Friday, October 15, 2010

It's About Time

...for a Jack update!

There is always a lot going on in Jackland. He is forever amazing us with each new and fun thing he doing. For instance, we have a real talker on our hands now. Let me re-phrase, we have a real "wordy" baby on our hands. It's so much fun! He now says "daddy" "hi" "kiss" and "Daisy" with purpose and clarity. That's 4 words, people!!! It's my absolute favorite thing to walk in the room and see my boy's big grin and a "Hi" pops out of his mouth. The BEST THING EVER! He is really good at mimicking sounds now too. My favorite last week was when he said "thank you" (hear "tank you")right after my mom said it to him. I know he doesn't get what he is saying when he mimics sounds, but it is still so cute to hear that little voice! And his absolute favorite "word" is really no word at all, but a movement. He has figured out how to tell us "NO" by shaking his head. It's so great to be able to communicate even simple things like "I don't like that" by Jack shaking his head. He does it A LOT. Who knew he didn't like to hear my beautiful singing voice, bright and early in the morning???

Health wise, Jack is doing really well. He is staying healthy. We started our cold and flu isolation the 1st of October. Even though it was still 80 degrees out, we heard through the grapevine of nasty stuff going around. This year we are not as strict. Still no indoor play dates or large crowds, but we do go to the park when it's nice out or the farmer's market. We have gone into a few stores and coffee shops when it wasn't busy and we just use sanitizing wipes on any cart or table. So far, it has worked out well. Can't say what it will be like when it's freezing snow and cold out, but for now we have really taken advantage of the beautiful fall we've had here.

Yesterday Jack finally had an MRI. This is a more detailed look at his brain, but it required anesthesia and being admitted to the hospital. I absolutely love Community Medical Center in Missoula. They are so good (doesn't hurt that my mom works there) and compared to Helena, I feel like I am at a top-level hospital. Yes, that was my little rant, but seriously Helena, get it together! Anyway, the MRI went smoothly and Jack had no issues with recovery. Having an MRI is nothing to take lightly, but for us, it seemed like the easiest thing. We should get a report from Jack's pediatric Neurologist in Billings soon.

On a side note - Yay for Billings getting pediatric specialist docs. First a Gastroenterologist (tummy doc), then Pulmunologist (lung doc), now Neurologist (brain doc). And Jon's sister, Erin, also came to Billings and she's a pediatric pschyciatrist. So kids can see her, too! We have counted and Jack now has 10, yes 10, medical specialists that work on him. No wonder he is now our 2 million dollar baby! No joke. Thank God for good insurance.

Back to the MRI - We talked a little bit to Jack's Neurosurgeon (the guy who put in and follows how Jack's shunts are doing) after he looked at the initial shots taken of Jack's brain. He made some observations about how the right side of the brain is smaller and more underdeveloped than Jack's left side. This makes total sense, because Jack had the most severe brain hemorrhage on his right side. It also explains Jack's delay in gross motor skills on his left side. The Neurosurgeon was pointing out specific areas of Jack's brain on the MRI photos, but to be honest, I was exhausted and it all sounded so foreign to me. I'm sure our neurologist will give us a more detailed analysis and let us know what it means for Jack's long-term development. It probably won't change the amount or frequency of therapy Jack is getting, but maybe the focus and type.

It is so hard to know what of Jack's issues are related to his extreme prematurity or his brain bleeds. It is often REALLY confusing for us as parents as we try to wade through this new world. We study a lot. We read up a lot. We are in contact with other preemie parents around the world. The sad thing is that we often know more than Jack's therapists and sometimes even (gasp!) Dr.'s about how prematurity plays a role in development and overall health. Needless to say, we are looking forward to any new info that can help Jack be all that he can be in his life!

Thought I would leave this post with some cute pics and video from yesterday at Jack's MRI. Enjoy!

Bright and chipper at 6:30AM in the hospital waiting room.

Getting settled in pre-op with his new friend, Mr. Moo Cow
Daddy got to ride to the MRI room with Jack!
Here's Jack a little loopy, but still so cute, post-op
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Lindsay said...

You're such a good mom, Jessi. Thanks for posting an update on Jack! :)

Julie said...

He is so cute! I love that he is talking! YAY!!! That's right on schedule for his adjusted age. And from a language perspective, he's benefiting from having an intact left brain - since that's where language functions are typically carried out! Will keep praying! So excited that you get to discover more about what Jack is thinking through his use of language - isn't it fun!?

Brandi said...

What a sweetie pie!

Kim Pace said...

Just out of curiosity - who is his neurosurgeon? Missoula really has some awesome ones!

Jessi said...

Yeah they do! His is Dr. Day - really the only pediatric one in Missoula.

Babs said...

Jackpants is amazing!