Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Extreme Prematurity - A Realistic View

As a NICU nurse and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner student (more on that next week), I feel that the public needs a wake-up call on extreme prematurity. My professional experiences have shaped my personal views in addition to being the mother of both our premature boys. Seeing Carson and Elias born at 30 and 25 weeks gestation was shocking to say the least. Watching the hardships and hurdles they have gone through in the past six and four years has been impossible at times. Our boys are fairly unscathed from their prematurity based on their gestational ages even though both will deal with long term impacts of early birth for their lifetimes. To hear about a campaign to change the law in the UK based on the birth and death of a 21 week fetus and the misconceptions surrounding extreme prematurity is disheartening.

Stop over to Reality Rounds for a realistic view of extreme prematurity and response to the Justice for Jayden movement entitled Is letting a 21 week premature baby die considered health care rationing?. She has it right and hopefully the public perception will shift towards the actual impact of extreme prematurity instead of becoming wrapped up in the hype of "miracle" stories that the press promotes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Miracle Grow and Casting

My mother always told people she sprinkled Miracle Grow on my cereal in the morning because I grew like a weed as a child. Either Al is poisoning our children or they grow just like the two of us. Elias had a physical medicine appointment on Tuesday to check up on his cerebral palsy and make sure his braces were appropriate. I knew the little man had grown but the numbers were shocking. He is now 37lbs (with clothes on) and a whopping 45 inches tall. No wonder he needs size 5 jeans this fall! Those numbers place him at the 55th% for weight and way off the chart for height at the height of an average 6 year old! Too bad his BMI is only 5.6 and he's below the 3rd percentile in weight-for-length. We grow them tall and skinny though because Carson is built the exact same way.

This amazing growth spurt seems to have created a small problem with his AFO braces however. He needs new AFOs casted and made for a taller version of Eli. His phys med doctor said that he looks pretty good and the AFOs are definitely making a difference in his gait and heel tightness. He is hyper extending his knees a bit though so his new AFOs will be made to create less free movement in his knee joint. Today at the orthodic office Eli picked out blue snake skin patterned AFOs with navy blue straps. He patiently let his leg molds dry and walked up and down the hallway for them to assess his gait. A Scooby-Doo sticker and watermelon sucker were his rewards for the day and he was glowing as we left.

After his appointment we headed up to the dam to test out Gigi and Bobpop's new boat. It was a surprise for Eli and he was ecstatic. Elias threw on the life jacket and jumped into the boat. We had a little picnic out on the lake and Bobpop even let Eli steer the boat for a few minutes. When we picked up Carson from school Eli couldn't wait to brag about driving the big boat. Carson can't wait to have his turn at the wheel. Now we wait for our main insurance to deny coverage on Elias' AFOs so BCMH can cover them. Policies and procedure, blah, blah, blah. I just want to see him running in some super cool snake skin braces that actually fit!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Hot Rods

Labor day weekend brought a few classics up towards our house. It was a nice day for the beginning of September so we packed up the boys and drove over to the local car show. Carson and Elias love cars and trucks so what could be better to wear them out in the middle of the day?

There was a wide variety to look at (but NOT touch!) all the way from a 1915 car on wooden spoked tires to a brand new Lamborghini and everything in between. Carson is fascinated by Mustangs and couldn't get enough of the restoration pictures each car owner was displaying. I have a feeling we will be rebuilding a car or two in our future with him. Eli liked the cars but loved the flame painted monster truck.

My parents ended up joining us and when the boys asked for lime green snow cones, Gigi made a beeline to the vendor. Both kiddos enjoyed their green mustaches and cold tongues before participating in Goo Golf. The sponsors set up a golfing game for kids where they had to use a marshmallow as a tee and hit another marshmallow off of it. The object was to hit a Goo Ball into one of the hula hoops to win a gift card. The big hoops were 5 points and the little hoops were 10 points. The boys didn't get any points but had a blast swinging the clubs at sticky, half melted marshmallows.

Here's to end of summer car shows and the last snow cone of the season!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Buckeye Fever

Today was the big season opener for The Ohio State Buckeyes. OSU vs. Navy in the Shoe and was a gorgeous day it was for the start of college football. With everyone dressed in their scarlet and grey we cheered on the Bucks to victory. A few kinks certainly need ironed out prior to USC coming next Saturday but Tressel will whip them into shape. Here's to another great year of Ohio State football in our house!