Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Emily's Mom

Emily took a trip with Tom and I to Children's Hospital's Northwest Office this afternoon. Since there was so little recorded about her birth history in Kazakhstan, our pediatrician asked that we do a little investigating to learn a little more.

This is old news to some of you, but Emily was born 10 weeks premature... that's about 2 1/2 months early. Her records indicated a cerebral hemorrhage at birth but stated nothing about the severity of it. It could be very minor and cause no problems for her in the future or it could cause complications later on. The big buzz word that keeps getting thrown around by the doctors is cerebral palsy. Because of this, our pediatrician just wants to get a peek inside that noggin of Em's and map out what we might be dealing with this.

In order to "map out" Emily's brain, our pediatrician has requested that we get an MRI done. Again, this is just so we know what we're dealing with -- not because we suspect any problems. We are still working with the kind people at Marion's Help Me Grow and they have been phenomenal at plugging us into the proper channels to get things done. It's not always the most streamlined, but in the long run it's probably best for Emily. Help Me Grow has referred us to the Marion County Health Center for Emily's Occupational Therapy (which she was done with after 2 visits) and for Physical Therapy (which we still go to once a week). They have also referred us to the Marion County Health Department in order to complete an application for BCMH (Bureau for Children's Medical Handicaps). In my very basic understanding of BCMH, this is state funding that will kick in on the MRI after our insurance picks up their part. We were encouraged to go this route so we wouldn't have to pay as much out of pocket on the MRI (on whatever insurance didn't cover). At least I think that's right!

One thing about having a kid is that I now have to learn all that insurance stuff that I never had to bother with or cared about before. Tom and I very rarely had to use our insurance until our little blessing came along. Now, it's baptism by fire... or something like that! ;-)

Anywho... back to the regularly scheduled program!

As part of the BCMH red tape we had to see a neurologist prior to getting the MRI done. That was what our trip to Children's was for. In the course of 3 1/2 months (since we came home), I have lost my identity as Jenni Hypes. I am now the lady formerly known as Jenni Hypes -- otherwise known as "Emily's mom". The nurses at the doctor's office referred to me as such. After I checked in, when it was time to fill out some paperwork I heard "Emily's mom!". When they had a question for me it was the same... "Emily's mom!". It's not such a bad thing and made me giggle each time they said it.

I can see it now... instead of answering my phone with my typical "Hi. This is Jenni." schpeal I just might have to start saying "Hi. This is Emily's mom." All you moms know it's true. When you walk into a room with young children and their parents, the parents in the room quickly become simply the puppet handlers... invisible to the naked eye. I do it too! I frequently say hello and goodbye to the little tikes and forget that mom and dad are in the room too. Heheh... oh, well. Such is life.

Well, now that you know that highly important part of the visit, I can share that all went well. Dr. Khuhro did seem to notice some stiffness in Emily's legs but other than that said her skull was forming well and he didn't see any signs of her brain not developing correctly. (Yes, I know her brain is not in her legs! But stiffness can be a sign of CP so they check for it! Hehehe) He ask for an MRI to be scheduled as our pediatrician has requested and also said that from what he's seen so far he probably won't need to see us again.

This is good news and basically what we expected to hear! At times, I feel like we are almost being encouraged to look for problems but I keep reminding myself that we truly don't know much about Emily's birth and the circumstances around it. All we have to go by are some really scary medical terms on a sheet of paper and on top of that we've been told that "sometimes" the doctors that are trained in the Russian-based medical schools put lots of labels on things that aren't necessarily as serious as they sound. In other words, nearly all children coming out of the Baby Houses in Kazakhstan are labeled with a lot of the same diagnoses and many of the terms are nothing to be concerned about. They view childbirth has a tramatic experience that is basically a miracle if you survive. It's something that all children must "overcome". They have a much more pessimistic view when compared with childbirth in the U.S.

With all that being said, we continue to be amazed at Emily's rapid progress and the new things she's learning each day. She's a tough kid and is still very content and adaptable. We get frequent comments on what a good baby she is and how happy she seems. We've been told by an older lady at our previous church that she has "a peaches and cream complexion" and I think that's about the best way to put it. She always has rosie cheeks and a happy glow about her. She loves to laugh at her daddy and he loves to make her laugh. Seeing them play together melts my heart.

We were in the waiting room for a while this afternoon after our appointment as we waited to get the MRI scheduled with Children's main campus. Tom likes to sit Emily on his head and play with her on the couch but this time he fully put her on his shoulders while we were waiting and she let out the biggest belly laughs. Here's a snippet for your enjoyment!

1 comment:

Marla Edington said...

I can totally relate to the "Emily's mom" thing. I am known as "Brooke's mom"... by her friends (this started in preschool for the most part)... but really it's a great thing for them to know who I am. I like to get to know her classmates, and know what the kids are like that she's hanging out with... because ...soon enough she'll be older and it won't be as cool for me be around her friends!

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