Back in the Clink Again

We have found ourselves back at Children’s Hospital again.

Jack has been fighting a little of a cold since this past Thursday and had been moving a little slow. Last night, he was laying on my lap on the couch and taking one of his many short cat naps when Matt and I noticed that he was working really hard to breathe. We plugged him into the pulse-ox to measure his blood oxygen concentration and received the low number 88% (100% is ideal). That was enough of a concern since pneumonia could really hinder this little guys progress. So it was off the ED for us.

Once we arrived at Children’s, we were taken back to the trauma department; they don’t mess around with a little guy who is not getting all his needed oxygen. We was hooked up to oxygen and the tests started. They tested him for the flu, RSV and a handful of there bacterial infections. They also took two x-rays to determine if there was pneumonia.

We spent the ceremonial 3 hours waiting in a small, glass room; watching mediocre cop shows.

About 3am we were finally put into our room which we are still hanging out in. Jack’s oxygen was just turned off and he has to be without supplemental oxygen for 8 hours before we can go home. After two hours now, he is showing some promise but is still de-satting from time to time.

So now we wait. I am watching the Reds unfortunately losing (barely) to the Cardinals while Jack is taking another one of his short but often naps. I stayed with Jack today while Matt went to work to get some deadlines met. Hopefully I can go to work tomorrow.
Opening Day 2014


March 31 is for CDH and Cincinnati Reds

Just a reminder that in addition to Opening Day, tomorrow it also CDH Awareness Day. So, when you are laying out your Reds gear for tomorrow, please throw in a little bit of turquoise for Jack and all the other CDH survivors and angels.CDH Awareness Ribbon

Cast Free Is The Way To Be

We are finishing up our fourth day of being cast free and I have to say I love it. Jack is so happy to be free from that cast and he is showing it in his attitude. He is so much fun to be around and its a lot of entertaining to see him discover the mobile world again.

The actual un-casting process was a horrible experience for him. The saw was loud and had to come up to his shoulders to remove the bar around his chest under his arm pits. He was absolutely petrified and screamed during the whole process; bursting capillaries in his eyelids and cheeks as he struggled. Once the cast was fully removed, we were able to give him a quick cleaning before a couple x-rays. The x-rays showed that his hip is still in the socket and all is good.

Next we picked up his brace from Hanger Orthopedic. Jack isn’t a fan, but it will help him adjust to life on the go without straining a recovery hip. He will wear the brace for 23 hours a day for 3 months.

All in all, Jack is bouncing back quickly. He is already doing an army crawl while wearing the brace, and he allowed us to bear weight on his legs tonight for a short time. He’ll be up and moving in no time.

And there is a bonus; since Jack was so used to the cast, he is a little insecure without that plaster armour, so Matt and I are really getting in some little boy cuddle time. We are enjoying it to the fullest since we know it won’t last too long.


Jack giving his ‘stink face’ as we waited in the office before the de-casting. This is the last time you will see this cast…well, the last time you will see it on Jack’s body.





ABM_1393213942 This screen was brought up on while we were waiting for get the cast off. It is a list of all the images that have been taken of Jack at Children’s. The red arrow is a list of the actual images. The blue arrow is of how many images were taken at the time.




ABM_1393214035This is on the same screen as the imaging list. Notice how small the scroll bar is on the left side. I wish I could have had a nickel for all the images that Children’s has for Jack. I would take a small hiatus from work!




ABM_1392916846 After the cast removal, the cast was just tossed into a trash can in the room. It really did look like we threw Jack away.





IMG_20140223_224527Jack quickly began to relax once we got home. After a good nap, he immediately went to his play room which had been neglected during the cast period. What a ham bone.





IMG_20140223_225015We took serious advantage of our spring-like weather on Saturday. Jack was finally able to ride on this tricycle that he got for Christmas. We took a walk down to UDF, loaded up on chocolate malts (and Funyons for Jack) and headed back home so we could show him off to the neighbors.

Cast-Away Eve

Oh, how time flies.The last time we spoke, Jack was still in the hospital. He was casted from armpit to toes and was just showing signs of an appetite and some personality. And here we are, the night before his cast comes off. Can you believe it? It has been 3 months.

I’m sorry that I didn’t write much about the cast period. It was busy in the Roettgers’s house. First of all, I started a new job. I am still in the same industry, but with quite different responsibilities. I would definitely call it a promotion. I am really enjoying my new-found lack of free time during the day (surprisingly).

And then there was Christmas. Not my favorite time of year but I did try a little harder this year since Jack is starting to get into it. He loved the presents (still loves them – spoiled) and really enjoyed laying under the Christmas tree and looking up at the lights. You really have to look at unconventional ways to entertain a two-year old when they are in a fill spica cast.

The new year started with a bang….the same bang as the last year…a big push to finish the kitchen. Matt is working really hard on the finishing touches and you should see the concrete countertops he has created (if he hasn’t shown you the photos already). He is very proud of them, as he should be. They look great!

And all this time, Jack has been a great little boy. He has shown a lot of patience for just a little boy (he didn’t get the from me…shocker), and he has really worked on his arm. He can look at his target, turn his head and throw a stuffed baseball blindly into Matt’s hands about 80% of the time. I know I am quite partial to thinking that he is an incredible little boy, but it is quite impressive to see. Maybe I’ll put a video on the blog one day.

So, hopefully his obsession with Mickey Mouse movies and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes will decrease a little once he is out of his cast and able to move around. There are only so many times that I can watch Mickey Mouse and the Three Musketeers in a lifetime and I passed that number about a month ago.

Well, the next time I publish a post, Jack will be out of his cast. He will be a little stiff for about a week or so and probably won’t be doing much of anything, but I will keep you all updated on all his amazing happenings. And hopefully a little more often than lately as well.

Until next time, I will leave you with a photo from after tonight’s towel bathing.


The Thanksgiving Ball-Buster

Jack is in day two of recovery and is finally my little boy again. His spirits are up and he is eating a soft pretzel with cheese sauce and french fries.

Earlier today, the doctors came into Jack’s room and let us know that he was doing great and will be released by mid-day to go home. Matt and I were so excited to be released a day early and immediately began cleaning the room and packing our things. All that we needed was for Jack to tolerate two tube feeds before they would sign the paperwork.

The first feed was a success and we waiting with Tim and Kate for the next feed. 2:30pm rolled around and it was time for the second feed. The doctor on the floor said that she would be happy for Jack to go home if he could tolerate a whole 8oz bolus feed of formula; so we obliged. I was going to do anything to get us outta here. Matt and I decided to take the bolus slow since he was only 48 hours out of surgery. Jack tolerated the whole bolus so we continued on to the flush of water. And without warning, he blew formula out of his mouth like a Vegas fountain—directly into his cast.

After getting his cast and sheets cleaned up, I talked to the doctor in charge of discharge. Though she wasn’t too concerned with the vomiting, she mentioned that his heart rate was a little too high and Jack would need to stay the night so labs can be run in the morning.

So, here we are—our things are unpacked and back to their random placement in this tiny hospital room.  Jack is back to being frustrated and Matt and I are struggling to decide who we would like to win the Steelers v Ravens game.

On The Road To Recovery

Jack is now in his recovery room and trying to find comfort after his 8.5 hours surgery.

The surgery went well and successfully corrected both his left hip socket and realigned his left femur. The surgery was finished with one good looking orange and black spica cast.

He’s in a little pain and discomfort but the Pain Team is following him closely and giving him all the good stuff.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers! Jack pulled through yet again with flying colors. We are hoping to be back home this weekend.  I will keep you all updated if there are any changes.

2 Hours Down, 6 To Go

Jack is successfully in surgery and doing well. We got the call that the first incision was made and will get another update in about 2 hours or so.

Thank you for your words of encouragement. Matt, my mom and I are chit chatting in the waiting room and digesting our yummy hospital breakfast.

I will keep you all updated when we hear something.