Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Karter's new BLOG

Kurtis suggested that I start a BLOG just for Karter and all his updates. Then people don't have to sift through all of our family stuff to find out any new information on Karter. Of course I was thrilled to do that, especially since I love creating all these sites. Anyhow, this is where the postings will be in regards to Karter. I have copied all the old posts from our Witt family Blog for those of you who are not familiar with his story, the only thing that is missing are all hte comments, if you really want to see them you can go to our Blog at www.kurtcharwitt.blogspot.com.

Surgery date confirmed...Monday, March 19, 2007

So the neurology clinic called and confirmed that April 16th is the day for Karter's surgery. I asked a thousand more questions and got some great answers, they are so informative.

We will be going in for an MRI on Friday the 13th. They will then mark his head for surgery. We will then meet the surgeon to sign all the papers and have any questions answered that we will have at that time. We will also get a tour of the ICU and get an exact time for the surgery. Right now it is scheduled for first thing in the morning.

On the day of the surgery we will need to arrive at 6am. The surgery is a total of 5-6 hours long. It will be an hour of sedations, opening his skull, removing the bone (that will be replaced at the end of the surgery), doing EEG to locate the exact area for removal. Right now they are going on what is showing on MRI, they make sure with EEG that they get everything that is causing electrical charge in his brain. After about the first hour the actual sugeon comes in and his part is about 3 hours. He will remove the legion or abnormal brain tissue. (this is called a resection). They then do MRI and EEG to make sure they got everything. They will then replace the bone, and stich him up. He will then go to the ICU where they will take the tubes out and then we will be able to see him.

He will remain in ICU for the first 24 hours. He will not be able to have visitors at least for the first 24 hours. Once he is on the ward, it is up to us if he will be able to receive visitors or not.

Some new information we received today was that on the second and thrid day he will be very swollen. Possibly not able to open his eyes, this is common and is considered a symptom of the operation. It will subside within a day or two, but can be quite bothersome for Karter. After surgery he will be given morphine for the first day or so and then Tylenol with codine. Usually they go home within about 4-6 days and are usually just on regualr Tylenol by that point. Amazing that they bounce back so quickly after such an invasive procedure.

The risks...1-infection of the brain, i.e. a virus-this is treatable with anti-biotics. 2-stroke during surgery if a blood vessel would be damaged-however it is not quite as serious as if you or I had a stroke, infants pathways are not yet formed so usually they come out of it with few complication. 3-loss of blood volume during surgery-very unlikely but a possibility.

If we get any more information i will keep you updated.

Karter's surgery date...Friday, March 16, 2007

I got a phone call from the neurology department this afternoon. At this point they are trying to get Karter into surgery on April 16th. They are waiting to confirm it with one more department before they set it in stone. It turns out that our surgeon is very busy in March & April. He felt that it was very important to get Karter in quickly so they have borrowed time from another department in the O.R. If they are unable to get the EEG department to comit to April 16th the only other date avaliable would be May 1st.

Karter will go to the hospital on April 13th for an MRI and some pre-operative appointments. We will then be given an operation time for the 16th. He will be admitted the day of surgery and should be in hospital for 4-6 days if evrything goes smoothly. He will spend the first night in intensive care and then be moved to the ward for the rest of his stay.

Obviously the next few weeks are going to be hard. We would covet your conitnued prayers. We are going to go away for a few days with the kids next week for a bit of relaxation. Kurt and I are also going to get away for a night on our own as suggested by someone (you know who you are, thanks for the offer we will take you up on it, just working it all out)

All things work together for good, this is what we believe! God is still God, He is the Healer whatever it looks like! We continue to believe for total health and healing for Karter. Thanks for standing with us. We will keep you updated as to any changes or developments over the next few weeks.

Results from yesterday's appointment...Thursday, March 15, 2007

As you know we had our appointment at Children's Hospital yesterday at 3pm. We met the surgeon again and also met Dr. Connley, Karter's Neurologist. It was confirmed that the EEG that he had on Monday did show that the spasms have returned, just as I had suspected. So that left us with the obvious result of booking another surgery date. We will find out today or tomorrow what that date is, most likely sometime in April, I will update as soon as I know.

We left the hospital and I met some ladies I used to work with for dinner. Karter had been coughing and not feeling well yesterday. He was a bit fussy through dinner and when I returned home and took him out of his seat he was burning up, he had a fever of 103.7, so off to the clinic we went. The doctor gave him anti-biotics and that should ward off the possibility of further infection, like pneumonia.

Finally, we are also facing the difficult decision of having to cancel our vacation. When we booked the trip Karter had been seizure free for over a month, and so our insurance would have covered him because his condition was stable and controlled by medication. Becasue this past week the spasms have returned it is very unlikely that the doctor will agree to write that his condition is stable. That leaves us with no insurance for Karter while we travel. We are looking into other options but it appears at this point like we may have to postpone our trip until after surgery. As you can imagine we are so disappointed, we really needed to get away.

We are waiting until later today to hear from the nuerology clinic as to a date for surgery, it is possible that it could happen as soon as a few weeks. We are also waiting to see if there is any other insurance we could get to cover Karter in the event that he should need medical attention while travelling.

Karter's update March 12, 2007

I have already received phone calls and emails wondering how it went today at Children's Hospital. Thanks for your prayers and concerns. Today was Karter's EEG, unlike most other times we did not see a doctor after this one, so I have nothing to tell you at this point. We will get the results as well as meet with the Surgeon on Wednesday. I will update you then.

We are running out shortly for a family night with Grandma Witt, Uncle Darren, Auntie Nadine and cousins Haley & Tanner, from Vernon. We are going to Chuck E Cheese for some fun together.

I will try and return calls and emails later tonight. Thanks again

Karter Update March 8, 2007

Karter was almost two month seizure free and we are so thankful for that. He is doing well in his development, the physiotherapist is happy with how his head control is coming along. We are thankful that he is eating and sleeping well and he has regained the two pounds that he lost in the fall.

Over the last week however, Karter has been having seizures again daily. Sometimes they are full focal seizures where he will seize for about a minute and then there are aftershocks for about ten minutes and sometimes, it is just the shock like motions.

I called the Neurology department on Monday and they decided to put Karter on another medication. This was not a surprise to us as they wanted him to start that right away when the other medication was started back in January, but we wanted to hold off until it was absolutely necessary. So he started that on Monday evening.

Yesterday he had three episodes of the shock like behavior and one full focal seizure lasting 1 minute, then ten minutes of aftershock. He appeared to have weird movements, a bit jolty to me, not as typical as they had been over the last month. I got a bit anxious about it and called the Neuro clinic again. Because of our holiday, I want to make sure that he is going to be fine while we are away.

This morning the nurse got back to me and forwarded my request to the doctor, when she called back she said that the doctor wanted to do an EEG and have us meet with her and the surgeon to expedite a plan for Karter. I guess the fear, both mine and theirs, is that the spasms are returning. If that is the case we will need to revisit the surgery option.

As you can well imagine, we were thankful to be able to pass last weeks surgery date knowing that he was doing well and that we did not need to go down that road, now we are facing that as an option again. I feel exhausted with this whole journey, our main goal the whole time has been that Karter reaches a place of total health.

So we need wisdom to make the right decisions on Karter's behalf. We do not want to be foolish and sit and do nothing but we do want to leave room for God to work. Healing can come in many different ways and we are so aware of that. God is still God if Karter has to have surgery! Healing may just look a bit different than how we had wanted it to play out. Our faith is still helping us hold out for total healing, but if I am to be brutally honest, I am feeling weak these past days. I need the prayers of the saints for sure!

We are so thankful that God has allowed the doctors to find a reason for Karter's seizures and we are thankful that there is something that can be done through medical science, without that I am not sure where I would be.

Please pray that we would not let our human desires get in the way of God's work, that we would hear form God clearly the answers that we need. Also, for strength to get through this next week. We would love to hear encouraging news next week. I have already had someone say that they are praying for a normal EEG on Monday...amen sister! Whatever may happen we know that in all things God is in control, He has not left us for one second in this whole journey.

Thanks for journeying along with us, we love you all

Some posts are harder than others...Saturday, March 3, 2007

Today has been a really hard day, I share this with much reservation and anxiety, but I could really use your prayers. My last post was all about how thankful I was to not have to face surgery but instead to face a date at the clinic that had nothing to do with Karter's epilepsy. I am still so thankful, thankful for the progress this far, for the break we have had from everything and just thankful for each smple step.

But today was hard for some reason, partly because I spent time with babies Karter's age. I watched them sit, lay on their tummies and play and interact as seven month olds do. I guess it kind of hit me hard. I try my best to not do the "if this wouldn't have happened" thing, but some days it is hard to get past that, I guess we grieve when we don't expect to.

Then on top of that Karter had a seizure today, that makes three this week, one yesterday and one last Saturday. Right away fear takes hold and the lies start to go through my head. Please pray for us as we face the days ahead.

We have booked a vacation to Maui from March 20-April 3rd. We feel we really need the time away to re-group as a family and just get some rest and relaxation. I have to admit, the past two days have made me feel a bit aprehensive about going away. Please pray that things will settle again and that peace will once again rest with us.

"It's normal..."Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Last night I went to the Medical Clinic with Karter because he had a rash, it was like little pin pricks all over his tummy and back and his cheeks and chin were very red. He also had red blotches the size of a penny on his back and a few on the tummy. I have seen a lot of rashes in my day but this was something I had never seen. If it was Paige, I probably would have watched it overnight and took her to my Doctor in the morning, but with Karter, I didn't want to take the chance that it was a medication reaction.

So off we went, hair undone, no make-up you know the drill, you are bound to run into someone right? Sure enough as I sat in the waiting room I ran into someone I hadn't seen since my wedding, her daughter was one of my flower girls (one of 10 children), we talked for a bit, her daughter is now 14 and her son 18...they were both in the first daycare I worked at. Did I feel OLD???

After our nice little visit I took Karter into the room to wait for the doctor. It then occurred to me that it was this very day that Karter was suppose to have his surgery. It was 8pm and I realized that I could have been sitting in intensive care with my son as he recovered from brain surgery. The irony that I was sitting in the clinic for something as simple as a rash just made me so thankful. Thankful for the obvious, no surgery, but also thankful that for the first time in his short life we got to go to the clinic for something that was a typical childhood occurrence. Karter and I shared a special moment of tears, thanksgiving and prayers. My gratitude is so huge, my relief even bigger and my faith stronger than ever!. It sure puts things in perspective.

After the doctor saw Karter, he sent us on our way saying that the blotches were eczema (which I had presumed-but they had never been red usually clear) and the rash a viral infection. We are to watch it and if he gets a fever to take him in again, otherwise just go on as normal...NORMAL!!! :-) Thank you Jesus for normal!

Karter's EEG and Appointment at Children's...Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007

We are back from our appointments already. Karter's EEG showed no signs of "unseen" seizures or any evidence of spasms. Dr.Connley was pleased with his development and how well he is doing. She agreed with us on not doing surgery as scheduled later this month. As the voice of clinical reason however, she did say she would guess that he would see surgery at some point and that she felt we would see seizures again too. We obviously heard what she says adn know that those are possibilities but will continue to pray and believe for a much more promising future than that. She said that there is a slim chance that he could grow out of the seizures, but it is small. We will see Dr. Connley in three months time after another EEG to check his progress.

We are happy to have closure for now to the idea of surgery. We are so pleased with what God has done so far and will continue to believe for total healing.

Oh yes, his EEG still showed abnormal, meaning that there was still abnoraml development in that front right lobe.

Thank you for your prayers, we will keep you posted as to changes along the way.

Appintment at our family doctor-Friday Februaryn13, 2007

We took both the kids to the doctor on Friday, Paige for her chicken pox shot and Karter for his six month shots. Kurt and I were feeling very aprehensive about getting the shots done becasue two weeks after his first shots he started having seizures and two weeks after his second shots he started having the spasms, so understandably with him doing so well we did not want anything to mess that up. In the end our doctor decided that there would be no harm in waiting a while, especially since we will see the epileptologist this Thursday and have another EEG. When he came in to see Karter we explained how well he was doing and that the spasms had stopped and that he had one siezure in a month adn that he was only on one medication a day. He was shocked and looked at us and said "Miracle?" "That's what we are believing for" I said. "They happen sometimes" he said.

I just wanted to share that becasue it was a really encouraging report. This Thursday is a big day for us as you know from previous posts. I have asked the Lord to give us closure this week. My pray is that the EEG comes back normal and that the doctors are astounded at his progress. We obviously feel that surgery will not be needed at this time and hopefully ever.

I will post the results before I leave for Edmonton. Thanks for your prayers and for holding us up in this tough time

Karter will have another EEG-Tuesday February 6th Update

I just got the call from Children's Hospital this morning and next Thursday at 9:00am, Karter will have another EEG and then we will see Dr. Connley (the epileptologist) at 10:30. The appointment with her will be to determine if surgery will be done on the 27th of this month or if we will cancel it. We will get the results from the EEG at that point as well.

Obviously as I expressed yesterday, I feel that Karter does not need surgery, at this time and hopefully ever. Our prayer is that the EEG shows no seizure activity and a step further than that, we want to see proof of his healing. That would basically mean that the EEG would have to show normal, now it has not shown normal ever and this will be number 7. We are claiming his healing but you can imagine that we want some concrete proof to confirm and thus close the door on this part of Karter's journey.

We want to know that we are making wise decisions on Karter's behalf when it comes to his health, we will do what is best for him, no matter what that looks like. Please pray for continued wisdom and peace as we once again WAIT!

I will do an update when we get back next Thursday afternoon after our appointments.

Update on Karter February 5th, 2007

Anyhow, I called Children's hospital today becasue Karter's Epileptologist (head of Epilepsy surgery) returned today from holidays. I was suppose to call so that they knew how he was doing so they could make a final decision in regards to surgery on the 27th of this month.

Well today is 22 days with only one very small seizure. I told them that he is reagining a lot of his milesotnes and that we are feeling very good about his progress this far. I expressed my desire to not go ahead with surgery at this time. I did let her know that I would like to hear form the doctor as to what she would recommend at this time. If she would recommend surgery still at the end of the month I have told the nurse that I wanted the doctor to see Karter and that I would want some tests done first before we would even feel comfortable considering it at this time. We don't want to put him through something this major if it is not needed.

It sounds like they will repeat the EEG in a few weeks just to make sure there is not something going on that we are not seeing. His last EEG showed that the Spasms had stopped and also told us that the seizures that we were seeing were the only ones that he was having, meaning there was nothing going on in his brain that could not be seen by the naked eye. She did mention however that his EEG was still abnormal indicating and allowing them to still diagnose him with a seizure disorder. It made me happy to hear that there was a way through EEG that we could tell if things had changed completely with his condition. So I would ask that you pray that if and when we go for the EEG that it be shown that it is no longer abnormal confirming what we believe in our hearts to be complete healing in Karter's brain.

At the beginning of this whole journey before there was a definitive reason for the siezures, we were told that it was a possibility that Karter could outgrow this. I asked today if that was still a possibility. I was told that likely surgery, if postponed now, would probably be something that would be needed at some point and that it is unlikely that the seizures would disappear, especially since he was so hard to get undercontrol with medications from the start. I was happy to hear this because now we have expectaions for God to shatter. We are able then to pray specifically against what is clinically an outcome for Karter. Already we have seen miracles, the spasms were not suppose to come under control, not alone disappear completely. Also, we are still only on 1/2 a tablet twice a day down from teh six medications just over a month ago and we are seeing no seizures. Praise the Lord for He is good!

It will be a day or so before we hear back from the doctor, just keep checking this blog as I will keep posting Karter's results and updates here.