Henry is receiving a gait trainer tomorrow. Although he is not ready to learn to walk, the wheels can be locked into place to help him learn to stand. Since he is not yet rolling or sitting, standing may also seem like a stretch. However, if he will cooperate, practicing standing should be very good for his hips.
An X-ray recently revealed that Henry's left hip adductor muscles are beginning to pull the head of his femur out of its proper position in the hip socket. This is a common problem for children with cerebral palsy. We are in the midst of our first course of action to mitigate this problem. Henry received a botox injection into his adductors in order to loosen them temporarily. The looseness should last from three to four months. During this time, we will be trying to keep his legs at least 30 degrees apart whenever practical. This includes holding him with his legs straddling our bodies and positioning him for sleep with a specially-designed foam wedge strapped between his legs. Bearing weight through his legs will also help his hips form properly. We plan to use the new gait trainer to this end. If our efforts are successful, we will be able to avoid having surgeries to either cut one of the adductors or physically reshape the bones.
We anticipate beginning Henry's hearing therapy this week. We are looking forward to improving his auditory response to his environment and to us.
Henry underwent another fast MRI last week to check on the size of his ventricles. His head circumference had not changed from his previous visit, which indicates that the pressure inside his head is likely normalized. However, the image showed little, if any, change in ventricle size from the previous MRI. The size of his ventricles is determined by the balance of intracranial pressure and health of the brain tissue. That his ventricles remain large despite his head size stabilizing indicates that Henry's brain has most likely experienced quite a bit of atrophy. This is not the conclusion we want, but it becomes increasingly certain as time passes. We will have another fast MRI in three months, and then a full MRI around his second birthday.
Henry continues to develop at his own pace. Here he is working out with his first dumbbell:
Obligatory tummy time:
We discovered that he loves brownies:
Henry isn't the only one making progress in our house. Here is Meade practicing sitting:
Photo credit to Jennie for snapping him napping:
Here he is hanging out with Big Don:
Today was Easter, and it was a fine day for an Easter egg hunt:
Holly had a very busy first Easter:
Emika was able to dodge the paparazzi long enough to find some eggs:
Henry found an Easter egg of his own:
Our happy family:
For a few more photos of our Easter, check here.