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.

Surgery was a success!!!!

Karter was out of surgery and in the ICU by 12:30 today. The surgeon said that the operation went very well and there were no major complications. They were happy with how well everything went.

Karter is doing well now, he is resting comfortably and has slept the full afternoon. They have him on morphine, Tylenol and on an anti-biotic to ward off any infection from surgery. He had been on two medications to limit the swelling and to help with the post-op nausea.

He look quite good, he is a bit swollen already and is quite pain. He has a bandage all around his head that should come off sometime tomorrow. The surgeon anticipates that he will go home in two to three days as long as there are no complications.

We feel at peace and have had a rather easy day all things considered.

I will update later tonight if I get a chance and I will post a few pictures so that you can see how he looks.

Thanks for all your prayers!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A peace that passes all understanding...

That is truly what I am experiencing today. I cannot describe to you how amazing it is to KNOW that God has it all under control. I feel like I should be freaking out or something, I mean seriously, my 10 month old is having brain surgery tomorrow morning! But honestly, I can tell you I feel so "ok" about it all. I am not in shock or numb or in denial, just truly resting in the arms of the Father and trusting until the very end that it is all in His plan.

Karter went in for his MRI this morning at 9:30 to do the markings for surgery. He came out with six little black felt marking on his forehead...he looks like he has polka dots everywhere. All went well and we were home by noon. Now the packing and organizing starts.

So here are a few things to mention:

Surgery time-7:45 am Friday morning...we will arrive at Children's at 6:30am

Surgery length- 4-5hours

Surgery schedule:
1-they will do EEG and MRI right in the OR, this is to locate exact positioning
2-they will open up his skull
3-they will remove the abnormal tissue
4-they will do EEG and MRI make sure that they got all of the tissue
5-they will replace the bone and stitch him up and take him to ICU for recovery

Karter will be in ICU for at least 24 hours, we will not be able to stay with him the first night. He will then be moved to the ward where one of us can stay with him 24/7. They have warned us about sever swelling and bruising after the surgery. He most likely will have one or two black eyes, his eyes may swell shut and there will be a lot of bruising. They have told us that is really the worst part of it for Karter, it can be quite irritating for him. Pain wise...he will be on morphine for the first 24-48 hours, then Tylenol with Codeine and then he will go home just on Tylenol if needed. His incision really will not cause him any discomfort, the stitches will dissolve within 2 weeks. Apparently, they bounce back remarkably fast. The swelling and bruising should subside in a week or so and he should be back to himself in about 14 days.

Obviously, we need your prayers tomorrow. For the guidance of the surgeons hands, for all the technicians doing the mapping and other things, for the nurses and doctors who will be caring for him. For us, for continued strength and peace. And mostly, for Karter that he has no complications during and after the surgery, with medications or anesthetic.

We continue to pray and have faith for healing for Karter. Whatever that looks like, we lay him at the foot of the cross and give him over 100% to his Heavenly Father.

Thank-you for your support through this. This weekend marks the turning of a page for us in many ways. We are thankful that we are here and we know that this marks the beginning of something big for Karter. As best we can, we will keep this Blog updated throughout our hospital stay. We should be home sometime on Tuesday, when we return I will give a full update on Karter's journey and his condition, if I was unable to do so until that time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A few pictures...

Paige was crying and Karter thought it was funny and started to giggle. Here is a small clip of that.

I thought that I would post a couple of pictures that we took of Karter yesterday. he is now 10 months old.

Friday, May 11, 2007

This next week...

We had an appointment yesterday at Children's Hospital at the pre-admission clinic. Because Karter's surgery was postponed last minute last time due to illness, they wanted to make sure that he would be healthy enough to go through with it and have lots of advance notice if he wasn't. All that said, he is in very good health right now, probably the best in months. He is strong and happy, cutting teeth and making some developmental gains. So as it stands, he will have surgery next Friday at 7:45am.

Next Thursday I will take him into Children's for an MRI at 9am. They do this so that they can mark out on his skull, the area of abnormality in his brain so that they know what they are doing and what area they are looking at during surgery. Obviously, this would be the time when we would be able to notice any changes in his brain. Let me clarify, there is no way, without God's intervention, that it would just "get better. The tissue that is abnormal, developed that way inutero, it will not just change without divine intervention.

We have stood on the promises of God from day one, that is what has gotten us through this tough time. We know that in many different circumstances as we have walked this long road, that God has shown and spoken things to us that have helped us get through many dark and tough days. Our journey is truly showing us what the disciple of "having faith" really means. It is not something that you do when you need to, it is a choice that needs to be exercised in every aspect of our daily lives, good times and bad.

Our stand is to believe for total healing for Karter, that has been no secret to all of you. It is a radical one at that and a risky one to speak to all of you as it puts us in a vulnerable position. But we are challenged to "confess with our mouths what we believe in our hearts" as an act of obedience. God has promised us that for Karter and as I have said before, we do not know what that looks like until it happens, but in every leg of the journey we pray and ask for direction. So that is why I come to you today. Next week is a very pivotal week for us. We are praying and believing for a good report on Thursday. I have prayed many nights and imagined myself sitting in the MRI waiting room, for them to come out and tell me that "there is nothing there". So that is our prayer for this next week. We want restoration of that area of Karter's brain, complete and total healing!

My plan is to fast one meal a day next week and take an aggressive position of prayer for Karter. I tell you this not to boast but rather to ask that you join me in prayer as well, fast too if you want. Our prayers have not gone unanswered, we know it! We are praying for good report.

At this point I cannot see it going to surgery. Not that I am in denial, because if it did, we would be ok with it, but our faith is full and we are in a position of expectancy. If it doesn't happen that way, it is not that God has not come through but rather that He knows better. What do I have to lose in believing for great things? The worst case scenario...he will go to surgery, that is what we are being told anyway from the medical standpoint. So we will believe. My faith and peace have been heightened this week in an amazing way. Last weeks dark time led to a beautiful emergence of renewed faith, peace, joy and hope this week PTL!

So join us in prayer this next week and we will all believe for God to do something that will blow our minds. We will keep you posted. Also continue to pray that Karter will remain healthy and that we will have continued strength and peace as we walk this out next week.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

God always comes through in the tough moments

This past week has been a tough one. With the reality of the surgery less than two weeks away, questions about what the future will look like after surgery have started to surface. Even though we know that God has things under control. It has still been hard to process the reality of Karter's condition in conjunction with the promise that we feel God has given us that he will be ok.

This week I talked with the Neurology departement at Children's Hospital about what to expect after surgery. See up 'til this point we have been living to just get to surgery. Now with it scheduled for two weeks from now, there are feelings of having to gear up for what happens next. The long and short of it came as no surprise to us...they really don't know at this point. It will really depend upon how he does after surgery. Whether his seizures are controlled etc.

Obviously, we will be dealing with some developmental delays...he is probably about 5-6 months behind right now. They seem to think that the "catch-up" will take awhile and that we may still see the same patterns, moving forward, then regressing a bit and then moving forward etc. etc. Also they mentioned that there is a very high possibility of learning disabilities, troubles with hyperactivity and concentration as well a possibility of being impulsive. These are all things that function from the part of his brain that they will be removing.

To say the least, these things are hard to hear. Still not being able to know if our son will be able to develop appropriate social skills, motor skills, learning to function independantly in society etc. is difficut for us. But on the other side of that is our faith...the evidence of things not seen and our belief in God that He will not let us down. As Kurt said the other day, I will believe for nothing less than perfection until it doesn't present itself that way.

I have spent a great deal of time this week thinking and praying against discouragment and asking God "for a sign" . I am sure we have all been there at some point in our lives, whatever our circumstances are, "God please show me it will all be ok". And so I wanted to take a few moments and "give back" to all of you some encouragment. You have all in some way shape or form poured so much into our lives these past months, that I thought this would be a nice way to share back with you. You can imagine that choosing to share our journey so publicly can be hard when times get tough and we want to retreat inside ourselves. At times, we take time to process and think it all out on our own before sharing with all of you. So today I wanted to share my heart and a few things that God has done for us this past few days.

There are some things that have happened this week that have been so beautiful. The first is that we are starting to finally see Karter develop a personality unto his own. He has this infectious giggle that just makes you want to join in. He has really started to communicate with us and interact on a new level. His eyes light up when he sees Paige come into the room and talk to him. He talks or laughs back at her, it is really touching to see their relationship start to blossom. She in turn will randomly pray for him, laying hands on him praying that "he get all better". It has been inspiring to see her child like faith in action.

On the "spiritual" side of things. This morning as I walked into chuch, I thought to myslef, I shouldn' t have come. I am not going to be able to keep it together and I don't have the energy to fall apart and have to explain myslef to people today. I should have known that I was in the exact place I needed to be. Within the first 5 minutes a long time friend of my mom and dad's came up to me, placed her hand on me and said "We are still praying for you and for Karter to be well. I am praying that he will grow up to be married and give you many grandchildren". I looked at her and started to weep. I explained how I had asked God that very question this week. She in turn told me that she wasn't sure she even wanted to say that to me but did, we both agreed, it was from the Lord. A beautiful word of encouragement reminding me that He has not forgotten the small details.

As the service began I found it so tough to sing the lyrics of some of the songs. "Lord I give you my soul...I live for you alone...Lord have Your way in me" and "We give you all the glory, we worship You alone, You are worthy to be praised" and "'tis so sweet to Trust in Jesus, just to trust Him and His word" Boy those were tough to get through this morning. But we choose to say even in spite of our circumstances, YOU ARE STILL GOD!!!

At the end of the service, Pastor Brent had people gather around those who had needs. Two women prayed for me, not knowing what has gone on this week. Both of their prayers were against discouragment, for strength and for break through. I wept again, Another confirmation that God heard my cry and was showing me He is still there to help me.

I sat in my seat talking to people after the service, when it was time to go, a woman, whom I had never met came up to me. She told me that she had been praying for Karter this past week. In here prayer times she saw both Karter and my face beaming. And she felt she had to be obedient to tell me that "we are not alone". God has not left us and that there are many people standing with us on Karter's behalf believing for great things. She then said something as she was about to leave, she said that this was the beginning of a next phase of his life. I stopped her and shared with her a brief bit of Karter's story. She had no idea of Karter or my name, she didn't know what she was praying for or anything, so I shared with her that he would be having surgery on the 18th and that our last chance for healing would be proven at the MRI on the 17th. I told her that we were holding out for that in a BIG way. So I left feeling quite encouraged today and happy that I went to church!

I realized today in such a real way that God ALWAYS comes through in tough moments. It is these times that do make us stronger, but I am sooooo thankful we can journey them with all of you by our side cheering us on and holding us up when we are tired and weary. So thank you again.

We are believing for closure to this story. We so want to hear the doctors tell us on the 17th, that they cannot find anything on the MRI. Please continue to pray along with us as we journey these next few weeks. No matter what the outcome is, surgery or no surgery, we know that God is in control and that He is not going to let us down!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

BC Children's Hospital and Costco join forces

Because of Karter's Epilepsy, you know that we have spent a lot lof time at BC Children's Hospital. They have given us exceptional care everytime we have been there. We feel indebted to them. Without them, we would still be trying to find out what was wrong with our son. Most likely he would be lost in the shuffle of the regular medical system, waiting for appointments and such. Instead, they were able to locate the issue and find somewhat of a solution for it within weeks. We are so thankful!

I am sure many of you shop at Costco. You may be like us and frequent the place for every little thing... This month, when you check out, the cashier will ask you if you would like to make a donation to BCCH. For all of May, Costco will match every dollar raised. If that is not enough, if you donate $20 or more, they will give you a tax receipt.

I thought I would share this with you because we believe in BCCH so much. Without them, our son would not have received the care he has and would be lost in the medical system. You can help BCCH make a difference in a child's and their families life, just like BCCH has made in ours.