Saturday, November 20, 2010

Neo Follow-Up #2

Last month we visited the neonatal follow-up clinic. Yesterday we went again, to visit with the specialists that we didn't see last time. There were only 4 children in the clinic yesterday (instead of the usual 12-15) and each specialist took took a a really long time with Crew, evaluating him very thoroughly. No complaints there. I'd say we got our money's worth, except that we don't actually pay for it:

The clinic bills our insurance.
Our insurance laughs.
Our insurance refuses to pay a single dime.
The clinic writes it off.

Rinse and repeat.

I suppose there is some governmental grant that comes into play somewhere in there and that our taxes pay for it. I suppose your taxes do too. Sorry about that. I guess we can consider Crew and his micropreemie buddies to be special earmarks. Preemie Pork, if you will.

We reweighed/remeasured him. He has grown almost an inch in the last month, and his weight has increased from 16 pounds 10 ounces to 17 pounds 8 ounces!! I knew it wasn't my imagination! He looks fluffier and has started wearing 18-month outfits. He remains very underweight, but his height is almost kissing the 3rd percentile line for his adjusted age! Wowzers!

I'd like to thank the good people of Nestle for creating Benecalorie, and my NICU buddy Amy for telling me about it.

Psych Eval
Crew visited for a long time with the developmental psychologist, who declared him "a completely different kid" from the last time he saw him in 2009. We're getting a lot of that lately. Crew's a little miracle, to be sure, and he's dodged a heck of a lot of bullets in his short life. His medical history is so alarming that doctors always expect him to be in much worse condition. He looks pretty bad on paper and never ceases to surprise. The psychologist says that he is only "a little bit behind" cognitively and that most of that may be attributed to his motor delays. He can't yet physically perform more advanced evaluation activities, so he can't technically pass them.

The psychologist also assured me that Crew needs to be treated more like an almost-2-year old, instead of the 12-month old that he looks like and pretends to be. I'm a mollycoddler, it's true. He gets away with a lot because he is tiny and nonverbal. I usually give him the benefit of the doubt, assuming he must not understand what's being said to him. It couldn't possibly be that he's willfully ignoring/disobeying me, right?

November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Did you know that more newborns die of prematurity than any other cause? Did you know that the effects of an early birth can last a lifetime? There is a misconception out there that preemies "catch up by age 2". If you swing in my circles, you learn very quickly that it's not always the case. Not for micropreemies, anyway.

To learn more about the impact of prematurity or to join the campaign, visit the March of Dimes!

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