Monday, April 9, 2012

Difficult Decisions

Being a parent isn't easy.  Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball or at least a very specific instruction manual.  I wish I knew that the decisions I had to make were the right ones and that I am doing the best thing.  Every parent faces difficult decisions when it comes to their children and we are no different.  When it comes to Parker, it's just that those decisions and the issues that we grapple with are a bit different than the decisions most parents have to make for their children.  Our issues aren't necessarily more difficult...just different...and sometimes I simply don't feel competent.

Parker is scheduled for several more surgical procedures at Children's Hospital on April 17th.  This will be the SIXTH time he's been under anesthesia and I've gotta say it never gets easier.  He will be having scopes done and biopsies taken by his Pulmonologist, ENT, and GI specialist.  He will also get another sedated hearing test done by an Audiologist while he's under.  These procedures are scheduled to take three hours.  Agreeing to all of that and another round of anesthesia was hard enough.  But now, another Doctor is recommending another procedure...and why not add it to the others and get it all done at once?  This is what we do.  We keep adding procedures on because we don't want him to be put out more times than he has to.  But, how do you know when it's too much to put a kiddo through at one time?

The most recent recommendation is coming from Parker's Neuro-Opthamologist.  Parker has numerous issues with his eyes and vision and one of them is something called Strabismus.  This is when his eyes don't always line up real well and they sort of wander off to the side.  I usually don't choose the pictures where it's really evident to post on this blog so I'll show you one I took yesterday as an example:

The Opthamologist thinks that he may be able to help this "wandering" by injecting Botox into Parker's eye muscles.  This is a newer alternative to surgery.  He says in about 50% of kiddos that have this done, the eyes will line up and permanently remain that way.  For the other 50%, the effect will wear off and they'll either need it done again or surgery will need to be done.  It's also likely that for a short time after surgery his eyes will over-correct and he will be a bit cross-eyed.  There is always the chance of more serious risks but the Doctor said he's never had any of those happen for him and he has done this procedure many times.  He feels this could be a good option for Parker visually, developmentally, and cosmetically.  Also, the chance of success is higher due to Parker's age and the longer we wait the more likely surgery will be the only viable option.

So, we decided to go through with it.  This decision really stressed me out because I didn't get a strong gut-reaction either way.  Usually I follow my Mommy-gut but this time I didn't know which way to go.  Paul did get a stronger feeling about this than I did so we are going to do it and hope for the best.  Putting your already-compromised child's vision on the line is scary.  We are still waiting to find out if the Eye Doctor will even be able to re-work his schedule around to be able to come during Parker's already scheduled procedures and then we have to see if the insurance will authorize it.  I guess at this point I'm thinking if those things don't work out then it's not meant to be - at least not at this point.

Again, we ask for prayer that we are making the most informed decision we can. That Parker's procedures will go smoothly on the 17th and he will have no problems with anesthesia.  That we keep in mind that we are only making the best decisions we can with the information we have at the time and that we don't regret anything later on.  That we get to hear some good news and good results from the tests that they are going to do.  That we will do a better job of trusting God and turning these decisions and our stress over to Him and know that no matter what He is with us!

Thank you all for your support!  It means the world to us. Parker has been very healthy these past few months (likely because he hasn't been at the Doctor's office as much and we did get approved for Home Health Therapy so he hasn't been out in public places being exposed to all the bugs).  We're hoping that his improved health status will make everything smoother next week!


  1. Love you guys! You are amazing! I am humbled by the decisions that you are faced with on a daily basis. Wow! God has equipped you and Paul and I am blessed to go before the throne on Parker's behalf. And yours!

  2. You all will be in our thoughts and prayers!!!