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11/29/01

We are way overdue for an update! First of all, we hope everyone had a very nice Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for this year. Savanna is doing extremely well.

She's now 19 months and quite the toddler. At her 18 month check-up, she was 31 inches tall and 20 lbs. 11 oz. She no longer needs to be charted on the very low birth weight premature girls chart because she is hitting the 'typical' girls chart! She is 25% for length and 10% for weight. She's really catching up. She's even in the clothes size for her actual age (18 mths)!

Last update I mentioned that we had to switch specialists due to insurance. We are now with Children's Memorial. They are very good there - its just quite the haul and long day going into the city. But still we are very fortunate - there are families that travel from other states to bring their children there.

Savanna's neutrophil count has been doing excellent. Her ANC (absolute neutrophil count) was 1650 on 10/11 and then a whopping 3000 on 11/9!!!!! Remember that the minimum is supposed to be 1500 to not have neutropenia. We are so thrilled.

She had some other tests done to narrow down the possibility of Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome. They did x-rays on her legs (which can have some abnormalities with SDS) and they were fine. Her chromosomes look good and she only showed a deficiency with her IgA (not a big deal). Her fat soluble vitamin test looked good too. So once again, it is looking less likely that she has Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome.

Her kidneys have not improved, but they haven't gotten any worse either. They will probably check her again in 3-6 months. After one of her last blood tests her glucose was low (51). We need to repeat the test before we get too concerned. She may have just needed to eat before the test.

Savanna is walking around like crazy and gaining speed each day. She's such a good girl - rarely ever fussy, great sleeper, good eater. She's an angel and I only mention it because we do appreciate it so much. She also just started saying lots of words in the past couple weeks. We are up to about 20 now. All her words are whispers. That's how we know when she is actually saying something. Boy we have it easy! She finally said 'Mama' and 'Dada' over Thanksgiving weekend.

She's accomplished so much. Her therapies have significantly decreased to only once every 2 months. Way to go Easter Seals and Early Intervention Program! The timing and help they gave us truly had an impact.

Savanna's just getting over another cold and ear infection. This one lasted quite a while.

Other family news:
Our cat Misty passed away on Oct. 25th. It was quite sudden and unexpected. She was just 10 years old. It started out as just a thyroid problem. However, her liver reacted badly to the medication. In the process of trying to help her, she was retaining fluid around her lungs, abdomen and brain. The fluid in her brain caused her to seizure. After the vet tried to help her for many hours, she passed away. It was very sad. :(

Now we have a new member of our family. It's a kitty named Mia. She's a little over a year old. The vet and his wife found her while they were on vacation in the Dells. She had a litter of kittens too. They brought them all home and took care of them. Mia became the vet hospital cat. She has a Misty type of personality. We fell in love with her. The vet was so sweet and offered her to us. She has been with us for about 2 weeks now and doing very well adjusting. However, right now she's in the hospital for a hernia operation. Poor thing. (Marybeth is starting to think she has a curse - every animal that she gets seems to have some health issues). Let's just hope this is the only hurdle Mia has for a while.

Well I have rambled on long enough. We want to wish you very happy, safe, and healthy holidays! We're sure going to have fun with Savanna! :)

Marybeth, Derek & Savanna

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