Friday, October 26, 2007

Ethan's MRI

On Saturday, we went down to Primary Children's Hospital for Ethan's 6 month MRI. Things went pretty well, he was a little cranky once we got there at 11 because we couldn't feed him after 7. His favorite part was that they had to put an IV in to sedate him. The nurse trying to do it was really nice, but she had to try on his left foot, couldn't get it, tried his left hand, couldn't get it, so she called the head nurse in and she finally got it in on his right foot. After that he was fine and the scan went well. They say babies usually take an hour to two to wake up from the sedation, but as soon as they pulled him out of the machine he was wide awake and ready for food. Once he was fed, he acted like a crazy happy kid for a while, talking up a storm and moving all around, and then he crashed. We got him in the car and he slept the whole way back to Rexburg, except when I had to wake him to feed him.

They taped warm packs to his hands and feet so the veins would swell and it would be easier to get an IV in. Apparently it didn't help much.

That night was the first time he slept the whole night not wrapped.

Yesterday we received the results of Ethan’s MRI. His doctor was pretty optimistic and said that barring a miracle with the scan showing no signs of the damage, this is about the best we could expect.

The brain damage shown on his first MRI is still visible. The areas of the brain where the damage has occurred are said to be shrinking, but at normal levels compared to the amount of damage done, which was primarily located on his frontal lobe and his rear left horn. Right now his circulation is good to all parts of the brain, which is normally a concern when there is shrinkage. There are visible blood stains on some of the tissue where he had hemorrhaging, but no new damage has occurred since birth. They still don’t know if the damage happened before or during birth.

So the good news is that there is no new damage. They had a radio-neurologist read the damage, but we still don’t know what the prognosis is from it. He has an occupational therapist that comes and works with him every week, and she is impressed with his progress. Last week in our discussion she pointed out that he has several strengths and several weaknesses. His weakness is his high tone- he is really tense and not as flexible as most babies, and she thinks this contributes to his not being able to move around as much as normal. Because of his high tone, she thinks he will still be able to sit up/crawl/walk, but just on a little longer time frame then usual, about 2 months behind. His strengths are his great social and vocal skills. He makes great eye contact, loves looking at people’s faces, and will watch me or Eric as we walk around. His range of vocal noises and levels is excellent and he has great control of his mouth and tongue. If Eric or I put our finger to his lips and move it back and forth, he will make noises because he likes hearing the sound it makes.

Ethan is a major talker when he wants to be and is as ticklish as ever. He loves to play, especially with Dad, and laughs when we laugh. He started rolling over from his back to his front, but then gets frustrated when he’s stuck on his stomach so he won’t initiate rolling unless you tempt him with his pacifier or grab his leg and start the process. He has just started trying to eat rice cereal, but because of his new spitting/blowing trick he doesn’t get much in his stomach, and makes faces from the newness of the texture.

He is way afraid of strangers. I was at the grocery store on Monday and he started bawling when the lady in line behind me started talking to him. My friend Emily from my ward tries every Sunday to hold him, but if he looks at her first he will cry, so we just transfer him from my lap to hers when we’re sitting down, and he is alright as long as he doesn’t turn around. Another couple we’ve been friends with for a while had to baby-sit him last night while I was in class and Eric was taking a test. He was ok with Kristen because I played with him while she was holding him, but she said every time Jared tried to take him he would burst into tears.

He’s a drooler now where he wasn’t before; he loves to bounce, on your lap or while you’re holding him; he won’t sit back in his car seat anymore, he always wants his head up so he can look around.

Ethan is an amazing kid and he has come so far already. We are so grateful for him in our life; he’s such a blessing to us. Our lives would be so different without him! I know he was sent here like he is for a reason, and Heavenly Father has a plan for him. Our plan is to love him and do everything that we can to help Ethan fulfill his potential. We are so grateful for this knowledge and the comfort it brings. We know we are an eternal family.


Fraser said...

I can't believe i never knew about your blog. I'm happy to hear the great news. Your guys look great!!!

Amy said...

I'm glad you posted all the info on the MRI. Ethan is such an amazing little boy! What a special kid. He looks adorable sleeping in his crib.

Brittanie said...

So, I randomly found your blog (I've been blog-hopping people from the ward that I miss), and I am so glad to see that Ethan is doing so well! He's adorable. I'm glad that he's continuing to do better than expected.