This morning's visitors were organized by Child and Family Connections and were simply evaluating Henry to make a recommendation for ongoing therapy. They recommended weekly visits from a speech pathologist and physical therapist and biweekly visits from an occupational therapist. The developmental therapist will see him again in six months.
After watching and manipulating Henry, the therapists concluded that his development is within the normal range for a one-month old baby. On the downside, his muscle tone is a bit weak, and he has difficulty tracking moving objects with his eyes. His tone is possibly attributable to his stay in the ICU, and his eye tracking difficulties are most likely due to his nystagmus. While his tone is something that we can work to improve, we have no choice but to wait for his cerebellum to calm his quivering eyes.
The most interesting part of the visit was the commentary from the speech pathologist. She was surprised that Evanston Hospital would let such a trivial thing as a gag reflex prevent Henry from eating. She informed us that many children learn to eat normally without a gag reflex and encouraged us to have a video swallow performed. Basically, if they can determine that the gag reflex is indeed the only factor preventing Henry from eating, we should be able to put him on a program to get past this difficulty.
As you can imagine, we are now working to get Henry on oral feeds as soon as possible. While CFC verifies our insurance and locates our therapists, we will likely wait at least two weeks to see a speech pathologist through this program. We have contacted a couple of other options to have the swallow study performed sooner.
And just when we thought our day could not get more interesting...bathtime! Gramma Judy played a key role in bathtime festivities. This marked Henry's first bath since his umbilical cord dropped, thus the first time that we could truly douse him with water. Meade and Judy maintain that he responded with a smile, but I did not witness that myself. I did witness the aftermath of a tremendous poop which quite soiled his bath water. From full bath to sponge bath Hank did go. However, he wasn't quite finished. No sooner did Meade diaper and clothe him than did he fill his new diaper with more poop. We had a slight scare as we were changing this diaper, because it appeared that he had quite suddenly broken out in a sweat. He didn't feel warm, what was happening? His head and face were soaked! Then we realized that there was a trail of "sweat" that led from his head down to his newly-removed diaper. Oh no! Hank topped off bathtime with a golden shower! Sponge bath number two was followed by a lightning quick diapering.
Here are some photos from bathtime: