Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Miracle

Almost as exciting as finding out that we're all healthy and that Kingsley is cruising into the world of underoo's was the discovery that this is the year I was able to get *drumroll* ...really good Christmas pictures!! YAY!!
All of my favourite photographers popped up with mini-sessions for Christmas when I was overwhelmed with Kingsley-health-drama or were for days I wasn't available, so I was royally bummed thinking I had missed our shot when like a star in the sky my friend Laura announced that she was going to do Christmas mini sessions and we could have a spot! I have been stalking Laura's photography skills for years on her blog, so I was just a wee bit excited when she decided to go pro. The day of our pictures all of the stars aligned in our favour: no one was sick, no one was overtired, everyone had two eyes that were working together, no one was rapidly losing functioning of their body, it wasn't too hot, wasn't too cold, outfits coordinated and fit and were still clean at the time of pictures... you can't ask for more than that. Oh, except maybe for a great photographer, which we also had.

Ugh, so sweet.

Big, Stinky News

Alright, so Kingsley is almost three years old (*sob*) and as he is nearing the end of what I would consider his babyhood, I suppose the time has come for me to stop discussing things that would make him cringe to read as a teenager. However, this is a big deal and he's not yet three and people talk about potty training all the time, so I'm going to also.

We started potty training Kingsley.

Okay, so yes, I realize 1/3 of you are thinking: "Sure, that's cool. Have fun." and that's just because you don't understand the ramifications of an announcement of something like this for someone like Kingsley. IT'S HUGE!!!
1/3 of you are scratching your head wondering vaguely what in the world this would entail, how..???
And the other 1/3 of you have kids with SB and have either already heard the gross details or are wondering what the gross details are.

I'm not sharing gross details here! But if you really want to know, you can ask me on Facebook or somewhere else that I can discuss it where Kingsley won't ever read it. ;) I will share some G-rated details though.

In the long laundry list of diagnoses that Kingsley has on paper, neurogenic bowel and bladder have been on there since just after he was born. Basically, he doesn't have control over that part of his body. Everything functions, just not within his control.  He will never be 'toilet trained' the way other boys will be. We use a combination of medication and catheters to control the bladder business and when that is working, he is dry during the day. Yay!

The other stuff is a bit more complicated. He's been on various medicinal interventions since he was six months old to make sure that he doesn't get constipated (like September!), but that just means he goes. All. The. Time. No control means that if he laughs, cries, yells, sneezes, coughs, bends, turns... yeah, you get the picture. I've had about enough of this, so decided it was time to do something about it.

My first change was adding probiotics to his diet. THIS IS A MIRACLE WORKER!! I can't express how amazed I have been by this one change. I put Kefir in his milk in the morning and voila! There was a change. There's no way change two would've happened without this change first. I wish we had done this ages ago. The 'change' is graphic though, so I will spare you those details. You're welcome.

The second change was the actual bowel training, as it's called. We are now training his bowels to empty when we want it to and not empty when we don't want it to. Isn't this just lovely talk? Bowel bowel bowel. It's such a gross word, but why would it be anything else? Anyway, we have started with the least invasive technique that doesn't require very much effort and that I'm not describing here. Then I put him on the potty seat and he sits there, playing on the iPad, happy as a pig in... Well, anyway, he sits for about 20-30 minutes and *knock on wood* then the magic happens and he goes and that's it! We throw a party, he yells out, "I poop on potty!!" even though he has no real clue about what this means and then I put him to bed and call my mom to celebrate and send disgusting pictures to my poor sister who also celebrates.

This may all be premature as it's only day four of the Training and it's only been the last two days that the magic happened, but I have high hopes. He wore one diaper all day long! It was clean! Like underwear!

Underwear, dude. It's a comin'.

Not Just About Kingsley...

I'll say from the outset that I'm completely fine and nothing is wrong.

It's been a long two months though, where I wasn't sure that this was the case. Two big lessons I have learnt from raising Kingsley though is that you don't take anything for granted and that you don't sit around and wait for problems to go away, because they seldom will. The weekend that Kingsley was in the hospital, I had to admit to myself that something was going on and I couldn't pretend it wasn't. A doctor here, a few tests there, and I finally got the results that said, right now, I'm just fine. There is an explanation for what's going on and that explanation doesn't start with a big ugly C.

It was really scary. It's one thing to sit and think about what could happen to Kingsley, to run over all of the worst-case-scenarios and scare the bejeezus out of myself. It's another thing to think of all of those things happening to him and for me to not be here. Contemplating your own mortality in terms of the people left behind is probably the most disturbing thing to do as a parent of young kids. I don't recommend it.

Anyway, I can stop now. I will stop now.

I'm not sure that I needed another reminder to be thankful, as this would be the fourth autumn in a row where Kingsley has given us quite a bit of heartache and anxiety only to have things work themselves out, but tossing in my own health was a unique twist, I'll give Him that. ;) And I am thankful, still. Very, very, deeply and truly thankful for today and tomorrow and however many of those we can grab.

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