Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lainey's Baptism

Today, Sunday, September 21, 2008, Lainey was baptized at Gainesville First United Methodist Church. Lainey wanted to make sure that everyone in the sanctuary knew she was there, so she fussed for 20 minutes until her debut! We're not sure what the preacher did, but now we know who to find when Lainey is fussy. As soon as I handed her to Dr. Walton, she calmed down!

Today's sermon was perfect! "What's That to You?" was the title of Dr. Terry Walton's sermon. In today's world so many of us get "hung" up on why things had to happen to us ~ not others. Life's unfairnesses can build bitterness within, leaving doubt in God's choices. In all honesty, I still have some of these feelings. Why does Lainey have to go through so much? Why did it have to be our baby? With all of the babies being born, why did God choose our baby to suffer from Cystic Fibrosis? Why, Why, Why? After listening to Dr. Walton, it all seems a little clearer. The word of God, "What's That to You?" Mathew 20:1-16. Don't question God's motives. He is working through us. Don't compare your treatment from God to another's. Don't ask why you and not someone else, rather be happy for the others whom have the things you desire. Be happy that you can help God share his word through your life. I plan on keeping God's words fresh in my mind and heart. Although we have and will continue to fight battles with Lainey's disease, these words will help us remember "Why." Hopefully our knowledge and experiences can and will benefit others. In the most challenging of times, I know this will be difficult, but ultimately everything is in His hands. Please pray that We have the strength to follow His word and allow Him to work through our family.

Thank you to all of our friends and family who attended this memorable day in our lives. Lainey, as well as the rest of us, have a wonderful support group. Gigi, Papa, Grandma Barbara, Papa Dan, Aunt Dayna, Grandma Carolyn, Aunt Ashley, Mason, Cindy, Sean, Dawson, and Kaylah ~ We love you and appreciate EVERYTHING you have done for us!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

CF Kisses

Today was a packed day. Mom, Lainey, and I headed down to Atlanta around 9:00 for several appointments. Mom went to the adult cardiac clinic this morning to meet with her doctors. Everything seems to be the same with her health, just a little adjustments to her medications. She was doing well enough that she is not going back until November. Although the appointment was for Gigi, Lainey took a lot of the doctor's time! Dr. Book was ready to take Lainey home with her! It was really cool that after mentioning a heart murmur Lainey's pediatrician noticed, a pediatric cardiologist came to check her out at Dr. Book's request. All sounds fine, just a murmur she should outgrow. After a trip to the lab with Gigi, we were finished at Emory.

Following a quick lunch, we went to Lainey's appointment at the Cystic Fibrosis Center. Every time I step foot in the door of the center, I get an overwhelming sense of comfort and relief. Every person in the center is so caring and personally invested in your child's health. They are an awesome addition to our family and friends support group! Several members of her care team are no longer at the CF Center due to a few changes with Egleston and Emory. The two hospitals at one time worked hand in hand, but have slowly parted. Now that the hospital has moved some of the patients from the CF Center, which is part of Emory more so than Egleston, many of the team moved as well. With their seniority, leaving Egleston would mean starting over in their career. The new people are just as caring as the ones we have become to know and like so well. Our favorite, Dr. Caplan, will probably die doing what he loves best ~ taking care of his delicate patients. We love him so much, we have decided to adopt Dr. Caplan as another great grandpa for Lainey!
Lainey and Doctor Caplan
Lainey weighed in at 12 lbs. 2.5 oz. This is a little over a pound since our visit one month ago. Although I was hoping for 13 lbs., her CF care team assured me that I should be happy with any weight gain! As she gets older, her growth rate will slow down making her weight gain less each visit. In addition to the weight gain....she grew in length! She is now 24 inches long! I am not sure where she got the traits of being tall and skinny. If she didn't look like me, I'd think she was adopted! Everything with her lungs sounded good and clear. This is awesome since we are quickly approaching the season of germs! The dietitian and Dr. Caplan want us to continue using the pancreatic enzymes, Ultrase. Lainey is now on a program offered by the drug company that supplies her vitamins and enzymes at no charge until she is 2 years old. We are so very blessed to have the opportunity to participate in these programs. We are also going to begin introducing rice cereal. It is our hope that the rice cereal will encourage and produce significant weight gain. Overall, nothing has changed with Lainey and the effects of Cystic Fibrosis on her health and body. Dr. Caplan was completely in awe of Lainey's growth and early reached milestones. Lainey spent most of her visit cooing and "talking" to Dr. Caplan as he snuck in a few kisses here and there! Seeing his amazement of her, takes a major weight off my shoulders. It allows me to stop worrying for a moment, something my body and mind greatly appreciates.

We received frustrating news on Monday from the kids' pediatrician. Supposedly the tubes used to collect Logan and Liam's blood sample for the CF test were not the correct tubes. The cap on the tubes were a different color yellow than what they typically use when testing for genetic diseases. All in all, the blood samples are no good. They must be drawn again! I am refusing to go through that torture again...It is Sid's turn! Most of all, I hate it for the boys. They should not have to go through the pain again because somebody used the wrong colored tube lid when collecting their blood! For those of you that know what I am like when I am mad, be assured the pediatrician will know as well! I am waiting for a phone call back from him! When we have more news on the boys' tests, I'll let you know.

Reminder ~ Lainey will be baptised at 10:55 on Sunday at Gainesville First United Methodist Church! Please join us if you would like. Thank you for all of your support! Prayers are always needed and greatly appreciated! Please continue to pray for good health, weight gain, working enzymes, and correctly gathered blood samples!

Much Love from our family to yours,

The Smithsons

Friday, September 12, 2008


This week has been wild! Saturday Lainey went tailgating for the first time at the Georgia game. She stayed in Gigi and Papa's motor home due to the heat, but didn't miss a thing. She watched everyone and everything going on around her! We had a blast.

On Monday we received a letter and a card stating Lainey's approval for Medicaid through the Katie Beckett/Deeming Wavier. Lainey's Medicaid goes back to the day she was born, meaning every one of her bills is being covered 100%. This is such a relief since she accumulated a number of bills being in the hospital for 29 days. In addition, when receiving Medicaid, you automatically qualify for WIC. After 2 hours of sitting in the local Health Department with some of the children that attend Fair Street School where I work, we received numerous vouchers that are good until November. Each month we will be able to get 8 cans of Alimentum formula. This is approximately $250.00 worth of formula! Since I am a post-partum mom, I receive a box of cereal, 4 bottles of juice, one dozen eggs, 3 gallons of milk, and 2 pounds of cheese each month until Lainey is 6 months old. She will continue to get WIC vouchers until she is 5 as long as we continue to receive Medicaid. This is this answer to many of my prayers!

Along with all of the other wild things going on this week, we have changed Lainey's enzymes again. Now she is taking 2 Ultrase enzymes before each meal. I am not so sure they are any better than what she was on before, but we are willing to try anything to make our princess's life better! It seems as though she is having more bowel movements than before. With each bowel movement, her little bottom gets more raw and bleeds. We have been through more tubes of "butt cream" than we can count! After running out of samples of Ultrase given to us by Lainey's CF doctor, we picked some up at the pharmacy.....and this is where additional WILD things occurred! Somehow the pharmacist misunderstood the doctor when he called in the prescription. The prescription I picked up was Ultrase, but not the dosage she had been taking. Ultrase MT 12 was filled for Lainey. Not paying much attention, I picked up the enzymes from the pharmacy and packed them in Lainey's luggage for her trip with Gigi and Papa. After using the new enzymes for a day, my mom made me aware of the numerous differences in the new prescription when compared to the samples given to us by the doctor. After researching the different types of Ultrase enzymes via the internet, Sid and I realized a major difference. We advised mom to cease the new prescription and continue using the samples. On Thursday I confirmed our concerns with Dr. Caplan. Although he called in a specific prescription, the pharmacist filled it with a similar, yet stronger dosage than prescribed. We were giving Lainey 2 capsules of the new prescription, which gave her 15,000 more units of the active ingredient than needed for someone her size! No wonder mom hadn't changed any poopy diapers! Her doctor said that she was absorbing fat like we want, but the new prescription was also causing her to absorb her own waste! NOT COOL! We are thankful that mom caught this when she did or we could have one sick little girl on our hands. Currently we are still working with the pharmacy to "fix" this mix-up. This has definitely taught me to check all of her medications very carefully before administering them.

This weekend will continue our WILD week as we have been cleaning and preparing our house for Dayna's baby shower on Sunday. Knowing that I am beat when I get home and that I have the kids all day by myself on the weekends, my mother-in-law hired a maid to clean my house! This was an awesome surprise and my house is happy to have had a deep cleaning! In addition to the cleaning, Sid and his mother worked hard to make our yard look beautiful. I find it humorous to know that now I would rather have my house cleaned than go shopping for new clothes!!!

Thursday the boys underwent their Cystic Fibrosis tests. WOW! It took 4 adults to hold Logan down long enough to get 3 vials of blood. Liam was upset for a few seconds and then all was cool! I'm not sure he feels pain! :) It is recommended that siblings of children with Cystic Fibrosis are also tested. Hopefully we will have good news ~ neither boy has Cystic Fibrosis. The test will not only let us know if either boy has Cystic Fibrosis, but will alert us if they are carriers of the Cystic Fibrosis gene mutations effecting Lainey. We should have their results within the next couple of weeks.

Today I received my Cystic Fibrosis test results for last Thursday's test. The results confirmed my contribution of the delta F508 gene. This is the gene all Cystic Fibrosis patients carry. The mutation of the gene can also be another delta F508 or one of the other 1500 + mutations. Since Lainey has one delta F508 and one R560T mutation, we now know that Sid is the carrier of the "odd" mutation. I think we should have known that Sid would have been the one with the "odd" mutation!! The purpose of my being tested was solely for determining which of us carried which gene. In addition to finding out this information, I also learned that my prolactin level is high. My doctor is sending me to an endocrinologist for further testing. I am hoping this helps in finding the cause behind losing my hair, lactating, and several other odd symptoms I have had for a while.

On Wednesday Lainey's has an appointment at the Cystic Fibrosis Center. We are praying that she weighs at least 13 pounds and that her lungs are clear of bacteria. This would be a gain of 2 1/2 pounds. She is really growing in length, but is still skinny! She is finally wearing 0 to 3 month clothes ~ and she will be 4 months old on Saturday the 20th!

Sunday, September 21st is Lainey's Baptism. We are inviting all friends and family who wish to attend to join us at 10:55 am in the Sanctuary of Gainesville First United Methodist Church.

Thank you for all of your prayers! Please continue to pray for us as we receive news on the boys' Cystic Fibrosis test results and in Lainey's appointment at the Cystic Fibrosis Center.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lainey's Baptism and other GOOD news!

Life at the Smithson house has been wild! Logan has started pre-k at Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy, Liam continues to keep the daycare workers on their toes at the Wee Elephants Daycare for Gainesville City Employees, and Lainey is having the time of her life hanging with Gigi and Papa every day! Sid is in school 4 days a week and works 12 hour shifts the other 3 days, yet manages to make A's and B's in his classes!! He is going to be an awesome day! I am spending everyday with kids, kids, and MORE kids! After dropping off my own three kids each morning, I go to work to teach 20 first graders! Although the weekends are long and often quite stressful, I am beginning to take on the challenge of caring for 3 children on my own with a little "risk-taking!" For all who know my need for organization, mess-free environments, and scheduling, I am proud to announce that I, DeAnn Smithson, let my kids play with Play Dough this past weekend! They could not mix the colors, but they didn't care because mom was actually letting them play with something that might potentially cause a huge mess (not to mention Liam might make it a new meal!) As Logan would quote the chunky boy on the AIG commercial...."Things are looking up!"

Lainey is being Baptized and we are happy to invite anyone whom would like to attend! Lainey will be Baptized on Sunday, September 21, 2008. The church service is at Gainesville First United Methodist Church and begins at 10:55 am. Our preacher, Dr. Terry Walton, will be performing his non-traditional, yet overwhelmingly personal baptism. He has his traditions of lighting a candle to show the baby the "light of the World," taking the baby around the congregation for each to greet her with a smile and a touch, and giving the baby a taste of salt to experience the "salt of the Earth." Lainey is sure to enjoy and benefit from the extra salt offered by Dr. Walton! Sid and I are thrilled to profess our faith and promise to raise Lainey in a Christian home. For it is this faith that has pulled us through the tough times, given us the strength to persevere, and filled us with the wisdom we need in order to follow God's intentions. We would be honored to share this special day with all of our friends and family.

Good News! Our family has been approved for the Katie Beckett/Deeming Waiver. This waiver is designed for families with children with special needs whom do not qualify for Government assistance due to income. Through this waiver we qualify for WIC and Medicaid. WIC will take away the burden of paying $26 every four days for formula by giving us vouchers to use as our method of payment. Medicaid will cover all of Lainey's hospital, doctor, and pharmacy bills that are not covered by insurance. This is HUGE! The copay paid each time we take her to the doctor (usually twice a month), the 10% of hospital stays not covered by insurance, the $25 for each of her 4-5 prescriptions per month, as well as any other equipment we may need, will be completely consumed by Medicaid! We feel like an enormous weight has been lifted from our shoulders, and for this we are thankful.

Although we have changed brands of enzymes several times in the past 3 weeks, we now feel as though we have found the culprit of Lainey's recent issues. Lately she has had a lot of gas, stomach aches, spitting up, fatty stools, and small amounts of weight gain. In conversations with Lainey's dietitian, by accident (although good), we found our mistake. Sid and I watched the nurses in the hospital crush Lainey's Prevacid tablet before feeding it to her. After a little research, it was determined that crushing the tablets deactivated the antacid, thus no help to Lainey at all! Now she is taking 1 Prevacid capsule twice a day along with her Creon. We mix the beads with applesauce and serve it all at once. It has been amazing how settled her stomach sounds, the fewer number of stools per day, little to no spitting up, and an overall happy baby we have! It is our hope that through these changes, we will see a greater weight gain at her next Cystic Fibrosis appointment on September 17th!

Thank you for following Lainey's progress. We are fortunate to have such a sound and supportive group of people in our lives. Lainey has finally had the chance to be held by Sid's dad, Papa Noel...and boy did she like it! Her grandma Barbara and Gigi have been spoiling her with all of the cute things the stores have to offer little girls! Papa Dwight and his ticking valve put her to sleep in no time. Although Papa Dan isn't as comfortable taking care of babies, he has given Lainey and I time to bond by taking Logan and Liam out on the lake and to the pool. For an extra set of hands on the occasional weekend, Grandma Carolyn and Papa David have been here! PLEASE come to visit Lainey if you want....soon we will have to limit visitors due to the "wintertime bugs!"