Little Miss Minion had a neurosurgeon appointment this morning. This was our first non-surgery related appointment since she was born, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the doctor.
The exam room table is made to look like a racecar, and LMM had a lot of fun playing with it while we waited in the room. She likes to compare things, so she commented that the red car was the same color as her red jacket, and both of them were the same as my scarf. Her neurosurgeon came in and introduced himself to her. She wasn’t really talking yet last time she saw him (her surgery last October) and she’s far more social and attentive now. He felt her shunts and checked her stomach, checked her eyes, and just talked to her for a little bit. There was a wind chill of -31F this morning, so she had a lot to say about how cold it was.
After their little chat, he became her best friend when he gave her a sticker and told her to check out the fish tank on the way out.
We are cleared for a year! Unless she has any issues, the plan is yearly check-ups and imaging in 3-4 years, when she probably won’t need to be sedated for the MRI.
In other news, I am finally just about over the longest sickness I think I have ever had. My Christmas cold turned into New Year’s cold, which turned into January bronchitis, an ear infection, and a sinus infection. And this all started when my former micropreemie came home one day with a runny nose that lasted approximately 12 hours. Mr Minion says I need to eat more fruit. I think that Little Miss Minion’s daycare is cultivating the next plague. Either way, I’m really REALLY glad that I got the worse case and not LMM. And one month later, I’m finally back to like 96% healthy. PSA: if you think you have bronchitis, go the doctor sooner rather than later.
Recap of Minion Life since the Foot Incident of 2018:
1. Little Miss Minion has started half day preschool through her daycare.
2. She is about 32 inches tall and weighs 29 pounds.
3. We went on a Disney Cruise with Mr Minion’s parents in November and she had a BLAST.
4. Toy Story is her favorite movie right now.
5. She finally figured out how to tear into presents and it is adorable.
Late last week, Little Miss Minion had a tiny cough and a little runny nose for like a day. No fever. I heard the cough and felt Preemie Mom mode come on, wondering if she would need her nebulizer and hoping she wouldn’t be sick for Christmas. She was fine in a day or so. I assumed we had escaped it.
And then I started to cough late on Christmas Eve. The next day, Mr Minion and I were both miserable. It sounded like a pack of seals had broken into our house. It’s been a week, and we are still trying to kick it. Meanwhile, Little Miss Minion is bouncing off the walls and happy as can be. It should really be against the rules for both parents to be sick at the same time. It’s just not fair.
I’m hoping this bodes well for her preemie lungs and immune system. It’s either that or they are engineering the next plague at daycare and she has developed immunity. 🙂
Hoping you and yours had a great holiday and wishing you a happy and healthy New Year in a few days. I’m off to do some shots (of NyQuil) and have a long winter’s nap.
Little Miss Minion has inherited my mosquito problem. Not only do they love to bite us, but our skin welts up afterward. If you google “skeeter syndrome” that’s a fairly accurate portrayal.
So Thursday, after I picked her up from daycare, she started crying about her “skeeto bites” and how her foot hurt. She’s been doing this off and on since the bites started, so we’ve made a ritual of getting home and cleaning up, putting itch cream on, and then having a snack. We got home and I got her into the bathroom and took her socks off. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that feet are gross, and I knew immediately that we needed to take her to the doctor. We started at a convenient care, and I was expecting maybe some special soap and ointment. Nope. They said it was a deep skin infection and she needed IV antibiotics. Time for the ER.
Luckily, we got to go to our favorite hospital, and not the one we have to go to for shunt problems. This is also the hospital I volunteer at and the one she was born in. We checked in at the ER, and they agreed that she had an infection and needed antibiotics. Normally, they would prescribe oral antibiotics and send us home, but with her history and with her shunts, they didn’t want to risk the infection spreading to her shunts. While they got her IV started and waited for a room to open up, Mr Minion went back home and picked up some stuff for us to stay overnight.
We ended up staying for two nights, but the experience was so much better than at the other hospital. I felt like the nurses and techs were generally not as busy (I think there’s a staffing issue at the other place), and the overall atmosphere is much more positive. Child life visited us and brought her toys, stickers, blocks, etc. She was in a surprisingly good mood for being cooped up and tethered to her IV.
We got out yesterday and her feet look much better. Here’s your health tip of the day: keep your feet clean and don’t scratch at bug bites!!
Three years ago, I started this blog as a way to update friends and family about what was going on with Little Miss Minion. Our cell phones were blowing up with messages and phone calls, all wanting to know the latest on our little family. It was nice that so many people wanted to know how we were doing, but cell phones are a NICU nightmare for germs. I created this blog as a way to update everyone at the same time, reducing our need to touch our phones while in the NICU, and cutting out the time it took to answer everyone individually. This let us have more time to spend together, sitting on the couch in our room in the NICU, staring at the tiny little human growing in the incubator.
To everyone who reads this, thanks for being a part of our NICU journey.
This weekend, we spent a day at Mr Minion’s great-aunt’s house. We were invited to their 50th wedding anniversary celebration and Little Miss Minion was so excited! The house is about 2 hours away, and it is the farthest out in the country I have ever been. We got off the expressway and then began the trek to the house. We drove through woods, over a one lane bridge (which I didn’t really think existed), and three miles down a dirt road. I lost internet signal sometime during the last couple miles, but we were on the right road so we just had to look for the address.
The house is on a huge property. There is a lake, a barn, a horse pasture (complete with horse), a huge shed for big equipment, a chicken coop, a big garden, and the house. Little Miss Minion was beside herself to see an actual horse and kept pointing and yelling “horsey! Neigh! Horsey!” Then Mr Minion took her to see the chickens. “Ahhhh! Chickens! Quack quack!” We are still working on some animal sounds. 🙂
After Little Miss Minion ate her weight in Mac and cheese, she kept saying that she “need go see my chickens. Chickens please.” It was adorable. So of course we went back one more time so she could see them.
It was a great day and I loved seeing her reaction to the animals. We’ve been talking about cows and horses and birds and stuff forever, but she actually got to see them in person.
Little Miss Minion turned three about ten minutes ago. It’s hard to believe that we started this journey three years ago with a one pound fourteen ounce 28 weeker and now we’ve got a little kid who just graduated from all of her therapies and loves to give hugs and eat cheese its.
A few weeks ago, Little Miss Minion had a special education evaluation through our school district. They did a series of tests to see how she performed in several areas, like speech and gross motor skills. This morning, we got our answer. Little Miss Minion has been disqualified for further services. This means that, according to the school district, she is caught up with her peers on gross motor skills, speech, language, and cognition.
It’s a strange feeling to know that we don’t have to schedule weekly speech therapy and physical therapy anymore. We’ve had someone come to our home to work with LMM ever since she came home from the NICU. So many appointments, tests, clinics, screenings. Part of me is a little in denial. How can my one pound fourteen ounce 28 weeker NOT qualify for additional services? She’s had five brain surgeries! She has actual brain damage (called periventricular leukomalacia). She spent the first 3 months of her life under 24 hour care in the best NICU in our area.
She caught up. That’s how she doesn’t qualify. Not only did she have to consciously learn to breathe on her own, how to suck, swallow, and breathe while taking a bottle, how to regulate her own temperature, how to regulate her heartbeat, how to live in the world three months too soon, but she did all that and more. 36 months after her dramatic entrance, she’s caught up to where she should be. At this rate, who knows how far she can go?
Our next steps are to come back for another evaluation (if we feel like she needs it) in about 7 months and to continue to be utterly impressed by our little rockstar.