I was going to start this as a pity post- that’s how it felt at the time I started it. Thursday was the start of a round of “routine” 6 month check ups for the Quail. I’m not sure if it varies by area. But here our Early Intervention program and our geneticist recommends the following check ups every 6 months for the first few years:
On top of those we have of course the standard 6 monthwellness check with her pediatrician and ongoing cardiac evaluations and echo-cardiogram monitoring. It’s time to review her IFSP. We are starting physical therapy and she is currently in occupational therapy for feeding/nutrition therapy. And we are getting a referral for a speech evaluation. Oh and did I mention she has her first ENT evaluation tomorrow as well?
It’s a lot- and yet- it’s so good and easy and she is generally healthy. It’s when all the appointments happen to lump together like that that I notice the little “extra”. But in reality- our first year with Zuzuwas not easy either. She was a high needs baby- no actual colic- just not wanting to be put down-and she was frequently ill with one infection or something like thrush or diarrhea in response to the antibiotic that treated the primary infection. So we are not newbies to the need for frequent medical treatment. But I digress.
On 8/20/09 the Quail had her pediatric wellness check. This also served as a followup to her ear infection in her left ear earlier this month. She had been treated with10 days of amoxicillian and the infection was gone. This is only her second, “treated” respiratory type ailment. She also had an URI in the beginning of June but at that time they treated it more like asthma with a nebulizer with albuterol and prednizone. The wheezing in her chest healed then and hasn’t returned so there haven’t been any other URI since then until the EI in the beginning of august. At her wellness check she weighed in at a wopping 14 lbs 9 oz, 26 inches and a head circumference of 16.5 inches. Which for a baby that has Ds is huge. Her height shot up to the 75% on the standard charts! Her head and weight remain happily around the 42% on the standard charts (which is what she has averaged since birth). Again I think genetics comes into play here (Zuzu was always around the 90th% in her measurements). She did spike a fever of about 101.5 the day after her vaccinations but as with the previous 2 times she has had a fever it dropped back to normal the next day.
On 8/26 she had her vision and hearing evaluations. Her eye dr (and this service was paid for by Babynet) said he detects no current problems with her eyes/vision. He recommends she come back in a year. The hearing tests didn’t go quite so swimmingly and this is where the original pity-party part of the post (say that 5 times fast) comes in. Her left ear still has fluid in it- no infection seen- just fluid- so the audiologist recommends she go get an ENT evaluation. Lovey is taking her tomorrow to the wonderful ENT who put tubes in Zuzu’sears. He had already warned us the need for tubes runs in families (and also typically in kiddos with Ds). Well she still has fluid in her left ear from the earlier EI. So they couldn’t get any sort of adequate reading off of that ear. Her right ear is also showing signs of a hearing loss. And that is what was more concerning. She did pass the newborn hearing screen and the audiologist said that she can most likely hear at a conversational level but is not hearing soft sounds such as consonants which can hinder speech development. They did the tympanogram, OAE and the sound boothexam. Later this month we’ll go back to attempt the ABR. I say attempt because this involves making a baby go to sleep on command. While it is good she doesn’t have to be put under for the test it will be a neat trick to get her to go to sleep on our will. Sort of like herding cats I imagine. We have a 2 hour time slot to work our magic and were given suggestions like keeping her awake and hungry in the morning so she can then eat and conk out when we get there. A dear friend has volunteered (or more accurately been commandeered) to ride along on the trip and keep poking and telling hilarious stories in the back seat to keep our dear Quail awake and alert. We really won’t know until that test is done if it is a severe or slight hearing loss. I say this is no longer a pity party because a dear group of online friends were so positive and supportive upon hearing this and reminded me how much medical technology has improved and how this is really a fairly fixable issue to have. And sure enough our lovely audiologist told us she wouldn’t hesitate to put hearing aides on the Quail should she need them. Here’s hoping they come in purple polka-dot!
On 8/27 we had our regular OT and PT appointments. PT went swimmingly- we noticed when she was on her back and a toy she wanted was placed near her head, in her line of sight she would lift her little top leg and make the motion to roll her Buddha belly over. She already does well going front to back. Thus as mentioned in a previous post tummy time has become more exercise for us in repeatedly flipping her back to do her neat trick again. And then came the real miracle of the week, my 6 month old baby- nursed to sleep for the first time! We didn’t do a feed and weigh. At each OT appointment thus far she has spent more time exercising her lungs then her oral-motor area. So Kathy said she would not polk the baby prior to nursing and I was to just come in and attempt to nurse. I tried a new position- which will surely set me into PT if I have to do it long- and we were off! The Quail seems to have great proprioception needs. It seemed my holding her on the boppy pillow and her trying to feel stable and nurse at the same time was too much, but when I leaned over her and let her body be sandwiched between my body and a firm surface she was much more accepting. This hasn’t been fool proof- and I still have to use parts of her Dr. Brown’s bottle to get her to latch on but it is a huge improvement and gives me hope that this little Quail may become a nursing champ one day as well!
Next up- more PT and the Geneticist.
Oh- and lastly- she isn’t really blonde- I think that’s why this picture is so cute to me!
ps- The Quail is going to get tubes. Hopefully this will spare her much illness and help her hearing!