Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eye Patch

Our first assignment from the ophthalmologist: get Athan to wear his glasses. The second: begin "patching" his good eye every day. The former is going well so far. Slowly, but surely, Athan is wearing his glasses - especially when reading. The latter challenge will begin next week, so we will keep you posted on that. For now, if you would like to read more about the method of patching we have been asked to follow, you may go here.

Here is the gist of the treatment, courtesy of the National Eye Institute: "The atropine eye drop works by temporarily blurring vision in the unaffected eye, thereby forcing the eye with amblyopia to be used. This strengthens it and improves vision."

We know this will be tough for a while, but the payoff should be good in the long run. Any volunteers to come hold down the stronger-by-the-day bear cub for an eye drop? Yikes!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

hula-hoop-walk in Estes

This is our new favorite place for PT. I think it would be awesome if Athan learns to walk in the chapel. It seems appropriate. You'll also hear some good Athan talkin', and see Morgan dart in and out with Athan's new walker. More on that soon. For now:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ortho at Shriner's

Athan and I went back to Shriner's today to follow up on his progress with the little braces. The docs were very pleased with his progress, the braces still fit just fine, and we'll see them again in 6 months.

We also saw the PT there, and with her we played with a couple different types of little walkers. I was really only thinking we could look at the options, then obtain one elsewhere. However, they had one available for loan that fits Athan really well. He actually took 10 steps or so, with considerable help from us with pushing the walker. This was the first time he didn't throw a fit about a new piece of equipment to help him. He was mildly fussy, but still cooperated. So the walker came home with us (picture/video soon), and we're going to try to work it into our routines.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


We met with Dr. K again today. The short version is this: maintained. No change in his ECHO. No change in his dosage. No change in opinion about surgery (probably someday, but not any time soon). "He looks good," he says. Of course, "He could gain a little more weight" in perpetuum.

This is good news! I was nervous we were going to have to have another surgery soon. I'm so thankful that the medicine (Enalapril) is working!

Monday, October 19, 2009

this week

We've got lots coming up for Athan this week. We'll be getting him new glasses, for one, whenever we find some time to do it. Tomorrow we see Cardio, and hopefully find out more about when/if another surgery is needed. Wednesday we go back to Shriner's to check-up on his braces (make sure they still fit, etc.), and maybe play with a few of their walkers and see if there's one Athan likes.

I'll do my best to keep updates coming as we get these done this week.

lots of therapy news

Goodness, I can hardly keep up with posting about Athan's progress these days! Good problem to have.

I'll just cover last week: Wed. evening we met Laurie up at Estes Chapel for a very unique therapy session. Athan LOVED the stairs at the back of the chapel, and he crawled up AND down them on his own. Then, even after all that work, he walked across the back and down the center of the chapel with Laurie. She was holding a hula-hoop, and Athan was holding the other side of it. I'll try to catch a picture soon, because I think my description is failing. For now, know that he's always refused to hold the hoop before, that he's never gone that far without several pauses to rest, and that we're going back to Estes on Friday afternoon to try again. :)

Thurs. we went into Lexington for another new challenge. Emily, Athan's OT through First Steps, also works with a private practice on Tu/Th each week. She asked if we could bring Athan in there once or twice a month. They have a great gym set up with foam blocks and platform swings and bolster swings and bean pits... just lots of tools we can't replicate with in-home therapy. Athan had SO much fun and worked so very hard for a full hour. It was amazing. I'm so glad we're taking him once in a while to play there.

Then this morning, Laurie came again for an in-home session. While I read him a book, Athan stood free and balanced on his feet for an entire minute! I've never seen him stand that long!

We are just closer and closer to that milestone of walking!

Friday, October 16, 2009

see? fun! :)

last weekend

I get busy and write about the details of our life, and forget to tell you about our real life...

Last weekend, Ryan and I both had out-of-town events scheduled: He has been planning a backpacking trip with Steve for months, and I was asked to speak at a women's retreat. Once we realized the conflict, we got on the phone. I was only going to be away for 24ish hours, but with Athan's med schedule, daily injection, and emergency procedures to learn, that's no small thing to ask of just any sitter (besides the fact that most of the people who could do it for us were going on the retreat with me :). So after some sifting and sorting and planning and re-planning amongst the grandparents, it was decided that Sid, Selena, and Na-Na would come up and stay with us a few days.

It was the first time Ryan and I were both so far away from Athan at the same time for so long. Despite the most capable caretakers, it chewed on my nerves all weekend that if there were an emergency of some kind (they seem to lurk around a corner with our Athan), I would be too far away to help. My mother's intuition had to go with me to Camp Kavanaugh, unfortunately.

Of course, it was fine. He was fine. They had a blast, Papa Sid learned to give his shot, Nana kept his med schedule on target, and Na-Na made Morgan feel like the center of the universe.

And I remembered that it's not up to me to do this alone. Or even to just Ryan and I. Athan has been entrusted to our family and friends, too, and he will be better for it if we'll let others take a shift.

Thanks, Sid, Selena, and Na-Na for helping this weekend. Broader "thanks" to all who come along side us in parenting our kiddos.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dr. Patterson

We saw a new eye doc. Ryan took Athan in, so I don't have a first-hand report to offer. But what I've heard is really good.

We are getting him new glasses. And we are going to do a chemical patch instead of a mechanical one (eye-drops instead of an over-eye-band-aid). Dr. Patterson thinks we can really improve his vision with this.

It was nice to get in to see him in 30 minutes instead of 4 hours, too! ;)

Friday, October 2, 2009


Athan has been doing well in therapy lately. Latest milestone: he cruised along the wall yesterday, and he can stand up all by himself for 30 seconds or so. We're all so excited about his progress. Yeah Athan! :)