Sam. Conqueror. Overcomer.

On the 15th May 2009, Samuel Christian made his way into this world...two month's premature and in severe respiratory distress. Within hours, Sam was diagnosed with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome - a very rare congenital disorder, of which little was known. The diagnosis together with the immediate challenges Sam faced to thrive became our core focus and it was with joy and thankfulness that we eventually brought Sam home, after nine weeks in the NICU.

As time pressed on, it became obvious that Sam's development was falling behind that of his RTS peers. Shortly before his 5th birthday Sam underwent a brain scan and it was confirmed by a paediatric neurologist that in addition to Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, Sam also has Cerebral Palsy related to his premature birth, as well as Autism.

This blog chronicles our journey through these challenges...
Our world has crashed, been blown apart.
This can't be happening....why us? Why now?
Your fragile life shaken before it could barely start,
How do we get through this...please, Lord, tell us how?

Drowning in our sorrow, waiting for answers that just don't come.
Our baby "special needs"? It simply can't be true!
The heartache overwhelms us, we're left feeling cold and numb.
The diagnosis tells us little - these children are so few.

But then we finallyget to touch you, to see your precious face
And all the heartache and questions fade, replaced with love and pride.
It's obvious from the very start you're showered in God's grace,
And with His love and guidance, we'll take this challenge in stride.

When once we couldn't pronounce it, Rubinstein-Taybi's become our norm.
When once the future seemed dark, we now welcome the journey as having an RTS angel brings lessons in unexpected form.

Our world has crashed, been blown apart!
This IS us.....right now!
We've been blessed with a gift, so precious from the very start. How do we get through this? Here's how.....
By believing in a God, so merciful and great,
By trusting that He's right beside us as we journey through the narrow gate.
By believing His love for us is not determined by a human frame,
By trusting that we draw Him near by merely calling His name. This precious baby we asked God for,
Prayed he'd be perfect and complete.
And, as Samuel means "God hears", He's laid His answer at our feet.

(Nicky de Beer : 27/05/2010)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Still trying to catch up!

Sam completed his course of antbiotics and Celastamine last night. We almost didn't make it with the Celastamine after the number of times Sam threw up his medicine on the first day, but thankfully our local pharmacist (who knows us so well by now that as soon as they notice us walking in, they already start going to the shelves to collect Sam's meds) quite happily gave us a "top up" to complete the course.

So, our smurf appears to be feeling a little better but still, something seems to be bugging him. He is extremely clingy and his laughter and smiles come a little more seldom now. It could well be his teeth (Yes! Those molars and eye-teeth are still NOT completely through, almost six months down the line) as he is constantly mining in his mouth. It's really quite frustrating not being able to have him tell us what's wrong, although this isn't always the case. When Sam got really ill, I started putting him in our bed at night so that I could try and keep him propped up on his pillows to allow for some sort of less-laboured breathing and also to monitor his apnoea's. Now that he's been feeling a little better, we have been putting him down in his cot again at night (after walking him to sleep first, of course) but without fail, every night, he wakes up roughly at about 10:00pm. I told Chris I am sure it's because he suddenly realises that he's not in our bed, so promptly put him in with me. I could see Chris was a little sceptical about my theory and so when he woke up last Thursday evening, Chris went instead to pick up and then tried to walk him back to sleep. Little Conqueror Smurf was having none of it though and firmly pointed with his little crooked finger to the bed!!! (Yay Me!) As soon as Chris put Sam in the bed, he rolled onto his tummy and went off back to sleep.

By the way, I don't refer to his little fingers as "crooked" without good reason. Apart from Sam's angulated thumbs, we've noticed that (with the exception of three of his fingers) all of Sam's fingers seem to be slightly "different".  His two index fingers curve outwards (almost as if they also want to angulate) while the others seem unable to lay flat. In other words, if you put his hand on a flat surface you cannot press down on five of the fingers as even the knuckles seem to be "humped". I keep meaning to Facebook our RTS family to ask if any other RTS sweeties have this problem, but you know the story by now about my mind-like-a-sieve problem! Anyway, I have to....HAVE to....remember to ask hand-orthopaed about this at Sam's next appointmet, which is in July....uhhmmmm....or is that December? Hee Hee!

We are still trying to catch up on Sam's weight, which dropped from 10.6kg to 10.1kg with his being ill, but his appetite has definitely improved and he is still doing well with tolerating mixed-textured food. He even ate a bowl of freshly cooked veggies last night.

Sam and Ouma, when they came to visit last week (Ouma and Oupa, that is) 

The SUPER cool gate Uncle Hendrik and Oupa built and installed for us, which creates an awesome little play area for Sam while I can do what I need to do in the kitchen.

And an equally SUPER cool tractor, which Oupa made for Sam.
Note the name on the side!

Oh-so Handsome cousins, Hendrik and Dirk, came to visit yesterday. Sam was a little miz, as mentioned, and wasn't too keen to pose for a pic!
(I don't have a clue what that little circle of light is by Sam's head,
only came up on this one photo - weird)

But we eventually managed something remotely resembling a smile!
Now if only we could get all three boys looking in the same direction :)

1 comment:

  1. I can see he was not well in this the gate well done to Oupa and the tractor is just too much.....did he actually make it what a clever Oupa Sam has. I think the circle of light is Sam's guardian angel