Eli went for his 18 month appointment on Wednesday. Boy is he a chunk a monk!! Since I haven't been able to pick him up for a month, I couldn't guess how much he was going to weigh....I was shocked to say the least. He has been at my parents house for most days and my mom loves to stuff Eli full of food and it must be working. My teeny tiny micropreemie who was diagnosed as failure to thrive and weighed only 14 pounds a short 5 months ago was an amazing 24lbs even!!!! No wonder he looks so healthy. He is also 32" tall. My boy is growing....hooray!! If you would have told me 5 months ago that Eli would have these measurements at his 18 month appointment I would have laughed in your face. God works in mysterious ways. Thank God for Eli's MIC-key button, Nissen fundoplication surgery, Peptamen Jr formula, and a Gigi who loves to stuff more than 3,000 calories per day into her second grandson.
Whew, sorry, I had to start off with the best news of the whole appointment. I was busting at the seams waiting to brag about my BIG micropreemie! Now on to the less joyous points from the date with Dr. Pediatrician....
Eli's two incisions from his big surgery are healing well but he will have pretty noticeable scars once again. He is a map of scars all over his body so when the teenage years hit he will be able to create quite a bit of bragging stories to tell all of his friends (and maybe a few girlfriends!). His MIC-key button site looks pretty good with only a little bit of drainage and irritation. Al and I will need to switch it out for a new one in the next week. No biggie though, Eli just lays there still as dead man while we take out the old one and insert the new one. This boy is amazing.
Next up were the ears, nose, and throat. Unfortunately Eli seems to have a pretty bad double ear infection which bad mommy didn't notice at all. I guess that is one of the downfalls of having such a happy baby....you never know when they are hurting. Eli has shown no real signs of an ear infection at all. He is now on a 10 day course of Augmenten due to the double ear infection and enlarged tonsils. Luckily his nose looked good!
On to the lungs....one of the worst body systems for poor micropreemie Eli. His BPD (basically preemie lung disease) is still not completely healed so Eli's lungs are compromised and he doesn't oxygenate as well as a normal child would. In addition to his BPD, Eli has the added respiratory risk of aspiration of thin liquids into his lungs. This all equals bad lungs and almost constant wheezing for our poor little man. He has been using Albuterol about 4 days out of the week minimum for the past month and a half for his wheezing. His pediatrician finally diagnosed him with asthma and started him on Flovent twice a day to help with his wheezing and chronic need for Albuterol. Now Carson and Eli are both on Flovent BID for their asthma (although Carson is on two other meds and his asthma seems worse than Eli).
His heart was perfect as always. His eyes are nearsighted and being followed by his opthamologist and he will need glasses within the next 1.5 years. Developmentally he is on target for his adjusted age of 14.5 months with speech being between his adjusted and actual age. For feeding we are still using his MIC-key button for extra calories at night and for venting during the day since he can't burp due to his Nissen fundoplication surgery. He is to remain on Peptamen Jr formula since he still seems sensitive to dairy products and needs the elemental formula with 30cal/oz. He is on a wide variety of table foods but we need to head back to the feeding clinic for more therapy in addition to his regular OT/feeding therapy if his extreme texture aversions to all meat doesn't improve in the next month or so. He is still aspirating on thin liquids for no apparent reason.
We are still carefully watching Eli for cerebral palsy. He is becoming increasingly more clumsy and falling a lot. This can be a sign of mild CP and the neonatal clinic told us to watch for it in the coming months. Eli's ankles are very loose which is a good sign in terms of CP but his hips and shoulders are still quite tight (hypertonic) and with his gestational age being 25 weeks at birth, he is at high risk for some degree of cerebral palsy. We will continue to follow his progress in addition to his PT/OT and the neonatal clinic down at Children's Hospital to ensure Eli is getting the best possible care for his needs but Eli's progess is nothing short of amazing.
BUT.... to top off the whole appointment.......the words every micropreemie parents longs to hear......drum roll please.....
"I don't think most people would think he was a micropreemie just by looking at him unless they saw his scars or listened to his lungs!" -- Dr. Pediatrician!