Friday, October 12, 2012

Early Intervention and a New Doc

It has been FOREVER since I posted an update about Carter. First let's get the medical stuff squared away. Since our last update on urology, he has been wonderful - ZERO UTIs. HOORAH! He had hand/foot/mouth - BOO. And we've been for a check up with our absolute fave - Ms Mary Jane! His creatinine has creeped up a tiny bit, but it's nothing to get wound up about yet. They look for increases over a 6-9 month trend rather than one or two increased reports. However, Carter's potassium was running on the low end of normal, so we were able to start adding whole milk to his bottles. He's now taking in about 2/3 whole milk, and the other 1/3 is still PM 60/40. We had labs drawn last week to see how this affected his levels, and they were still low, which is a great sign. Once we get him completely weaned off of formula, we'll have another set drawn just to make sure there are no surprises. Overall, we got a great progress report since Carter's weight was up. Even though he's still not as chunky as they'd like, he is at a good weight/height ratio, so they're pleased.
Yesterday we went to Birmingham to see our new neurosurgeon, Dr Blount. While we're sad to see Dr Wellons go, we are very happy after our first encounter with Dr Blount. A co-worker of mine has a boy who is also a patient of Blount, so I dropped their last name, and he was quick to say, "Yes, I know William." There's nothing better than a doctor that really knows their patients, and that's not just herding them through like cattle. Carter seemed to really like him, as well. This was a quick check, just to make sure we didn't have any concerns. He took a look at his scar from the surgery, and we talked a little bit about the MRI that Dr Harmon had on file from this past November, and he said he'd take a look at it to make sure there was nothing that was of value from a neurosurgery standpoint on it. We'll see him again in Spina Bifida Clinic in February, as well as Dr Conklin and Dr Joseph for ortho and urology. I'm really excited about being able to be seen in this clinic... it'll be nice to get through three appointments in one trip! Here are some pictures from our visit yesterday.
Josh and I both got iPhones last week, so I've been playing with Instagram and Pic Stitch. Carter loves playing with the Fisher Price and Disney apps!
Tub time!
Daddy had a birthday in September! 
Carter's eating habits have been steadily getting better. He'll drink sweet tea now, and eats on a pretty regular schedule throughout the day.
 Hey, Papa! Look here!
We took Greyson to the zoo for his birthday last weekend - it was C's first time, and he loved it! He even got to pet a giraffe.
These are from today, playing at Meemer's house.
Another thing I wanted to update was the fact that we finally referred ourselves to the Early Intervention program. This is a state/federal funded program that provides therapy services to qualifying children, to include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech/hearing and vision therapy. We've known about this program since Carter was in the NICU, but had been putting it off until he got his feet straightened out. A friend of mine recently got married, and her new mother-in-law just so happens to work for an agency as a service coordinator for therapies that participates in the Early Intervention program. After talking with her at the rehearsal dinner, we finally got things going to get Carter set up. They came yesterday morning to do his initial developmental assessment - it was so fun to watch them "test" him to see what skills he had. The thing that impressed them most was his nose-blowing skills! (He's one of the few kids that will actually blow through their nose and not their mouth.) He seems to be doing really well with cognitive skills, and he showed off with his signs and sweet little Southern drawl with his speech. Our biggest concern is obviously his motor skills and mobility. He's definitely progressing, he's just very far behind. In the past couple of weeks he has finally become proficient at pulling himself to standing position with the table or couch, and will even take some side steps around. He's lacking core strength and leg strength due to the prune belly and arthrogryposis. Once he's been qualified through the program, Early Intervention will coordinate with the therapists he needs, and they will visit once a month or so and work with him, as well as give us "homework" to do! I can't wait to see the progress he makes through this program, and I'm so thankful God sent Mrs Vines our way to coordinate Carter's care!
Besides a follow-up appointment with nephrology in December, our slate is clean until February. We hope to enjoy this holiday season with ZERO hospital stays, little to no illness, and lots of family time.