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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wait, He Can Do That?? - Henry Wellness Update

The docs tell me he is small for his age... He looks so big to me!
Henry had his 6 month check up last week and met his new pediatrician. We loved our previous pediatrician but because of a change in insurance we had to find a new one. I like her so far. She has big shoes to fill. Since this was our first appointment with the new doc and since Henry's medical history is already complicated, the appointment was kind of a mess of us going back and forth making sure we were both up to date on everything with Henry's specialists. Henry is still gaining weight, but not fast enough to back off the 24 Kcal/oz formula so no change there. He's got a follow up with GI  in the next couple of months to check about his reflux. He's got a follow up with ENT to discuss the sleep study (which is a whole other story... at the time of his 6 month check up he had a sleep study scheduled to check for sleep apnea). Plus, he's got referrals to see a neurologist (to talk about the possibility of seizures), and a feeding specialist.

I still can't believe this guy is six months old. How can six months have gone by already??

I think it's easy to forget how old Henry is since he seems like a younger baby in a lot of ways. But the last couple of months, he has shown a lot of exciting development. In December, he started being able to actually grab his hanging toys and now he can pull them too! He can reach out and accept a toy and bring it to his mouth. This month he started rolling over more. Now he rolls from front to back almost every time he is put down for tummy time.

This week, Henry had an evaluation with our local Regional Center. At this type of evaluation, a nurse (Rosie) evaluates the baby for different areas of development (social, cognitive, motor... probably others?) and determines whether some type of therapy would be beneficial. Rosie is the same nurse who came to see Calvin last year for the same type of eval. She is wonderful :) 

Rosie reassured us that Henry's hypotonia is not as severe as it could be and that he shows the potential to make great progress with the right kind of care from us. It was actually a big reality check for me: Henry is still a healthy 6 month old baby! Henry can make progress if we help him! Henry can do more than we may think!

For starters, Rosie told me to stop cradling Henry like a little baby all the time. That was a wake-up call for me! What? Henry isn't a little helpless baby?? I'm supposed to hold him upright?? Rosie also told us to let Henry spend some time sitting in the high chair (it was actually Rosie who encouraged us to get this high chair a year ago... she said the hook on seat we had for Calvin didn't give enough support for building trunk muscles). Another wake-up call. Wait, he can do that?? 

Yep, he can do that. 
She also showed us how to have Henry do some baby sit-ups by holding his hands and guiding him slowly from lying on his back to sitting up, and then back down again. She said that physical therapy might be good for Henry (yes, please!!) so our Regional Center case worker is going to find a therapist (PT) for Henry.

Rosie's advice makes me feel reassured and empowered - like I can do something to help him besides comfort him and worry about him and make a zillion doctor appointments. The worrying doesn't help him anyway! I'm looking forward to working with a PT. I hope it doesn't take too long to get this therapy arranged. For now, it is nice to have a starting point, not to mention renewed hope.

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