Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lymphoid Nodular Hyperplasia

Lymphoid Nodular Hyperplasia. There is a term for everything. And this term is used to describe why Harrison has had periodical, painless bleeding in his colon. This is the best possible out-come as this is a growth related condition. I can't find great information online about this condition. It seems to be quite rare and of course, most things online scare the bejesus out of me so I will trust Harrison's doctor. It will go away just as quietly as it came. I wish I could describe the sense of relief. I wish I could describe how lucky I feel. The cells in our body are amazing little machines and almost any random thing can happen to them. We (Harrison) are truly grateful that this was our diagnosis.

Lymphoid Nodular Hyperplasia is a swelling of the lymph nodes surrounding parts of the colon. This swelling is common and painless. There are no apparent causes of this condition. Random luck for a 6, 7, or 8 year old. As the lymph nodes swell, the inflammation irritates the colon causing it to sometimes bleed. Just a great way for our body to remind us that it is in control. 'I am your body and I will randomly cause you distress, just because I can!!! I am all powerful!' Thanks, Harrison's body...

The prep for Harrison's colonoscopy was almost as horrible as I imagined. I imagined kicking and screaming, not wanting to take the Go-lytly and then spending hours in the bathroom, laying on the floor with stomach craps followed by sitting on the toilet. You know what I mean, it's what you have all imagined...

I put Harrison on a liquid diet starting on Saturday. He had scrambled eggs and water for breakfast. Nothing else. He had Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup for lunch. I let him have 1/2 of the noodles that he would regularly have. After that he was able to tell me when he wanted to eat and I let him eat whenever that was. He had the choice of lime, sugar-free Jell-O, chicken broth from Campbell's Chicken and Star Soup (a few stars got mixed in, just because...) and G2 lemon-lime Gatorade. He was on this diet from Saturday around 3:00 pm to Sunday around 4:00 pm. He had to take a laxative at 12:00 pm on Sunday to help the process start. At 5:00 pm on Sunday we started the first 32 ounce dose of Go-lytly. I mixed it with 32 ounces of the Gatorade instead of water, thinking it would taste better. I can only imagine that it did, but it still tasted pretty bad. Harrison cried and cried and cried for an hour and a half. It was heart-breaking and comical. Here are a list of my favorite quotes. Some were used more than once.

"NO! This is done. I don't have blood in my poop. I am going to watch tv. NO!"
"OK. This is it. I'm having a meltdown here."
"Now I am freaking out! Freaking out, MOM!!!"
"You are my mom! Don't let them do this to me!"
"I am soooo mad at myself. I am not brave and I need to be."
Again, it was heart-breaking and comical. He was supposed to drink the 32 ounces in one hour and I was worried that he wasn't going to get any of it in. But, we (Chris) were able to get him to drink it (he did throw-up/gag 3 times) and we were done. Until midnight... When we had to do it again. Ugggg. Luckily, all of the awful things that I imagined happening in the bathroom never happened. He went to the bathroom, but I truly believe the liquid diet I put him on worked magic. There was never any discomfort in that area of the prep. Thank goodness.

I had worked at Starbucks Sunday morning (got up at 3:00 am...) so I was a little tired after skipping my usual Sunday nap. I went to bed early with the expectation of getting up at midnight to give Harrison his next round of Go-lytly. So when I awoke at 4:30 am, I panicked. "I AM A HORRIBLE MOTHER!!!!!!!" I rushed to the living room and found Harrison sleeping on the love seat and Christopher sleeping on the couch. I shook Christopher awake and he sleepily told me that he had given Harrison his does at midnight and he took it just fine and finished in 45 minutes. No tears. No drama. Drink. Sleep. Done. How did I sleep through that?!?! Seriously...

We had to be at the surgery center at 7:30 am. Greg and Pam came to watch Bennett. Harrison was in a GREAT mood. I do not know what brought it on or why it was there but it was more than welcome. I like to think I am a pretty relaxed, easy-going person, but I was a little on edge (especially after sleeping through his midnight dose!) and his gleeful attitude was just the medicine I needed. Intake at the hospital was a breeze. We played some Sorry and then they wheeled a Wii cart into his room and he played that for awhile.
Dr. Slovan came in and he was wonderful. He was great with Harrison and Harrison asked him some great questions like "Who is going to see the pictures of my butt?" and he answered with the ease of someone who knows how to work with all types of kids. We were pleased. His anesthesiologist was even better. His name escapes me now, but I will find it and write it down because he was great. He made Harrison laugh and told him exactly what to expect. Then he suggested they sing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. I could tell they were going to get alone wonderfully! After it was all done, Dr. Slovan told us Harrison did so great. He was calm and even giggled a couple of times while they were prepping him for the procedure. And then he reminded us not to call him Harry. I can only imagine Harrison telling everyone that he doesn't enjoy that nickname! It is so comforting to know that the doctors and nurses treated him like the great little (big) boy that he is and not just another patient. I am forever thankful and grateful.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


There is a boy. He is seven and wonderful. His name is Harrison and I don't know what my life would be like without him. Harrison is constantly challenging us, amazing us, and mystifying us with his wit, intelligence and personality. He loves to read while in school and is reading at an amazing level for a 1st grader. We are constantly amazed at what he can read and how he retains and understands the information and stories that he reads. Reading at home seems to be a challenge. He thinks there are 'better' things to be doing. We have reading time before bed and I encourage reading on the weekends, but the 'books' he chooses are usually magazines or Hidden Picture Puzzle Books. While it has been a bit of a struggle, I have caught him reading some books I have set out to see if he notices them and that has been a treat. He just seems to be a 'do it when I want to, not when you tell me to' type of child. I am sure most children subscribe to the same mantras!! He is 4 feet tall and 47.5 pounds. This means he is right on for height and very skinny! Harrison loves to do math (probably his favorite thing, actually), likes all kinds of food but prefers shrimp, and is great at board games. His current love is Blokus.

Some recent stories about Harrison include:

While lecturing James, Harrison, Bennett and Kaitlyn about not arguing about who has seen The Smurfs movie and who has not, Grandpa stated that they were done talking about it and if he heard anything about The Smurfs movie again, the perpetrator would have to sit out for a while. He asked if there were any questions. Harrison piped up: I don't have a question, but I have a comment. Grandpa couldn't help but laugh and say go ahead. Harrison said "You're talking about The Smurf's movie." Grandpa decided that Harrison is #1 - a smart-ass and #2 - pays too much attention at school.

I fixed the kids lunch one day. Mini bagels and cream cheese, Go-gurts, and bananas. Bennett had said that he would like a blueberry bagel and a plain bagel. Harrison wanted 2 plain bagels. After receiving said bagels, Bennett decided he didn't want the blueberry bagel. I gave it to Harrison who was already done with his plain bagels. He ate a bite and decided he didn't like it. I was a little tired of this and tore off a chunk and saideat it anyway and gave a chunk to Bennett and said the same thing. I left the table grumbling about how I didn't want bagels for lunch. Harrison decided to impart some important knowledge. "Mom, welcome to my world. You don't always get to do what you want or eat what you want. Welcome to MY world."
He is the ultimate child who wants to be the adult and tries to act like it in so many ways!!

A more somber story about Harrison is a recent health scare we are going through. I am sharing this in the blog simply because this is also a type of baby book for my kids. I want to remember what was happening and what we were feeling at the time. Honestly, I am not too concerned for Harrison's health at this point. I am more concerned about his worrying anticipation and my fear is that he will dwell too much and get way too nervous.

The story is that Harrison came to me a coupleof weeks ago and told me there was blood in his poop. I said let's go take a look and he told me he had flushed. Ugg. We talked about how he was feeling, what it looked like, if it hurt, etc. and decided that if it happened again, he would get me before he flushed. Time went on and nothing. And there were and are no other symptoms. No belly aches, no headaches, no anything. He is a very healthy 7 year old. Then, seemingly out of the blue, it happened again. I went to look and sure enough, it is in his stool. Luckily we already had a well-child doctor visit scheduled for the next day so I didn't have to call and make an appointment. Our doctor is fabulous! She is just one of the best. She was rightly concerned, but very reassuring. I brought up the 'c' word and she assured me that was not possible. Children get cancer, but not there. I am sure there is an explanation to go along with that, but both Harrison and Bennett were in the room and neither one of us wanted to talk about that in front of them. Again, she is amazing! She agrees that Harrison is very healthy, but that something is wrong in his colon. Basically, she believes that he has a polyp in his colon. This is not very common, but it does happen. I honestly didn't ask a lot of questions. I realize this is Harrison's body, but I want all the information and then I want to decide what information Harrison gets and when. Dr. Truesdell sent us to the lab to get a blood work-up and sent us home with a bowel movement collection kit. I am so excited about that! The blood draw was not fun, but Harrison did really well. He was nervous and scared and shook like a leaf throughout the whole thing, but the nurse, Betty Jo, was amazing and she talked so great with him. Afterwards he commented that it only hurt a little when the needle was going in and not when it was in there or when it was coming out. He was just scared and couldn't stop shaking. The doctor called later to tell us his blood looked great. This basically means there are no hidden pathogens we aren't seeing and that her initial assumption of a polyp is looking correct. Next step is to do the collection of poop (YEAH!!) and send it in to get tested. We saw the doctor on Friday so we are unable to take the sample in until Tuesday so we are waiting to do the collecting until Monday or Tuesday. After that we will see a pediatric GI specialist and after that Harrison will probably have to have a colonoscopy. During the colonoscopy, they would take the polyp if that is what is going on and then hopefully we would be all done.

Again, I am not really worried or freaking out at this point. There just is no reason to do so. Harrison has said that there was blood in his stool again and he kind of had a breakdown of his own about not wanting this to happen and not understanding why it is happening. So we are going to do a lot of being thankful for what we have and a lot of down-playing what is going on until we really know what is really going on. I have told Harrison that it doesn't do any good wishing this wasn't happening because it is and the best thing we can do now is deal with it in a positive and hopeful way.

Here's a super sweet photo of Harrison after he completed his birthday present this year. He was so proud to do it all on his own!