Summary of our past six months:
Life happened...plain and simple. We have had some horrible hospital stays and we have had some amazing adventures. We have had holidays and family and friend get togethers. We have seen seasons change and have watched Noah as well as my belly grow bigger and bigger every day. Noah will become a big brother to two new siblings come late July early August. Like I said...life just happened and we have been living it to our fullest as much as possible. There have been many tears (mostly on my part) but way more laughter (on everyones part). I think every single emotion a person can feel has been felt. We have experienced some high highs and some low lows but right this second as I type these words we are just happy and content.
And here is why.......
|Our Super Hero|
NOAHS CURRENT STATS:
weight: 26 pounds
head circumference: barely touching the bottom of the charts (but on the charts nonetheless)
seizures: none :) yay!
fed: G Tube, blended diet, off night feeds
voice: no words yet but babbles constantly
favorite things: bouncing in jumpers, books, music, laughing, his silky blanket, his binkie, when daddy tickles his neck, the sun and wind, the wheels on the bus song and our lullaby we sing him.
|Super Hero with his Super glasses|
Rx: He is still blind in his left eye but his right eye is a +4 far-sided so he qualified for glasses finally. Every other time we went to see his eye doc he was sleeping, crying, or they couldn't get a good read on his prescription. If you can, try to get your child in glasses asap if they do have a prescription. It is life changing.
HYPOTONIA (ARMS, TRUNK, and LEGS): Noahs arms and legs are getting stronger. He still wouldn't be signing up for a muscleman competition but we are seeing some major improvements. His legs are by far the strongest part of his body. He is now fully standing (totally supported) and prefers to be in a standing position apposed to sitting. He still is not sitting unassisted yet. He still is in love with the door jumper but is totally too big for them and has since broke it a couple times. We are in the process of ordering a Merry Muscles for him. We purchased the infant size (too small) and will be upgrading to the special needs version here soon. He is still wearing his DAFO leg braces most days and this helps him use his ankles the appropriate way. He wants to bend his right foot under his ankle when it is not being supported. We try to correct this as much as possible.
His left arm is much stronger than his right and is therefore holding objects for extended periods of time now (around 5 minutes). His grip with this hand is also very strong. He can put weight through this right arm for around 30 seconds on his own. His left arm is much weaker but his therapist likes to call this his "helping hand" instead of his "weak hand". In the past month or so we have really seen his left arm/hand start to figure things out. He can hold things for about 30 seconds with this hand now. He can also lift this arm up at the shoulder where before he couldn't. We practice with him daily on holding things and pushing weight through his shoulders, elbows, wrists, and fingers. We are noticing some major progress.
His trunk is starting to really get stronger. He still bends over hunch back style most of the time but he can and will sit upright. He just does not have the endurance to hold it that way for very long. This is what keeps us from being able to sit him in typical chairs, shopping carts, swings, ect. He just doesn't have the endurance yet. His abdominal muscles are getting really defined due to swim therapy and his lower back muscles are almost too strong, which is why it is so easy for him to throw himself backward. His upper torso is the weakest part of his body along with his shoulders. There isnt much we can do with him to build these areas. Time is the only thing that will. We will be patient.
SITTING: Not totally there yet. He has about 99% head control but if you were to lift him from a lying position his head still lags behind. He also gets really lazy in the sitting position and if he knows there is anything behind him (person, pillow, chair, ect) he will automatically throw himself back to rest on whatever might be there. He has this aversion to sitting forward and still throws his arms back behind him in both the sitting and standing positions to equal out the weight of his head and body being forced forward. We are working on this one. Sitting aids and chairs are still a major concern for me and I have attempted/failed three times at making my own chair for him. Still not sure what to do there that doesn't cost us a small fortune. We just ordered a Leckey Firefly seat in hopes this will allow us to bring him places easier than it has been with his wheelchair or stroller.
When we can raise enough money and get enough time off work we love bringing him to a clinic called Now I Can. I say that Neuroworx gives him the muscles and Now I Can teaches his brain how to use those muscles. It is a great system if/when we can afford to rotate the two.
Other than this clinic we are still seeing our early intervention team monthly. We see a PT, OT, and Vision therapist twice a month each at our home after work. Once Noah turns 3 we will be aged out of this program and he will then go into a special needs preschool. I am getting nervous for this stage to be honest.
REFLUX: I can proudly state (and shout it out loud without having to knock on wood) that Noah is no longer an everyday pukey kid. Yes, he still has his moments if we feed him too fast or if he gets too hot. However, he has gone from losing it all many times a day to going weeks between bucketfests. Our laundry, carpet, and sanity can actually see the light of day again.
Rx: Noah is currently still taking Zantac twice a day (noon and night) at 2.7ml.
Each meal consists of (recipe changes every time but here is a basic one):
Serving size: 2 days worth
Serving: 8 oz meals 4x day
Calories: ~1000-1300 daily
Free water: 1 oz flush after each feed and 2 oz bolus an hour before each feed and again before bed
- 6 Tbsp hemp hearts
- 4 Tbsp flax seed
- 2 Tbsp flax/olive/ or avocado oil
- 4 Tbsp organic Peanut Butter
- Handful of raw spinach
- 5-7 mini carrots
- one full cored apple
- 1-2 mini cucumber
- 1 full avocado (peeled and pitted)
- 2 skinned kiwis
- one full bag of steamable frozen vegetables (if we dont have any fresh stuff made)
- one pack of Carnation Instant breakfast (if I need more calories)
- various baby foods like sweet potatoes or prunes (if I need more calories)
- 2 ounces of carrot juice or GoodBelly juice
- 2 cups of rice milk
- one full flinstone multi vitamin
- one 400 IU Vitamin D
- 2 tsp. powdered refrigerated probiotic
So...as you can see Noah has made some great strides over this past year. We have learned so much as his parents and continue to do so daily. He makes us smile every morning and we are still lucky enough to get good night snuggles every single night. I am so proud of all that he has accomplished and is continuing to accomplish. I am also proud of both myself and my husband for tackling this adventure together and figuring things out as they come. Being a parent is scary no matter if they have special needs or not. There is constant worry, constant guilt, constant questions, and always a dash of exhaustion. Small things in comparison to all the wonderful moments that come out of even the hardest of days. I will try to continue to post updates but like I said...Life happens and some times you just have to go live it! :)