Thursday, December 30, 2010

nothing new...

There are no big changes today to report, which I'm guessing is a good thing. 

Slow and Steady....

Uncle Milan and Aunt Rosemary took the long trek to visit Logan yesterday at Cleveland Clinic in this snow, slush, and ice.  As they were leaving, Carol and Natalie came by for a quick chat with Mr. Logan. 

Wowsers...Mr. Popular - (or as Kristin Chenoweth would say it - Pop....u...ler)!!

Darren and Rebecca wanted to add their thanks for your comments on the blog, cards and letters of encouragement and care packages.  It's a great help to them through this journey and experience.

We're so thankful for this wonderful family we are a part of!!

Heading down to Grandma's for New Years!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blood Transfusion

Today Logan had his first blood transfusion.  The doctors were anticipating this to happen at some point.  For the amount of blood they are taking for daily lab work, Logan was not able to compensate.  He tolerated the transfusion well. The doctors had prepared Darren and Rebecca for this.  Logan was already getting iron injections to help, but it wasn't enough at this time.  The doctors feel confident that after this transfusion and more iron injections, he should be able to keep up.  Darren and Rebecca said that he is snoozing and doing well.  The nurses say he has his days and nights mixed up!!! Daddy and Momma are gonna love that!!!

All for now

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

oh...this should be added as well....

In my excitement about all the good news, I forgot to mention that CPAP was added as well.  Logan was on CPAP before... as part of the weaning process off of the ventilator.  However, we are not surprised nor are we upset with this move.  With the amount of medication that Logan is on and their side effects being sedation, we (and the doctors) were expecting some respiratory depression.  Logan is still breathing 'good', it's just that he is breathing much slower and not 'inflating' his lungs like he should.  Logan is actually handling this high amount of medication much better than expected. 

He also was having some temperature issues and high WBC's, all indicators that he might have an infection.  Cultures have been drawn and sent to lab, so we will play the waiting game with that as well.  Doctors started him on a precautionary antibiotic until we find out more information from lab.  We would rather be ahead than behind!!

I think....all for now!!

moving in a positive direction!!

This blogger took the holiday off and I'm now returning with good news!!

On Christmas Eve Day, Grampa and Gramma Badertscher went to see Baby Logan, Darren, and Rebecca.  They were able to hold him and snuggle and give him lots of love.  Grampa gave Logan his Christams present a day early and the nurses put him in his Ohio State Buckeye sleeper!!  (Addison and Kendra have matching sleepers...we can't wait for the 3 of them to wear them all together)

On Christmas Day, Darren and Rebecca begged and pleaded with the doctors to release Logan, then attempted to sneak him out (just kidding on the previous statements) and finally decided to hop home for a quick family dinner and fun.  The doctors reassured Darren and Rebecca to go to Dad and Mom's for the holiday as they felt comfortable with his status. When Darren and Rebecca would call to the hospital they were told that Logan was doing well and that his seizures had lessened. This was fantastic news to us all!! Then, we found out that they had removed the NG from his intestines and reinserted his NG tube to his stomach!!!! They were also going to start bolus feeding Logan his breast milk instead of the continuous feeds.  This would mimic (more closely) what a newborn does when he/she nurses or takes a bottle.  They will start out slow (with a small amount) and then increase the amount with time until he tolerates a larger amount of milk. Way to go Logan!!! We are so proud of you...our little fighter!! 
On Monday, Darren and Rebecca were informed that Logan was doing well with his feedings and tolerating them with ease.  The (even more) wonderful news was that he had been seizure free for over 24 hours!!!

Today as of 4:00pm, Logan has been seizure free for over 48 hours and the neurology team is ecstatic!! They are hopeful that this is not just another cycle that Logan is going through, but that the 'extra' medications that he is taking is actually working.  We will just have to wait and see what happens. this point in the game, we take every good steps or giant and.... CELEBRATE!!!!

Thanks so much for standing by....
Blowing up balloons and hanging up streamers in the party room....

Friday, December 24, 2010

the promised Pictures...

Thanks to Pat and Heather, I was able to go and spend some time with Logan while they watched the girls in the waiting area...Uncle Darren did it last time and I think he gladly gave that job over...hmmm...I wonder why!!!

 Auntie Rachel with her Baby Logan :o)

 tucking him in so he doesn't get cold!!!

I couldn't help smiling...He's too precious!!

 There he goes smiling at his momma again...I beginning to think
I'll have to have a higher status to get a smile :o)

 more snuggles

Proud momma...the nurses called her an expert the way she moves with all those wires...
she's so good at taking care of her little man :o)

Merry Christmas Eve morning
~ Rachel

Thursday, December 23, 2010

we love to see Logan....

Sorry for the lack of updates...the hustling and bustling of the holidays have put me behind a little!!!

On Tuesday afternoon, Darren, Rebecca, and Logan had visitors.  Aunt Holly and Nana Gross came for lunch.

On Wednesday, Uncle Jim and Aunt Georgia came to visit Darren and Rebecca and Baby Logan.  They had lunch together as well.  Pat, Heather, the girls, and I were able to catch a quick Hi before they were off.  We then went over to the NICU and took turns seeing Logan.  Then, they watched the girls in the waiting area while I held my gorgeous nephew :o)  He is such a sweetheart!! He had his eyes opened the entire time I was there. [ I have pictures but they aren't off my camera yet...I'll post tomorrow sometime]. 

Addison and Kendra aren't able to go back to the pod where Logan is staying since they are so young, but that doesn't stop Addi from wanting to and asking every visit.  This time I let her pick out a Christmas outfit for Logan that she could give it to Aunt Rebecca to put it on.  I don't think they normally dress them when they are as 'wired' as Mr. Logan is but the sweet nurses made some exceptions to the rules:

Daddy and his little man

All for tonight

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the I LOVE MY NEPHEW post :o)

I was hoping for more news after the meeting today with the doctors, but I'm going to go with the old saying "No news is good news".  The decision is to increase the seizure medications that he is currently on to help with the seizures he is having as well as introducing a couple of other seizure medications that they have yet to try.  If this fails to help, then there will be talk of surgery.  Darren and Rebecca think that the doctors feel this would be a last resort to try to control his seizures, due to his age.

Now that Logan is off the vent, Darren and Rebecca feel more comfortable holding him. 

Do I see a smile :o)

Isn't he just the cutest??

I LOVE HIM...and can't wait to get my hands on him again!!!

Momma holding her little boy!!

The Watkins Family
Daddy, Momma, and Logan

Hope you enjoy these new pictures as this proud auntie did....
~ Rachel

Monday, December 20, 2010

the vent is OFF!!!!!!!

Rebecca is telling him that he can close his mouth now that he doesn't have that tube in there!!  (He's ready for his bottle momma!!)

He was breathing so wonderfully on CPAP that they have now removed his 'breathing tube' and he is breathing on his own.

We are trying to be patient in the meeting with the doctors is tomorrow...

Thanks for checking in on us here in the northeast corner of Ohio

Sunday, December 19, 2010

moving on to CPAP

I just received word that Logan is now on CPAP and for the last 45 minutes has been doing really well.  We will see how he does throughout the night!!

Hoping for the best ~

movements, meds, and meetings

Sorry for the lack of updates...I took a few days off...but I'm back with plenty of pictures and a little news!!

Darren and Rebecca want to send along their thankfulness to you all for your comments on the blog that are so encouraging, your care packages, your cards, etc.  They mean so much to them and to us!!

Last Saturday:  Addison, Kendra, and I visited Baby Logan, Uncle Darren, and Aunt Rebecca.  While we were there at the Ronald McDonald House a group of Cleveland boys came to sing carols - they are called The Distinguished Gentlemen of Cleveland.  Rebecca and I were really excited to hear some Christmas carols and lo and behold they weren't singers but poets who just happened to volunteer their time to sing carols - wish we had a video of them singing - it sure made us laugh.  But what they lacked in the singing department they made up for it in the Arts and Crafts department. 

Friday afternoon/evening:  special visitors from New York - Grandpa and Grandma Watkins, Uncle Dana, Uncle Ben and Aunt Molly came to visit Logan.  Darren and Rebecca enjoyed catching up with the family.
Ben, Molly, Darrren, and Rebecca:  The girls are looking at the boys

These are pictures outside the hotel room of Darren and Rebecca -
we think they were drawn of the animals of the Cleveland Zoo

Through this whole experience my brother and sister have continued to have a loving, laughing relationship - always doing crazy things together!! Thanks for capturing this moment Janet :o)

Sunday morning:  we all had the privilege of being together at the winter Special Meetings at Harry and Nancy Shaw's.  Jim made the comment that it was special to all be together as it had been about 10 weeks since they last had all been together in meeting. It's hard to believe what all has happened in 10 weeks!!

Here's the most recent pictures of our 'little' big man
When Darren and Rebecca went in to see him tonight the nurses were performing oral care around Logan's breathing tube - Logan was very much awake and alert and kept trying to get the sponge away from the nurse's hand.  They are continually surprised at how alert and responsive he is for the state he is in right now with his medication regimen.
Most recent update: 
  • Doctors feel more confident about taking Logan off the ventilator.  He is breathing really well.  We are very happy about this!!
  • We were so excited about the days of Logan being seizure free - we were all hopeful that the doctors had finally found the right cocktail of medications to give him.  However, he started having seizures again.  The problem that we're running into is that he is maxxed out on the medications at this point that will control/stop his seizures. 
  • The good news is that Cleveland Clinic has a wonderful, cutting edge pediatric epilepsy surgery team that has already been consulted for Logan in the case that this very thing would happen.
  • Last Friday, a PET scan was performed and doctors were/are taking that test and comparing it to the previous MRIs and EEGs this weekend to see if they can find an area on Logan's brain where the seizures are centralized at.
  • This coming Tuesday, Darren and Rebecca have been asked to a meeting that will include all the doctors and services on Logan's care and they will discuss their findings.  We are hopeful for answers!!
Thanks for your care and concern~

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

another update on Logan

This is the most updated picture we have of little Logan...I guess he's not that little anymore.  We don't know his weight right now.  They don't like to weigh him with all of his leads on as this isn't accurate. 

Rebecca was afraid Logan would look a little scary with all the contraptions coming off of him, so I'll try to explain them all to de-scarify the picture :o) I will start going from right to left.
  • The electrodes on his head are what are measuring his brain waves and letting us know when he is having seizures - the EEG test.
  • The tube in his nose is his NG tube that is going into his small intestine giving him his mama's milk.
  • The white tape all around his mouth is holding his breathing tube in place.  This is attached to his ventilator which helps him breathe.  It makes the Y-shape and goes off in a couple directions - 1 to the vent and other is his suctioning materials.
  • The leads on his chest and abdomen are measuring his vital signs:  respirations, heart rate, and blood pressure as well as helping his EEG.
  • The clear bandage on his chest is holding in place his central line. You can see the white tubing coming out from under his left hand.  This is where he is given extra fluids and his medications. 
  • The fabric and plastic on his wrists/hands and ankles/legs are braces to help with his contractures, which are much better!!
  • The sensor that is on his foot is a pulse oximeter that is measuring his oxygen saturation or level of oxygen in his blood.
  • He is cocooned in a contraption that helps mimic momma and daddy's arms when they aren't able to hold him.  Straps can be velcro-ed across him to help him feel snug and secure. He is also under a radiant warmer that keeps his temperature stabilized and Logan toast warm.
Hope that helps explain the picture a little better.  He sure is a little cutie!!

The good news today is that Logan hasn't had a seizure in over 24 hours.  The doctors are very excited about this and are hopeful to start getting more aggressive with weaning him off his ventilator. 

Darren and Rebecca were very happy with their surprise visit from Andy and Nicole.  I could hear Rebecca grinning from ear to ear (if that's possible)!!

All for tonight before Bible Study ~

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

special visits

The girls and I went to Cleveland to visit our little nephew/cousin and of course Uncle Darren and Aunt Rebecca.  Addison and Kendra stayed with Uncle Darren while Aunt Rebecca and Mama went to see Logan.  I'm guessing Darren is glad he has a little boy and not 2 crazy girls!!

Logan is staying the same.  No big changes at this point.  We're at the waiting part of the game.

Grace, Scott, and Sara stopped by to see Logan today during special meeting rounds, so that was special to have a quick visit with them.  Before going into the work, Grace was a NICU nurse and Sara was a Critical Care nurse so they were familiar with the surroundings. We're so thankful for our friends and workers that hold our hands in the situations we face. 

"Through the night of doubt and sorrow
Onward goes the pilgrim band,
Singing songs of expectation,
Marching to the promised land.
Clear before us through the darkness
Gleams and burns the guiding light:
Brother clasps the hand of brother,
Stepping fearless through the night."

All for now

snow days...

Momma and Logan
This pictures was taken at Strong Memorial Hospital a few weeks ago
 before he was placed on the ventilator.  Sorry I don't have any recent pictures.

Some good news and updates on Baby Logan!!

The doctors are working at weaning Logan off his ventilator.  It is a very slow process for him, but he is making strides.  His pressure is down and Logan is breathing above the ventilator most of the time.  The doctors are pleased with those results and are anxious for more.

Yesterday, the epilepsy team and surgery team were called in to assess Logan and see what they thought could be done.  At this time, they have decided that medications are the best route in trying to control the seizures, however if they - the seizures - become more localized then there is the option of surgery, which might better control or even stop some of the seizures. 

Logan is on a continuous EEG (which is what you see with all the electrodes (sensors) on his head in pictures) where doctors are watching his brain waves for seizures on the computer monitor as well as a camera they have recording him continuously to tell if he is having any outward movement or motions.  Many times, one would never be able to tell he is having seizures because he has no outward signs.

The doctors feel some of the problems with these breakthrough seizure episodes is poor control of his phenobarbital levels.  They feel that if they could get those to stabilize into a therapeutic range, then the breakthrough seizures would lessen and subside.  We are hopeful for these things to happen!!

Darren and Rebecca were with Logan all day yesterday.  They say that he is very alert:  moving his arms and legs all around and opening his eyes and tracking them.  We had plans to go visit but the weather is mandating something a little different.

Here's to warm winter hugs, hot cocoa, and snuggles on this blustery winter day ~ Rachel

Sunday, December 12, 2010

another update

Friday:  Carol and Natalie stopped to see the family for quick visit.  Logan has been pretty sedated with the high levels of phenobarbital but opens his eyes and looks around every once in awhile, especially when he hears daddy and momma's voices.  Uncle Andrew stopped by too.

Saturday:  Grandma Badertscher, Nana Gross, my two girls and I stopped to see Logan, Rebecca, and Darren on Saturday.  The girls and I stayed for supper and were able to watch a Christmas show and participate in arts and crafts at the Ronald McDonald House with Uncle Darren and Aunt Rebecca (Addison shortens it and calls them Oncle Becca)

The doctors say that Logan's respiratory system seems to be improving.  His lungs are doing great.  His ABG's are perfect (WNL).  He is still on the ventilator for his periods of apnea, but overall seems to be improving in that area.  They have an epilepsy physician consulted to follow up on his seizures and how to manage that better.  The doctors are very impressed with Logan's outward alertness and his response even with all the sedation medications.  The doctors also said his feedings are going well and he is growing as they expect him to.  They are thinking at some point in starting bolus feedings to his stomach which would mimic what he would do with a bottle, instead of the continuous feedings to his small intestines. We are anxious for what will come and more news.

Sunday:  Darren and Rebecca went to meeting with us here in Wooster.  The fellowship was wonderful!! Increase Our Faith and May the Lord Depend on You were a couple of the hymns we sang.  Someone so helpfully mentioned to us a couple weeks ago that God is looking at how we face an experience and our attitude and spirit through that experience is important to Him.  Rebecca said that this really helped her and Darren want to face this experience with a good attitude and spirit and try to learn what they are 'suppose to' from it.  We had lunch together before the snow hit.  Now it is coming down fast and furious and I'm waiting for a call that they have made it back to the hospital.

The communication here is wonderful!!  Every time that Rebecca and Darren go into Logan's pod, a nurse goes over Logan's status and any new changes.  Sometime during the day, a doctor takes them to a family room where he or she goes over the plan of care and asks if Darren and Rebecca understand everything and if they have any questions/concerns.  There is also frequent family/service meetings where every doctor that is on Logan's team meets and talks about what they plan on doing and make sure that everyone is on the same page.  Another 'feature' that Darren and Rebecca love is that when there are 'rounds', every service is there and listens to the daily changes - this is at least a dietitian, pharmacist, physician, physician's assistant, nurse, etc.  This is very reassuring to Darren and Rebecca!!

Thanks for your continued love, concern, and prayers!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

hum diddly dum...

Nothing new or exciting was happening in Cleveland Thursday or Friday. 

Logan had an MRI around noon on Thursday for an in-depth look at his brain and spine.  The doctors are verifying that everything is working properly and is structurally 'okay'.

Logan is still just on phenobarbital.  His levels are still really high at 58 as of Thursday.

As of Friday, MRI of spine is normal.

Eye exam is normal.

Still awaiting further results on tests.

All for now

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Shaken Snowglobe...

Momma and Logan at Strong Memorial Hospital

Logan came through surgery today around 3pm.  He now has a central line placed.  Rebecca says it is a little scary looking, but they can get over that if it's a means to getting him feeling better. 

He was started on a 24 or 48 hour EEG today (depending on what they find and what the doctors are comfortable with).  The doctors are once again pleased with the results thus far.  What they were expecting to see (from what they were told at the previous hospital) was much worse than what they actually did see.  [Did that even make sense??] The previous doctors were saying they were continuous seizures and that is why he had to be on 'so many medications'.  What the doctors are actually seeing and interpreting here at Cleveland Clinic is allowing them to discontinue all his seizure medications except phenobarbital. woohoo!!!

Irving made a visit today to see little Logan, Darren, and Rebecca during the wicked snow storm today.  It was special to see him, I'm sure.  Rebecca said it snowed for 5 hours straight and it was a complete whiteout.  It took the shuttle bus 2 1/2 hours to get to the Ronald McDonald house instead of the normal 5 minutes!! 

So, Logan is still on the ventilator for help with his breathing while he battles the pneumonia/infection.  He has a central line for IV medications, an NG tube for feedings and 'oral' medications and an EEG machine hooked up to his brain.  They are not going to let anything slide here :o)

Signing out on a snowy night in Ohio

the Watkins family all together again!!!

Darren and Rebecca made it safely to Cleveland around 7pm last night.  They are very pleased with the physicians and nurses at the Clinic.  They said they have been treated so well and are definitely getting one-on-one attention with Logan already.  Rebecca said she noticed right away that the 'stiffness' in Logan's legs has lessened.  He has always moved his legs around, but is doing that now with more ease.  His medications have been tweaked some as well. 

He is going to continue his phenobarbitol and ativan but on a routine/regular dosage schedule.  He is also going to discontinue the dilantin.  The new medication that the doctors wanted to start him on is topamax (a medication that Rebecca and Darren had been pushing for earlier at another hospital).  All these medications can be taken orally (or by the NG tube). 

The doctor was pleased with the most recent chest x-ray. He said that by the way it had been described on the phone, he was expecting much worse, but he was pleasantly surprised.  So, we are happy and hopeful that this 'infection' will mend quickly!!

Due to Logan's PICC line being occluded, the peripheral lines 'blowing' so easily, and nice, plump veins hard to come by on a little babe - the doctors are thinking of surgically inserting an IV today. 

This is all I have at this time in the morning.  Darren and Rebecca both send their thanks and love to each of you out there. They really appreciate your thoughts and prayers.  We are so hopeful for our little man!!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Touchdown....., not 6 points...Logan has arrived in Cleveland!! Logan made it safely to Cleveland Clinic.  His PICC line occluded on his journey, so the doctors are working on that.  He has another IV in his little foot, but since it is only a peripheral vein, it will likely need to be changed.  The last I talked to Darren and Rebecca, they were 45 minutes away and anxious to see their little man.  I will update when I know more.

proud auntie and cousin at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY

Hurry up and WAIT!!!

 Logan's Loft at Strong Memorial Hospital
The puppy is a replica of his puppy, Hunter who is waiting for him at home!

 Momma and her little man

Daddy and his strong fighting son

So....we were all so excited this morning to get Logan to Cleveland!! Then, I received a phone call from Rebecca around the time they were orginally supposed to leave, saying that the trip was cancelled due to weather.  We all were majorly bummed but thankful for people who have Logan's safety in mind.  Then this afternoon, the weather cleared up and it looks like we have takeoff once again :o)  Cleveland Clinic is sending their own plane with a neonatologist aboard.  We were expecting just a nurse...not just a nurse, well you get what I mean. 

Rebecca and Darren saw Logan off.  Rebecca said she was handling it really well because she knows this is necessary to get her precious bundle better.  It's hard to send him off on a plane, but they are willing for whatever. 

I spoke with Darren and Rebecca and they are in route to Ohio, traveling on these snowy and slippery roads.  They know to be slow and safe :o)

Phone calls have been made and it looks like they will have a room at the Cleveland Ronald McDonald House.  They had been staying in a Ronald McDonald house in Rochester and we can't speak highly enough about this charity.  It is most wonderful!!

Some have sent messages and letters to me asking how they can help Darren and Rebecca with their extra medical and personal expenses through this experience and so for now, while they are in Ohio, help can be sent to this home address:
3391 E. Hutton Rd. Wooster, OH 44691
Once they are back home in New York, I will let you know the change of address.

Monday, December 6, 2010

cLeVeLaNd cLiNiC BOUND.....

Status of Logan (as of today):  Logan is on a couple medications for his 'seizures'.  We are unsure if he is truly having seizures.  His doctors are split on whether he is or not.  He is also on a ventilator to assist him if he has any episodes of 'apnea' or oxygen problems.  The doctors are unsure of what is apnea and what is not.  Today we have had no episodes so far!!  He was started on an antibiotic Sunday for a possible respiratory infection from his ventilator.  The doctors are unsure if he has an infection or not.  The NG (nasogastric) tube to his small intestines is still in for feedings which he is tolerating well. Summary of medications:  phenobarbital for seizures, dilantin for seizures, pyridoxine (vitamin B6) for seizures, ativan as needed for seizures, pepcid for GERD, and 2 antibiotics for possible infections.  

This was taken at Strong Memorial Hospital when Logan was a few weeks old.

We just received word that Logan has been accepted to Cleveland Clinic's neurology department.  We are so excited to have new input to his care.  While we have loved most of the nurses and a few doctors from Strong Memorial Hospital, we were not getting answers and out little Logan needs the best!! So, tomorrow morning Logan will be going by Life-Flight to Cleveland Clinic.  We are hopeful for answers to our beautiful little puzzle.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Welcome to Logan's Blog!!

My sister and brother-in-law, Rebecca and Darren Watkins had a beautiful baby boy on October 19th named Logan James Watkins.  We just call him Logan or as my daughter Addsion says, Baby Logan :o)  Unfortunately, Logan had a rough start as seen here: (just click on the underlined words).  Rebecca has tried to keep everyone updated when she can on her and Darren's family blog, but hasn't always been able.  So...I offered to set up a site here so that I can try and blog for her and when she has time, she can add as well.  (Who am I kidding, I can barely update my own family blog every 6 months!!!)