Sunday, August 12, 2012

Medical Updates

 I have been waiting to post until we were through most of Mia's medical appointments. This week wrapped up the last two we were waiting for. Let me start by saying Mia was a star patient for all of her doctors and earned every sticker they gave her (her brother and sisters too). Most of her appointments were two hours long and included numerous tests.

June 18th, we met with Mia's cardiologist. After an ECG and ECHO they found no tricuspid regurgitation or pulmonary hypertension which were present in the past. Nicolas and Samantha were huge helpers during the ECG and ECHO. The ECHO alone lasted over 30 minutes.  I was more than pleased and couldn't wait to call Dave to share the good news!

Two days later, Mia was seen by her endocrinologist. You may recall that, since last November,  we have been closely monitoring her height.  At that time, a lack of growth and blood tests showed a growth hormone deficiency that led us to a discussion around whether or not she should start growth hormone therapy. When seen again in February, Mia did have some growth but not enough to end our discussion. Because Mia is growing the decision to begin growth hormones is not so black and white. The endocrinologist said to wait and monitor some more. That brings us to the June appointment. Again Mia  had some height growth, below average, for sure, but at least it was progress. Just when things were looking better in one area, we were faced with another issue. In 11 months Mia gained 1 pound. At 24 pounds, Mia needs to increase her caloric intake. Mia is a fussy eater and has us jumping through hoops most meals. She will eat some meat if she can dip it in ketchup. Of course that usually turns into just lapping up the ketchup after taking 3 bites of meat. The one thing she LOVES is Hershey chocolate bars (yes, she is my girl!). Now we could feed her chocolate all day but what kind of responsible parents would we be? Well, the doctor said she can eat chocolate all day if that is what she will eat. Basically, Mia has permission to eat whatever, whenever! This is so crazy but is apparently what needs to be done. Because Mia is not taking in enough calories, there is no reason to be concerned about where the calories are coming from. She just needs calories any way she can get them. Our next appointment is in October and we will see how successful her new "diet" has been.

To end that week, we traveled to Syracuse to see the neurosurgeon. Over the last couple months I have noticed a slight increase in Mia's head circumference and some eye issues which can often be related to increased pressure. The doctor decided to adjust the shunt pressure to see if that would improve both issues.

That brings us to this week's appointments!

Monday we went back to Syracuse for our follow up. Mia's neurosurgeon had asked to meet Mia's twin and other siblings so off  I went with the four kids!!! Thankfully, a friend's daughter came with me and was a HUGE help! That appointment ended up being two hours with a trip over to the hospital for x-rays (nothing bad, just making sure the shunt was at proper setting). Anyway, the doctor saw an improvement with Mia's eyes, as had we, however, her head circumference remains slightly increased. She adjusted the shunt again and we will have a follow up in November.

Our last appointment on Tuesday was with the orthopaedic surgeon, also a very long appointment with multiple x-rays. Mia was extremely cooperative and good! Gabriella was very good too. The first x-ray showed a very alarming change in Mia's scoliosis but, after a second set of x-rays, the change was confirmed as being less drastic. Basically, we cannot determine anything until we see her next set of x-rays three months from now. If her scoliosis continues to increase rapidly we will need to figure out why. It is either a shunt/hydrocephalus issue or a spinal cord issue. If her scoliosis remains stable then we just continue to monitor her. There is a possibility she will have to wear a brace in order to keep the curve under control until she is old enough for surgery. We also discussed her growth issues at this appointment. The orthopaedic surgeon said he ABSOLUTELY would NOT recommend growth hormones. Her scoliosis will change so rapidly that they will not be able to treat it properly. So, that helps us make one decision easily. No growth hormones for Mia.

If you are still reading this, you are a Mia fan for sure! I know it is a lot at once but so much of Mia's medical concerns  are  "wait and see" . We usually have to wait an appointment or two before anything can be determined. As long as nothing comes in between, my next medical update will be in the Fall when she has had her follow up from endocrinology, orthopedic and neurosurgery.

Next post will definitely be more fun!!!!!

1 comment:

Daddy's in Charge? said...

What a beautiful little girl Carleen and Dave! Nothing but good thoughts on this end.