Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Doctors, doctors, doctors...

This is a busy week for Emily and me. Today we went to the Pediatrician and tomorrow we go to the Neurologist. On Thursday we are meeting with all the therapists and the coordinator to have a six month evaluation of our First Steps Program. As we look at where we started in January, we have come a long way! It is hard to remember what it was like to struggle through every feeding. I thank God every day that Emily is doing so well.

I will first let you know that the time at the Pediatrician was uneventful. She received only one shot today and she had some blood drawn from her finger to check for anemia. Everything is going great! She is growing within the normal growth curve and the only thing that is not growing is her head. She is off the chart and because her head is so small, but this is to be expected in a child with a brain injury.

When we have questions about what is going on with Emily, we have a number of doctors and therapists to ask, so I didn’t have any questions for the pediatrician; but she had plenty for me. We spent more than a half hour just getting the pediatrician on board with all that has happened in the last month. Then I get to go to the Neurologist and do it all again tomorrow. Emily is doing great (as I already mentioned several times) so I am thinking that the appointment tomorrow will be much like the one today where I just fill the doctor in on all that has happened in the past few months.

On Thursday we will be meeting with the therapists and each one has sent us an evaluation of what has been accomplished over the past six months, what goals were achieved and what goals we would like to achieve in the next six months. It was a hard realization, but the physical therapist put her progress at the same level as a 2 ½ month old. By now, Emily should be able to roll over from her belly or roll on to her belly from her back. She should be able to sit up on her own and even be beginning to stand. She is unable to all these things and is perfectly content lying on the floor on her back for hours on end without even attempting to roll. If she hears something in a direction that she can not see, she will try to bend her neck as far back as it will go, but makes no effort to roll to that side. She also struggles with control of her muscles. Her arms are straight most of the time and she has a hard time putting her hands to her mouth. Likewise, her feet are in a pointed out position most of the time. They call this an extensor pattern and it is hard for us to get her out of it.

Within the next few months we will be getting her orthotics for her feet to keep them from pointing out and make them more relaxed. We have the prescription for them, but we are waiting for her medical card to come back from the government. It has been a long process and hopefully it will come soon. This card will help us with many of the expenses that Emily incurs. Once we have the orthotics and her feet have time to adjust, the rest of her body should begin to relax and give her a little more control over her functions. She is also on a medication (Baclofen) to help relax her muscles, but we haven’t noticed a big difference. This is one of the things that we will discuss with the neurologist tomorrow. Maybe if he increases her dose it will help her a little more.

We are still waiting on the car seat. She has outgrown the one she is in, but we are still looking for the one we are going to purchase. With the medical card, they will help us with a stroller only once every five years, so we need to take advantage of that when she will fit into one that will last five years. Anything we purchase now will only last a few months to a year, so we may have to improvise on that for now. We have a friend who is going to lend us a stroller, but in time we will have to add supports to help her hold her head up. I am pretty inventive, so we will make due with what we can get!

I will post more in the next few days to give you the update of where our focus will be with Emily’s therapy and let you know what the neurologist has to say…if anything. Please keep us in your prayers and know that God is working miracles in our lives every day! He is an awesome God and we praise Him daily for the blessings that He continually pours upon us!

Below is a 1 minute video of Emily smiling and laughing. Enjoy our little blessing!


Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Looks like a little girl in love with her daddy!!! = )

Steven Douglas said...

A beautiful smile, indeed!

Amy said...

Loved the video. Her smile is amazing!!! Not that you didn't already know that! :)

Tech Daddy said...

What a great video of your beautiful daughter. And I loved hearing Mike talking to her - the sound of a dad who loves his daughter.