The Gavin Chronicles, December 3, 2007

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

Good Morning to all of our Friends and Family-

Wow!! What a weekend. We have officially begun the holiday season at the Philben house. We have hung the customary lights on the house, donned the annual Christmas Tree with ornaments and decorated the house with all things Christmas. The kids have made their lists and are counting down the days....

Gavin on the other hand......I think he likes the rules for the game of baseball. Perhaps we should not have introduced him to the sport so early in his life. Seems we were in the 7th inning and now we are stuck in the 7th inning stretch. Problem is.....Take me out to the Ball Game is not sounding so sweet anymore and we feel more like Groundhog day than we do anything else. Gavin threw us yet another curve ball over the weekend.

On Friday's rounds the doctors had decided, after consultation with the GI doc, to increase Gavin's calories in his food once again. This was a result of slow, however steady, weight gain and growth. The GI doc requested that they do some baseline lab work to verify that Gavin was not malabsorbing the formula that he has been on before increasing the calories. The lab work consisted of a complete CBC as well as a clinatest on his stool. The CBC revealed that Gavin is severely hypoglycemic. When they received these results they immediately began an IV drip to administer sugars to him and stabilize his serum blood sugar levels. A normal serum blood sugar level for an infant is 40. Gavin was registering at 21. With the IV drip his levels rose to over 100 and stabilized around 80ish. They were pleased with this response and capped the IV. They continued to check his glucose levels with every subsequent feedings it was noted hours later that once again his levels had dropped. The IV was hooked up again and remains hooked up today.

After finding the results with Gavin's sugar levels they have consulted with the Endocrinologist regarding this. The endocrinologist has ordered another battery of tests to check Gavin's pituitary function. Early on, Gavin had trouble with Adrenal insufficiency and was supported with hydrocortisone. It is suspect that perhaps his pituitary gland is not providing enough hormones to keep everything in sync. This is called hypopituitarism. So, long story short, they are testing Gavin's pituitary.....specifically growth hormones and cortisol levels. If these levels are low it will result in hypoglycemia. This situation is remedied with hormone replacement and is usually not a long term treatment but rather until the pituitary gland becomes mature on its own to maintain adequate levels of the needed hormones. The frustrating thing with these tests is the fact that the only medical facility in the United States that performs them is at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. As a result, it could be a couple of days before we receive any results.

As for feeding, his calories were increased to 28 and he is still on a 50/50 combo of formula and breastmilk. He has thus far been tolerating the increase in feeds but the GI doc will be following the labs that were ordered last week. Gavin weighed in last night at 3lb 12 oz.

The eye doctor was in last week for a repeat check post surgery. Gavin's eyes are perfect at this point and they will continue to monitor 2x a month to make sure things stay that way.

So, after watching the ball game for several innings and winning......we are now stuck in Gavin's 7th inning stretch. This is just another minor bump in the road as the neonatologist says. While they figure out the bump we will continue to try and sing Take me out to the Ball game with a smile on our face.

At this point in time, today, we could use prayers for Gavin. Prayers for the doctors and the labs working with him. Prayers for healing and strength. For Colin and I prayers for patience as they work through this issue and prayers for the Lord to sustain us in this place he has brought us to. Prayers for us as a family that we continue to support each other even when things are confusing and difficult.

On another note, Colin received his formal offer from Lockheed last week. In the process of transferring over his security clearance they also hit a bump in the road......Colin's clearance was never adjudicated because the organization he works for decided they were not going to pay for it. This is not a huge issue but rather a frustration. At this point, Lockheed has taken over his clearance and asked for final adjudication. Hopefully he will be able to start in his new position in a couple of weeks as originally planned. Please continue to keep us in your prayers for smooth sailing in the job department as well.

Thanks again for all of your love and support. We truly are appreciative of all the prayers and support we receive daily. We will continue to update you as we have new information.

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