"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
Quote by: Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Signing, Eating and Ear Infection #2

Signing, Eating and Ear Infection #2

We've been busy the last couple of weeks with Emily's second ear infection (Ana got sick with an upper respiratory infection too), teaching Emily how to get to sleep and trying to get this kid to eat from a spoon. Shelley, the team coordinator at NYU, informed me that two ear infection means she's got a history now and that she will probably get tubes put in her ears during her palate surgery in April. If she gets another infection before then, she may need the tubes sooner. She'll have a consultation with Dr. Bernstein, the team ENT, in a couple of months to assess her hearing. Emily is also back on a nebulizer for wheezing due to her latest cold (which also caused the ear infection). My concern with the nebulizer is that Emily may have asthma, something we were worried about when she was just 10 weeks old and was nearly hospitalized for bronchiolitis. The nebulizer saved her from a trip to the hospital then, but she needed to be on it for three full weeks.

We've been signing with Emily since she was about five months old. She looks like she's trying to sign some things back to us, but it's hard to tell. This picture shows her doing something she does a lot - opening and closing her hands when she's playing and excited. It's sort of close to the sign for "play" which is to shake both hands back and forth while closing the middle three fingers.

Something we're not making much progress on is getting Emily to take food from a spoon. Here's a classic reaction from Em, shutting her lips tight and getting that resolved look in her eye until I move the spoon away. She enjoys self-feeding though - she'll eat cheerios and other table foods such as teething cookies, bread, etc.

She scored a cookie and she's happy. Still, it's very frustrating trying to get Emily to eat and we're working with a speech therapist from Early Intervention to help her get comfortable with her mouth again. She seems particularly sensitive to anything touching her upper gums (understandably), though lately she has been letting me massage her scar and even gently rub the upper gums. I hope that the more I touch the area and massage it, the more she'll relax about things being near her lip and that may translate into her ultimately accepting a spoon.

The sleep situation is much much better. Emily can now fall asleep within minutes after being put down in her crib. We no longer have to rock her for a half hour then put her down completely unconcious only to repeat the procedure 4x a night. She is still waking up about once a night to eat a couple of ounces, but now the nightly visits take about 10 minutes (instead of 1 - 2 hours). Her naps are better too (for the most part) she is averaging one long nap and 1-2 short naps per day.


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