As I mentioned yesterday, Kyle and I took Owen to his NICU follow-up appointment on Friday. These appointments are with the Neonatologists that work in the NICU and are a more in depth look at nutrition and development than you’d get at a well-visit with the pediatrician. Prior to all of Owen’s hospitalizations for respiratory illnesses over the flu and cold season, the Neonatologists also followed Owen’s lung health, but that is now managed by the Pediatric Pulmonary team.
Our visit started with Owen seeing Holly, his favorite Occupational Therapist that followed him in the NICU. She spent a half hour assessing Owen’s flexibility and movements and gave us a few stretches to help Owen get to the next level in mobility. Next a fellow came in for a physical exam and finally the Fellow and Dr. George, the Neonatolgist, came in to discuss observations and let us know Owen’s plan.
Overall, they were really pleased with Owen’s progress. Holly hadn’t used a formal assessment tool, but estimated Owen’s gross motor skills at about the 5-6 month level. At almost 15 months actual and 11 months corrected, that is definitely a delay. However, they also stressed that the fact that Owen’s spent a total of 7.5 months in the hospital and hospital time impacts development – especially with Owen having so few stretches of good health everyone is pleased with where Owen is.
The plan for Owen is to really up his gross motor skill physical therapy sessions. Everyone agreed that the time to start is now that Owen has been healthy – they were especially encouraged that Owen managed his first illness last week with no steroids or hospital visits. The NICU follow up clinic also wants to see Owen a little more frequently to more closely monitor his development. The team is optimistic with the progress that Owen has made given his course and they want to make sure that any hurdles that may come up get caught early so he can keep on the positive trajectory.
The NICU team also wanted to make sure that Owen is being seen for his feeding difficulties ASAP. It seems Owen’s nurse practioner case manager lit a bit of a fire under the schedulers at Gillette because we FINALLY have an appointment for his feeding evaluation on August 14.
I know you don’t get to see his bright, smiley face in the below picture, but take a look at how well Owen is sitting up now. In this picture he’s using my knees like a chair while he’s playing with his leap frog table. I’m busy taking the picture and offering him no support. He’s able to sit and play like this for over a minute with out needing my help for balance. He can also sit on the floor and play with a toy for about 30 seconds with no support.
As I finish typing, Owen is laying next to me clapping his hands together. Another new skill! Yes, Owen, Bravo. Bravo.Ain't No Roller Coaster