit of strength when we need it. I have called on that spirit many times this week both for Karter and for myself. I really could not see any possible way to continue on the journey. In my mind I could not entertain the idea that it may not be over. But in saying those words "Lord, I call upon your spirit of strength" I realized that I was one again allowing God to give me what I needed when I needed it, in a supernatural way. What an amazing gift that was to be able to see it in that light, there was a peace and such a release that I felt when I could grasp onto that concept.

As I lay in bed last night I was thinking about how God has been so faithful to us through this time. That is not a new reality for me but I was so thankful for that. I was thinking of all the things that Karter has come through, overcome and where he was TODAY...I felt blessed. I then thought about where I came from in my faith and walk with God. That is what got me thinking about the idea or phrase I am sure many of us have spoken "God allowed me to go through this to teach me______".

I starting pondering and felt like I had a real shift in my thinking. I don't truly believe that God sat on His throne and thought, I am going to allow Karter to have Epilepsy so that Charlene could learn _____ and Kurtis could learn____ etc, etc. No, He doesn't work that way. Rather I look at it like this...Karter's Epilepsy brought us to a place of such vulnerability and desperation for God that it revealed the things that, already there inside of us, were magnified and thus refined as we sought God on Karter's behalf. As we prayed daily for Karter and listened, those things in our own lives were magnified by our ability to be humbled and just wait on Him. Thus we learned and were changed in many areas of our lives; character, faith, beliefs etc. That wasn't because God sat there and said "It is time for them to learn ____". No, Karter's situation was just catalyst for the change that was already brewing inside us. We could have chosen to give up completely when everything started last fall and say "I cannot hear from a God who would allow this to happen to my baby boy" thus turning our hearts and minds completely away from Him, learning nothing and allowing no change. But rather we allowed the beautiful Spirit of God to permeate every part of ourselves and we listened and depended on Him. That brought about such peace and reassurance that we would have the strength to make it through and we would be victorious in the end!

I don't know how long this road will be, my human hope is that it is over yesterday :-) But no matter what, I would not have done it any other way than with God at the control center of this roller coaster. All of us will face things that are difficult or we will watch others walk difficulties and say "I can't do that". But know this, you will do it because with God on your side, guiding, protecting and providing you with strength, you have no other option but to be successful.

Today Pastor Harvey touched on the idea that community is such a necessity in our lives. I echo those words loudly to you. Without our community we would have not been able to stand as strong as we have and face this storm with as much strength as we have. Where two or more are gathered, God will be blessed we feel to have hundred's gather with us on Karter's behalf!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Today's EEG

We are back from the EEG, the appointment went fast and very well. Karter fell asleep 5 minutes into the test, so it was done within one hour PLT!

As for results...basically, we were allowed to go home without seeing the Neurologist today. That is really good news. Had something changed drastically on his EEG, we would have needed to see the Doctor. So at this point no news was good news.

We will get the actual results over the next few days. We suspect that an appointment will be made for an overnight stay in the hospital so they can do a 24 hour EEG. An appointment request has been put in for another MRI, we should hear about that date soon.

So thus far, we are feeling ok about things. On a side note, Karter had his Occupation Therapy feeding consultation yesterday. The OT was very please and surprises with how well he was doing. She assumed since he was at a 4 month level with his motor skills, his feeding skills would be there as well. Not the case, he is about a 10 or 11 month level with feeding and the only thing that is hindering him with moving further is his inability to pick up food and place it in his own mouth. She gave us a few things to work on, but overall, was a real encouragement. Today the physiotherapist visited and was equally as encouraging. I had shared with her about the appointment last week and where they felt Karter should be and that they felt progress was a bit slow. She reminded me where he was before surgery and felt that their expectations were unrealistic especially since they do not see him in his surroundings. She felt that Karter has made amazing progress since surgery and is doing very well. Those word were such a treasure for us this week.

We will keep you posted when we hear any results.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Thursday's EEG

I just wanted to let you know that I will be taking Karter into Children's Hospital for an EEG at 1pm on Thursday afternoon. Also, in the past few days Karter has had four seizures. Please pray for us for strength to hear whatever news from the doctors in response to his EEG. Also, pray that the seizures are exactly what they told us to expect at the beginning..."a side effect from surgery". Our hope is that Karter's body is "just repairing itself" and that is why we are seeing these breakthrough seizures. Our prayer and hope is still that Karter has received healing in his body and that we are moving forward from this point. If that is not the case we would really appreciate your continued prayers for strength to deal with whatever comes our way each new day.

I will post something as soon as we get the EEG results, that will probably be sometime on Friday.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Wednesday's "Dis"-Appointment at Children's

Kurt and I took Karter to his first post surgery appointment on Wednesday afternoon. We were scheduled to meet with Karter's Neurosurgeon and Neurologist for a three month follow up visit. It was more like a two month check up as they are on holidays over the next while. Finally, after waiting over an hour we see Dr. Steinbok and Connoly.

If I am to be honest, I would tell you that we were so excited for this appointment because we felt that for the first time in almost a year we had something to celebrate...Karter's progress! We have never been to Children's Hospital on a positive note, rather every time we go it is bad news or for a negative reason. We are so happy with the progress we had made this far and we wanted them to see that too. Karter has had two incidents that had seizure characteristics since surgery, however as I have mentioned before, they told us that was normal in the first three months.

If I was to sum up the appointment in a nutshell, Dr.Connoly, the neurologist was hoping that Karter would have progressed a bit further already. She had hoped that he would be rolling over completely both ways and that he would be reaching and grabbing for objects by now. Basically, she wants to do another EEG to make sure that there is no seizure activity that we are not seeing. If they do not find anything on that EEG they may take Karter into hospital overnight and do a 24 hour EEG. If nothing shows up there, we move forward. If they do find something on the EEG that is abnormal they will do another MRI and take another look at the area of his brain. If this shows more abnormality that causes seizures, they do more surgery. I am not sure if we told you this, but right before they did surgery, they told us that there were other areas that looked suspiciously abnormal however, they could not conclude with the clinical testing that those areas were causing the seizures, so they left them and were Conservative with their removal in surgery. The thought was that you can always take more but you cannot ever put back what you have taken. The area of concern extends down into his motor cortex and so they didn't want to not touch that area if the didn't need to.

So to sum it up for was a bit of a blow. We really believed that we had closed the door to the worst of Karter's illness. It is still extremely possible that we have however, we were not prepared to have that news the other day.

So where does that leave us? Well, once again we wait. We should hear about the EEG appointment on Tuesday, I think it will be within the next week or so. Then we wait on those results. Depending on the results, we then choose our course of action.

If I am to be honest, I told Kurt the night before the appointment that my worst fear was that he was not going to be as far in development as the had hoped and that they would deem surgery unsuccessful. In our minds no matter what Karter is doing far better today than any day before surgery, so thus far, we are successful. However, even though I spoke those fearful words to Kurt, my heart was not prepared nor did I believe that they would be true, so I am still reeling from that. This I think has been one of the hardest parts of the journey for me. I do not want to sit and accept defeat, but I do feel like mustering up the strength to be strong is not coming as easy as it has in the past.

So once again we ask you to pray for us. This roller coaster ride is taking a huge toll on us and honestly we want off. More than ever before, we need your prayers for strength. Strength for the day to day things like caring for Paige and keeping life "normal" for her. Strength to keep up with Karter's schedule in way of therapy and doctors appointments. Strength and peace to handle all the emotions that surround this. Ultimately, we need prayer for healing. I don't want to do this anymore, it needs to be finished so that we can move on with our lives.

One last note. Would you please pray for us for wisdom. Our plan was for me to go "back to work" so to speak in September. Things are really tight without the extra income I make doing daycare here at home. Kurt and I have been wrestling with what to do in the fall. It is hard with all Karter's appointments to fit "a job" in, however we are praying for something that just works with our schedule. Now this new development makes the decision of "what to do?" more complicated. In March I stopped doing daycare because the the erratic pace of our lives at that point. The not knowing what was happening each week was too much. And to have to worry about finding care for not only Paige, but two others if I was in the hospital with Karter, was too much of a stress on me and everyone else here. So please pray for wisdom and we make the decisions regrading our finance etc. Also, pray that the right "job" would come along. Something that I could do from my computer at home 10-15 hours a week even could work, whatever, please just join with us in prayer as we make these tough choices of what to do.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tomorrow's Appointment

Karter has a post surgery appointment at Children's Hospital tomorrow afternoon. It is the first time since surgery that we will be back there. Seems amazing to me that it is almost three months ago that Karter had his surgery, wow!

The appointment is a routine check-up with both the surgeon and the neurologist. They will look at his incision and check that it has healed well and they will talk to us about how it has been going since surgery.

I will update you on the appointment on the weekend. Kurt and I are off to Whistler for two days right after the appointment; we are taking some much needed "alone time", away from the day to day events here in the Witt household.

Also, I have included a few pictures of Karter at the pool today, taking in the sun and chillin' in his pool floatie.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

First Year Pictures

If you have ever taken your child to WalMart or Sears to get their photos done, you know it can prove to be quite the ordeal. Trying to get them there at the perfect time of the day not cranky, tired or hungry can prove to be a small miracle. Then you have to make sure that you get that perfect shot, all in the time slot allotted for you. Well, I have done the "studio" thing and it is too much work for me. So instead we decided that we would take our own photos of the Karter for his first birthday. Here are some of the results.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Happy First Birthday Karter!

It is hard to believe that we have celebrated the passing of the first year. What a year it has been!

We celebrated Karter's birthday on the hottest day of the year...who are we kidding, it broke records from decades ago. We gathered Karter's friends and our families together and celebrated in the pool at the Paterson's house. The theme of the night "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus". Everything that night was centered around all things sweet. We had a candy buffet, ice cream sundae station and lots of fun.

We were so overwhelmed by the love poured out by those closest to us that at the end of the evening all I could say is "I am so Thankful"

"Karter, you have brought such joy into our lives, this has been a tough year, but we made it through. God is so faithful to us. We claim this next year as 'the year of great things'. We believe there is such a mantle placed on your life and we are excited to watch you walk out the journey in the years to come. You are an amazing little boy who has touched the heart of 1000's already, we love you and are blessed everyday by your presence"

Candy Buffet...

Karter in the pool...

Ice-cream Sundae Station

Two months post surgery...

I am sorry it has been so long since the last post, it is amazing how the time can get away on you and fly by. Since our last post there has been some progress. I took Karter to the doctor today for his 1 year shots and he had gained a pound since last month and grown an inch, so we were pleased! he is now 18 pd 12.5 oz and 31 inches long. Obviously, he is eating really well, most times he eats what we do, just mashed up. He still only has four teeth but I think he is working on a few more right now.

Head control has come quite a ways in the past few weeks, he appears so much stronger these days. He is now able to sit in his walker and it appears he really likes the change of scenery from the horizontal to the vertical position. Often he will stay there for about 30 minutes. He has started to grasp at toys and use his hands slightly. We are hoping putting him in the walker will help him learn to bare weight on his legs and lean on his arms and elbows for support. I have posted a video for you to see what he is doing.

As you recall, I mentioned that the neurologists told us up to three months post surgery we could still see seizures and that they consider them to be residual effects of surgery. The other day we were shopping and Karter had been sleeping for a very brief period of time and was awakened suddenly. I cannot explain to you what happened, except to say it appeared a bit abnormal to me. It was ever so slight and may honestly been nothing, but I was uncomfortable with what he was doing. I choose to say, believe and live out the promise that Karter is healed and that surgery is successful and I ask that you continue to pray that way as well. We refuse to get discouraged and know that the stand we have taken is bold and will come under attack, so please pray for continued strength.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sandy is back!!!

Well today Karter's physiotherapist returned from her seemingly long 8 week vacation. We were so pleased to have her back to assist us with Karter's motor development. The long and short of our visit was that we will continue to focus on the rolling. In addition to that, he will continue to work on more head and trunk control, weight baring on his hands and arms and grasping and grabbing at objects. We will also start working on sitting. Sandy gave us about five or six excercises to focus on each day to aid in all these areas.

I asked once again for some guidelines for realistic expectaions for Karter's development, a timeline of sort. Of course we cannot predict with any child when they will do something becasue of all the external factors like sickness and such, but I wanted to have some sort of idea of what was realsitc for me to expect in six months etc. Sandy of course was hesitant to say in a year he will walk in six months he will crawl etc., but she did say that it would be realistic to think that in six months he could sit on his own, hold his head up and support his body weight on his tummy by his hands while playing with toys etc. That of course also can depend too on if he remains healthy and has no other major set backs physically. We have been told to look at surgery as kind of a "re-birth" for Karter. A starting place for his development. Of course Karter could do things quicker than that depending on how motivated he is too. We are praying that he will amaze us!

Now that surgery is over and we have not seen any seizures, I am comitted to go hard at it each day with is therapy. He is showing progress in many areas outside of his motor development and that leads me to know that he is fully capable of learning and retaining new things.

The feeding is still going exceptionally well. This evening for dinner he ate the same supper as the family...meatballs, whole wheat pasta and corn (chopped up of course). I am thrilled with how well he is doing in this area. The gag reflex has really dumbed itself down PTL! He has fully been switched to milk and we seem to have not irritation or reactions to this point, so we are happy about that as well.

Well I think that is it for today, just thought I would let you know what has been happening this past while with Karter.

Thanks for your continued prayers, they continue to sustain us in this new journey of recovery. Our prayer as we lay Karter to rest each night is that the Lord will continue to heal his body and bring it back to its fully restored self. We also ask each night that Karter would rest peacfully so as to give him strength to take on the next day and that all his hard work that day would be rewarded by the strengthening of each muscle in his body the next day.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It's been a month since surgery

It is hard for me to believe that the time has flown by so quickly. Last Friday was four weeks since Karter's surgery. It really feels like I have a lot to share this week.

First of all we are so thankful that Karter is officially on the IDP (Infant Development) case load. I got a call from our Supported Childcare consultant, Sharron, last week. Karter has been on the waitlist since November. He has been receiving weekly physio visits through the program while we have been on the wait list, however, with this new development, we can now access more resources on Karter's behalf and have ongoing support as we work towards each new milestone in development. I am thrilled to have these services available to us. I am quite familiar with IDP as I worked very closely with them when I worked in the field, but of course for our family and our circumstance this is still uncharted territory.

We are happy to report that Karter is still maintaining all the new things he is learning. As you recall, before surgery, he would learn to do something and then forget for weeks and have to re-learn each thing. Since surgery, each new thing he has learned, he retains. I find myself resting more easy when his nap time comes around because I know when he wakes he will still be able do the same things he was doing before his sleep.

This past week we have been very successful with the introduction of texture while feeding. You may remember that I mentioned that Karter would gag to the point of vomiting if anything went in his mouth that was not warm or smooth. This past week we have successfully introduced grated cheese at lunch, rice at dinner and oatmeal at breaskfast. He even seems to have a great interest in food now. We have also been successful with the introduction of a sippy cup, my hope is to have him off the bottle by 1 year. Also, we are switching from formula to milk over the next week. So we are defiantly making some progress in the area of feeding.

There has been small progress in motor skills. Karter is still rolling from his tummy to his back. This past weekend he has started, while on his back, to use his feet to move him around his blanket on the floor. He is also rolling to his side more often and trying at times to get from his side to his back. Our prayer is that he can roll both ways by his birthday. He is still lacking control over his left arm and is not really grasping or grabbing objects yet, but as each week passes, he seems to become more aware of his hands and what they do, so hopefully it won't be long now.

Other than that, the stitches are completely gone, the hair has really begun growing and the scar is almost unnoticable. This month has flown by so fast, looking back at what I have written it seems we could say he has come quite a ways since May 18th.

Please continue to keep Karter and us in your prayers. 1-that Karter's motor skills would come along rapidly. We have our first post surgery appointment at Children's Hospital August 1st, I want the surgeon and neurologist to be astounded by Karter's progress. 2Karter seems to be coming down with a cold, please pray that it will pass quickly and not attack his lungs as it has in the past. 3-If you could continue to uphold me in your prayers too. I continue to struggle daily with the anxieties of Karter's development. Because I am the one to work with and rehab him each day and because I see him every step of the way, it is hard for me not to think about where he is and get anxious about the speed and pace of his recovery. At times, I think I can drive myself a bit insane with worry. It is at those times I have to lay it at the cross yet again. Some days, it is twenty times...So please pray for continued peace and the reassurance.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Progress videos

I thought it was time to post a few progress videos. The first one shows Karter talking, moving around and rolling with help from his back to his tummy and on his won from his tummy to his back. We are so pleased!

The second is a bit long, you have to endure the annoying pony song but it is worth it because Karter breaks out into a laughing fit, thought you might enjoy it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

2 weeks post surgery

This past week has has been an interesting one. Karter has continued to find his voice. I can hear him even if I turn the baby monitor off now in the morning. He even had to be taken out of the church service because he was too loud. We love it, we see his persobality coming through more and more every day. He is happy, smiling and laughing all the time now. On the other side of things, last Thursday I noticed that Karter had felt floppy again, his head control was all over the place when on the floor and when being carried and the strength that I felt the week before seemed to have gone. Of course this was frustrating for me because I did not prepare myself for, what I felt was, going backwards so soon. We think that there was a possiblity that either he was fighting illness or (as suggested by someone) he maybe overdid it the week before and was just sore because he has since regained his strength.

I had called to make an appointment with the physiotherapist who was taking over while our regular one is on holidays. She came to visit this past Monday. She gave us a few simple yet important tips for Karter. I had expressed my desire to have a "workout plan" for him, something like you would get from a trainer at the gym, you know 12 reps of this, 24 of these etc, etc. She played with Karter for awhile and said that she felt the most important and only thing we should be focusing on right now is his rolling. He is so close and she felt that giving his the ability to roll would open the door for all the other skills to emerge naturally. So that is what we are doing. It has been three days since she visited us and he is already rolling consistently from his tummy to his back and with assistance from his back to his tummy, so we are pleased at his progress this week.

Finally I feel like we are on the brink of big things. I explained to the physiotherapist that I felt if he could just get the rolling down, it would be like a snowball effect with everything else. She agreed that would most likely be the case, how fast that happens is something that we cannot really predict, but we have not been given a reason to suggest that he would not meet those milestones in time.

So that is what this week has looked like. Karter's incision is healing rapidly, most of the stitches are gone and the hair around his wound is growing in very fast. The surgeon did a great job with it, looks like there will be a very minimal scar.

All our guests have left and the house is empty, the meals that have be so thoughtfully provided are allowing me some recovery time and have been such a blessing these past two weeks. Now it feels like we take a deep breath and move on. Such a weight has lifted in so many areas of our lives. If I can describe for you in a picture how I feel today it would look like this:
If you have ever driven for hours on a straight prarie road, you know that you can encounter sunny skies and then in an instant dark clouds. A few minutes down the road it can hail and you can't see where you are, in those moments you experience fear and the "what if" factor. A few minutes more the hail turns to a downpour and then to rain showers and then a light spinkle. Within a minute you can see the end of the black cloud, it is like a line in the sky. On the other side of that dark line is the hot sunshine beating down and blue sky for what looks like miles. That is the journey we have walked this past eight months, but I feel like we are emerging the line between dark cloud and blue sky. I am going to enjoy basking in the beauty of the clear hot sunshine...Thank you Jesus!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A week+ post surgery

Well, we continue to be amazed at Karter's progress. This weekend he found his voice again. Today I even had to leave the churh service because he was squealling and talking so loud, I have to say I didn't really mind. Also, we have really noticed a change in the way he concentrates on things and also that his interactions and laughter are on purpose rather than random. We are so thankful!!!!!

Karter continue's to heal well. To this point we have had no complications or set backs. We will see the surgeon and the nuerologist in three months...a whole summer without an appointment, what will we do with our time?!

I will continue to keep you posted with his progresses. Thanks for all the prayers and support. We are praying that this next road, one of "catch-up", will happen quickly and that we will continue to be amazed and amaze others with Karter's recovery and progress.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

4 days post surgery

Today has been another great day for Karter. He is moving around a lot as he plays on the floor. Last night we had a bunch of people over and he was playing on the floor on his tummy and he got himself to bear all his weight on his knees. If he had the strength to lift his body up on his arms, he would have been on all fours. We all stood there stunned as we watched him try so hard, if there had not been five other witnesses, I don't think anyone would have believed us. He is also holding his head at a 90 degree angle on his tummy. These are both things that he wasn't doing before surgery.

We do find ourselves looking for the "new" things he is doing...even though we know this is a bit unrealistic at times :-). We were told it would take him about two weeks post surgery to get back to where he was before surgery. So needless to say, and as we have said before, we are amazed. Karter is eating, sleeping and doing all his noraml activites just as he had been before surgery and a few new things.

I will give you another update on his progress around the one week post surgery mark.

Monday, May 21, 2007

3 days post surgery

Amazed, astonished, shocked, overjoyed, overwhelmed, thankful, fully blessed; these are just a few of the words that come to mind when we think of how we feel about this whole last few days. It really has been a miracle to watch Karter bounce back and heal so quickly. If there wasn't a scar on his little head, I could forget that he just had surgery three days ago. God hears our prayers loud and clear and He answers them always in the right way.

We arrived home about 3:30 yesterday afternoon. Paige was just stepping out the door to go to her cousins ballet recital so Karter, Kurt & I all lay down for a two hour nap :-) The evening was great, we had dinner provided by a friend, a few visitors and some time with family and we were off to bed fairly early.

Karter slept right through the night and was right back on schedule this morning as if he had not skipped a beat this past few days. I just really cannot believe this chapter has been written and it is done!

I posted a few pictures on the previous posts of Karter in the hospital just so you could see the transformation from day to day. As well I have posted a progress video on this post so that you can see him for yourself and see how amazing he is doing.

I cannot begin to tell you how important your prayers were this past weekend. Kurt and I honestly walked through it with little stress. We felt so relaxed and at peace the whole time, that can only be explained through the power of God, as can Karter's progress thus far. I will keep updating as we journey this next road to recovery, but again I wanted to thank you for all you have done to support us along the way to get us to this point.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

2 days post surgery

If you can believe it we are on our way home! The surgeon came in this morning and saw Karter and agreed that there was no reason for him to stay in hospital any longer. So we are being discharged as we speak.

I will update later, but I just wanted to let you know in case you were planning to come up for a visit.

We should be home by 1pm.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

1 Day post surgery

Kurt and I arrived at Children's this morning at 10:00. Karter was still in ICU at that time but was moving upstairs shortly to the ward. At 11:30 we were on the ward and in a 4 person room...not my favorite room on the ward for sure! Anyhow, we were greeted by the nurses, many of which remembered us from previous stays. The charge nurse told me she "was working magic for us" to get us into a private room. About 2:00 they moved us into a private room in the quiet back hallways of the is like the presidential suite!!! No lumpy cot for me to sleep on but rather a nice futon couch. The room is nice and spacious for when visitors come and all is good!

Karter had a good night, when we got here they had taken out his catheter(sp???)and had taken out one of his IV's. He was being weaned off the morphine and by this afternoon was off the oxygen and morphine completely. He has been smiling and making noises and has been moving around a fair bit. He is drinking his bottles as normal and is tolerating them well. he is quite swollen today, his left eye is closed for the most part, sometimes he will open it a crack. We saw the incision today, it does look a bit gruesome but once it heals, is cleaned up and the hair grows over we will forget all about it. He is still on the anti-biotic just to make sure that he does not get any infections, they are common after surgery. Other than that he is doing exceptionally well and we are pleased.

In a strange way it has been an easy peaceful two days. We feel rested and relaxed. Kurt will go home tonight and I will stay with Karter in his room. Our prayer is that he sleeps well tonight as well. It sounds like we will be coming home Monday morning.

We will be accepting visitors on Sunday but we would ask that you call first to let us know when you will be coming just so that we make sure everyone doesn't come at the same time. You can call the hospital at 875-2345 and ask for room 18 on 3R or just ask for Karter Witt's room.

That's it for today, blessings!

Friday, May 18, 2007

A few pictures from today

Karter is doing really well. Kurt and I came home around 9:30 this evening. When we left Karter had just finished a bottle and he had his eyes open for awhile looking around.

He has been fairly comfortable and sleepy all day. He has had no complications and if all goes well tonight will be in the ward tommorrow morning and home hopefully by Monday.

We will keep you updated as best we can throughout the weekend. As of tommorrow, I will be staying with Karter in his room at the hospital.

PS-The pictures that I have posted with the mask are just after he got to ICU, the ones without the mask were later in the day.