Friday, March 25, 2016

Pediatrician Appointment {03.03.16}

March is cerebral palsy awareness month. This term didn't mean much to me until the winter of 2011 when after an MRI showed that Sarah had CP which was likely caused by oxygen deprivation while I was pregnant with her. I had heard the term before but on November 25, it became personal. I was the mom of a child with a diagnosis and I now fell into a whole new category of "special needs". 

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills (the ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way). Cerebral palsy can also lead to other health issues, including vision, hearing, and speech problems, and learning disabilities.

CP is usually caused by brain damage that occurs before or during a child's birth, or during the first 3 to 5 years of a child's life. There is no cure for CP, but treatment, therapy, and special equipment can help a child who is living with the condition.  Cerebral palsy affects muscle control and coordination, so even simple movements like standing still are difficult. Other vital functions that also involve motor skills and muscles such as breathing, bladder and bowel control, eating, and learning may also be affected when a child has CP. Cerebral palsy does not get worse over time.
Cited from this LINK.

Sarah experiences many of the symptoms of cerebral palsy such as motor skills (fine and gross), bladder and bowel control, eating issues (very sensitive to certain textures) and learning delays. A lot of the issues also come from the severe microcephaly, causing her head to be considerably smaller than those of her peers. In fact, a few days ago I bought her a new sun hat - sized for 2-4 year olds and it's still big on her. She has been wearing the same hat for years because her head has been growing at such a slow speed. Although she could have used the same one as the past 3 years, I decided it was time for a new hat anyhow! 

Earlier this month Sarah had her six month check up at the doctor's office and as always, I like to keep a record of her growth patterns and such. 

She now:
  • weighs 42 pounds (3rd percentile)
  • is 3 feet, 10 inches (4th percentile)
  • has a head circumference of 47.6 cm (-3.2 standard deviation)
The visit to the pediatrician went fairly well until the doctor attempted to take her blood pressure. For some reason, that terrifies her and so we skipped that part of the exam. Everything else seemed fine and we were on our way after that. 

She's still growing and developing at her own rate. I think she's still pretty little for a 7½ year old  and I think the kids, Doug and I still like that she fits in our laps so easily yet. I know for a fact that the other three kids couldn't snuggle the way she does. 
This picture was taken the week after we were at the doctor's office when Sarah, her sisters, brother and I were all down with bad colds for a week. As much as I don't like her being sick, it was a special treat to have her nap in my arms nearly every day!


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