Sunday, December 20, 2009

Monday, December 21

Hello to all! We just wanted to give a quick update on our doctor visit this past Thursday. The skin grafts that we were worried about looked great and adhered perfectly. We were told that it was normal for the top layer (of skin) to slough off - this was the part that we were so worried about. We are very relieved and are thankful for the great job that Dr. Bidic did. We are also thankful for Kaylee and Savannah (Dr. Bidic's PA's) who have helped so much with Clay. We are still keeping a light dressing over the neck and treating the areas of hypergranulation (overgrowth of granulation tissue) around Clay's trach.
On one of our frequent trips to Dallas, a few weeks ago, we took Clay to Parkland to see the nurses in the Burn ICU. It was great to see them and they were glad to see Clay. We were also able to attend the monthly "burn support group" meeting at Parkland hospital this past Saturday. Two OT therapists that helped Clay, while he was in the burn unit, attended the meeting. We told them "thank you" for being so aggressive with Clay's therapy from the start. We now understand that Clay's therapy is so essential throughout the healing process and beyond. Thank you to all the therapists who have and are working with Clay.
We hope you all have a wonderful week and nice holiday! Thank you again - our hearts are filled with gratitude.

P.S. We will be sending the letters within the next few weeks - thank you for your patience with us! :-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday, December 16

Hello to all! I had a minute so I wanted to post an update and apologize for our sporadic postings. As you recall, Clay had his neck release surgery on Nov. 9. He had a wound vac dressing on his neck and carried the pump with him for about a month. During the month of November, we took him to Dallas for four dressing changes. They had to sedate him each time they changed it; therefore, it was basically like a day surgery (OR, anesthesia, recovery room, etc.). On December 3, they took him back to the OR and placed skin grafts over the Integra (neck) and then placed the wound vac over the grafts. We took him back to Dallas on Dec. 9 to have the wound vac removed. He was so relieved to have it off that he was jumping around saying "I'm free, I'm free." The grafts still needed to have a dressing over them for awhile and we were told how to do this dressing change at home. Clay's PT comes to our house on Thursdays; so, she helped us with the first dressing change. She was able to come back to our house on Friday (Dec. 11) to help; and, we ended up calling and sending pictures to Clay's doctor because there were areas of the grafts that were not adhering. We have continued to change it each day and we are not sure if there is enough skin attached to grow and cover the neck area. We go back to Dallas tomorrow (Dec. 17) and the doctors will tell us more. We are not sure, at this point, if they will have to place another skin graft on Clay's neck. There are also some areas where the tissue is hypergranulating (big word I learned this past year).
This is the last week of school before the holidays. Carson & Cody have early release days tomorrow and Friday. Clay's homebound teacher was able to complete his lessons on Monday and Tuesday. Depending on the weather, we may be going to Omaha, NE next week to see Jace & Dana (my twin sister, her husband, and girls). We also would like to stop in Wichita, KS to see the family of Larisa (a friend that was burned in October). We have been following her blog since her accident We want to thank each one of you for your encouragement this past year.
We are planning on sending a "New Year" letter out with pictures of Clay's progress & pictures of Carson and Cody. I'm sure that you all would like to see the progress that Clay has made since February. Since we do not feel comfortable in posting his pictures online, we will send these letters via "snail mail". :-) Thanks for everything!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday, December 4th

Quick update before the day slips away. Clay's surgery went well yesterday. So well that he has been at home with Mom all day today. We had planned to spend last night in the hospital, but the Physician's Assistant came out of the O.R. and told Deidra and I that Dr. Bidic thought Clay would be able to go home after the procedure. They took two strips of skin from his upper right thigh and placed them over the Integra on his neck. We anticipated them being very painful and they were. They placed his wound vac back on his neck to keep the grafts in place. When he awoke in the recovery room he immediately started complaining and crying that his leg hurt. Our recovery nurse was very attentive to his pain and put several doses of pain medication into his IV to get it under control. Clay was disappointed that he was not going to stay in the hospital overnight, because he wanted to watch cartoons and eat popsicles in his hospital room. Mom and I were not disappointed at all. We left the hospital around 6:00 p.m and arrived home a little after 9:00. Clay had one bout with nausea on the trip home but it quickly subsided and some food seemed to solve the problem. He slept well at home and rested all day. He asked this morning if his brothers had school today? When I said yes he told me, "I need someone to play with." We would like to offer a special thanks to all of the Doctors and staff at Children's that have helped Clay. We appreciate the care he has received and the extra efforts that have been made on his behalf. Thanks to everyone keeping up with Clay. We will post more specifics when we can.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday, December 2

Hello to all! Clay and I went to Dallas on Monday for his dressing change. He is scheduled for surgery tomorrow (Thursday) at 1:00pm at Children's Hospital of Dallas. He has had a wound vac on his neck for about 23 days now. If you recall, it takes 3-4 weeks for the Integra product, on his neck, to generate a dermal-like tissue & accept a skin graft( They will take skin grafts from his legs (donor sites) and place them on his neck tomorrow. From his 4 month burn unit experience (Feb.14-June 15), these donor sites have proven to be the areas where he has experienced the most pain (superficial wounds). I think about the times when I have accidentally cut my legs, when shaving, and how painful it is. Clay will feel this pain on large areas of his legs, because they will shave the top layers of skin off to place on his neck (thank goodness for pain meds at this time). He underwent many surgeries, in the burn unit at Parkland, for skin grafting. This will be his third surgery since he was released from Parkland in June and his second "skin grafting" surgery outside of the burn unit. We hope he recovers well. Remember all the weeks when he vomited while he was in the burn unit & we couldn't pinpoint what was causing it? Clay has had four dressing changes since Nov.9, and each time they change the dressing an anesthesiologist has had to sedate him. He did okay with the the anesthetics used on the first 3 dressing changes, but he was sick all the way home on Monday because of the anesthetic used. We will ask what drug he was given before surgery on Thursday.
Thank you for remembering Clay and our family this past year-we are grateful for each one of you!