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)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yet another postponement....

I often wonder if parents of kids with special needs or those that are just poorly and need regular surgeries, ever sort of "get used" to sending their little ones off into theatre, feeling less and less anxious with each surgery and the recovery it brings with it. I know for sure that I am nowhere near reaching that point and feel as stressed and worried as if each surgery were Sam's first. It, of course, doesn't help much when you think there's going to be a surgery, then you think there won't, then it's back on and then, finally, it's definitely postponed...which is where we're at with the orchidectomy originally scheduled for 14 December then postponed till tomorrow and, as of today, now postponed till 3 February.

So, taking a temp hovering around around 37.6 - 38 ºC into consideration as well as the no eating or sleeping, apnoeaing more than usual and red ears, Doc S did not feel that putting Sam through the surgery and the risk of opening him up for further infection, was wise....and as disappointing as it is not to be getting rid of that little testicle just yet, I was quite relieved to hear Doc S's verdict. So, here's starting a whole new countdown till 3 Feb.

There was something quite amusing that happened while Doc S was drawing some blood a few days ago, which I forgot to blog about. First, some background :

When Matt Tooke and his family visited us a few weeks ago, either his mom or his dad mentioned that Matt had such a sensory aversion to a particular texture that it would physically make him gag. At the time I thought to myself that it was surprising that Sam, with all his sensory issues, had not yet reached this level of defensiveness. Barely a day later (it could actually have been the same day) Meg was playing with a toy pom-pom and when it touched Sam's arm, he gagged! A few days later, Meg was playing with a balloon and sent it Sam's way and when it touched his hand...he gagged. The little mischievous smurf, I thought, never misses an opportunity for attention so had to "steal" an idea from our conversation that day. Anyway, we became more and more aware of new textures which would cause an aversion-induced gagging, like when Sam's favourite foam number 5 got torn in two and I cellotaped it together, he gagged when he accidentally picked it up at the point where I'd put it back together.

Anyway, texture aversion was nowhere near my list of concerns when Doc S drew Sam's blood the other day. Of course our first and main worry was that when Doc S put the needle in, Sam would scream so much that he'd vomit...especially as finding Sam's veins always proves to be a lengthy and fairly traumatic event for Sam. But, quite remarkably really, Doc S found that little vein super quick and had drawn the necessary amount within barely more than a minute and although Sam did cry, it was nothing near as epic as what we'd anticipated. But then Doc S, unknowingly, did the unthinkable...he put a little plaster over the tiny puncture! And we were vomit-city. Of course we didn't figure it out straight away,  trying to catch bucketloads of puke does sort of distract you for a second. It was only when Sam managed to dislodge the plaster and then proceeded to gag some more that Chris figured it out, but by that time Sam had already emptied the entire contents of his stomach (which seemed surprisingly full) all over the pathologists' office'. Never a dull moment with our Sam...or even remotely ordinary for that matter.

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