Jesse’s Eye: All-Clear!

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Five months ago, Jesse had a 3rd surgery to clear his clogged tear duct.  The surgeon made an incision to clear out the blockage and scar tissue, and placed a stent that was supposed to stay in for six months.  The experience was traumatic for Jesse, the scar was ugly, the stent only lasted ten days, and we weren’t sure that the whole thing wasn’t a complete failure.

He has done very well since then, though.  His eye has seemed to be draining well, and he hasn’t had any eye infections since his surgery.  (Previously, eye infections seemed to hit him every 3-4 weeks.)

We saw our surgeon for a check-up yesterday, and he gave Jesse the all-clear!  His eye is healed, and we won’t be needing any more procedures.  Hooray!  Our doctor explained that the surgery portion of the procedure has an 85% success rate on its own, and the stent raises that success rate to 95%.  He said if we had tried to only place the stent, it wouldn’t have worked at all (since it didn’t stay in!).

Also, only five months later, his scar is invisible to anyone who doesn’t know it’s there.

We are so thankful.


Brown Doggie Update

Thank you to everyone who expressed concern about Jesse and his Brown Doggie.  I am happy to report that he is o.k., thanks to a very kind and thoughtful big brother.

Micah heard me worrying about taking Brown Doggie on vacation with us, and asked if he could help by telling Jesse a made-up story.  He was a little worried about telling a story that was not true, but we reassured him that a pretend story about a pretend/stuffed animal would be o.k., just like a story book or bed-time story.

So, on night 4 of Jesse going to bed “all alone,” Micah told him a story that went something like this:

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there was a boy named Jesse who had a very special brown doggie.  But one day, an evil witch put a spell on Brown Doggie, and all of Jesse’s other pets, too.  The spell made the animals fall into a deep, deep sleep.  Jesse thought his pets were dead, but they were just sleeping from the spell.  Jesse was very sad.  Then, Jesse got some special magic medicine to break the spell.  When he gave the animals the medicine, they all woke up and were as good as new!  Brown Doggie was so happy to see Jesse that he licked and licked his face, and Jesse was so happy to see Brown Doggie that he snuggled him all night long.  And, they lived happily ever after.

Then, we gave the animals medicine, and I had Brown Doggie bark and lick Jesse’s face.  The little guy grinned and squealed and hugged his Brown Doggie tight.  And, now things are back to normal.  Brown Doggie is on vacation with us, as real as ever.  Just this morning, Kaylie got in trouble for pulling on his fur and hurting him.

We are having a wonderful time at Great Wolf Lodge, and have met some really neat families through the IDSC.  I am so grateful for the amazing community we have!

Jesse’s Pets


Jesse may have the most vivid imagination of any of our kids.  He is constantly pretending to be one kind of creature or another, and inventing elaborate scenarios for everyone in the family to play into.  So, it is no surprise that his stuffed animals are very, very real to him.  “Brown Doggie,” in particular, is his “pet” and his “friend.”  Jesse has been unable to sleep without Brown Doggie for more than a year, and usually “Kitty” is also required.

But, three days ago, I walked into Kaylie’s room and found this:  Brown Doggie and Kitty in an empty laundry hamper:


“Jesse, what’s this?” I asked.

“Oh, my pets all died.” Jesse said very casually.

Me: “Are they going to be o.k.?”

Jesse: “No.  They are NOT going to be o.k.  But, I put them in the garbage.”

Me: “I’m so sorry, Jesse.”

Jesse: “Yeah.”

Me: “Well, are you going to sleep with them tonight?”

Jesse: “NO!  That would be ICKY!”

I was sure he would ask for them at bedtime, but he didn’t.  He slept without any animals.  I was sure they would be rescued from the hamper the next day, but they weren’t.  It has now been three days, and three nights with no animals.  He has told me (very seriously) “All my pets died.”  Once he said, “All my friends died.”  But, he hasn’t even mentioned them at bedtime.

Before you ask, we have NOT had any deaths in the family recently.  However, a couple of Micah’s fish recently went belly-up.  Could that have caused this?  I don’t know.  Meanwhile, what do I do with Jesse’s dead pets?  On Thursday, we leave for the Kick-Off to World Down Syndrome Day at Great Wolf Lodge.  We’ve never been able to travel without Brown Doggie before, but I’m really not sure if I should pack his carcass this time.


Here are the latest cute Kaylie pictures. 🙂



Jesse’s Third Tear Duct Surgery


This morning, Jesse had a 3rd surgery to clear the blocked tear duct he’s had since birth.  Because the first two “probing” procedures had failed, the plan today was to place a stent inside his tear duct to hold it open.  After six months, the stent will be removed.

Jesse was such a trooper when we got to the hospital.  He was in great spirits, chatting with and charming all the nurses and staff.  Even as they wheeled him back for surgery, he was smiling and talking with the doctors.

We had been hoping and praying that the stent could be placed without doing an open procedure (incision into his face), but the surgeon had told us that he wouldn’t know until he got in there.  It just broke by heart to even think about someone cutting into my baby’s face!  Unfortunately, his tear duct was completely blocked, and the doctor had to open him up to clear out the blockage and scar tissue and place the stent.

Jesse was in a LOT of pain after the surgery, and fighting-mad coming out of the anesthesia.  It was a really rough time.  It took Jesse a long time to calm down.  I held him, having to restrain him from rubbing his eyes, but he was fighting hard and is really strong.  The surgeon gave him local anesthetic, but it obviously wasn’t enough, and the only other order for pain control was for tylenol at home.  Our nurse was eventually able to get him some tylenol in the hospital, but Jesse kept saying, “It’s hurting! It’s hurting!”

When I told him that it made me so sad to see him hurt, he stopped to say, “Aww, Mom, don’t be sad!”  That’s my Jesse Bear.

The incision and his nose dripped blood all day.  Every time he sneezed, blood would come out both sides.  We now have kleenex boxes stationed all over the house, and when Jesse calls out “blood,” Aaron, Micah, and I all dive for the nearest box and rush to Jesse’s aid.  At least he can tell us when it’s about to drip, but we’re hoping that will be better by tomorrow.

We did better at home, able to keep cold compresses on his eye and administer tylenol and ibuprofen ’round the clock.  He was evidently feeling much better this afternoon, because right before dinner he hopped off the couch (still in his jammies), and enthusiastically said, “Well, where are we going today, boys?”

Please keep us all in your prayers.  It’s been a long day, but I know tomorrow will better.

Jesus, can we please be done putting our children through surgeries?

Jesse’s Club Feet: Cured!

This post is long overdue.  In fact, I didn’t realize that I never posted a conclusion to Jesse’s foot issues until a reader asked me how his foot was doing!

The truth is, his foot has been so good for so long, we don’t even think about it anymore!  He wore his foot brace at night until he was 21 months old, and has needed no treatment or intervention ever since.

In September, (right after his 2nd birthday) we took him to Shriner’s for his final appointment.  His doctor declared his feet completely cured, and said he doesn’t need to see him again!

Here are his little feet when he was 1 month old:  his left foot was stiff and “stuck” in that position:

After 6 weeks of casting, a few months of round-the-clock bracing, then bracing only at night, our Jesse was running by 10-months old!  He hasn’t stopped running, climbing, spinning, or jumping ever since.

And, here are his perfect feet now:  The hardest part was getting them to hold still long enough to snap a picture!

We are so thankful for this amazing result!  How blessed we are to have such wonderful doctors and medical care available – and we thank our Lord, the Great Physician, most of all.