Facing a Diagnosis and a Bruise

Way back in July, we found out that Jax had elevated IRT levels as part of the typical newborn screening process. This elevated level is caused by a variety of things, including stressful birth (duh) and prematurity (duh), or it can be a sign that the baby has the genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is “an inherited disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.”  The disease affects people differently: some people with CF can live to be 30, some need lung transplants when they are 3 years old, some have asthma, some have no symptoms at all. While the disease is very serious, doctors told us not to worry. (Spoiler alert – the story has a good ending!)

Because of the elevated levels, doctors ordered a more specific DNA test to check for most common gene mutations that cause Cystic Fibrosis. The results of that test came back negative, but to be on the safe side, doctors ordered a full gene evaluation where they discovered that Jax does indeed have two rare gene mutations that can indicate Cystic Fibrosis. He got it from somewhere, so that means that either Steve, me, or both of us are carriers of the gene mutation. Steve and I both did a DNA to see where the mutations came from. It’s confusing, but if the mutation came from one of us that is good, but if it came from both of us, that could be bad.

We found out today that the gene mutations come only from me. This is good news – because now it is even more likely that Jax does not have the disease. (PSA: if you are related to me, you also have a chance of having this gene mutation. If you are considering having kids, you may want to consider getting the genetic testing done to make sure both parents do not have the mutations. If both parents have the mutation, children have a 25% chance of having the disease.)

Today, Jax went in for one final test to see if he has the disease. This “sweat test” is weird! They wiped Jax’s forearms with a special gel and then hooked him up to two electrodes that stimulate his sweat glands. Then they put on a “watch” that collected the sweat. Unfortunately Jax is still too small and  they were not able to collect enough sweat to make a conclusion. However, since Jax has no problems eating, he’s gaining weight regularly (he weighs almost 11lbs already!) and he’s already off oxygen, doctors are very confident that he does not have the disease. We will redo the test the same day of his hernia surgery (January 15) to make 100% sure that he’s in the clear. But, all in all, we are 99% sure that we dodged yet another bullet! After almost 5 months of having this in the back of our minds all I can say is – Whew!

There is another preemie mom that has a great blog called Ain’t No Roller Coaster. Last week, she did a post called “Getting THE Diagnosis.”  Talk about a timely post! I appreciated her insight and advice as we faced this diagnosis. Thankfully, for us, the news is good. Many preemies don’t get very much good news and are faced with hard diagnosis’ and long roads. We are grateful everyday for Jaxson’s positive progress and good news!

Unfortunately, during the sweat test, Jaxson was hurt by the lab tech. She squeezed his tiny hand a little too hard and now he has a bruise (the shape of a thumb print) and swollen fingers. We complained to a manager (of course, have you met me?) and the manager had the case elevated to the lead Family Liaison and Risk Management Department. The manager said “Oh my God! I can’t believe this!” They had a physician come and check him out to make sure there was not another reason why he would have the bruising (read: covering their asses), but the doc did not make sure he did not have any broken bones or sprains. The bruises and swelling keep getting worse. I think we will request some X-rays to be sure. Take a look at these pictures…What would you do in this situation?

Do you see the bruise that is the shape of a thumb?
Do you see the bruise that is the shape of a thumb?
Jax's swollen and bruised fingers
Jax’s swollen and bruised fingers

I went today for a physical today. The doctor found something that she called fibrocystic lumps in my breasts. She says that it is very common, especially after pregnancy, but she ordered an ultrasound and mammogram tomorrow to screen for breast cancer. I’m sure it’s nothing, but, as you can imagine, anything having to do with breast cancer scares the shit out of me. I’d appreciate some extra positive thoughts tomorrow, please!

Wow – this is a pretty heavy post! Here’s something to lighten the load:

A happy smiley boy
A happy smiley boy! I think he has my chin..poor kid.
Look at that lip!
Look at that lip!

Author: Andrea M

Oh man, what an adventure! I went into labor unexpectedly when I was 23w3d pregnant. Jaxson was born weighing 1 lb 8 oz. A tiny little peanut, but boy was he feisty. He still is! We love it now, but we probably won't when he is a teenager. I write about our journey and all other things that come with it, including a brain tumor. We look forward to "meeting" you - come hang out with us...we're pretty cool.

14 thoughts on “Facing a Diagnosis and a Bruise”

  1. OM goodness! I would be pissed too about the bruises – What the heck, what did they not know about A BABY’s HAND? geeez… but it’s Jax and that bruise is nothin’ 😉 Sending your prayers on the other bit… Love reading your blog and following Jax’s story. You guys are doing an amazing job and it’s refreshing to hear your positive posts! Good Luck tomorrow!
    ~Anna Schmoll~ Merry Christmas to your family!


  2. I come from the angle that bruising means that Baby Jax was hurt and hurting this little guy is enough to make all of his fan club pissed off. I would definitely make a note to them. I am most certain that this does not have be done in a manner to bruise and hurt our little hero.
    As far as the lumps in your breast, I realize your panic and I certainly do not blame you. Stay on top of things as I know you will.
    Take good care of all of you….you are loved much more than you will ever know.


    1. Again, as always, thank you for your kind words and incredible support! Jax seems to be feeling better today and the swelling is going down in his fingers, so things are looking better!


  3. You did not overreact. I would have had the same reaction(pissed off!). I’m surprised they didn’t want to cover their bums more and go ahead and do xrays right away. We are the advocates for our children, and when Momma ain’t happy watch out. I hope he heals quickly, try the home remedy of rubbing a lemon or lemon juice on it (it helped with the black eye my kids gave me yesterday, don’t ask :)) The pictures at the end of your post are wonderful, the expressions are priceless. I’m sending some happy thoughts out tonight in our prayers that all your tests go well and are all clear! Good luck 🙂


    1. That’s right, Libby – watch out for Mama Bear! 🙂 I’m surprised you don’t have black eyes everyday with 5 kids running around. Thanks for the “secret” remedy!


  4. You guys are nothing short of amazing and I don’t even know you, but I pray for you every night. Don’t worry about Jax. He is going to be just fine. I was born almost three months premature way back in 1974 and I don’t have any residual effects from it! 🙂 Just remember….From little acorns do mighty oaks grow! :))))

    Oh….And I would be totally pissed about Jax’s bruise. You were 100% in the right to say something!

    Keep the faith, you guys….You have thousands of people in your corner praying for you. ❤


  5. The fact that his little fingers are swollen concerns me. I would be worried if it were one of my kids. Especially with swelling.

    Good luck! Thinking of you.


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