Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School

It's been a while since we last updated, but we've had a busy summer!  This was Mikan's first summer off in three years.  He was able to attend several camps and other extracurriculars including gymnastics and swimming.  Today was his first day of first grade.  He was brimming with excitement waiting for the bus.  I can't believe how fast he's growing up.  He has recently become more interested in playing with his siblings and he and Anica have enjoyed spending more time together this summer playing make-believe and making their own movies (Usually some version of what they call "Mean Boy Steals Little Girl's Basket').

Mikan's current interests include: Pangea and the evolution of the continents, galaxies, nebulas, and stars.

A brief medical update:
Mikan had previous tests confirmed that revealed a low frequency hearing loss in both ears.  We explored the possibility of hearing aids, but they are not covered by any of his insurance policies.  We are going to try an FM system that amplifies sound for him in school first before we make any final decisions about hearing aids.  He functions well without any support, he just asks for things to be repeated sometimes.

On the balance beam

Our butterflies are finally coming out!

First grader

Waiting for the bus

Friday, June 13, 2014

Vision and Hearing

Yesterday an audiologist confirmed that Mikan has a mild low frequency hearing loss in both ears.  We have scheduled a follow-up appointment to discuss possibly getting him a hearing aid.  Mikan's past hearing results have never been definitive, and we began to wonder about his hearing because of his frequent requests for us to repeat ourselves.  His high frequency hearing barely meets the normal range. But he functions well at school and home, we just often need to repeat ourselves or speak louder for him to hear us.

When we first walked into the audiologist's room, she asked me, "Do you think Mikan has problems with hearing?"  I said, "Yes," but Mikan immediately interrupted me with, "No!  I can hear you just fine."  But unfortunately, the audiologist didn't chart that response and Mikan was still subjected to multiple beeps and phrasing tests.  He kept asking how many beeps were left and then just started raising his hand randomly, even if the beeps weren't sounding because he wanted the test to be over with.  I think that he thought that if he kept raising his hand, it would move things along.

Mikan also saw his eye doctor this week who said that his glass patching has been extremely effective over the past year.  His left eye has now caught up to his right and his overall vision is 20/60, which is permissible for daytime driving.  His prescription is also stabilizing, which is a good sign that the damage from his ROP may be under control.  We have taken the patch off of his left eye glass, so hopefully he will be able to see better for the next six months.  As long as his vision remains the same, we will lose the patch.

On a non-medical note, we were able to visit some of our good friends in South Haven last weekend.  Here the kids are enjoying the beach.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gross Motor Setback

Our most recent physiatry appointment brought us a little disappointment.  Mikan isn't progressing with his left SMO, so he got fitted for a new pair of AFOs on both legs again.  Mikan is disappointed because he doesn't think he can run as fast with AFOs, but his doctor is still waiting for him to develop a better heel-toe walking pattern, which will hopefully prevent the need for future hip surgeries.  We are also trying kinesio tape again, but it never stays on, so I doubt it is doing him much good.

This summer Mikan is signed up for all sorts of exciting activities including swim lessons, an academic camp, baseball, and Vacation Bible School.  This will be the first summer off from full-time therapy he's had in the past three years and I think he is enjoying the change.

Enjoying goodies from an Easter egg hunt at our subdivision park last month

Mikan's new bike fitted with "fat wheels" and shoe holders.

Drexler leading the way on our walk through the park woods