This coming Monday, the 10th, Evie will have her first of four tracheal dilations in Cincinnati. We’ll go in every 2 weeks, then have a 6-8 week wait until we do a scope and determine if the dilations worked well enough to avoid a full tracheal reconstruction. We very much covet your prayers on this one. A tracheal reconstruction is not something I want to put Evie through if possible. We feel optimistic about the dilations, though. Her ENT gave a 50-75% chance of it working and he knows his stuff. There’s really nothing more encouraging than researching these procedures and seeing Evie’s doctor’s name pop up in nearly every article. She is in very very good hands.
A few quick updates on how Evie’s been doing:
Walking: Evie is probably walking 80-90% of the time now which still surprises me! I feel like she all of a sudden started walking, but in reality it has been about a year since she took her first steps! She’s had a such a rough year of surgeries and sickness and setbacks, so it’s exciting to watch her FINALLY get to this point. And it’s really not a finally, since the average age for walking in CHARGE kiddos is 3 years old. She’s getting faster and more coordinated all the time, but her balance still makes it difficult for her. She needs to focus on what she’s doing and tips over a lot. Lately, she’s decided to walk around with her hands on her hips, but she tends to drift to one direction or another then instead of walking in a (relatively) straight line!
Vocalizing: Evie is actually vocalizing without the speaking valve when she cries now. I think the speaking valve helped show her that she COULD move her vocal cords and make noise so now she tries even without the valve. That seems to be the only time she can get enough air past her vocal cords with or without the speaking valve, though. There’s just too little space in her trachea (due to the trach itself taking up so much room) and the tiny opening at the top of her trachea, so she really has to be breathing hard to force air up through her mouth. Hopefully after the dilations, she’ll have more success. We’re still absolutely loving the sound she IS making, though.
Communicating: Evie continues to use sign language and her Speak For Yourself app to communicate with us along with her blowing raspberries babbling and singing. The other night she wanted to say goodnight to Aleyna, so she tapped her name on the app, signed her name, then “called” to her with blowing raspberries. She’s amazing.
Health: She’s been staying healthy since about Christmas which seems like forever! We’re hopeful we can get through the rest of winter without any more hospital stays, but you just never know. We’re mostly hoping we don’t have to postpone any of the dilations due to sickness! She’s finally starting to grow more steadily, too, after the constant back and forth, gain and lose, of the last several months. She’s getting close to 24 pounds now and so much taller!
We will keep you updated on Monday. She’ll be kept overnight for observation since there’s generally quite a bit of bleeding with the dilation. Fun, right? Hopefully it will just be the one night, though, and then we’ll be able to head home for a week and half before turning around to do it again…three times. Along with prayers for Evie, we’d appreciate prayers for Ty and me, for energy as travel so much.