Monday, May 20, 2013

Still Here, Just Incredibly Busy!

We have been so busy in the past 2 months. Some of the "busy" has come from medical appointments, but baseball/tee ball games, Piano Guild, and simply playing outside in the good weather has kept us hopping over the past few weeks.

On the "medical" side of life, Nolan's stridor has already returned post-surgery. Some nights he is quiet, and on other nights he is noisy. We have no idea if there is apnea associated with the "noise." Stridor is fine as long as he isn't dropping oxygen saturation numbers. Nolan will have a sleep study on June 23 to determine how he is faring.

Nolan had a vision appointment, and that went very well. His vision is now correcting to 20/20 in both eyes! When we first started treatment, his vision was 20/80 in the poorer eye (corrected vision - this means his vision was 20/80 when he was wearing glasses). Some people have asked if Nolan will continue to have to wear glasses, and the answer is "yes." He must wear them full time, or else the eyes may "separate" again (he could lose vision in the amblyopic eye). He is also nearsighted, and nearsightedness does not improve in children. The typical course for myopia in childhood is for it to worsen, as the eye lengthens as the child grows.

He has had to come home once from school, and was ill at school twice over the past month. This was not due to a virus, but caused by his gastroparesis. His stomach was bloated and he didn't tolerate his night feeds. This is a problem that we are monitoring, but he is growing and managing to do well overall. We take the bad days in stride and carry on.

We also had Nolan's IEP meeting, which will have its own post (because this one is getting too long)!

On the hearing front, things are looking good. He's only had one infection in the right ear since he had his fifth set of tubes placed in October 2012. His hearing levels were stable, with some improvement in the low frequencies (he had been testing at 75dB in the low frequencies, and he has returned to 60-65dB). We still cannot get aided testing performed, and have had no luck in finding an audiology location that will do real-ear measurements or aided testing. Nolan has some articulation errors due to this issue (he cannot discriminate "sh" from "ch," for example) - the articulation errors are minor and most people can understand him most of the time. He does quite well, despite being aided to only 40-45dB in the high frequencies (aided testing was performed at Buffalo Children's, but they cannot adjust his hearing aids).

 Nolan's right ear improved from 75dB at 500-1000 Hz to 60dB. His left ear, however, decreased from 45-50dB at 2,000-4,000 Hz to 55dB. His right ear drops to severe (70dB) at this level. His ears tend to "catch up" to each other over time. 

Nolan is able to detect spoken sound when it is at a volume of 50-55dB. He cannot comprehend words until they are between 85-96dB in volume. His aided hearing was not evaluated.

We have an appointment with the pediatric specialist in Buffalo on May 22. I am anxious to have the doctor take a good look at Nolan and determine what is causing his leg pain (and hopefully put some of the puzzle pieces together to figure out what is going on with our boys)!

Matthew is still having difficulty with his sleep apnea, and we will see the ENT for his tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy follow-up on June 3. He is on Prilosec and hopefully that will help with the inflammation in his esophagus/airway. Matthew still struggles with severe constipation and we saw a GI doctor in Rochester to try and sort the problem out. They believe he struggles with motility issues (in the same way Nolan does, but lower down in the GI tract). He is on an aggressive medication regime in the attempt to get the problem under control. There is some concern that he might have eosinophilic esophagitis (the concern is there with Nolan, too). This is an allergic condition where white blood cells called eosinophils attack the esophagus. This would explain Nolan's weird "exudate" during his last procedure, and we know that Nolan has a high eosinophil level from his biopsy. The high levels were blamed on reflux, but we may have to revisit the issue since Matthew also struggles with reflux and inflammation with motility problems. We won't deal with this potential issue until we get Matt's sleep apnea under control.

The appointments should slow down as summer approaches, and we are looking forward to having things quiet down for a few months! Matthew will require another sleep study, and there is a good likelihood that he will need a supraglottoplasty to trim away the floppy airway that prevents him from breathing well at night. Hopefully this will be the LAST procedure this year!


Angela K. said...

Have you tried cutting out gluten from his diet?

dlefler said...

He was gluten free for a while (for a while, he ate absolutely nothing) - and he has been tested in many different ways for celiac and gluten intolerance and he does not have any issues with wheat or gluten.