Monday, November 17, 2014

Surgery Postponed

Dear family and friends,

All is well, but things did not go as planned.  Everything started normally enough: we arrived this morning at U of M, checked in, waited for a long while in the waiting area, were taken back to pre-op, waited there for another bit, went through the routine of getting a weight, blood pressure, temperature, and medical history, signed consent, and spoke to the surgeon. When anesthesia stopped by, however, they voiced their concern over Joseph’s cold and congestion.  They told us that it put him at increased risk of complications, and that they would be consulting senior colleagues and Joseph’s cardiologist to make the final recommendation on whether to proceed since there was no real urgency to this procedure.  The end result was that the team of doctors advised holding off and re-scheduled it for January 20... God willing that Joseph is healthy at that time.  We feel confident in the decision, and are thankful for the wisdom of the doctors and for all of you who were praying for us today.  We know that God’s hand is at work even (and sometimes especially) in the unexpected.  We are emotionally spent from gearing up for something like this, wrapping our minds around changed plans, and trying to help little Joseph feel better; we are also thankful to be home.

Please continue to pray for healing.

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.

In gratitude,

Nick & Rachel

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Minor Surgery


Dear Family and Friends

Tomorrow at 10:15AM Joseph will have a corrective surgery done in his lower abdomen region. Compared to previous surgeries it will be fairly routine. However, as Rachel and I have learned many times previously, there are no guarantees this side of eternity. We will pray for the best possible outcome.

As in the past, we will pray a novena to the Infant of Prague beginning at 6AM Monday morning. If anyone would like to join us, please feel free to pray with us for as many hours as you are able. The novena can be found below –

http://babypobocik.blogspot.com/2013/08/storming-heavens_18.html 

Please pray for –

-       The corrective surgery to go well and that there be no complications
-       For Joseph to be given the strength to fight a cold he has coming on right now
-       The minor surgery to not further delay Joseph’s ongoing development

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.

In gratitude,

Nick & Rachel

Friday, October 31, 2014

Give Us Our Daily Grace

Dear Family and Friends,

From the outside looking in to our family, Joseph is doing extremely well. Despite all of the surgeries (up to 10 now), setbacks, and continued intervention he is responding well to all that we ask of him. Very recently he even began to move around on his elbows! It is such an inspiring sight to see Joseph moving on his own power, or be able to sit up in a normal highchair with no back support. For so long as you all know, these types of movements eluded him.

The challenge for us is his caloric intake. At this particular point Joseph is up to 800 caloires per day. The number of calories ensure that he is gaining the necessary weight he needs, as well as giving him optimal heart function. Even now after two heart surgeries, his heart still works harder than yours or mine. For most of the time after Joseph pulled his feeding tube back on the eve of St. Joseph's feast day (March 19th), Joseph would continunally and easily hit his mark of drinking or eating the necessary amount.

Unfortunately within the last few weeks, Joseph's desire to eat his "gruel" (a mixture of puree food and other high calore elements) has plummeted. The surprising factor in all of this is about two weeks ago he was hardly drinking from his bottles and was eating his gruel well. Now the tables have turned and Rachel and I are just plain tired. At almost 20 months old, Joseph should easily be able to eat table foods at this time. His eating should be something that comes easy and is an enjoyable time for him, but it's not. We know well that the NG tube he had for almost the first year of his life really did a number on his oral development, but we didn't ever imagine it to be this difficult. It's near impossible to give him anything but his bottle right now.

Over the course of these last few weeks, Rachel and I have given up on different "methods" of feeding Joseph his gruel. Believe us, we have tried them all and still have nothing to show for it.

What do we ask of all of you? Intercession on Joseph's behalf. The little man needs to eat and not be afraid to eat. He's not a baby anymore, he's a toddler, and we need prayer that he might begin eating well and developing his oral eating habits.

Please pray for -

- The gag reflex that Joseph acquired from his NG tube be diminished completely
- For Joseph to be able to begin chewing his food as he simply just swallows everything now with no   manipulation of food in his mouth
- For him to advance in his eating habits from puree foods to finger foods

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.

In gratitude,
Nick and Rachel

Monday, August 25, 2014

All is Well

Dear Family and Friends,


All is well with Joseph! The initial concern of possibly needing an additional surgery to correct his hips is gone. We received word from the orthopedic surgeon that everything looks solid for Joseph's hips being in socket. Praise God.

Day to day with Joseph, he is becoming more and more mobile! Recently he began rolling all over the place and has even begun pivoting around on his stomach. His ability to crawl his hopefully soon to follow! We are very encouraged by this because after he got out of his spica cast (which he wore for ten weeks) he basically was a newborn again as far as his core strength was concerned. To see him now moving like he is has become very encouraging for Rachel and I.

Please continue to pray for-

- Continuing development of his fine and gross motor skills given all the surgeries that set him back
- Continued weight gain
- Strength for Rachel and I as we continue to have a very regimented feeding schedule with Joseph to attain his calorie goal which is vital to his heart output, weight gain, and overall development.

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.

In gratitude,
Nick & Rachel


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

You put your right hip in...

Dear family and friends,

Today's appointment went well...thank you for the prayers! There were a couple of different tests that were done. First, the radiologist consulted with Joseph's orthopedic surgeon to read a hip ultrasound and together they thought that everything looked pretty good with his right hip. After that scan, the doctors also wanted a CT scan to provide more detailed images. As part of general procedure, Joseph was scheduled for general anesthesia, including intubation. As it turned out, the small dose of sedative that they gave Joseph just to take him back for anesthesia ended up being sufficient for the whole procedure. Praise God! The nurse who was assisting with things said that he just held her hand the whole time and did great. What a trooper! Because he didn't need general anesthesia, we were able to come home fairly quickly and recovery was a snap. We won't hear the results from the CT yet for a couple of days but the orthopedic surgeon did earn us that another surgery was still likely, given that the joint cups weren't very well formed. Thankfully, this sounds like something we'll be able to address a little ways down the road. Thanks again for the prayers and please keep them coming. We know that God is at work in all of this.

In gratitude,
Nick and Rachel

Monday, July 7, 2014

Prayers for Tuesday's Appointment

Dear Family and Friends,

Please pray for us tomorrow morning (Tuesday).  At 7am, we will be meeting with Joseph's orthopedic doctor and two radiologists.  They will be taking another look at Joseph's right hip to see whether it is truly in place or whether further treatment will be necessary.  We are fervently praying that everything will look as it should.  Please pray with us and we will keep you posted.

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.

In gratitude,
Nick and Rachel

Monday, June 23, 2014

Update on Hips

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been a wonderful week and a half of freedom!  Every day, Joseph seems to be using his legs more and becoming stronger and more comfortable. The physical therapists are impressed with his progress and so are we!  It must be those prayers!  

However, Joseph never lets us get too comfortable...we received a difficult phone call at the end of last week.  One of the scans that was done showed that his right hip might not quite line up the way the doctors would like.  Apparently, two different radiologists read the scan and they read it differently. One thought that everything looked fine while the other thinks there's an issue.  The plan is to do a conference ultrasound early next month, with Joseph's orthopedic surgeon and both radiologists present.  From that appointment, they will determine if Joseph will need further surgery or procedures.  
Please pray:
- Pray that the upcoming scan will reveal Joseph's hips are in alignment
- Pray for Joseph to continue to continue to gain strength to be able to sit, crawl, and walk.
- Pray for patience and endurance during our string of 14 appointments in the next 2 months.
- Pray for God's will to be done.

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.

In gratitude,
Rachel, Nick, and Joseph