Wednesday, November 23, 2011

18 Month Update

Well, we did it. We made it through a long, long day of appointments with specialists in Edmonton.

First we arrived in E-town on Sunday afternoon and got to our hotel after supper. Just in time to enjoy some time in the pool and get Mikail to bed an hour late, as per the instructions for the EEG the next day. He was so over-tired that he only fell asleep three and a half hours after his regular bedtime. :(

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Downtown so that we were located right between the Glenrose and the Stollery. The hotel staff was amazing. Mikail got a couple of tub toys from them and we got a treat bag for us. NICE. Little gestures sure make a difference. One of the reasons we chose this hotel is because it includes a hot breakfast bar in the room rate, which made Monday morning a lot easier for us. We didn't have to bring breakfast with us or go out and find a restaurant at early hours of the morning.

We got to the Glenrose at 8:15 a.m. and saw Dr. Watt, who is a pediatric rehabilitation doctor specializing in neonatal brain injuries. He comes to Grande Prairie twice a year to visit patients who are along the road of recovery, so that we don't have to make the drive out to Edmonton. He was shocked at Mikail's progress and said that he thought it was sufficient for us to not have to come to the Glenrose anymore, but just see him in Grande Prairie once or twice a year. (YES!)

Playing at the Glenrose.

In addition to Dr. Watt, we saw the audiologist who once again confirmed that Mikail's hearing is normal. We will continue to have his hearing checked every 6 months in Grande Prairie just because I have congenital hearing loss and they want to watch him just in case.

We also saw the Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist who were both astounded at the progress Mikail is making. He is right on track for a 'normal' (what is 'normal' anyhow?) 18 month old. (YES!) Of course we will continue with PT/OT/Speech and Language because it just can't hurt to have that extra support.

Playing at the Glenrose.

Then we saw the Pediatrician and the Nurse Practitioner, who were also blown away by Mikail's progress. I love getting little nutritional tidbits from the Nurse Practitioner. Things I wonder and can get answers to. Love that.

Lastly we saw a Pediatric Psychologist. Let's just say that with my history of teaching for ten years, I highly dislike psych tests on children. This one, once again proved to me how silly they are. Ten minutes with a strange man playing even stranger little games that magically put you into a certain psychological age bracket? Whatever. Once again, the results gave us nothing to worry about, but I still highly dislike these tests.

Then we were off to the Stollery Children's Hospital for the EEG. We got there in time to eat a quick sandwich and then found the EEG room. Funny how familiar a large hospital can become after only 18 months and we don't spend as much time there as many people do.

The EEG at the Stollery.

Mikail did great during EEG and prep time. I thought he'd have a fit when they put the cap on his head, but he was fine. He didn't like the feeling of the gel going into the holes in the cap, but a quick find of the soother (that he gets only at bedtime or emergencies like this) and he was fine.

After the EEG we had one and a half hours to kill before we saw Dr. Yager, the Neurologist. We did a lot of this:

Mikail running around (and Daddy chasing after him) at the Stollery.

Our visit with Dr. Yager and his team (it's a teaching hospital so there were three students, his nurse, and the doctor himself) went well. They were very thorough and we could hear all the little extras since the nurse was 'teaching' while the exam was happening. Mikail loved 'flirting' with all the pretty ladies. When the team returned with Dr. Yager we were told that physically Mikail is caught up to where he should be at his age. (YES!) Now it's time to watch for cognitive issues. Most likely there will be none. Perhaps there might be some difficulties when school starts, but many average kids have difficulties in one or two subject areas. The goal now is to give him the most 'normal' toddler years we can, which Dr. Yager said, that from observation, he is getting anyhow. We aren't the type of parents to coddle him. (True) So, the goal is to let him be a toddler and do the toddler things that toddlers do.

We will see Dr. Yager again when Mikail is three and see from there, but his guess is that we'll see him at age 3, just before school starts and then just before Jr. High starts (puberty and raging hormones--fun, fun!)

We are sooooo grateful. I was on the verge of (thankful) tears all evening. I must have cried a handful of times over dinner. I could blame it on pregnancy hormones, but truthfully it comes from relief after 18 months of hard, hard work, seemingly paying off. It comes from the relief of hearing that Mikail is a 'normal toddler'. It comes from a very thankful Mama heart.

Since we were told to live life 'normally' from this point forward, that is what we are going to do. That also means that this will probably be the last entry on this blog for a while. Perhaps in 18 months I will write the 3 year update, perhaps not. BUT I promise to continue on the blog where I write more regularly. So, if you want to continue following, add this link to your bookmarks:

Life continues there.


Anonymous said...


I am hoping for a similar diagnosis, but I'm trying to keep my expectations low. :)

I am seriously so incredibly happy for you!!!

Iris said...

Thanks, Olivia.

Hoping, a positive attitude, and hard work, go a long, long way. I was reminded of that again today by Mikail's therapists. I am hoping for you!