- Regular monthly pediatrician visits and shots
- Twice weekly physical therapy through Early Intervention
- Audiologist has administered 4 hearing tests since birth and confirmed he has "moderate" hearing loss in each ear (on a scale of slight-mild-moderate-severe)
- Nephrologist (Kidney Specialist) has seen evidence of an issue with his one kidney: a "reflux" effect where some of the urine output flows back into the kidney therefore increasing chances of reoccurring kidney infections
- Otolaryngologist (Ear/Nose/Throat Specialist) determined he may need surgery to remove tonsils and adenoids (and have ear tubes placed at the same time as he is prone to reoccurring ear infections)
- He had an overnight sleep study done at Boston Children's Hospital last week and we are waiting for the results to see if he has sleep apnea. If he does we are rooting for "obstructive" apnea as that would likely get better with the adenoidectomy, vs. "central" apnea which would be a bigger issue as that would mean his brain is not telling his body to consistently breathe while asleep
- Geneticist has referred us to a Neurosurgeon for an MRI to see if a certain area of his neck is causing spinal compression as we are beginning to see some evidence of possible nerve damage. If so, he will need to have decompression surgery on his spine at the base of his neck
- Appt scheduled with Orthopedic surgeon to examine kyphosis of his spine, bowing of the legs, and to ensure proper hip alignment
I think that's all of it. We have seen a LOT of doctors in 6 months. His pediatrician, geneticist, nephrologist, and physical therapists are through the hospital here in NH but I've asked for referrals for specific doctors (otolaryngologist, audiologist, neurosurgeon, orthopedic surgeon) at Boston Children's Hospital based on recommendations from other parents of little people. It has been quite a juggling act to get the different hospitals and doctors to interact, share info, xrays, films, etc. In certain instances we've also reached out to the skeletal dysplasia experts who work out of Wilmington, DE for second (or third) opinions. Most doctors do not have experience treating little people (and many doctors have differing opinions just to make it MORE confusing) so we've had to make certain judgment calls as parents new to the world of dwarfism on whether or not we think a certain doctor knows what s/he's doing (and unfortunately, in certain cases, they don't seem to). I've had to be "That Person" who demands more in depth information and further testing and referrals to other doctors. But it's just the name of the game I guess. In addition, we've had issues with insurance because once I quit my job Jack and I went onto my husband's insurance which has been a gigantic pain in the ass. In the last 6 months I have had to learn a LOT of new things not just about dwarfism, but about how hospitals operate, interacting with medical staff, tricks to get what you want, how to advocate for yourself, navigating insurance red-tape...you name it. This is my full time job. Now I'm amused that I contemplated going to back to work after maternity leave.
Jack has been a champ through it all. He really is awesome. Here he is during last week's sleep study:
|We STILL cannot get all the adhesive and gunk out of his hair from all the electrodes they put on him so I think we're going to have to chop some of his sweet little locks :-(|
The potential surgeries (and even just the MRI) are scary for us because complications with anesthesia are common for little people. I'm trying not to think about that right now. These days I don't think much beyond the next appointment. If I think too much I might have a hard time moving forward. So instead, we are just plugging along. This is now my reality and my new title is "super-mom" and "advocate". I'm also now "educator" since very few people know anything about dwarfism so I'm working on that. It's interesting because I'm just learning as I go and trying to spread the knowledge. I honestly don't know what I would do without my LP (little people) groups on facebook. They have been my lifeline and my guidance in navigating this whole new world.