Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

One year ago today...

One year ago today J. and I walked the streets of Ortona, Italy the town on the other side of the world where my grandfather Eduardo Pantaloni grew up. Then we hadn't even yet conceived of the little boy (Eduardo's great-grandson) who I hold in my lap as I write now. It makes me want to visit that place again.

I think of Eduardo (who changed his name to Edward Patton when he immigrated) growing up in Ortona and my little TMD growing here in my lap. Eduardo died on Christmas day when I was only a little boy. One of my strongest memories of him is only a few days before he died telling me about the beautiful farms in the seaside village were he grew up.

He has been dead for decades now, and no one in his home town remembers his name. He is even a distant memory to me. It makes me realize that even though I am 30 now I will also someday be gone and forgotten even in the places that were once my home. This makes me glad that I am a father. TMD may not know it now but his great-grandparents who will only exist to him as black and white photos have left themselves in J. and me. Similarly I will leave myself in him.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Update on the Biopsy

News on TMD's biopsy from last Thursday:

The biopsy showed nerve cells which means it is not Hirschsprung's Disease. At least at this point surgeon and pathologist are saying that it may be Intestinal Neuronal Dysplasia, which is similar to Hirschsprung's. This is an even more rare condition than Hirschsprung's so I didn't know much about it. The good news is that at least for now TMD won't need surgery. The bad news is that unlike Hirschprungs this can be treated but not cured. Apparently the seriousness of Intestinal Neuronal Dysplasia runs the spectrum from severe to mild.

We are going back to Augusta next week to see his doctors and discuss this so hopefully we will have more information then. The good news is the our little man continues to grow beautifully and seems happy and well (asside from the occassional fussiness that is common to all babies). He is 7 weeks old today and we are loving the little personality he is developing. Hopefully we'll have more pictures up soon.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Back from Biopsy

We just got back home from the biopsy. It went well. Baby is doing fine.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hirschsprung's Disease

An update on our baby boy:

He continues to grow well and seems quite happy. He has recently been diagnosed with Hirschsprung's Disease, which is a genetic birth defect of the nerves of his colon/rectum that was making his belly bloat and causing him increasing discomfort. It is fairly rare (1 in 5000 babies) and it has some risks of serious infection, but the good news is that is can be cured with surgery. Although the X-Rays almost certainly show Hirschsprung's, we will go to MCG Children's Hospital in Augusta tomorrow for a biopsy required to confirm the diagnosis. Then hopefully he will have the surgery in the next month or so.

While we have a healthy level of concern, we are very optimistic. We were very impressed with the kind and competent surgeon who will be caring for him. We are doing washings of his colon several times a day and already he appears to be feeling much better. It is a joy to watch this boy grow and I am already impressed with his little personality. We are certain that everything that happens is in God's gracious will for our son. We will be busy over the next month with many trips to Augusta. I may not be able to be in touch with everyone personally so I aim to use this blog as a way of keeping everyone updated on TMD's care. Keep him in your prayers and stay in touch.