Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Answers and explanations

First let me say thank you to you all for your advice and support. I really REALLY appreciate it. To answer some of your questions...

According to my fabulous Pedi- H-Pylori is tested for with blood. We haven't drawn their blood yet due to the fact they are so small and dehydrated. We are waiting for a little bit so when we try to draw blood we will actually get some blood. I would hate to traumatize them and not get anything.

Charissa- It was your pic of Ivanna with socks on her hands that gave me the idea about putting mittens on Bohdan.

Bohdan isn't sucking on his hands, he is biting them. He nails and fingers are all messed up. The cuts and callouses are still healing. Not to mention his finger nails are split due to his continued biting them. I have tried to give him a paci. That was torture. I have tried other chew toys of all sorts, teething tooth brushes, even an empty bottle but he won't have any of it. He will chew on his tongue which I suppose it better at this point. Small steps.

We know Yuri's throw up cry. Josh actually caught him before it last night and got him to the sink before it happened. Yippee! One less load of throw up laundry. Problem is that it was at least 2-3 hours after he ate. I'm trying to keep him upright but you would think I was torturing him. I fed him in the bounce and then gave him toys to play with but the toys were thrown and that dear sweet child lost it. If I didn't know better I would have thought there was electric current running through the bounce. I switched him over to a walker which is where he is self destructing right now. I say self destructing because he has thrown all the toys I gave him and is jerking his head back and forth trying to hit it on something while grinding his teeth. Now he is shaking his head back and forth. The walker does have a toy bar with music buttons that he is hitting with his hands and head. I think that is the only thing keeping him in there. I'm not sure it is going to be possible to keep him upright for 30 minutes to an hour after a meal.

Yuri is a hard egg to crack. The most we have come up with is that he wants to be in total control. Which would make sense being that for his whole life it has been him against the world. He is happy to see us and even claps when he is happy but that generally only has to do with a bottle. He HATES to be held and throws himself backward. I will try to hold him in my lap and rock and maybe hold his hand but the way he reacts you would think it was causing him pain. He fights diaper changes, nose wipes, face cleans, anything. and I'm not talking about a normal little boy fight. I mean it is the end of the world. He completely fell to pieces last night because he saw the other boys playing with a toy and he couldn't have it. When I say fell to pieces, I don't just mean fussing or crying, that would be a relief. I mean fussing and crying while looking for anything to hit or knock over including but not limited to bottles, bounces, toys laundry baskets, etc., while on his way to the wood floor to rub his head. Even though I don't allow him to do this he has rubbed all of the hair off the sides of his head. A lot of it came off during the flight home.

I'm trying to build trust with him but it is very hard considering even the normal day to day stuff send him into orbit. I am trying to softly talk him through these necessary evils so he will get used to them. It is hard to play with him with toys or with the other boys because he only wants to throw the books and toys and gets upset and flails if he can't. Which isn't fair to the other guys.

Please keep this little one in your prayers. There is something going on in his little body and I wish he could tell me. I do think he is very smart and will learn quickly once we can get whatever is bugging him sorted out and/or understood.

Things are getting better slowly as we are learning the boys cues and they are settling into their routines. It would be much easier right now if no one was sick. Both boys are very smart and test their boundaries often just to check to make sure they are still there. I think this is a good sign and shows that they are learning and I firmly believe that boundaries build security.

Gotta go!

33 comments:

  1. Have been following you guys and all of your sweet boys...we are praying for you and the boys. Oh how I pray that you guys will be able to figure out what might be causing Yuri discomfort and that he will begin really attaching soon! Thank you for continuing to update even though I CANNOT imagine how busy you are. It helps us know what to expect!

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  2. When he was a toddler, my son had a very sensitive gag reflex and threw up a LOT. Those big plastic 20oz cups you get huge sodas in work great to keep around the house. We would keep one next to his bed, one on the corner of the coffee table, one in the car, etc. When you hear the cough (or whatever the sign is) then grab the cup. If you still have time to run to the toilet, great, but if not at least it's not all over the carpet. Good luck!

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  3. Many prayers for you and your boys Autumn!

    Blessings

    Melissa

    journeytoonemore.blogspot.com

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  4. Yes, boundaries do build security. I can't imagine what is in Yuri's mind or what he has experienced. It seems he doesn't like any form of restraint.(?) Hang in there. I am going to copy part of your post and send it to a friend to see if she has any ideas.

    Many, many prayers for you. Wisdom and grace. I was just praying for Yuri specifically before I read this.

    ~Barb

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  5. Poor Yuri and poor you! I know this must be a very rough time for all of you. I hope the neurologist is able to figure out what is bothering the little guy - it's too bad they couldn't get him in sooner, that just breaks my heart :( I'll be praying for you guys, hang in there!

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  6. You have been sooooooo on my heart, friend.

    Mmmmmm...been thinking about sweet Yuri A LOT...simply because MUCH of what he is doing is exactly the same as Hailee did. Just a thought here--have you considered a play pen/portable crib in your living area? These kids are so used to being confined. Having him in something like that, while he is STILL with you and can see you may ease some anxiety. Hailee often needed a "safe place" to retreat to...but we always kept her near so that she got used to us being around. When we saw her becoming manic, we gave her a safe place (pack and play) and it REALLY helped. We still do it these days when she is needing some time out from the craziness around her.

    Perhaps if you did that for Yuri, it may help. Give him a few toys he loves and let him chill on his own, in his own little space. ?????

    Just a thought. My prayers are with you. I know how HARD the fist few months are. It does get easier...I promise.

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  7. hang in there! my little girl josie, who came home to us from africa, often through up and we found out she had reflux. the g.i. doc started her on omeprozole (prilosec) and walla! dramatic decrease in vomiting! also, she has a feeding tube, through which she gets pediasure. so truly, she is surviving only on pediasure. so dont feel bad if this is all that you can get down yuri. i have also learned that its important to have a goal and very slowly work toward instead of feeling defeated if something doesnt go like you feel it should. that way you can rejoice in small gains and know youre moving closer to your goal instead of being hard on yourself or getting frustrated. its kind of a mind game i would play with myself to try to have a better attitude. rehabilitating children is such hard work! im praying for you. truly i do understand.

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  8. Yes - get sweet Yuri to neuro-developmental specialists. Certainly part of it is having so little contact and socialization for so long, and no stimulation, but... you want to make sure you know as much about his needs as possible. He's so lucky to have you in his life now! There will be challenges, so hang in there!

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  9. You are in my thoughts and prayers....thinking about all you do in a day makes me want to take a nap:)

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  10. Hang in there, Mom (& Dad)! You have saved these boys and God will never let you walk this journey alone. Praying for your family & especially for determined little Yuri. In His Love, Julie

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  11. Yay for knowing the cry that comes before the vomit! While it's a gross thing to deal with, you recognizing the cues and responding to them surely is cementing the bond between you and your boy. Prayers for healing. And trust. And calm.

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  12. I think dealing with all of that would test the most patient person on earth. I sincerely hope you are getting someone to come and take over for just an hour here and there so you can have time for yourself. I really applaud you for your positive attitude. Could Yuri still be experiencing withdrawal from the drug he was on? I wish I could help you physically, or have wisdom, but this is all new to me. Your readers are just thinking of you all and hoping the good moments start to outweigh the bad sooner rather than later. Thank you for the updates in the midst of all you are dealing with.

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  13. I'm so impressed w/ your detective skills. :)
    Do you know about GSE? (Grapefruit Seed Extract) I don't know if you even have a health food store nearby, but it's a powerful natural antibiotic. You could put the drops in Yuri's bottle and if he does have H-pylori, it could heal it. If he doesn't, it will just protect his immune system. It doesn't have the side effects of drug antibiotics. It kills only the bad bacteria, leaving the good bacteria intact, so you don't get recurrences or yeast growth.
    Probiotics could really help too. Liquid acidophilus or kefir to drink (kefir comes in yummy flavors so that helps).
    You're doing awesome! God's grace is sufficient. He will give you wisdom.

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  14. I am sorry that Yuri is finding the adjustment very hard. I will pray for him, for him to realise that you are for him and not against him, and that he will work with you in letting you know what his needs are... and peace and wisdom for you and Josh to know what to do in certain situations.

    You're doing great!!! :)

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  15. Yes! Boundaries are very important for security. To me it seems like Yuri is going through a bit of the same that Hailee Salem vent through when she came home. Maybe you could contact Adeye, and get some help?

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  16. Have you heard of or tried "chewy tubes"? Our early intervention specialist gave us one for each of our boys. They would still a prefer a Paci but they do like them. They have a small taste and look like a T. They also come in necklaces, which we are getting next week.

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  17. It sounds like Yuri might have some severe sensory issues. "The Out-of-Sync Child" would be very helpful.

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  18. WOW....Praying for you! God Bless you...It`s a hard road...But God will Bless!

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  19. Wow, Autumn, saying that you've got your hands full right now is really the understatement of the year! Bhodan and Yuri really are giving you a run for your money, not just keeping you busy but also challenging you emotionally. You sound like you are handling it very, very well though, by keeping in mind that these little guys have just lost the entire world as they know it and must think they have landed on another planet. I guess this is their way of dealing with all of the change. I firmly believe that your love and consistency will pay off and different parts of their personality will come out once they have had a chance to settle in properly.

    Thinking of you and your boys!

    P.S. I'm sure you've thought of it, but are you giving Bhodan something to chew on while he has the mittens on? Perhaps that gives him a chance to "transfer his chewing obsession"?!

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  20. I am currently doing some training around babies who are withdrawing from exposure to drugs in utero. Although I understand that this is not what your children are going through (although they may be withdrawing from some of the drugs used for sedation at the orphanage?), I am wondering if some of these techniques for soothing might also be helpful for Yuri. Firstly, less is definitely more with these babies. They can only handle very minimal stimulation. They are in massive sensory overload (as are your boys, I'm sure) and it is just too much for them to take in. Therefore, they tend to be very irritable and hard to console, have difficulty eating or focusing, have difficulty attaching to caregivers, etc. It helps to keep them minimally stimulated, only as much as they can handle, so no bright lights/loud sounds/ overstimulating toys or people, just very soothing quiet talking, maybe swaddling, darkened rooms, feeding them separately, etc.

    Take care and all the best. Liz

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  21. I said several prayers for you today, your boys were on my mind...especially Yuri. Praying for some peace...and for you and your husband to be great detectives to figure out what will soothe him quickly.

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  22. Praying for continued strength for you! That little guy just must be so uncomfortable so much of the time!

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  23. When my daughter came home, I carried her in something called a Patapum for hours. It took her quite a few months to bond, but the carrier really helped. Praying for you! It does get better!

    Catherine
    http://wronginalltherightways-travcat.blogspot.com/

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  24. I will pray for Yuri (and the rest of you all!).

    Susan

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  25. I'm so sorry it has been such a struggle. I hope the neurologist will have some answers for you concerning Yuri. My family is a big believer in essential oils. My SIL, Emily, uses them a lot with their Down Syndrome sweetie from the Ukraine. They have helped her so much with digestion issues, with calming and respiratory ailments - you name it! Emily's pedi has been so pleased with the progress little Alice has made in the short time she has been home. I'm going to go ahead and include the website where we order our oils as well as my email. You can delete this post if you want. Just holler if you have any questions or if I can be of any help. Oil site - www.heritageessentialoils.com (Run by a homeschooling family with a little one with Downs.) My email - jmullican6@comcast.net.

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  26. Wow. Poor Yuri sounds miserable. Poor little guy.

    Your account sounds *very* similar to Adeye's account of Hailee shortly after she arrived home. I know it took a while to work through, but she's doing incredibly well now.

    I hope you can get him sorted soon! Usually once any/all physical issues are tended to, it becomes easier to deal with the behavioral and emotional issues.

    Oh, FYI, 90% of a meal has moved out of the stomach by the 2 hour mark, so I wouldn't be too worried if he vomits after that point. A vast majority of his meal will already be in the intestines. ;-)

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  27. I don't recall if I left a comment last night, but I did pray for Yuri and your family tonight. hang in there, I'll continue to pray!

    Susan

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  28. This is totally off topic, but I can't get over how much this little boy on Reece's Rainbow looks like your Bohdan! http://reecesrainbow.org/category/waitingbycountry/russia/russia-region-14
    Scroll about 2/3 of the way down to Sergei K! What do you think?

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  29. Dear family,
    I'm so moved by your journey to adopt these little children. We don't know each other (I'm from the Netherlands) but I feel connected in your faith in our almighty God. A book what helped me understand about traumatized children is called: 'the boy who was raised as a dog and other stories from a psychiatrist's notebook. What traumatized children can teach us about life, loss and healing'. I wish you all the best and Gods blessing! With love from a believer in Holland

    Janet Talen

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  30. Autumn, In reference to your boys not liking being held/touched, you may want to look into Linda Tellington-Jones T-Touch. I discovered her years ago and have used her practices on my horses. Then discovered that it could really calm down humans as well! And, in fact, Tellington Touch is being used on humans, and I believe there has been a lot of success with autistic and institutionalized children who dislike touch and contact. Here's the link: http://www.tellingtontouch.com/whyTTouch4You.shtml. There's a book and video from Linda Tellington Jones TTouch for Healthcare here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/157843047X/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER. If you think this would be helpful, send me your postal mailing address to newmexicoheritagehogs@gmail.com and I'll have amazon ship it to you. I have an appaloosa mare we rescued from a horrible situation of neglect and abuse, scared out of her wits, wouldn't even look at me, completely shut down, and I was able to bring her around with this. Amazing the way we can communicate through touch, with both animals and humans. Perhaps this would help? Let me know. xo Kimberly.

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  31. Autumn, you are doing awesome!!! I can't even imagine how exhausted and overwhelmed you must feel right now. Thank you for sharing with us and reaching out for help and advice. The comments above have SO many helpful suggestions. I pray some of them work for your two handsome cuties. And congratulations for knowing the "throw up cry"! Once we learned to identify Cadence's gag/cough warning and look for the little "bile shake" she went through it's made life a lot easier- but it took us a long time to get to that point. On the upside, it meant while we were on vacation this week we were able to shout out "excuse us!" and push our way to the bathroom instead of having her throw up on our friends' leather couch and fancy rug- lol- the simple victories of children with sensory issues :) Besides sensory issues, A LOT of Cadence's vomiting we discovered was simply from backed up poop that wasn't presenting itself in the normal ways. Only x-rays reveal this problem that even with regular amounts of Miralax daily we have to "clean her out" usually every 6 months or so. Her H.pylori test (and all her other extensive testing) has all come back normal. Her digestive system just never matured right to poop without the help of Miralax. Email me if you have more questions.

    I like the Pack n Play idea a lot. A sense of security like the crib, but still part of the family so they can get used to the new living situation.

    Do you feel comfortable speculating your thoughts and concerns for Yuri neurologically? Our most recent foster son was suspected of having severe neurological complications and it was so heart breaking watching how truly miserable he was in his own little world.

    Praying for you daily. You are SO on my mind right now. Praying for strength and renewal as you get through these hard first few months.

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  32. Your sweet boys, especially Yuri were on my mind the other night. I kept wondering if he was in withdrawals from something (maybe a medication you do or don't know about?). I pray for you!

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  33. Autumn - H. Pylori can be tested in the blood, but it can also be tested in feces, which clearly is the most logical choice for a child. In fact, I think it is more accurate, at least that is what we were told when we were being treated for it. I'd call the nurse at your ped's office and demand the fecal test ... you know, put your foot down. LOL. They know us adoptive moms are good at that. Add mom to kid that has special needs and they really have persistence on their hands!

    BTW, we also used socks with Nika. She would have sucked and sucked until the cows came home, and it interrupted her daily function. Not to mention it turned her fingers into mush, caused them to break open and smell.

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