Monday, January 07, 2008

Old Man Winter

We have already been hit hard this winter with snow, snow, and more snow. (Snowiest December on record for over 100 years and still coming.) I love it. I don't mind the freezing cold mornings, bundling kids in layers upon layers, navigating our badly-plowed road (it may be a different story come March, though!!). Jamie loves the snow. He treks out every chance he can get. Unfortunately, it is not as often as he would like since neither Clare nor Simon want to be out in the snow. But we have gotten a few good days of snow play. I even got the chance to snow blow all by myself during one huge storm while Shawn was gone for a couple days! (I am not usually allowed to touch the toys... I mean tools.)

We are settling into our winter, post-Christmas life. Clare has (and had) a round of doctor's appointments and evaluations coming up - orthopedic, neurology, feeding team, Early Intervention evaluation, preschool evaluation, lung scan, and, of course, the ever-present cardiology and echo (but we're still a few weeks away from that one). More updates as we check the list off one by one!

Clare had her "annual" eye doctor appointment before Christmas. It it is supposed to be annual, but the trauma of experiencing her first appointment when she was just a few months old was enough for me to keep pushing it back and pushing it back. (Trauma for both mommy and Clare - as in inserting a speculum to keep Clare's eyes open.) Finally, after being questioned by almost every doctor and her therapists whether Clare had her eyes checked recently, I realized that I could not hide any longer. I am pleased to say that 1) no speculum required this time and 2) no problems with Clare's visual acuity, no drift, no strabismus, nothing requiring glasses. (Although many of Clare's WS-buddies wear glasses and are adorable, I have to think it is also a pain in the butt. I have enough pains in that area.) However, both Clare's OT and PT noted that Clare has problems with visual perception. We are discussing the option of having her evaluated by an opthamologist who specializes in this and looking into vision therapy. Also, since Clare does have some vestibular issues and trouble having her eyes follow and focus on objects without moving her head, we may try an astronaut spinning program with her as well. There is a whole bunch of technical mumbo jumbo to go along with this, but I am running on empty today, so I am not going into it all. Let's just say that the fun never ends around here!

While we may be adding doctors and specialists to our busy life, we are also trying to knock them off one-by-one. Clare was officially discharged from her neurologist last month. He does not see any neurological issues coming into play with Clare at this time. So now he has seen her, knows her, tracked her baseline, and if anything comes up in the future, we can take it from there. We had Clare's orthopedic appointment as well. It is also official that there will be no more AFO's (which is good since they have been sitting in the living room closet untouched for about four months now!). Clare does roll in on her ankles when walking; other than that, she is very steady on her own and does not need any special shoes, supports, or braces. Clare is doing great walking indoors. Outside is still very iffy. I have not really pushed her on the outside portion with winter. Ice, snow, slush, puddles - just not fun learning conditions! Come spring and summer, we're going to concentrate on Clare becoming more comfortable walking outside. The orthopedist did take a look at Clare's left foot because of her toes and stated she does indeed have a clawed toe. (Her toe right next to the big toe curls down and the big toe and third toe lap right over it.) Her first joint is very stiff there and her toe muscle seems weak. Right now, it is not impeding her walking and is not causing any pain or discomfort (or at least Clare does not complain about it). It will have to be surgically-fixed in the future if it becomes a problem, but for now, the doctor is going to keep an eye on it. Clare does not need to return to orthopedics for a year.

As much as I love the Christmas season, I do look forward to getting back into our routine. Back to preschool drop-offs and pick-ups, swim classes (of which Simon has joined the ranks), and all the appointments. Plus we're gearing up for the Ninja Turtle birthday party some nameless-almost five-year old is having in a few weeks!


Katie said...

Oh i must sound silly but having never experience snow that actually settles on the ground at home before i think it sounds exciting to be having to plow the driveway!
Good luck with all the impending appointments and im glad to hear the eye visit was so much less stressful than last time! Great news that the Neuro has discharged Claire! Thats always a weight off.
Im glad she is enjoying and doing so well with walking too! - by the way, my little toe is tiny, curls inwards and sits under my 4th toe on both feet - i dont even notice it unless i get a cut or something, the nails dont grow properly on those toes with me but you may just have to keep an extra short nail length on that toe as i could imagine if it gets long it would cause discomfort!
Aw Jamie is getting so big! Ninja Turtle party hey? sounds like fun!

nichole said...

Five? Really, is he already five Tree? My goodness, it does go fast. I remember when you found out you were pregnant with Jamie.

I'm glad that you're able to knock a couple of doctors off your list, this is definitely not a case of "the more the merrier".

I'm glad you all are enjoying the winter snow, I will admit that I do not miss it, though I miss all of you.


Julie said...

We are finally coming to the end of our stretch with doctors. Tomorrow is the echo and next month is the dentist. Good luck with all your appts. you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

If you need to get rid of JUST A LITTLE snow, we here in St. Louis could use some! I love the snow. Sounds like you are a very busy family with the routine schedule, and add the appointments in there! Good luck with all of them, take car of yourself, and lisses all around! Aunt Joan

Penny said...

We are getting ready to start the doctor marathon as well. Good luck. It sounds like Clare is doing very well so far.

Nancy said...

Thank you for the update! I have been thinking a lot about you watching the goings on with our presidental primaries and such...Oregon is so...far...behind the rest of the country, and I'm a bit jealous. I like knowing people all over and thinking of us all over the world!

Hope you have a very cozy winter.

Kerry said...

How nice that you are getting off the "six month dr visit" cycle for some! We are about to add Neuro to our cycle. Jealous~

Michelle, Tim, Aidan & Ari said...

Why is it all the appointments always happen at once? Our cycle is in the know just in time to coincide with all the back to school stress :) It is so much added stress going to all the docs. It's great that your no longer seeing a down! Well at least you are enjoying the snow! I say any excuse to warm up and cuddle is a good excuse! Good luck with everything!

Amy said...

What a wonderful update. Glad to know I am not the only mom who decided perhaps the orthotics(AFOs/SMOs) were not as impressive/practical in real life. Hmmm, not tracking objects well, are they sure it just isn't a development thing that will change as she grows older? But knowing therapists when they see something they always have to try to fix it - which is good and bad. Sometimes I think the can make a mountain out of a mole hill. Dr. Mervis didn't notice it? Good news about getting rid of some doctors, gotta love that! So what did you decide about preschool?

Every minute counts.... said...

glad you are narrowing the field and crossing off drs. Tha tis always exciting...we seem to cross them off and then re-add them but we get a break for awhile. :)

Can't wait to see pics from the TMNT party!!


Laura said...

Sounds like everyone is doing well. It's nice to be able to cross those doctors off the list!

Laura said...

Oh, I forgot to mention, Michaela has the same thing with the toe....funny!

Lisa R said...

We keep getting rain YUCK no snow here....I love the video the kids are super cute!!!! Luck about the glasses they are a pain in the ass and always on the floor I actually just stepped on and broke Tate's fav. pair...oops I need to get my act together and make her some apoints, we need to go to the eye doc as well