Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 30

I am in the NICU waiting room after just seeing Samuel. He is looking good. They gave him another round of lasix today so that he isn't retaining too much fluid. They also switched off the suction for his stomach tube because the fluids coming out were finally clear. This is really good news since that means they will attempt feeding him in a few days.

I talked to the nurse practitioner and she said the next weening would be the nitrous oxide.

Thanks for praying. Happy New Year everyone!

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 29

Yesterday Samuel remain basically unchanged with his oxygen between 33% and 36%. Leyla was able to see Samuel with his eyes open yesterday. His puffyness has really gone down. While Leyla was there, Samuel's blood gas went down slightly. The alarm went off and Samuel decided to breath some big breaths. This is good since we want him to eventually be off the support.

Today the oxygen is at 35%. The doctors decided to lower his Nitrous Oxide from 5 ppm to 2.5 ppm. The Nitrous Oxide is what helps with the pulmonary hypertension. The fentanyl which is the pain medication was lowered from two to one mcg/hr/kg.

Yesterday I made some long phone calls to apply for the patches of light program. Today I am planning to go to the Social Security Administration building to apply for Medicaid for Samuel. While the medicaid won't help now, it might help as a backup health insurance to pay for the second surgery in 6 to 12 months. I will be there several hours waiting. I hear the lines are long.

I am planning to see Samuel tonight after the SSA. I thank God for the time I can spend with Samuel. I thank God for the tremendous care that they are giving him at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 28

Samuel's blood gas last night was good so they were able to take out the arterial line. They had to increase the oxygen slightly to 36%. They are not planning to make any other changes today.

I talked to another doctor today. All of them are reluctant to give any time frame of how long Samuel could be in the hospital. The only thing I have heard is a range from 2 months up to a year. It all depends on Samuel.

The doctor said the next hurdle would be to change the feeding though the feeding tube. Currently Samuel is being fed intravenously with lipids and will not gain any weight or grow while he is on that. Nothing is better than the mother's milk. They will start feeding him when the fluid is gone from his stomach. There is a tube which suctions his stomach every few seconds. Please pray specifically that the fluid would be reduced in his stomach so he could start to be fed with Leyla's milk. Pray also that he would be able to keep the milk down.

Samuel is tired today. He didn't open his eyes for daddy. He did make expressions with his forehead when I sang to him.

Praise God that Leyla's milk production is going well. Pray for her continued strength.

More updates later.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 27

Samuel had a steady day today. They lowered the pressure of the ventilator and also lowered the oxygen to 30%. They are also planning to take out the arterial line if his blood gas is good at midnight tonight.

Leyla, Priscilla, Leonor, Crystal and Jasmine visited Samuel today in the hospital.

Thanks to Pastor Wood that gave us a wonderful book on Samuel.

I am planning to visit Samuel tomorrow during doctors rounds. I am going to try to see what the doctors plans are for the recovery phase. I am taking the camera in hopes that I can take a picture of him with his eyes open.

God is so good. I am glad Samuel is doing well.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 26

Samuel had a steady day yesterday. He was at 40% oxygen the whole day. They lowered the pressure of the ventilator so he could start doing more of the work. They also lowered the fentanyl to 2 mcg/hr/kg. They also reduced the sedative to every 6 hours instead of every 4 hours. He fairly awake when I went to visit him. He had his eyes open. They took out his cathader to prevent infection. They are planning to weigh the diapers to measure the fluid output.

As of this morning at 8am they lowered his oxygen to 33%. My mother in law and the kids will visit today. Leyla is pretty tired and I have meetings at church this afternoon.

Thanks for praying.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 25

Sorry for no update yesterday. It was a busy day of after Christmas shopping. I wanted to take advantage of the deals. My winter coat was falling apart.

Samuel had a steady day yesterday. They lowered his oxygen to 36% and he stayed there all day. They had to give him a blood transfusion because his H&H was low. He was retaining some fluid so they did give him another dose of lasix.

My parents visited yesterday before heading back to their home. I am planning to visit today during doctor's rounds. Pastor Gabbard is planning to come to pray today as well.

Samuel says Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 24

Merry Christmas.

Samuel had a couple set backs today. They had to bump up his oxygen from 40% to 66%. He was retaining a lot of fluid this morning. He was looking really puffy and pale. They gave him another dose of lasix to drain the fluid. Fourty five minutes later he was able to pee a bunch. This not only improved his looks but also his stats. They were able to reduce the oxygen to 45% this afternoon.

Samuel has a lot of hair. He may need a haircut before he comes home or he will look like a hipee. :)

I talked to the nurse practioner and one of the doctors. They both assured me that the setbacks are normal 48 hours after the surgery.

Thank you for your prayers.

James 5:16b
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 23

God really answers prayers.

Even more good news on Samuel. Last night they were able to put him on the same amount of oxygen that he was getting before; 34%. This is great news since usually babies with this condition have to be put on a lot of extra oxygen, the oscillating ventilator or in the worst case ECMO. Samuel didn't need any of that.

Early in the morning Samuel needed some extra oxygen; 40%. This is okay. Most babies with this condition have a larger digression. When the surgeons made their rounds this morning at 6am they were surprised to see that Samuel's right lung is already almost as big as his left lung. If you remember last night we were told that it would take months to expand. That was an answer to one of my specific prayers the night of his birth; when they said that Samuel would not survive the night. I had prayed for two good lungs.

Samuel is being given a lot of pain medication and a medication to paralyze him. They want the ventilator to do all the work and for him to heal from the surgery. They want him immobile.

Thank you all for all the cards, and voice mails, and packages, and gifts. It is all overwhelming.

Thank you Chris and Megan for the beautiful ornament.
Wow Encouragers class, thanks for the help with the medical expenses.
Stacy Brown thank you for the death by chocolate desert.

Keep praying. Leyla is teary eyed every now and then because of the empty crib. Pray that Samuel will be at home with us soon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 22

Wow God is awesome.

Great news! Samuel's surgery was a complete success. In fact the surgeon came into the room with a smile on her face and told us that it went better than expected. The surgery was only an hour and a half long.

Samuel had enough diaphragm on the right side to be able to sew it up without a patch. He has an enlarged liver (swollen). All the intestine and liver was moved back down where it should go. Right now Samuel looks like he is pregnant because of the swollen liver and intestine being moved down. The surgeon put a gortex patch in the abdomen because there was not enough skin to stretch. The skin in the abdomen will grow and the belly will get soft and reduce. In six to twelve months this patch will have to be removed with another surgery.

When the surgeon sewed up the diaphram she used gortex staples. There is a chance that it might tear open again but it has never happened to her. That gives a big confidence going forward.

The surgeon said that he does have a right lung that will grow. It will take months for it to expand.

Rachael Ratliff is incredible. She dropped off a big Italian dinner. It was wonderful. Thanks!

Now we begin the recovery phase. Please pray for a quick recovery; that Samuel would heal quickly. Pray that Samuel would continue to gain strength every minute. I will keep you updated.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 21

Samuel is in surgery now. The surgeon said that most likely the hole in Samuel's diaphragm will require a gortex patch because so much intestine is up in the chest. It will be around 2 hours for the surgery if there are no complications. I have a real peace about the surgery. I prayed that God would hold Samuel's hand through the surgery and I know he will.

Thank you for your prayers.

Samuel might have open wounds after the surgery and be prone to infection. We kindly request for no visitors for three days.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 20

This has been a crazy day. They told us that the surgery would be at 1pm but now it has been postponed again because of an emergency case. Now it is tentatively scheduled for 3pm today.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 19

We arrived at the hospital this morning and apparently Samuel's surgery is not scheduled as we were told yesterday but is on the add on list. They said that he would have surgery today but we don't know when. It was odd because respiratory dept came into Samuel's room and was getting the equipment ready to be moved into the OR. The nurse didn't know it was an add on surgery either.

Newman's oh my gosh we are totally blown away by the care package you dropped off yesterday. Wow thanks.

I will let you know something as soon as I hear something.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 18

They postponed the surgery until tomorrow morning at 8am (Tuesday). There were a lot of emergency surgeries today.

I will blog something as soon as I know how the surgery has gone.

Thank you all for praying.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 17

The information that I have now is that the surgery for Samuel will be today, some time after 7pm. The surgery is about 2 hours long if there are no complications.

They increased Samuel's Fentanyl dose back to 1MCG/KG/HR because he really dislikes the ventilator tube. The nurses said that it is common that full term babies know that the ventilator tube is not supposed to be there and they are angry about it.

I was able to hold Samuel today. He opened his eyes for me and looked straight at me while I was talking to him. He then fell asleep in my arms.

Pastor Darrel Gabbard came all the way from Dublin to bless my lunch and also pray for Samuel. Dave Ratliff also came to pray at exactly the same time. What a blessing the body of Christ is.

I will blog later about Samuel's condition. It might be a long night. There are a lot of babies here because of the March blizzard this past year had a lot of conceptions. There are a lot of emergency surgeries.

Thanks for praying.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 16

Samuel's condition is about the same as yesterday. He is still at 36% oxygen and his stats are improving to around 96-98 oxygenation. He had an EKG done of his heart. He still has some pulmonary hypertension which is a common thing that goes along with the diaphragmatic hernia.

I will be going to the hospital tomorrow to be there when the doctors and the cardiologists review the EKG. It solely up to the surgeon when the surgery will be performed. If the EKG results are not where the surgeons think it should be; the surgery may be postponed.

Because they lowered the sedative/pain reliever (they are using Fentanyl) Samuel was so mad when they were suctioning the lines that he kicked off the blood pressure monitor that was on his foot. They had to bring in another nurse to hold him down. My boy is a fighter. :)

QSI, thanks for the lunches and the toys.
Margie thanks for the toys and money for the girls.
Mindy thanks for the wonderful gift basket.
Rita Jones thanks for the gift card.

We will have a big celebration when Samuel comes home. We don't know when that will be, but God does. We serve an awesome God.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 15

Samuel is doing fine is still at 36% oxygen which is really good. They reduced the sedative from 10MCG/KG to 5MCG/KG. He is more active now. He is actually mad at all of the wires and the ventilator now. He is a strong boy. He was actually trying to pull out the ventilator during the night of the birth.

There will be a heart ultrasound tomorrow and then the scheduling for the surgery will occur.

Leyla is going to take care of Crystal tomorrow. Crystal has a slight cold. I am planning to go to church. More updates later.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 14

Thank God Samuel responded better than expected to the conventional ventilator today. He didn't have a set back like he did for the test two days ago. He was doing well with 41% oxygen since 11:15AM. I just called the nurse at 11:30pm and she said that Samuel was turned down to 36% oxygen and his stats are still good. All in all this was the best day so far. He has never been able to be lowered to 36% before.

Praise God, nothing broke today with the cars or the house. :)

We still don't know when the surgery will be; just sometime before Christmas next week. We will have a 24 hour notice from the doctor when the surgery is scheduled.

Thanks for praying.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 13

Wow. A lot of changes today. This is like a live soap opera.

The surgery will not be today. It will be some time next week before Christmas. They took Samuel off the oscillating ventilator at 11:15AM and put him on the regular ventilator. This is not a test like it was two days ago. The doctor thinks he is doing well enough for the conventional ventilator. They had to up his dose of sedative last night because he was agitated. They are planning to reduce it back to where it was today.

They had to give Samuel lasix to help him drain some fluid. They also gave him some blood because they are taking blood every 4 hours for lab work.

Another huge thing that happened when they switched him to the conventional ventalator is he opened his eyes again. I took the opportunity to sing Old McDonald had a Farm to him. They had his head turned to the left side since he was born because it is required for the ocillating ventalator was on the left side. They turned it to the right side. I can't imagine having my head turned to one side for 7 days straight. All good news.

I am so thankful to God that Samuel is doing well. I am so thankful for all of you that are reading this blog and are encouraged by Samuel's progress. I am so thankful for all of your prayers. I am so thankful for all of the kind comments, notes, cards, and calls from all of you. I am so thankful for all of the unexpected gifts that have been arriving at our door.

Thank you for holding our hands and hearts through this roller coaster.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 12

Another normal crazy day.

Samuel had to be bumped up from 45% oxygen to 50% oxygen today after his test run on the conventional ventilator yesterday. We went to visit him in the hospital. It was something else to see him smiling in his sleep like newborns do. Jasmine was able to see Samuel for the first time. She was afraid of all the equipment in the room. We had to bring her. She had a melt down after her slipper came off. Jasmine is her normal self again after seeing her brother.

We talked to the doctor and he said that he wants to have Samuel to have his surgery before Christmas; perhaps even tomorrow. Please start praying for the surgery. Basically Samuel is hovering between 40% and 50% oxygen now and the doctor wants to repair the hernia and get on to the recovery stage. My parents are going to stay for a while longer.

God is so good. Leyla was hoping that the surgery would be sooner rather than later. I am dreaming that this summer we can drive to the beach. I can picture Crystal and Jasmine running and laughing with Samuel in the stroller smiling.

The damage to the minivan from the car accident we had yesterday was more than expected. The rim was bent, the sidewall of the tire was damaged, and it was knocked out of alignment. Basically we had to get a new rim, two new tires, and have the car aligned. Total cost; $489 before taxes. Ouch. I see the protection of God in this situation too. It could have been worse. Someone else ran into the fire hydrant on the same street and completely knocked it over. Two mailboxes were also run over in the same spot we had our accident.

However there is good news with the other car. The nail hole that was in the tire could not be repaired and there was Road Hazard Insurance on the tire. Sam's Club put on a new tire and balanced it for $13

Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 11

Samuel was put on a regular ventilator today for a test run. He was able to go on it for three hours but he was working too hard and had to be put back on the oscillating ventilator. However they did lower his Nitrous Oxide levels from 10ppm to 5ppm.

Thanks you all for the nice cards, notes, and emails. It means a lot.

My mom fell last night on the ice. She was planning to see Samuel. She is fine. It was the first step onto the driveway. My three year old, Jasmine was more upset. Jasmine was trying to catch Grandma.

It is going to be an icy day again tomorrow. Dad and I are going to work on fixing the cars tomorrow. We are going to Tuffy to drop off the van to have the rim replaced and going to Sam's Club to fix the Impala which has a nail in the tire. I am planning to see Samuel in the afternoon and hand in the financial assistance paperwork that Leyla and I filled out today.

Thank you for your prayers. God is awesome. The only question now is whether God will heal Samuel quickly with a miracle so that he would get the glory; or Samuel will go through a long process to teach Leyla and I patience. In any case, we need to trust that God knows what is best. If you remember Job, he never knew why he was going through the trial; and he had done nothing wrong. It has been an emotional roller coaster, but God has a plan.

Psalm 29:11-13
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

I can see the providence of God again today. The survival rate for infants with diaphragmatic hernias was 20%, 17 years ago. Then the oscillating ventilator was invented and the survival rate shot up to 50%. Six years ago they determined that Nitrous Oxide could be used to open up the lungs. Now the survival rate is 80%. If Samuel would have been born six years ago he would have had less chance of survival.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 10

There have been no changes made to any of Samuel's levels since last night. We had a slight car accident last night when we came home from the hospital. There was black ice on La Forge Drive in our subdivision. We slid around a corner and bent the rim of the left front tire. Dad says we will probably need a new rim. My mom and dad said they will stay here until the cars are both operational. We are planning to stay here today since there is so much ice. The city truck that was laying down sand this morning on our culdesac was sliding around and almost had an accident.

We took several pictures last night when my daughter Crystal visited her brother Samuel:

Crystal & Greg with Samuel

Leyla Crystal and Greg with Samuel

Our handsome Samuel

Priscilla (Leyla's mom) and Crystal praying for Samuel

Leyla with Samuel

Priscilla praying for Samuel

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 9

Samuel remains stable and there has been no changes to his Oxygen or Nitrous Oxide levels. Crystal was able to visit Samuel for the first time tonight. She said that he is so cute. She asked big girl questions about all the equipment and what all of it did.

Leyla had a lot of success today with expressing milk. She used hot compresses and the pump from the hospital. It pumps both sides at the same time.

Phil Brown, Norm Fischer, and Pastor Gabbard thank you so much for your visits and prayers.

Kevin Brown thank you for taking care of the trash.

Stacy Brown thank you for letting Crystal and Jasmine come and play with Rachael tomorrow. Crystal really needs her friend now too.

Thanks to all that are reading this for your prayers. Samuel was steady eddy today with his oxygen levels. No set backs.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 8

This is update 8. Scroll down for previous updates.

Samuel is continuing to do well. One of the things that they are giving him in addition to the oxygen is nitrous oxide to open up the lungs. He is now on 44% oxygen and they have changed the nitrous oxide from 20ppm to 10ppm. They are slowly weaning him off the respiratory equipment so he can have surgery to correct the diaphragmatic hernia. Samuel is actually doing well enough now that the doctor did a test hand respiration.
He is continuing to progress positively. Continue to pray that Samuel will get stronger.

This is not going to be a sprint but a marathon. I was talking to the nurse this morning she says that this process could take months. It looks like it is a minimum of two months for the best case scenario and up to a year for the worst case scenario. God has a plan for all of this. I am just so happy that I am able to visit my boy. I know that some day we will be playing legos and cars together like all dads do.
Pray for Leyla. She had a rough night last night due to the engorgement. She is emotionally and physically exhausted. She is going to rest in bed today.

Pray for Crystal, my 5 year old daughter. She cried for ten minutes last night because she lost a sticker. She doesn’t know how to express that something is not right.

I talked to the social worker and received the paperwork to fill out for the financial assistance.
More updates later.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 7

This is update 7. Scroll down for previous updates.

I just got off the phone with Rachael Ratliff. Family Foundations, Cornerstone, my neighbors and others; I am overwhelmed by your kindness to buy a dishwasher for us.

To think that it has just been 4 days since Samuel was born. God must have something incredible planned for Samuel's life. I can't imagine the impact that this trial will have to further the kingdom of God.

I have no words.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 6

This is update 6. Scroll down for previous updates.

More good news about Samuel. They were able to wean Samuel down to 45% oxygen tonight. The doctor said that he was tickled pink with Samuel's progress. I was finally able to have Samuel hold my finger. He has a strong grip. I previous days he was in more pain so he really didn't want to have anyone touch him and took his hand away. It is obvious that all the prayers are having a big impact in Samuel's life. He is progressing very well.

QSI team, thanks for all the wonderful lunches for this week.

Beth McElheny, thanks for picking up the FenuGreek.

Dave Ratliff, thanks for doing the research on the dishwasher.

The most incredible mother in law in the world decided to get us a dishwasher for Christmas.

The plan for tomorrow is visit Samuel in the morning so I can see the doctors at the beginning of their rounds. I will also be filling out paperwork on financial assistance with the medical bills.

Pray for Leyla she has become engorged with colostrum. She is still really sore as well.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 5

This is update 5. Scroll down for previous updates.

Samuel is doing well. He had a minor set back early morning with his Oxygen being increased from 57% to 60%. As of 12pm he has been reduced to 57% again which is good news. They have also reduced the pain medication to see how he tolerates that.

When it rains it pours. We found out last night that one of the tires in the Impala is leaking air. The water meter broke. The dishwasher also broke and is leaking water. My dad is taking care of the car. The water meter has been scheduled to be replaced. Rachael Ratliff has volunteered to do some research on the best price for a dishwasher. My mom is taking care of the kids. I am taking care of Leyla and being with Samuel.

Two pieces of good news:
  • My boss said, I am most likely be able to be off all of December to take care of my wife and be with Samuel.
  • HR at work said that the out of pocket will be a maximum of $3500 for Samuel for the entire stay at Children's Hospital. The birth will be separate. In the past it has been around $2500 after insurance. That means it looks like it will be around $6000 out of pocket instead of the $10,500 I thought it would be.
We met with the doctor this morning and he said Samuel is doing well. Samuel's kidneys have been getting rid of the fluid as they should. He also has been doing well with bowel movements. The doctor said Samuel is about half way out of the woods.

We met with the social worker to see what financial assistance is available. We will be filling out paperwork tomorrow.

Leyla is meeting with the lactation consultant here at Children's Hospital right now. Because of the stress she is having a lot of trouble expressing the milk. Leyla will most likely need to go back to the doctor as here swelling has not gone down as it should. She is still being put into a wheel chair to be able to see Samuel.

Beth McElheny has been put in charge of visits to the house (which are limited to two per day). She is in charge of handing out the rules and the code to visit Samuel in the hospital. She had people sign up to provide meals for all of January.

Bruce Lindman is in charge of putting together lunches for Leyla and I to take to the hospital. Doctor rounds are from 10am-12pm which means that we need to be there during lunch time every day in order to talk to the doctor.

Current needs:
Could someone pick up some fenu greek from GNC and bring it to the house? Jenn McCracken had good success with fenu greek letting down the milk. Leyla needs all the help she can get. Please respond to this post if you are able to get it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 4

This is update 4. Scroll down for previous updates.

Samuel responded well to the second sedative given to him which made him not fight the ventilator so much. He was weaned down during the night from 76% oxygen to 59% oxygen.

Today they took out the chest tube on his left lung. They also increased his nutrition to make him stockier for the upcoming surgery. We don't know when the surgery will be, except that it won't be in the next four to five days. He will need to be gradually be weaned off the ventilator.

Specific Prayer Needs:
0. Pray that Samuel would continue to get stronger.
1. Leyla has been very stressed out and cannot express any milk. We will be visiting a lactation consultant tomorrow. Pray for her peace.
2. My boss at work is going to see what the options are for taking additional time off. Pray that I will be able to get the time off that I need to take care of my wife and son.
3. Tomorrow we will be calling our health insurance to see what the out of pocket maximum is. We will also be meeting with the social worker at Children's Hospital to see what other financial assistance there is.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 3

This is update 3. Scroll down for previous updates.

Please pray for Leyla. She is both physically and mentally exhausted. Labor was 12 hours and she is in quite a bit of pain because they had a difficult time getting out the placenta. Today was a particularly difficult day for Leyla to see the empty bassinet beside the bed.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 2

This is update 2. Scroll down for previous updates.

Samuel did much better this afternoon. He was put on an additional sedative which allowed him to relax and better accept the oxygen from the oscillating ventilator. He was weaned from 100% oxygen back down to 76% oxygen. This is great news.

Also, I was able to see his eyes today. They are brown and similar to Leyla's. Thank you for praying.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer Update 1


It has been a rough couple of days.

Samuel Kenneth Finzer was born on Thursday December 11th at around 6:45PM. He was 7 lbs 9 ounces and 20 ¼ inches long at Riverside Methodist Hospital.

Right after birth Samuel was not breathing and he turned blue. A small army of nurses filled the delivery room. They were able to give him 100% oxygen to preserve his life. He was immediately taken to NICU and had a chest X-Ray. The first chest X-Ray was completely white. Indicating he had no lungs or his lungs were collapsed. They drained his left lung of fluid and put him on a ventilator.

The second X-Ray revealed that Samuel was born with a Diaphragmatic hernia on the right side. We were told on Thursday evening by the doctor at Riverside that he would not make it through the night. The NICU team at Riverside was able to stabilize him. He was then transported to Children's Hospital that same night.

Explanation of a Diaphragmatic hernia:

During early Friday morning he became worse and had to be switched from a regular ventilator to an oscillating ventilator. All day Friday he responded well to the oscillating ventilator. He was slowly being weaned off the 100% oxygen. He went from 100% oxygen to 78% oxygen on Friday night.

Early Saturday morning his Oxygen level deteriorated and he had to be put back at 100% oxygen. Saturday afternoon he started doing better again. He is extremely sensitive to light and sound.

We so much appreciate each and every one of you that are praying. We can feel your prayers. We went from thinking about having to pick out a funeral home and a casket to having Samuel being fairly stable. Good is so good. Thank God for protecting my mom and dad. They came up to help a day early, before the freezing rain. Last night their brakes went out on the car. That also could have happened on the drive up.

As I have been saying to everyone that I come in contact with; God has a plan. My wife and I did not pick the conception. With my two girls I thought that I only made girls. God chose the baby to be a boy. God gave my wife the name for Samuel. God has a plan for the recovery of Samuel. We give him all the glory.

I will have more information later today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Unable to attach to application 'WebDev.WebServer.EXE'

Unable to attach to application 'WebDev.WebServer.EXE' is one of the worst errors that I've encountered recently.

There are three work arounds for this error:

1. Reboot your machine.
2. Add paths to Norton Anti-Virus.
3. If you have a copy of two web projects in the same solution change the port and the file name.

Our solution contained a copy of two web projects. Both web projects were configured to use a specific port. We have a test harness that posts XML to a web page that required a specific port. Somewhere along the line, Visual Studio was confused; when one project was run, it actually tried to debug the old project.

Hopefully this information helps someone.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Does Miller's experiment prove evolution?

After reading this link about Miller's experiment, I decided to respond to it:
Miller's Experiment

In Miller's experiment the earth's atmosphere was assumed to be without oxygen. The problem is with no oxygen, there is no shield from harmful UV rays. This would have killed the "soup". Has anyone come up with a solution to this problem?

In the experiment both L and D stereotype amino acids were formed. Life only uses L stereotype amino acids. Does anyone know why that is?

What process combined the amino acids into DNA strands in the proper sequence? Does anyone know?

What process created the cell micro-machines that perform the translation of sections of DNA into messenger RNA? Does anyone know?

What process created the cellular protein regulation process? Does anyone know?

Some microbiologists spend their entire lives trying to understand the complex processes and information of cells. In the past, scientists believed that the cell was as simple as gelatin. The current understanding of the inner workings of a single cell is that it is equivalent to the complexity of the factories of General Motors and all of its part manufacturers. We still don't understand the main control process of the cell (when the cell is told to start making a protein and to stop making a protein). This is equivalent to the the inventory department at GM deciding to create more Chevy Cobalt Cars because those are in demand and stopping Chevy Suburban SUV production. What is staggering is the amount of information contained in the RNA to make a single protein. Similarly the design plans for a single General Motors car and the processes to create one are overwhelmingly complex.

To think that all the factories and processes of General Motors could be created accidentally is utter nonsense. In the Miller experiment essentially what they have created in General Motors terms is raw steel. Steel by itself doesn't create the design blueprint for the car (equivalent to an RNA section for a specific protein). Steel by itself doesn't create processes to build assembly line robots that build cars (equivalent to cell micro machines). Steel by itself doesn't create the transformers that convert the AC into DC to power the robots (cell glucose conversion into energy). Steel by itself can't create the process to create a new assembly plant (cellular mitosis; cell division).

Just as it is obvious that someone designed and built that car you are driving; it is obvious that someone designed and built proteins. Just as it is obvious that someone designed and created the processes of General Motors, it is obvious that someone designed and created the processes of cells. Each cell in your body has a specific purpose and works together with other cells. Doctor's still don't understand how everything works in the human body because it is so complex. There are around 300 cell categories. At this level, imagine a company 300 times the size and complexity of General Motors all working together. There is an estimated 10 million species on earth. At this level imagine a company 3 trillion times the size and complexity of General Motors.

Consider the biological process complexity. The processes and interactions between the processes are incomprehensible. Consider your job. Whether you flip burgers or are Joe the Plumber; processes don't happen by accident. At any level, you had some kind of training or education to do your job. Processes are designed.

But couldn't over millions of years the amino acids combine to create the DNA chains? Couldn't the processes be created by accident by the environment? Let's take that same argument to our GM example. Over millions of years, couldn't the raw steel create blueprints to create assembly line robots? Couldn't the raw steel create the assembly line robots? Couldn't the raw steel create the hardware programs and processes for the robots to create the cars? As silly as that sounds, the equivalent comparison is what evolutionists are claiming about amino acids. By itself, raw steel does nothing. By itself, amino acids do nothing.

Someone had to make the banana so you could eat it. Someone had to create the processes in your body to digest it. Someone had to make the bacteria in your intestine to break it down.

That someone is God.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Search & Replace SQL Characters

Here is how to replace m-dash characters with a dash character:

UPDATE Customer
SET CompanyName= REPLACE(CompanyName,CHAR(150),CHAR(45))
WHERE CompanyName Like '%' + CHAR(150) + '%'

Friday, August 8, 2008

SQL Server Object Dependencies

Paul Montgomery was kind enough to pass this one on. This is great for seeing what function or stored procedure is used by.

FROM Sys.sysdepends j
JOIN sys.objects o on o.object_id =
JOIN sys.objects d on d.object_id = j.depid
WHERE = 'MyFunctionOrStoredProcedureName'

Friday, August 1, 2008

Stored Proc that Runs Slow The 2nd Time

Recently we had a weird situation where we had a stored procedure that was being called twice with the same parameters. The first time, it executed in 3 seconds. The second time it actually timed out the ADO.NET connection because it took longer than 30 seconds. We were very puzzled by this and it took a long time to solve so I wanted to pass this information on.

Here is what was happening. SQL Server stores an execution plan for each combination of SET commands. We had the command SET ARITHABORT ON inside the stored procedure. The default for ARITHABORT is off for SQL Server. Basically when the connection logged in, the ARITHABORT was turned off. When the stored procedure ran, it was switched on. This switching forced SQL Server to use a different execution plan which was super slow.

The fix was to set the ARITHABORT on for the application user. You can set the ARITHABORT for the user or the database but not in a connection string. You can also set it right before the sproc is called.

SET ARITHABORT ON exec dbo.[MyGiantSproc]

See these other links for more information:
Set Database Options
Query Execution Plan Problems

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Programmatically Viewing/Adding References in Access

When your Access application is distributed to end users, they may have different versions of COM components. You can programmatically add references to resolve broken references due to differing versions. Here is how to get a list of all the current references in MS Access using VBA:

Public Sub PrintOutCurrentReferences()
Dim iIndex As Integer

For iIndex = 1 To application.References.Count
Debug.Print application.References(iIndex).name _
& ", " & application.References(iIndex).GUID _
& ", " & application.References(iIndex).Major _
& ", " & application.References(iIndex).Minor
End Sub

Example of adding a reference going from the latest version to the oldest version of the ADO Extension Library:

'Add Microsoft ADO Ext for 2007, 2003, 2000
If (AddReference("ADOX", "{00000600-0000-0010-8000-00AA006D2EA4}", 6, 0) = False) Then
If (AddReference("ADOX", "{00000600-0000-0010-8000-00AA006D2EA4}", 2, 8) = False) Then
Call AddReference("ADOX", "{00000600-0000-0010-8000-00AA006D2EA4}", 2, 5)
End If
End If

Below is the code to perform the action:

Private Function AddReference(sReferenceName As String, sReferenceGUID As String, iMajorVersion As Integer, iMinorVersion As Integer) As Boolean
Dim bFound As Boolean
Dim iIndex As Integer

bFound = False
'Try to find an existing reference
For iIndex = 1 To application.References.Count
If application.References(iIndex).name = sReferenceName Then
bFound = True
'Remove the reference if it is broken
If application.References(iIndex).IsBroken Then
application.References.Remove application.References(iIndex)
bFound = False
End If
Exit For
End If

'If the reference was not found, or it was broken, add it
If bFound = False Then
On Error Resume Next
application.References.AddFromGuid sReferenceGUID, iMajorVersion, iMinorVersion
If Err.Number = 0 Then
bFound = True
End If
End If

AddReference = bFound

End Function

Monday, July 21, 2008

Automated Build Tools

Automated Build Tools

Here are the options that I have found so far to automate .NET builds:

TFS (Team Foundation Server) - This is Microsoft's answer to automated builds. Difficult to set up but it integrates well with Visual Studio and Defect Tracking.

CruiseControl – This tool basically runs a NAnt configuration file. There are a lot of pre-defined tasks that NAnt can perform such as getting the latest version from source control, building, and FTPing a file. The config files for NAnt are not that fun to set up.

MSDOS Batch File – If you don’t want to buy anything or mess with the convoluted NAnt config files, you can certainly build your own batch file and use windows task scheduler to schedule the build. There are many free command line programs available to email the log file, ftp files etc.

Commercial Automated Build Tools
Automated Build Studio
Final Builder
Visual Build Pro

Compact and Repair an Access Database using VBA

Below is some useful code to compact and repair the current Access Database using VBA:

Public Sub CompactAndRepair()
CommandBars("Menu Bar"). _
Controls("Tools"). _
Controls("Database utilities"). _
Controls("Compact and repair database..."). _
End Sub

Free Tools for Testing Regular Expressions

Creating and maintaining regular expressions are not like riding a bike. You can create a regular expression for a project and come back a couple months later and it is unreadable. Scott Hanselman has a saying, "If you try to solve a problem with a regular expression, you now have two problems."

Fortunately there are several resources available for free to help you test and understand regular expressions.

The Kellerman Quick Reference Pack that contains a Regular Expression cheat sheet:
Free Quick Reference Pack

If you work at a bank and can't install software use Reggie. This is a regular expression tester, and reference in a simple HTML file. This is my favorite.

If you are just getting started with Regular Expressions, Roy Osherove has a great free tool called Regulazy that will help you build simple Regular Expressions.

Roy also has an advanced tool (also free) called Regulator for building regular expressions.

Someone may have already built the regular expression you need. Take a look at this giant repository of regular expressions.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Greatest Video on YouTube

My brother in law (also a Christian) recently forwarded me a video on YouTube about Laminin. My wife is a Micro Biologist so it always peaks my interest to see something cool that God has created at the molecular level.

Laminin is great not only because it is evidence of God; but that God is an awesome coder. Only God is awesome. Laminin is only one protein in the body. As a coder myself, I am especially impressed with some other code God has written. There is a cell process to translate RNA into protein molecules. RNA is basically a subset of DNA. What is happening in this process is you have a section of RNA code copying another section of RNA code. My current project is a smart client application with a WCF back end. I can't help but think of the similarity between RNA translation and performing translations of proxy objects to client objects. Not long ago scientists used to believe that cells were no more complicated than Jello. It just goes to show you how dumb we are and how incredible God is. Anyone looking at the application that we developed can see comments with our names. Laminin is God's code comment.

Read Colossians 1:16-17 below.

Colossians 1:16-17
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

It is funny how my mind works, but when I see this verse I think of the Stephen Wright joke "What do batteries run on?" Being a software engineer if one of my kids asked that question I would explain that there is a chemical reaction that produces a flow of electrons from the positive terminal to the negative terminal. The problem is, now I am stuck because I can't explain what electrons run on. At the atomic level, electrons circle the nucleus in an electron cloud. What gives electrons the power to circle the nucleus? I believe that God is present even at the atomic level. He is the one that keeps the electrons circling the nucleus and holding everything together. After seeing the Laminin video it is clear that God put molecular processes in place to hold things together as well.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm running for President

I am not to fond of either candidate so I am going out on my own. I would appreciate your vote.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Retrieve a Private Member Variable using Reflection

Despite the private scope modifier, you can still get to a private member variable using Reflection.

Our Example Customer Class:

public class Customer
private int _myPrivateVar = 6;

The code to get the private member variable:

using System.Reflection;

public void test()
Customer myCustomer = new Customer();

object value =
| BindingFlags.NonPublic
| BindingFlags.Instance, null, myCustomer, null);


Get the current version of Access using VBA

Sometimes it is useful to know what version of Access your Access application is running under. Below is a function that will return the current running version of Access.

'Return a string according to the current access version
Public Function GetAccessVersion() As String
Dim sVersion As String

sVersion = SysCmd(acSysCmdAccessVer)

Select Case sVersion
Case "8.0"
GetAccessVersion = "97"
Case "9.0"
GetAccessVersion = "2000"
Case "10.0"
GetAccessVersion = "2002"
Case "11.0"
GetAccessVersion = "2003"
Case "12.0"
GetAccessVersion = "2007"
Case Else
GetAccessVersion = "Future Version: " & sVersion
End Select
End Function

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Regular Expression Groups in .NET

Regular Expressions are a great way of querying and replacing text. A while ago I stumbled upon a feature in the .NET framework for regular expressions: groups. Groups are not supported in browsers but they can be used for back end code in .NET. Breaking expressions into groups makes it easier to parse text. Here is a line of text from a standard FTP directory listing:

string directoryLine= "drwxr-xr-- dds grp 0 Feb 23 2002 data";

Here is the regular expression that we can use to parse the FTP directory line:

string mask = @"^(?<dir>[\-d])(?<permission>([\-rwxt]+))\s+\d+\s+\w+\s+\w+\s+(?<size>\d+)\s+(?<timestamp>\w+\s+\d+\s+\d{1,2}:\d{2})\s+(?<name>.+)"

The group names are prefixed by a question mark and then the group name in <name>.

Some example code to pull out the groups:

Regex regEx = new Regex(mask);
Match match = regEx.Match(directoryLine);

if (match.Success)
string fileName= match.Groups["name"].Value;

if (match.Groups["dir"].Value == "d")
//Do Something

Be Thankful For What You Have

As I go from assignment to assignment as a consultant, I am amazed at how different the offerings at each facility.

A couple assignments ago, there was one toilet for 30 guys and no air freshener in the bathroom. That was really bad after lunch. However there was free pop. That was really great.

On my last assignment there were no beverages at all. However it was bathroom heaven. There were six individually designed bathrooms.

On my current assignment, there are no office supplies. I have had pens stolen that I have brought from home too. Also, there is no working printer. However there is tea and three different kinds of coffee.

Arnulfo made me blog today. :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

When will the stimulus package arrive from the IRS?

I just found the link for when the economic stimulus checks will arrive from the government. The send date is determined by the last two digits of your SSN.,,id=180250,00.html

Friday, January 25, 2008

Locking Objects And Base Types

If you have a class that can be accessed with multiple threads you will need to wrap any outside access to private level variables with a lock statement. See Figure 1.0 where we have a customer class and a process class with a customer inside.

Figure 1.0

public class Customer
private int _customerId;
private string _customerName;

public int CustomerId
get {return _customerId; }
set {_customerId = value; }

public class Process
private IList _customersToProcess;

public IList CustomersToProcess
return _customersToProcess;
_customersToProcess = value;

The lock statement only takes objects. In order to lock base types, you must declare them as objects and then initialize them with their base type. When you do this, the object will default similar to what happens with VB.NET. Booleans will default to false, and integers to 0, and DateTime to MinValue. Strings can be locked without using boxing and unboxing from an object type since they are already objects. When in the getter the object must be cast back into the base type. Take a look at the Figure 1.1 below.

Figure 1.1

public class Customer
private int _customerId;
private string _customerName;

public int CustomerId
get {return _customerId; }
set {_customerId = value; }

public class Process
private object _numberOfThreads= new int();
private IList _customersToProcess;

public int NumberOfThreads
lock (_numberOfThreads)
return (int) _numberOfThreads;
_numberOfThreads= value;

public IList CustomersToProcess
return _customersToProcess;
_customersToProcess = value;

The example above is for illustrative purposes only. In a later post we will talk about using events to do custom progress information.

Why TDD is bad

TDD (Test Driven Development) refers to creating an individual test first and then creating the code for that test. This is opposite of creating code and then at some later date, creating unit tests. Proponents of TDD claim that it promotes looser coupling and better code coverage. I agree that junior level developers would benefit from this; however for senior level developers it simply creates unnecessary work. I find that it is easier to create loosely coupled methods in a domain class and then simply generate the tests for those methods using a tool such as NUnit Test Generator. After the tests are generated, single tests can be run against the corresponding method in the domain class. Without code generation for unit tests, the developer has to manually create the unit tests, since the code does not exist yet. That is just about as fun as manually creating NHibernate mappings.

NUnit Test Generator is a great way to quickly create unit tests for NUnit, csUnit, MbUnit, or Microsoft Unit Tests. It does things like min/max/null testing too. Simple interface but powerful output.

The reason why TDD works well for junior level developers is that they tend to forget to write the unit tests at all. When you write the tests first, you can never forget to write them. However senior developers are used to checking the code coverage with tools such as NCover and TestMatrix. It can't be any more obvious, the untested areas of your code are highlighted in red. Another way to ensure that tests are being written is to set up a code coverage threshold on your continuous integration server. Cruise Control .NET can be set up to automatically fail when the code coverage falls below the threshold.

TestMatrix is a great testing tool that is integrated right into Visual Studio. It has a test runner, captures performance, and performs detailed code coverage. It is like a Swiss army knife, I wouldn't be surprised if the next version tested for cancer. I like it better than what is built into Microsoft Team Suite.

Below is an example of how TestMatrix highlights code slightly different than NCover. The covered areas are in green, the uncovered areas in red. The little yellow progress bars indicate the largest performance hit for particular lines. In the example below we see that logging the error is slightly more expensive than throwing it again.

When it comes down to it, your client wants the highest quality code at the lowest price. They could really care less if you wrote the tests first or the code first. A good way to blow money and time on your project is to write your unit tests manually. If you are on a fixed bid enterprise project, this can mean the difference between success and failure. I have seen it first hand.

Having unit tests with good code coverage ensures reliability but it does not ensure maintainability. You can still have a junior developer do TDD and create crap code. The only way around this is to do paired programming or code review.

Which ever way you choose to do your tests, creating the tests first, or creating the code first; you should always write them. There is no excuse for legacy projects that do not have tests. They should be created at the first opportunity. Unit test generation solves the problem to generate tests for legacy code and speeds along the process for new projects. To all of my fans, Q'apla! Which means success in Klingon.