On Thursday we visited Ben’s pediatrician for his regularly scheduled checkup. Everyone but Isaac (who was at school) went along. Jonny was worried at first that Ben was going to have a shot, but was very relieved when we reassured him that Ben was done with shots for a while.
Ben weighs 16 lbs 2 oz, and is 27 inches tall. He has gained exactly 4 lbs over the last year. He is right at the 50th percentile for weight for baby boys with CdLS, and about the 25th for height. Our pediatrician was very pleased with his growth. I am glad that he doesn’t expect the same rate of growth for Ben that he does for “typical” children.
We talked about development. Ben will always have global developmental delays, but he definitely makes slow but steady progress. He will now grasp and play with objects, roll end over end, and can sit unsupported for several minutes at a time (depending on his mood!) He coos, but doesn’t make a lot of consonant sounds. He has recently started to cry and fuss if one of his toys moves beyond his reach.
We talked about his Early Intervention services: right now he gets Physical therapy once a week, Occupational therapy twice a week (which includes feeding therapy), and Speech therapy twice monthly. We still continue to struggle with oral feeding. Sometimes he does GREAT, and opens his mouth up for the spoon (like he did for me tonight). At other times he resists any attempt to put anything edible in his mouth (like he did for his birthday cupcake). We just continue to work with him daily.
Ben is still virtually 100% tube fed. Right now he is on mostly Nutren Junior formula, and gets a total of about 700 cc over a 24 hour period. He seems to tolerate his feeds well, and we are just about to increase the volume of his overnight feeds a bit. (We are maxxed out on how much he will tolerate in his daytime boluses).
We had a couple of new concerns:
- Ben needed a letter of medical necessity for a gait trainer of his very own (the one we have now is a loaner). Our pediatrician actually wrote one for us on the spot. Our PT will also write one, and hopefully we’ll get the ball rolling.
- We’ve noticed that Ben can ‘pop’ his right hip joint just for fun, and it doesn’t seem to hurt him at all. I can’t tell if the joint itself is unstable. Also, when supported, he walks with his feet pointed out, and his PT and OT thinks the external rotation of his feet is coming from his hips. So we’ll be getting X-rays of his hips to investigate. At some point he may need to see an orthopedist.
- Ben has been horribly constipated for weeks! We’ve tried Karo syrup with very little success. It turns out, though, that we just started Ben on prune juice late last week, and it seems to work MUCH better than the Karo, so for now we’re holding off starting him on a prescription laxative.
We talked about appointments with other specialists. There aren’t too many coming up in the near future. We accidentally missed his appointment with audiology last week (oops!) and that got rescheduled for August. He has an ophthomology appointment next week. We haven’t needed to see Ben’s surgeons or the g-tube nurse in over a year. We will probably make an appointment to touch base with Ben’s geneticist over the summer as well.
So things are going pretty well. We are fortunate that Ben’s health continues to be very good overall.
Our next appointment for Ben at the pediatrician isn’t for 6 months. Hopefully we won’t have a reason for him to be seen before then.