As I type this Dylan is sleeping in his room with his younger brother. I think about how many times they’ve been separated because of Dylan’s countless hospital stays. In fact when I was in labor with his younger brother Dylan was admitted into the hospital. I gave birth on one floor of the hospital while Dylan was a patient two floors below. Two months later he was admitted again.
For a moment I believed this was going to be our life forever and that his Sickle Cell diagnosis would keep us bound to a hospital room every couple of months. Most of his hospital stays were due to elevated fever and viral infections. Some bacterial infections as well including Pneumonia and Strep. His first pain crisis devastated me. My active toddler could not walk due to the pain in his feet. Unlike his other hospital stays Dylan cried for hours and could not sleep during the night. Motrin and Tylenol were not able to successfully eliminate his pain. This is when they offered my 2yr old morphine. I could not conceptualize giving his tiny 20lb body such a strong drug. Plus if we start morphine at 2yrs old where do we do from here? If he has pain as an adult morphine will be useless if he starts at 2. I agreed to Tylenol with Codeine and thankfully it worked.
If you’ve ever spent any time in a hospital you know that this isn’t an ideal place for healing. The nurses will tell you they found me sleeping in Dylan’s crib most nights and wondered how I managed to fit and sleep in a hospital baby crib. I could never leave Dylan alone in the hospital. My sweet little hairy baby. As he got older I would leave for a few minutes to grab coffee before he woke up. Once, while we were admitted, a warrior was receiving a blood transfusion and his mom left him alone for hours and he yanked out the tubes and blood was all over his room.
After countless hours of research, I finally found the right mix of vitamins, minerals and herbs. We also completely cut milk and almost all other dairy products from Dylan’s diet. We also limit meat consumption. I’m truly grateful that for 1 full year we have not had to spend one night in the hospital or one second in the ER. Dylan has also been pain free for almost 3yrs.
In the last few weeks we have added EvenFlo to the mix. Only because his hemoglobin has remained 7-8 and hasn’t budged despite his vitamin regimen. I’m hoping for a nice increase in his hemoglobin in the next few months. I’ll report back when we have the results.
Now for the celebration!!!!
In the last year Dylan has lived a very full life! He spent a full year in Pre K with no sickle cell related absences, pain, or hospital stays. He has been to the pool and beach multiple times. We even went indoor skydiving with his older brother. Dylan rode his scooter over 2 miles in Prospect Park without even blinking an eye or taking a break. In fact he had to come back to get me a few times because I was moving too slow.
We pray that with proper hydration, diet and supplemental vitamin and herbal nutrition Dylan will continue to live a full pain free life.
Happy 5th Birthday Dylan!!!