Sunday, June 15, 2008

Two for the Price of One

Brace’s a long one. This is essentially two posts in one. You were warned. :)

Ten Month Little Dude
These months keep going by so quickly! It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that Elijah is now ten months old (as of yesterday) and is quickly approaching that one year, that’s going to be hard to imagine!

“Crawling” Closer
Little dude did something really cool in his crib last night. Granted, it was the middle of the night, but still cool nonetheless. Elijah woke up and was fussing in his crib. I tried to get him back to sleep without picking him up, but it didn’t work. So what did Elijah do instead of going back to sleep? He pushed his bum up in the air (as I’ve seen him do a million times) and then proceeded to push up on his arms at the same time (as in a crawling stance). I’ve put him in this position several times and try to do so every day as part of his “mommy therapy”, but he has never gotten himself into this position by himself, so it was pretty awesome. I called Andy into Elijah’s room so he could see too. “You didn’t put him like that?” he asked. I shook my head. “No way!” Despite our exhaustion, we were mighty proud. I’m well aware that it may be awhile before we’re chasing a crawling Elijah around the house, but we’re one step closer and I’m convinced that he will get there.

Happy Daddy Day!
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there (I hope it was great)! I’d like to send a special thank you to Dennis (my dad), John (my dad-in-law) and Lloyd (my grandpa). I’m so blessed to have each of you in my life. So often dads are undervalued in our society and I want to make sure you all know how grateful I am for each of you. You’re all such great examples and have taught me that real men love and take care of their families. I am also so blessed to have a fantastic husband who makes my life so much easier, supports me, and makes life a joy. Elijah adores him...and for good reason! Thanks Andy and Thanks to all you daddies...Happy Daddy Day!

...I wrote the following section on Friday after our appointment, but didn’t finish it until now, so here it is...

Why does life have to be so complicated? (Our Neurology Appointment Recap)
I’m always amazed at how quickly doctor appointments pass by, how much they end up costing in relation to that short amount of time you spend with the doctor, and how much of a pain they are to plan and prepare for with an infant in tow. It feels like we walk in, wait, and walk out again. If you’ve ever seen a doctor, you are most likely aware of this feeling.

Dr. Friendly?
Overall, the appointment went well. Dr. Gloom wasn’t too gloomy, which was nice. It seems each time we see him, the less gloomy he gets. I’m still not so fond of his bedside manner (I’d describe it as sappy, fake empathy), but since he is a good doctor and since he has known Elijah since birth, I can overlook his demeanor. I don’t know, I think he’s growing on me. One of the first things he said to us was that he liked Elijah’s outfit. I liked that. Maybe there is hope for Dr. Gloom and me after all. :)

Tone and Head Size
Dr. Gloom seemed to be pleased with the things Elijah is doing. He wanted to see Elijah sit and stand and seemed happy with both. He checked Elijah’s tone and measured his head size. Andy and I realized after we left that Dr. Gloom didn’t say anything about Elijah’s tone, so we decided that must be a good thing. Dr. Gloom also charted Elijah’s head size and told us he predicted that his head size would level off a bit and stagnate (on the charts) and then eventually his head would grow and follow the curves on the graph, but would never make it within the “normal” range for head size. This is the same thing he told us last time and so I asked, “How do you know that? Is it because of other kids you’ve seen?” He just smirked at me and said, “Yeah.” I guess I don’t put much credence on this. For one, there is absolutely nothing we can do to make his head grow. And two, no one really knows what will happen (other than God, of course). There are always exceptions to the rule.

On the positive side of the head growth issue, Dr. Gloom said, “Obviously his head is growing, or he wouldn’t be making the progress he is making.” I think that’s as close as Dr. Gloom has come to acknowledging the miracle that Elijah is. He also said, “What a happy guy!” and mentioned that Elijah’s smiles and laughs are a good sign about his cognitive function. For the most part, Dr. Gloom was positive. So, like I said, perhaps there is hope for Dr. Gloom and me after all.

No Seizures
This past week, I was afraid that I might have seen Elijah have a seizure, so we obviously discussed that with Dr. Gloom. The hard part about infantile spasms is that they are difficult to detect because they can look a lot like normal infant movement. I’ve been kind of down in the dumps lately, thinking that Elijah is possibly starting to have seizures again and just being overall frustrated with life. Anyway, upon discussing the incident in question with the doc, he didn’t think it was a seizure. He said the kind of seizure I was talking about (it looked like a startle) would occur much more often (Elijah did it just once). It also occurred while he was sleeping, which is incredibly rare. It would be of more concern if he had startles after waking up. I think the doc’s explanation put me at ease, but I’ll still be watching Elijah carefully. I guess we’ll always be watching him closely since kids with brain damage are more susceptible to seizures their entire life. Argh, we can never relax can we?

Nutrition Complications
We also discussed the correlation between Elijah’s head size and his weight and were kind of surprised to hear Dr. Gloom say that the two are completely separate issues and that we should treat them as such. This is the exact opposite that our pediatrician told us...that Elijah’s weight isn’t increasing as fast since his head size is small. Honestly, we’ve been kind of worried about his weight lately because our boy who was in the 95th percentile at two months is now closer to the 20th percentile. Those stupid growth charts are worrying us again! His weight really did seem to correlate with the size of his head, so this is where life gets confusing and complicated.
I’m still breastfeeding, so it’s hard to know how much milk Elijah is getting. I can tell you that it seems like he is eating constantly and seems to be healthy. He does great with eating his solids. He does seem pudgy, but I would definitely not call him fat, nor would I call him skinny. I guess my main concern is that it could be a brain issue since the brain literally affects everything. My other thought has been that since Elijah is unable to effectively use his hands at this point and doesn’t feed himself, maybe he isn’t eating as much as other children his age. Or perhaps he weighs less than his peers because he only eats what his parents feed him, which is all healthy fruits and veggies. It’s so hard to know!

So now the question is this...Should we start giving Elijah formula to supplement the milk he is getting? This makes me kind of sad since it’s not what I wanted to do. After fighting so hard to get breastfeeding established, I wanted to feed him for the first year since that’s what the AAP recommends. I know breast milk is supposed to be a brain booster too and Elijah needs all the help he can get.

To complicate matters even more, Elijah is allergic to milk (as you may recall) and seems to be reacting to the milk I drink. I have cut milk out from my diet and have tried to cut out as much dairy as I can. At this point, we don’t know what to do. It might be time to stop breastfeeding altogether since then we’d know how much Elijah was drinking and we wouldn’t have the dairy issue. We’ll be talking about all of this with our pediatrician tomorrow to get his advice. Pray that we’ll make the right decisions in regards to Elijah’s health and will be able to get the whole thing straightened out in our minds.

Another Doctor
I have one more thing to add about the neurology appointment...Dr. Gloom gave us a referral to see a doctor who specializes in pediatric rehabilitation medicine. He made the referral because of Elijah’s hands, so I’m speculating that Elijah might be getting hand splints. Again, it’s just speculation, but it should be helpful to see this new doctor since he is the Director of Rehabilitation at Gillette Children’s Hospital.

I’m starting to resign myself into thinking that we’ll be seeing a lot of specialists over the years for Elijah. I wish we could just live our lives without having to go to so many doctors appointments, but that’s just the way it is. We certainly want the best for Elijah and will do whatever is in our power to get him what he needs. The rest, well...we’ll have to leave that up to God (which is easier said than done!)

If you’re still reading this, thanks for sticking with me. You can’t say I didn’t warn you! :)


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...