Monday, November 10, 2008

Accomplished before reaching my second birthday!!!!

Two goals accomplished! Cruz is officially walking and officially off the bottle. He stood up in early September and with some wobbling, falling down, bouncing off objects, he has perfected his walking before reaching his second birthday! We are so proud of you Cruz! He was even ready to parade his lion costume (handmade by mom- me) in time for Halloween. He still has some strength building to do in his legs so that he can stand up and stay up without the falling down every now and then, but we are working on that and for the time being he prefers walking over crawling- walking about 80% of the time. Way to go Cruz!
One of my own goals for Cruz was to get him off the bottle before his 2nd birthday; we tried sippy cups, straws, different types of training cups and all were not 100% successful in some way or another. With the suggestions of his therapists, with the research I did, and suggestions from the DSNetwork I went out and bought the training cup with the straw spout. I put away the bottle and told Cruz, "If you want this milk you'll figure it out son.". I sat him down with the cup and watched as he lied down to drink it like a bottle, sat up and sucked and sucked not getting any reward, threw it across the room, picked it back up........ I could go on and on. Finally with some more help he figured it out and very nicely sits with his cup and sips his milk like a successful toddler! He shows me over and over how much determination he has and that he is truly a fighting spirit.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our third follow up with the cardiologist and the results are in....

We are truly blessed! Thank you God for all that you have blessed us with and for hearing our prayers!

We had our third follow up with Cruz's cardiologist to find out how his tiny holes in his heart were coming along. We were told that he had three tiny holes in various areas in his heart (PDA, PFO, & one other near the bottom). Although tiny and no medications to be taken, they were still there and until they are closed 100% we still had that tiny bit of worry hanging above our heads. So the test are in and the Dr. was pleased to tell me that Cruz is a remarkable kid. "It is rare to see kids with DS whose hearts develop like Cruz's has, I don't get the chance to see positive results this often and it makes me happy for Cruz to see that his heart has develop amazingly well.", told to us by Dr. Sandweiss. He followed up by telling us that 2 of the three openings have closed 100%, cease to exist! The third one (PFO) is so tiny it is possible to live a full life expectancy without problems. We do not have to return for three years, at which time Dr. Sandweiss expects third opening to be closed.
I could not help but call everyone closest to me and while telling them the great news I was overwhelmed with the news I couldn't not hold back my tears of joy for my son!!!!!
Cruz is a fighter and a strong boy, he continues to beat his own odds.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The surgery went well!

Cruz had his first of two eye surgeries this morning. Today we did another probe to clear the obstruction of his ducts and then they inserted silicon tubes so that the ducts can stretch to avoid the obstruction from happening again. As some of you know he has already had one surgery (last year same month) to clear obstruction of his "tear" ducts. And well, it came back. Poor little guy....
He is a fighter; the surgery went well, it was 20 minutes quick and within a few hours he was home watching his noggin channel, dancing to his favorite cartoons, and spinning around on his head. There will be more tearing and some bloody tears and nose for a while, the tears will probably last until they pull the tubes out in six months. We could use your prayers that Cruz cooperates and does not do anything to pull the tubes out. We want to be sure that they stay in long enough so that ducts have the opportunity to stretch. So if all goes well he will move on to his eye muscle surgery to correct the strabismus (cross-eye). Thanks to everyone to prays for him and his good health. We applaud you Cruz!

Monday, October 13, 2008

It is time for the 2008 Buddy Walk


Although we are getting a late start this year we are ready to start our fundraising efforts, full steam ahead. Many of you donated last year (xoxoxoxo's to all who did), and some of you are reading about this for the first time. Whom ever you are please take time to read, click on the link, and consider donating and/or joining us for the walk. It would be even better if you joined in as a team member to help in the fundraising efforts. By joining Cruz's team you help to send out emails, encourage others to donate or even participate. Every effort, whether it be monetary or by coming out and walking to spread the awareness, you do for Cruz and all people who have Down Syndrome is appreciated. Your donation, your time, and your effort is for a great cause. Money raised in this event is going to help make this organization stronger so that they can reach out to families and those with DS to help make things a bit easier. The DSNetwork organizes family events, educational seminars for parents, financial advice for future planning of our children with DS, medical research seminars, nutritional clinics, a web based chat group providing a wealth of information (I have learned things I would have never thought about asking). I could go on and on with a list of great things this group does. In the end they would not be able to provide such a service to the community without your support. On a personal level, people like Cruz benefit greatly when there are services like this one in existence. Acceptance and inclusion of all kids with DS has come a long way. These kids are doing great things and society is opening the doors for them. Please help to keep the opportunities coming and those doors open, spread the awareness and donate what you can (even change helps). As always your prayers are welcome, we love when you pray for our son!

The Buddy Walk of Central Arizona is a walk to raise awareness and to support those who we love with Down Syndrome. Click on the Buddy Walk link to the right of the screen to make your donation today. If you want to join our team efforts to raise money or you want to join us for the walk you can do all this by clicking on the link. If you need help doing any of this or have questions please email me or call. Thank you as always! You all are very special to us and we appreciate you!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Well we have done quite a bit since the last update. I took Cruz, just me and Cruz - Dad had to stay home and work, to visit the familia in Texas. It was lots of fun! Thanks Auntie Denise and Victoria and thanks to Grandpa who made sure we had a good time. I have decided that Cruz has definitely reached the end of his days as a lap child. No more trips unless he has his own seat! Good thing we are coming up on 2yrs for him!
Wednesday we went to Cruz's eye check up. We have concluded that his obstructed tear duct will need to be re-addressed with surgery. I was holding off as long as possible, but his pediatric optimologist is suggesting we schedule another probe followed by the insertion of silicone probes (more like stints that hold open the duct to allow it to stretch). The probes will stay in for approx. 6 months, unless Cruz happens to pull them out before that. OUCH! She said it does happen, and if so not to worry, the opening should be stretched far enough. hmmmmm.... I hope so.
Well, that is not the end of that though. We also learned that Cruz's eyes are beginning to cross at a downward angle. For those who see Cruz regularly; we found out why he sits with his chin to his chest a lot of the time. Because his eyes are interpreting light reflection at a downward angle his mechanical compensation is to tilt his head down so that his eyes pull upward allowing himself to correct his own binocular vision. The solution is eye muscle surgery to correct the muscles that are contributing to this problem.
I have a lot more research to do before this surgery is scheduled and a lot more questions we need answers to. I didn't want to get ahead of myself, I want to deal with one issue at a time. I am sure and confident about the surgery to clear his lacrimal ducts so we will have this done on Oct 22, 2008. The muscle surgery; still a lot to be discussed on that. Regardless I am glad that correction can be done, my heart would break for my son to know that his eyes are crossing and nothing can be done to correct it. Modern medicine is a wonderful thing!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Time has flown by.....

Wow, time has definitly flown right by. So many have asked, "What ever happened to that blogspot you started for Cruz?" I know I know..... Well, tonight was the night to sit down and get the ball rolling. Cruz is 21 months, will be 22 months on the 20th (this month), and OMG 2 yrs this Nov. You can see by his pictures; he has grown into a happy, healthy, beautiful, vibrant, determined, I could go on and on, little boy. We have done so much in the past year, where do I start. Since the last entry, Cruz has learned to crawl, stand on his own, balance for several minutes, and now we are learning to walk. We are sooooo proud of him. With all that was against us we are beating the odds! AMEN! He is truly a motivated, determined little guy. We can't help but give him all the love he needs. Everyday he brings smiles and laughter, to everyone he meets. We have great therapist (4 a week) Occupational, Physical, Speech, and a wonderful lady (Jamie) who is a developmental specialist. We have a loving and a supportive family, who we appreciate and thank God for. With this team of specialist and family we are raising a special young boy. As they say, "It takes a village." So true, so true! We recently took a trip to Ixtapa, Mexico I want to share some of this photo's on this page as well. Coming soon...... Thank you everyone for keeping an interest and for all your prayers. We love you!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Now, That'a a knee slapper!

Santa brought me so many wonderful things this Christmas but best of all he brought me this blog, now that's a knee slapper! Happy New Year, The Rodriguez Family wishes Love, Prosperity and Health!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Drug for Down Syndrome

Scientists may have finally found a drug candidate for reducing the mental retardation caused by Down syndrome. After as little as two weeks on the drug, mice with a genetic impairment similar to the syndrome performed as well as normal animals did on learning tests.
The learning and memory problems characteristic of Down syndrome may occur because its sufferers' brain cells are unable to form new synaptic connections with neighboring neurons. This inhibition could be the result of overactive GABAA receptors — tiny ion channels on neurons. The drug the researchers tested, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ), interferes with the GABAA receptors, allowing new synapses to be formed at a normal rate.
For two to four weeks, researchers gave low doses of PTZ to mice bred to have an extra copy of one of their chromosomes. As in Down syndrome, this genetic anomaly causes malformed facial bones and learning problems. Immediately after treatment with PTZ, the animals' scores on two memory tests — for recognizing objects they had seen before or remembering how they last entered a maze — were on par with normal mice. Two months later the altered mice still did much better than they would have done otherwise.
The treatment 'is allowing the normal properties of neurons to work,' says Stanford University neurobiologist Craig Garner, whose group performed the experiments. 'This slowly, over time, leads to an improved circuit.'
Although the study results are hugely promising, there is a catch: PTZ, formerly used to treat psychiatric disorders, was taken off the market 25 years ago after being found to be ineffective and to cause dangerous seizures in some people. The dose used in the current study was much smaller than the dose that provoked seizures, however, so the researchers believe there is a good possibility that the drug can be used safely.
A new drug may allow children with Down syndrome to learn at the rate of their healthy peers.