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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Carrots, surgery, and naps

Yesterday we met with a speech therapist at medical home clinic.  She had some interesting suggestions for how to get Cooper to eat.  One was to give him hard veggies (carrots, celery, jicama) and just let him chew them.  Today, I gave Cooper a carrot stick and it was a HUGE hit!

This was when he first got it and wasn't too sure.  A few minutes later, he was using both hands to stuff it in to his mouth.  Like I said, huge fan of carrots.

Today, we had an ENT and Audiology appointment.  It was mainly to test his hearing.  I was really surprised by the results.  Cooper's right ear, which is always nasty and has stuff draining from it, was almost fine.  He could hear 30 decibels (normal is 20).  The left ear, which we never really have issues with was at 60 decibels.  Both ears have some fluid behind them, so some hearing loss would be expected because of that. The ENT doc thinks the next step should be to put new PE tubes in, drain the fluid behind his eardrum, and repeat the hearing test.  He thinks the right ear should be normal at that point.  If the left ear is still bad, they will fit him for a hearing aid for that ear.

And just for the record, Cooper is the best sleeper, except when you want him to sleep.  He has to be asleep for the hearing test.  The ENT "tortured" him by cleaning out his ears, so I thought he would go right to sleep.  Nope.  Then we walked around in the stroller for about half and hour.  Still not asleep.  Finally, I took him out to the car and drove around the parking lot a few times.  That worked wonders.  Now I know!

Big Things

I have a few big things to share!

One:  Cooper is going to be on a poster advertising the Jumbo Gumbo Cookoff for the Allen School.  If anyone knows how to insert a PDF file onto here, I will share it.  Seriously, let me know.

Two:  Yesterday at school, Cooper got on the treadmill for the first time!  He wasn't really walking, but his physical therapist wanted him to get used to the harness and the feel of it.  He didn't fuss or cry at all!  Big boy!

Really concentrating here.

Three:  Yesterday, he had a medical home clinic appointment.  If you recall, they kinda oversee his care and help get stuff done.  For example, they are going to get Cooper in to see the hand specialist at Children's.  The splints we had made are not cutting it, mainly because he takes them off almost immediately after we put them on him, asleep or not.  They also couldn't believe how big he had gotten in such a short amount of time.  I mean, he's grown by about 40% since they last saw him.  Now that he is in the 50th percentile for weight for his age, we're going to back off of his calorie intake a bit.  They want him to maintain his weight, but stop growing quite so fast.  For the first time EVER, the word "overweight" was thrown around in discussing Cooper.  He's not, but they're worried that if he keeps gaining weight at the rate he's gaining, he could be.

One more clinic appointment this afternoon, and it's a big one.  He's going to get another hearing test, so hopefully we'll get some actual answers about that today. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cardiology appointment

It was great!  Nothing happened.  I was running a little late (stupid Subway), but they were still able to get us right in.  Cooper got weighed and measured, then we were put in a room (all this while Cooper was eating).  The doc came in almost immediately.  She hadn't seen him since he was really sick in the hospital in October (a different cardiologist did the procedure), so she couldn't believe how big he had gotten!  Seriously, it was all she could talk about.  She listened to him and said his heart and lung sounds were good.  And we scheduled an echo for a year from now.  That was it!  Love appointments like that!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy and healthy

Cooper has been healthy for a full two weeks (and yes, I probably just jinxed him).  Because of this, he is in the BEST mood!  Happy and smiley almost all the time.  Except yesterday afternoon when we went to visit the Eiler's (sorry Robin!). 

This is what he looks like all the time:

It's been great.  He's ticklish, he moves a lot, etc.  So fun.  

In other news, this is a big week for doctor's appointments.  He has cardiology tomorrow, medical home clinic on Wednesday, ENT and audiology on Thursday, and surgery clinic next Monday.  More on all of those later.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Getting rid of a yeasty diaper rash

For the past couple of months (yes, has been awful) Cooper has had a yeasty diaper rash.  It gets a little better, it gets way worse, etc.  It has been terrible.  I mean his little butt bleeds kind of terrible.  And we had kinda given up.  We just figured he had really sensitive skin and there wasn't much we could do beyond continuing to treat the symptoms.  Then I heard that yeast can live in cloth diapers.  The diapers give the yeast to Cooper and Cooper gives the yeast to the diapers in a horrible cycle of pain and misery.  So, for the time being, Cooper is not wearing the cloth diapers.  I have washed and washed them (3 times over 5 days) in a particular manner to kill the yeast.  Here is what I did (and I borrowed a bunch of these ideas from other blogs):

1. Wash on cold with a tiny bit of detergent and vinegar.
2. Wash on cold with a tiny bit of detergent and 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract oil in 2 oz. of water.
3. Wash on hot (sanitize cycle) with a tiny bit of detergent and bleach and then an extra rinse.
4. Wash on hot (normal cycle) with nothing in it, just water to make sure all the bleach was out of everything (extra rinse here as well).
5. Dry them in the dryer on high (except the outer pockets that can't be dried).

So hopefully, his diapers are now yeast free.  To get his booty yeast free, I turned to an unlikely substance: coconut oil.  Brad, being a doctor and therefore opposed to this kind of treatment, made fun of me.   But I persisted, and his butt looks better than it has in ages.  I think he needs a couple more days of coconut oil and disposable diapers, just to make sure ALL of the yeast is gone.  I definitely don't want to have to start this whole process over.

Oh, and one other thing we did was switch to cloth wipes.  Supposedly, regular wipes have stuff in them that yeast eat, so it encourages the yeast to stick around.  Gross.  So I got some BabiesRUs wash cloths.  I get them wet with a little warm water and wipe him that way.  They even agreed to do it at school; they've seen how bad his butt can be.  Think that's it!