Sunday, September 20, 2009

Things that Give me Hope

It's been busy here in Elijahland! We took a trip to Ohio recently to attend Elijah's tenth wedding. Yes, you read that right – tenth wedding and he's only two! I love weddings (Congrats Mitch and Dana!) Elijah's favorite part of our trip? Getting to swim in the hotel's pool (see pictures)...

Little man has had appointments almost every day since we've been back, sometimes two in the same day. And we've been preparing ourselves for my favorite time of year – the Fall Holy Days. Did I mention we're BUSY?!

Last week, we had two doctor appointments I wanted to write about: the gastrointestinal doctor and his optometrist.

Dr. Tummy

Early last week, we took Elijah to a GI doc; let's call him Dr. Tummy. J

Elijah likes doctors. He hardly noticed the nurse when she was talking to us, but when Dr. Tummy entered the room, Elijah's eyes lit up and he walked over to the doc. He stood right next to the doctor with his hands on the doc's leg while Dr. Tummy spoke with us. I asked the doctor to tell me if having Elijah standing there touching him bothered him. He was in the middle of telling me that it was okay, when Elijah leaned over and bit him! "Okay, back to mom!" Dr. Tummy said. Elijah has never done that before and I didn't really know what to do. We apologized of course and the doc seemed un-phased, although he didn't want Elijah anywhere near him after that. What's a mom or dad to do?! The only thing I can think of is that Elijah was trying to get the doctor's attention because Dr. Tummy was ignoring him. Who knows, but I think we have trouble on our hands.

Dr. Tummy went over Elijah's Esophageal Reflux Study (the one we did in correlation with his sleep study a couple months ago). Elijah, during the study, refluxed 15% of the time (it's normal to reflux up to 4%). For seemingly, the millionth time, Andy was asked if he had a medical background! Hilarious…apparently if you know things about your child's condition, you must be a doctor - right?

Reflux in children with neurological issues is really common since the brain has to communicate with the body in order for the body to work properly. So, it seems, Elijah's brain isn't telling his body to process his food fast enough, so it comes back up. That combined with the fact that he doesn't have the best posture (partially because of his vision) cause reflux to occur.

Just as we thought, there really isn't a good solution to reflux. Drugs or surgery are basically the options the medical community suggests. Neither seem like a good option if you ask me, but doing nothing isn't a good option either (reflux, if untreated for a long period of time, can damage the esophagus and can lead to a greater risk for cancer). Drugs reduce the acid in your body and acid is important to carry things throughout your body – and specifically important for brain-building nutrients to absorb into his system. Since Elijah already has issues with his brain, that doesn't sound so great either. And surgery, do I even need to say why that's not so great? We've tried some natural methods, which haven't seemed to help, and his diet is already so limited I'm not sure we could really change it. It definitely feels like a catch-22 kind of situation.

So, this Monday (tomorrow) we'll be doing an upper-GI study to check and make sure there isn't anything structurally wrong that is causing Elijah to spit-up. Once we get the results, we'll have to make some sort of decision as to how to proceed. (Some prayers for a calm boy tomorrow would be much appreciated. Drinking barium and being strapped into a seat doesn't sound fun).

The good news? I asked if Elijah could grow out of the reflux and Dr. Tummy said that he could. He mentioned that it's perfectly normal for kids to spit-up until the age of 18-months. Since Elijah is behind developmentally, hopefully his brain will get better at communicating with his body and the reflux will eventually be a thing of the past. It's definitely something that gives me hope.

Dr. Optimist

Late last week, we saw Elijah's Optometrist. Elijah's eye doc holds fast to his nickname…he's so optimistic and I love that. We weren't supposed to see the eye doc until November, but Elijah has been spontaneously covering his right eye for over a month and it was causing us some concern. Thankfully, Dr. Optimist isn't worried about the fact that Elijah will cover his eye. He doesn't do it all the time and while his eye does cross, it's minor and the doc thinks it will only improve over time.

The reason the doctor is optimistic is that Elijah's vision does continue to improve. So much so that the doc thinks that at some point Elijah may not even need glasses! (This, unfortunately, doesn't necessarily mean that he'd no longer have cortical visual impairment...which is a completely different issue. But, that can change too, and it has). Based on their tests, Elijah got a new prescription for his glasses – which is half as strong as it used to be! We should get his brand new glasses this week and I'm really excited to see what kind of difference the new prescription could make in his development. Exciting stuff and something that definitively gives me hope.


Anonymous said...

Whoo! Keep up the good work! What a joy Elijah is! Love you, Momkat

Anonymous said...

Hey Chomps! (That's one of Alexander's favorite videos). Good to see that you are continuing to expand those communication skills! There does seem to be an overwhelming number in the medical profession that tend to ignore us mere mortals. There's been a time or two in my experience when I wish I'd been able to employ the method you used to get the Doc's attention. My wife Shirley has actually stood in a doorway and blocked a doctor's retreat and told him that he wasn't leaving until he answered her questions. When you're old enough and tall enough to fill the doorway, that method works too!

I loved the photos of you in the water with mom and dad. The water is a lot of fun and I used to spend a lot of time swimming at the local beaches. Great exercise and learning to swim and get comfortable in and around the water is a life-long skill that you will always find ways to utilize.

I've worn glasses since about the 5th grade and they have benefits and drawbacks. One of the benefits was that I thought I would no longer have to sit in the front row in school because I could now read the board from the back of the room. It wasn't long though before I found myself sitting in the front row anyway. Apparently my teachers really liked me and wanted me close to them most of the time! Who knew?!

Don't you worry about getting a little behind either. We all learn and grow at our own pace. Why, when I wuz yer age, I remember the adults talking about the local butcher who had backed into his meat grinder. He even got a little behind in his work.

God's word tells us to be of good cheer. This is because in the end all of the things that we deal with in this life just don't matter much. It's our attitude that really matters so I've spent most of my years developing an attitude! According to some sources close to me, I really doing well at that too!

You just hang onto that determination and keep on truckin'. Hope to see you soon.

Your 'ol buddy, Jim Buckmaster.

Michelle said...

I LOVE those pictures in the pool!!! Elijah is so so so adorable!

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