Charlie's Blog

Welcome to a blog about a boy with a rare heart disease, his mum and dad, and his adventures.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I need some sleep.

I know it's been a while since I posted. It's just that I've been so busy doing FUN things with Charlie (and some fun things for myself, too!). Life has improved dramatically of late.

So, the meat-and-potatoes first: the g-tube is working out well. I say 'well' and not 'beautifully' because it has yet to heal and that's frustrating, and there are always some growing pains with these kinds of things. It is much, much easier then the NG tube, though, and while we felt duped about the actual procedure itself (there were a lot of things no one told us), the real-life applications are incredible.

No longer do Charlie and I spend 4+ hours each and every day feeding through his tube. He now eats his formula overnight, and then just focuses on solids during the day. He is eating 1000+ calories on an average day, and 1100+ on a great one. We are calorie boosting everything with butter, but he is eating a good amount and our dietician is pleased with his progress so far. Once he was home, he really started to take off, eating and healing-wise. We've backtracked a little on the healing - the site has looked a bit gooey for the past few days - but it's looking better as of tonight and I'm hopeful for tomorrow.

Charlie started walking, and now is getting into everything. It is so. Much. Fun. And exhausting.

In other news: Charlie, my mum and I had a HUGE day today, and I am exhausted. Charlie is switching from one blood thinner (Enoxaparin) to another (Coumadin) so we had to go for a training/buying supplies/ informal nursing visit today. The only bad news is that the new drug makes his hurl if he takes it by mouth (it's super chalky). All of the good news: no more injections, one blood test every two weeks by the time we're level, it looks like our insurance company may cover the super expensive testing strips, and Charlie weighed in at 10kg.

Wait. What?

Do you like how I slipped that in there? Yes, after many months in the 9kg zone, Charlie is a porker at 22lbs or 10kg. Right on the button, too - 10.000. I was so pleased.

There's more but I'm too tired to write it. It boils down to I am enjoying Charlie's toddler phase and his new little personality, even if it is trying at times (my day: "Charlie, no. No. No. No. Mummy said no. No. No. NO! No. * sigh* No."). He is growing and changing and kissing everyone and enjoying life. It's wonderful. Goodnight.

I need some sleep - The Eels

I need some sleep
It can't go on like this
I tried counting sheep
But there's one I always miss
Everyone says I'm getting down too low
Everyone says you just gotta let it go
You just gotta let it go
You just gotta let it go
I need some sleep
Time to put the old horse down
I'm in too deep
And the wheels keep spinning 'round
Everyone says I'm getting' down too low
Everyone says you just gotta let it go
You just gotta let it go
You just gotta let it go
You just gotta let it go


Monday, June 18, 2012


I know it's been a while. Suffice it to say that Charlie's g-tube makes us happier by the day, he is doing very well, and generally things are great. I went away this past weekend and saw some friends (sans Charlie) and am feeling recharged.

Cheating, I give you videos instead of writing:

Farm animals.



Reasons to donate.

How to donate.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012


We are finally, thankfully, restfully home. Our 48 - 72 hour recovery time turned into 6 days in the hospital - longer then our original stay when Charlie was diagnosed. He had setback after setback, albeit minor ones, and every day just dragged out to the eventual conclusion that meant another stay. It got very tedious by the end.

Tuesday was probably the easier, Charlie-wise. We got to the hospital early, as expected, and had a nice relaxing tea while we waited to be admitted. Then, we were taken to the step-down room in the cardiac ward, and from there it was vitals, transport, and by 11:00am we were in pre-op. we waited there for what seemed like FOREVER (they were having trouble locating the pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist, so we were happy to wait for him!). They finally look him around noon. Charlie had already fallen asleep on his own, so they just out the sedative through his NG tube and away he went. We got some lunch and went to wait.

It really seemed like no time at all before they were coming to get us to see him! We only apart for about an hour and a half, but I thought the time would drag. I guess we had good distractions (iPad, crazy people in the waiting area).

So, he was still asleep when we saw him (which was awesome; I had been having dreams of him waking up, and not seeing us (well, me, really) and freaking out). He woke up slowly and was fine, initially. We were taken back up to cardiac (4D) and he spent the rest of the day sleeping, kind of waking up and crying because he was thirsty. I started (without nurses permission, but whatever) giving him wet facecloths to suck on. It was pretty sad.

On Wednesday, things turn a turn. Charlie started getting a fever and turning red and flushed. By the afternoon, his fever leaked at 103.5F (with tylenol) and he was waking up from his many naps shaking and screaming. It was really scary. We had a lot of nurse and doctor visits, but ultimately we had to just let it run it's course. His fever broke over night and he was getting better by Thursday. He also pulled out his NG tube that day, negating any dreams I had of having a 'no more NG tube!' party.

Sick. :(

From there, the next four days pretty much went like this each day: wake up, eat, sleep, wake up, eat, barf, sleep, wake up, have slightly less, play, sleep, eat, sleep. Notice: no poops, and barfs - neither of which were good things. His little system took forever to gear up. But on Monday, finally, he started pooping normally without...ahem...'assistance'...and keeping down most of his feeds.

Awaiting the poop fairly.

There is occasionally a real lack of common sense in the medical profession. For example: Charlie used to throw up all the time, and only stopped when we started cruising during feeds. Makes sense, right? We're dumping in formula to his tummy, and after a certain amount, if he's not using it, he's losing it. When he started cruising, he started using it. Well, at the hospital, he was sitting for entire feeds (because where are you going to cruise around in your hospital room?) and not moving much between feeds, either. Also, he's had less in 4 days then he would have had in ONE at home, AND he went 72 hours without a thing in his tummy. OF COURSE he is going to throw up for a while while his tummy recovers its previous size, and while he heals and recovers from the surgery itself. Duh!

So, when the doctor who didn't know Charlie said that because he threw up, we may need to stay one...more...night...I literally laughed. I would have just left without being discharged! After explaining the situation to him, though, and getting him to talk to our team, he 'was willing to let us go'. Geeeee, thanks. :S

We were so lucky in the hospital to have good friends and family visit and (more importantly), bring FOOD! We were at the hospital for 6 days and we only bought ONE dinner. Amazing. Thank you to everyone who visited, or sent food, or even just Facebooked or emailed with words of encouragement. That made it much easier.

Ready to go with our new bravery beads!

So, we are home. Charlie is willingly wearing his backpack and being pumped while cruising, and I'm thrilled he's not complaining about it. :) I'm ready to start trying new schedules, but I don't think Charlie is. Hopefully, once we've been back on the old schedule for a week, we'll get going on something new, and easier. Library classes at 11am, here we come! :)

Home - Michael Buble

Another summer day

Has come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home
May be surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh, I miss you, you know
And I’ve been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
“I’m fine baby, how are you?”
Well I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that
Another aeroplane
Another sunny place
I’m lucky, I know
But I wanna go home
Mmmm, I’ve got to go home
Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home
And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
'Cause this was not your dream
But you always believed in me
Another winter day has come
And gone away
In even Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home
And I’m surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
Oh, let me go home
Oh, I miss you, you know
Let me go home
I’ve had my run
Baby, I’m done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It will all be all right
I’ll be home tonight
I’m coming back home