Tag Archive | occupational therapy

End of an Era

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.

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1 Month NICU graduate

Yesterday was one month since Little Miss Minion was discharged from the NICU. She weighed 5.9 pounds that morning, and she weighed 7 pounds, 14.4 ounces last Friday.

Yesterday, she had a feeding therapist appointment, an occupational therapy appointment, and a pediatric neurologist appointment. These were all follow ups to make sure that everything continues to look good with her.

The feeding/OT appointment went really well. We talked about how much she eats, how often, how she generally does at feeding, etc. I told them we had moved her to a level 1 nipple and explained why, since she was discharged on an ultra preemie size. She was getting tired and angry toward the end with the ultra preemie because she had to work so hard to get anything out. Since she wasn’t dribbling or coughing, we bumped her up to the preemie. When the same thing happened, we bumped to level 1. They were very impressed. We are cleared from having to come back to either of them, unless there is a problem in the future.

The pediatric neurologist visit went well too. He did some measurements, tested her reflexes, looked at her muscle tone (whether her arms and legs flex and relax), and measured her head circumference. We are cleared from him for 6 months. He’ll want to make sure that she is hitting her adjusted age milestones on time. So when we come back in February, when she is chronologically 9 months old, he will want to make sure that she is at least doing things that a six month old can do.

I finally busted out What to Expect the First Year, since she’s 1 month adjusted now. She can do everything for a 1 month old and about 1/2 oz the 2 month stuff. So she’s progressing really well. It does mention smiling, so I’m going to have to work on that. I don’t want her to inherit my chronic bitch face. 🙂

I’m going to a new mom group tomorrow. One of my friends from my old work invited me, and it will be nice to get out of the house for a while. I’ve been looking for preemie groups online and then it finally occurred to me that there aren’t any because none of us can go out!

Looking forward to the long weekend!

Appointments Everywhere

For being 2 weeks old adjusted, Little Miss Minion is a very popular girl. This week, she has an appointment with her neurosurgeon to check her shunt and make sure everything is working correctly. Next Monday, she will be having a visit from her physical therapist to assess her needs and observe her progress. In a couple weeks, she will have a pediatric neurologist appointment and a NICU follow up occupational therapy appointment.

All of these specialists are looking at her to see if there are any issues that we need to work on. Having hydrocephalus and the shunt, in addition to being so early and so small, puts her at a slightly higher risk of having fine or gross motor skill delays or developmental delays. Her chances are fairly low, given the reasons for the shunt and the fact that she was born early because of preeclampsia and not some structural issue that impeded blood flow or oxygen. The specialists are here to catch any issues early and provide ways to correct them before they become problems.

We’ve increased her food to 80mls. She seems to be handling it very well. She gets reflux medicine twice a day and that seems to be helping with her general comfort level and her behavior during feedings.

Her bath the other day went well. She likes the feeling of having her hair washed and rinsed–but who doesn’t? She hadn’t felt water before, so it was fun to watch her experience it. I wrapped her in one of her hooded towels to dry her off and she just laid there cooing and looking around.

She’s pretty much adorable.