Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Medical Update

June has been quite a busy month.  Randy visited the allergist, neurosurgeon, speech therapist, as well as the ENT that I blogged about in the last post.

Allergist:  More of the same.  His pediatrician switched his nasal spray from Nasonex to Pantanase due to the chronic cough that was accompanying the stuffy and runny nose.  He told me to defer to the allergist to see if she was OK with the switch.  She seemed OK with it, but I think she was a little irritated that I did not come to see her for the switch.  She sent him to Children's to get a blood draw so that she could repeat his allergy screening.  She could not do the skin test because Pantanase is an antihistamine and will interfere with the test results.

Neurosurgeon:  He was very pleased with his progress.  He had him walk and talk and was pretty impressed with how many skills he'd gained in a year.  The MRI showed enlarged ventricles on one side.  The neurosurgeon is not sure if this is his "new norm" or if he is easing his way into a malfunction.  He was not very alarmed since his behavior and function were good, but he did not want to brush it off as nothing.  Randy gets a repeat MRI next month, one week before his ear tubes and adenoid surgery.

Speech Evaluation:  I took Randy to the local children's hospital for a speech evaluation.  He has not been in speech since August 2010 when his therapist at the therapy center went out to have a baby.  Personally, I was not impressed with his speech therapist.  She was nice, but I was not wowed by the sessions.  The therapist at children's was very thorough.  She had him name pictures and point to things.  She had him repeat words.  She stated that he performs much better than one would expect when they look at his history.  This is not the first time I've hear this.  I sometimes minimize the severity of a bi-lateral grade 3 bleed.  She will mail the report once it is scored, but she says that his expressive speech and articulation are not that severely behind.  His major weakness is his receptive speech.  This is not the first time I've heard this either.  She also mentioned his attention.  She says his attention span is shorter than to be expected.  I was a little shocked to hear this.  She said that he will be put on the waiting list (6-9 months).  She suggested that I try a different therapist at the therapy center we go to.

So, when I took him in for OT, I talked to her about the speech eval (they had already gotten the results) and she suggested a person that would be good for Randy.  I was honest with her about the previous therapist.  She was in no way offended and will be getting him set up (she is the case manager there as well).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Will the third time be the charm?

Randy will have PE tubes put in for the third time this summer!  The first time was in July 2009.  The second time was in April 2010.  The third (and hopefully final) time will be July 2011.  The ENT doctor said that 15% of children have to get tubes a second time, and 2% of them have to get them a third time.  Some odds.

He will also get his adenoids removed at the same time.  He had an x-ray of his tonsils, adenoids and sinuses in December.  This was ordered by the allergist.  She urged me to follow up with the ENT.  I made an appointment in February, but then went the wrong day.  I was too lazy to reschedule so I just brought the results to our regularly scheduled appointment today.  His tonsils are slightly enlarged, but not much.  His adenoids were pretty large.  This combined with his 5 ear infection and persistent fluid behind his ears, warranted them being removed.

Next week: speech evaluation, CT scan, and neurosurgeon.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Walk with Randy

Randy and I took a lovely walk this evening.  He pointed out the trees, grass, cars, and sticks.  I picked him up and he got to "hang" on a tree branch.  He said "Hi" to everyone we passed.  It was really a great walk.

But I was reminded of the fact that my son has some significant vision issues.  Most people do not realize it, or the ones that know forget.  Heck, I forget sometimes too.  But today I was reminded.

While we were walking, Randy would not notice changes in concrete height.  You know what I'm talking about?  You know how the sidewalk "lifts" and is higher sometimes?  Well Randy tripped right through those unless I stopped him and said "small step".  He simply could not see them.  He also stopped and "stepped" whenever the concrete was a different color.  He would say "big step" and lift his leg high to step although the concrete was level.

It just reminds me that although he is walking much better and seems to do OK, I must remember to monitor him closely outside and in unfamiliar places.  I need to remind others to do the same.  He has already fallen three times this spring and bruised his knees pretty bad.
The knee on the left has fresh wounds that you cannot see.  I'm tempted to put on some knee pads, but I do not want to make him feel like a baby (he is starting to push me away when other kids his age are around).

I hope that orientation and mobility can help him learn how to navigate his environment a little more safely.  Until then he has a long summer ahead.