Has it really been over a week since my last post? Oh my. So much has happened in a week's time!
My mom was here visiting all last week, catching up with Isaac and doing all "Nana" type things. We took him to get his six month portraits taken on Monday and they looked great. I declined putting him in the suggested Cupid outfit (red diaper cover, bow and arrow, wings, crown of leaves) for his Valentine cards, but the session still went well. Although Isaac grew weary of smiling and flirting, he hung in there and we got some great shots. I will get Tobe to copy off the proofs from the Picture People website and post them here soon. If that happens to be illegal, please make sure you share some kind words with Tobe before he is hauled off to the Big House.
Tuesday morning found us at physical therapy as every Tuesday morning does. This past week was the first time that Isaac held his head in the neutral position (not tilted or favoring one side) when our therapist did her measuring. This was great news! His goal is to be able to keep his head in that neutral position while playing and exercising for at least half of the session, then we can go start going every other week to therapy. I was glad that my mom was able to come with us and wittiness an actual therapy session. There are two other children having therapy at the same time as Isaac. The clinic is set up with smaller rooms and then one big therapy area. All three kids are having therapy at the same time with different therapists in this big area. It is chaos--but fun chaos. Did I mention that there is also a therapy dog running around? It is no surprise why Isaac immediately falls asleep in the car as we head for the house each Tuesday. One of the children is about four and the other child is one. Both of these children have bigger obstacles to overcome in comparison to Isaac. It is interesting to see how their mothers react during these crazy therapy sessions. One mother is bubbly and talkative and the other mother looks on the verge of tears each week. It is an interesting diatribe in that therapy room. The individual reactions of these mothers demonstrate to me what a positive attitude can do for your situation.
Thursday was Isaac's six month check-up and vaccination time. Although the nurse assigned to us was very nice, she was not the fastest shot administer ever. Isaac had to get four shots and it felt like it took her half an hour to give them. Once he would get over the initial yelp of one shot, she would then stick him with the next one. Not fun. He survived though and was done crying by the time we stepped out of the examine room.
During her check-up, our pediatrician asked all the normal development questions, including, "Is Isaac sitting up with support?" I told her no and that we were still doing physical therapy every week to help with his torticollis and muscle weakness. The pediatrician then went on to say how she was concerned about Isaac's head growth. Babies heads are bigger than their chests until around the age of two, then the chest becomes bigger than the head (go look in the mirror--your chest is bigger than your head). Isaac's head is measuring larger than expected for his age (increased head circumference) and his soft spot on top is raised rather than being flat across. This is not something we had noticed, nor knew to look for. This could mean two things: 1. Hydrocephaly (unsure of what the cause could be) or 2.Isaac just has a big head and the growth might plateau in a month or so. Here I sit at this appointment thinking, "Something is terribly wrong with my child's head or he just has a large noggin---pretty big extreme." The peditrician questioned if he had been throwing-up and I told her about last Saturday and the times back in November. She feels like these incidents are not related to the head. That afternoon we were off to get a head ultrasound. The radiologist told us that she didn't see anything on the ultrasound, which sent us home in good spirits. Friday I talked to the pediatrician who said the ultrasound came back inconclusive and was unable to show everything. The radiologist said in her report that she strongly recommends Isaac gets an MRI and possibly a CAT scan. Our doctor is also strongly recommending he gets an MRI and said that she was pretty concerned about what was going on with his head. She did restate that it could just be genetic and he could just have a large head, but that she wouldn't rest until she knew for sure what was going on (we just LOVE our pediatrician!). Tomorrow morning the doctor's office will be calling me to tell me exactly when the MRI is scheduled.
Friday afternoon a good friend/former co-worker called to chat and to tell me one of my former students had killed himself. Not the kind of phone call a teacher welcomes. I had lost contact with this child over a year ago (I only taught him my first year), which I regret. Last I had heard he was doing well and was in regular ed. He was a good kid, who despite the typical behavior issues of a child in a behavior-mod class, always tried to please me and do his best. He had a horrible homelife and a very low self-esteem, a terrible combination. With all of the Isaac stuff going on, I don't think my brain has fully registered what has happened to this child. My heart hurts for him and for the pain he must have felt to make such a choice. My goal as a teacher was not to have excellent TAKS scores (GASP!) or teach the basics of math and spelling. My goal was to plant a seed of hope in my students. All of them knew they were different in some way, but couldn't quite figure out how to balance that difference. Upon being placed in my room, each one would question why they had to be in MY class, as if their life had ended. My response: "Because I chose you. There are a lot of kids in our school who have behavior problems and I chose YOU because I know you want to work on your problems and make yourself a better person." One time I actually heard one of my students brag to someone that I picked him for my class and hadn't picked that student (hopefully one day he will never research the actual Special Ed process). So I tried to plant this seed in each of my kids, instilling in them the skills to succeed in the interpersonal aspects of this society. I can't help but wonder where this seed went with this boy who gave up his life and I can't help but wonder if in time I will hear of other students making the same choice.
So that has been our week. Fun times, huh? I did save a funny Isaac story to close this post to prevent it from ending on a sad note. Mom, Isaac, and I were driving back from a quiet lunch at Cozymel's on Wednesday. All of the sudden we heard this horrible noise coming from the back seat. Isaac had stuffed the whole tail of his toy giraffe down his throat and was gagging horribly (Thank you, Lamaze, for making that possible). Fortunately we were at a stop light and my mom was able to jump out and get in the backseat (almost throwing my prized diaper bag in the middle of Northwest highway in the process) to pull the tail out of Isaac's throat. Fortunately he did not throw up. Needless to say, Greg the Giraffe no longer has a tail...............