Monday, February 22, 2010

Appointment Recaps

It seems like there is always an appointment to go to lately! And Charlie is not a fan! All our appointments this winter have instilled a very strong fear of anything related to the doctors' office!

A week and a half ago we had our one year check up. We saw a new pediatrician in the practice whom we have never seen before. Charlie didn't really love her, but at least she took time to answer all my questions without making me feel like I was keeping her from something. As far as development and "normal" one year old progress, we are right on track and then some. Even though it seems like he is eating less and less and being more difficult about eating, he is still gaining weight, so there are no concerns. He weighed in at 22 pounds exactly; so he has more than made up for the loss while he was sick last month. I am not really sure what his length was because he was screaming and throwing a fit while we tried to measure him and my attention was on was him, not the result of the measurement! (I did just get him the cutest growth chart though from someone on Etsy and cannot wait to hang it up in his room!) We were given the go ahead on all the things that get held off until the magical first birthday - milk, peanut butter, and eggs. We have made it to the milk trials, but have stalled there for the time being (continue reading for more about this later in this post!). One year physical also means three shots and a finger stick to check the blood count and lead levels. It was traumatic for him to say the least!

Last week we had a checkup with Dr Ratner at the pediatric surgery office. Charlie still screamed and yelled even though all Dr Ratner did was listen to his lungs and press on his belly a little. Luckily he was able to hear enough to say his lungs sounded great. Charlie had puked twice in the past week (just straight formula coming back up again), which is very strange because Charlie has not been much of a spitter since he was released from the hospital. So, they increased his Zantac dosage substantially. He was at the bottom on the range for what is prescribed for a baby his size (0.8 mls 3x a day) and they increased it to the top of that range (2 mls 3x a day). Usually once a baby is a year old you can start thinking about going off the reflux meds, but Dr Ratner said he wants to see him symptom free for at least a few months before considering this. He wants to take no chance of doing damage to his esophagus by having acid pushing up into it. We will go back to see him again in August and will have our next chest xray done then.

After our appointment we went over to the NICU to say hi and let Charlie show off for his fan club. The hallway that leads to he NICU is lined with plaques and collages that families have made sharing their babies' stories. We spent a great amount of time reading about all the babies and their amazing, and sometimes sad, journeys. In the first days we scoured over them looking for a CDH baby and found none. So for the past year, making a frame to hang in the hallway has been in the back of my mind. Once I had some 1 year birthday pictures I took on the task and was very pleased with the result. We dropped it off when we were visiting and are looking forward to going back and seeing it there in that hallway for all to see.

So, that brings me to our latest appointment. Yesterday after his nap, Charlie had a rash all over his belly and chest. His skin is really sensitive, so we were not overly concerned and just kept an eye on it. By this morning it had spread to his face, back, and legs - and he slept horribly last night, which is very unlike him. So, I called the pediatrician's this morning and the nurse was fairly certain that it was probably just his immune system reacting to the shots he got at his physical. I guess it can take a while to show signs of that. But just to be safe (especially since we have a Synagis shot scheduled for later this week and it cannot be given if he is sick), she made us an appointment to have it looked at. Unfortunately, the consensus for now is that it looks like hives, some kind of allergic reaction. The only thing we have introduced at all in the past week was milk. Last Monday we started making his bottles from 2 oz milk with 6 oz Isomil. As I have mentioned in the past, Vince has very severe dairy allergies, so we always feared that Charlie could have inherited it. We had already been giving him yogurt and cheese though, so we thought we had no need to worry - though we still were cautious in introducing the milk gradually. So, the plan for now is to go back to using only the Isomil. At his 15 month check up they will draw his blood to run allergy tests to verify. If it definitely is a dairy, then at 18 months we can start using Eden Soy in addition to the Isomil. Since the appointment was just this morning we have not had a chance to look into the logistics of this, but I am assuming that this approach is meant to provide him with whatever nutrition he needs for development right now and for the coming months. While this turn of events does not really surprise me, I am hoping that when we get the testing done it will show that the whole thing was just a fluke.

Wednesday morning we go back to the pediatrician's for our next Synagis shot. Poor Charlie is going to start having panic attacks whenever I put his coat on at this rate! Spring is almost here though!

So serious!
Eating puffs and watching Baby Einstein is serious business!

"Mom, its too early for this camera stuff..."

"So, Dr Ratner says I can do whatever I want, right guys??
He said so, I heard him! And he gave me this sticker to prove it!"

Our collage/NICU plaque
Now there will be a CDH miracle properly represented!

"Aren't I so cute in my Valentine's Day outfit?
If only I could eat chocolate!"

"Man, I am looking smooth!"


Jeff and Julie Tuley said...

I love the idea about the hallway of collages. I might present that idea to a couple of friends of mine from VCH to see if we can do that too. Awesome.

Kate said...

I have yet to make my collage...but her b-day has yet to come too! So I guess I still have time. I know I've said this to you b4 but it really stinks that he has the dairy allergy! I even felt bad for Vince when we went to eat pizza -cheese is the best part! haha

22lbs HOLY MOLY! My kid won't get out of the 17lb range!! I'm so jealous! :) I can't wait to see him.. it's been SOOO long!

Hope you don't mind, but we are def stopping by your place on the 24th after K's appt! :)

Vince and Patty said...

Julie, I would definitely present the collage idea to VCH! Crouse has been doing it for years and it was such an inspiration to read the stories of those who had been in that hallway before us. Not to mention, it was often a welcome distraction when we were sitting in the hallway and wishing we were in with Charlie instead!

Kate, I am going to stop telling your how big C is so that you can stop being jealous! K is coming along just fine! And you'd better be stopping for a visit! Its already on my calendar!! :-)

Bridget said...

i think he gets his grumpy morning face from aunt B, he just needs a little more squint and crazier hair :)