Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The last two months in Medicine

I can hardly believe that we've nearly been back in Hong Kong for two months now! In that time, we've had a few different doctors appointments and we have some important ones coming up as well.

Our first appointment when we got back was with the ENT and pulmonologist for a joint upper airway clinic. Both of them are very happy with Maddy's breathing - particularly since she was fine on the plane. Maddy still has minimal stridor if she is congested or very agitated but nothing really that we need to be worried about on a daily basis. I mentioned to the ENT that I would like to get Maddy's hearing re-tested. I know she is not "deaf" - she can hear a loud noise and looks around for where it is coming from - but some hearing loss is not uncommon in kids with DD and I'd rather stay on top of it so that IF there are any issues, we find them sooner rather than later. One possible indicator for hearing issues is speech development, and Maddy's speech is not as advanced as Lana's was at the same age (although that's probably a poor comparison because Lana was an extremely early talker). So we are on the waiting list for that, apparently. No idea how long that will take, but at least it will be followed up. 

We also had a cleft-palate appointment. They basically want to keep following up with Maddy every 3 months until they decide it is the optimal time for her cleft repair surgery. It could be at any time between 15-24 months - but for now, we're just waiting for her to grow a little more first. These doctors are my least favourite out of all our doctors. The one who needed to look in her mouth was so rough with her, he just forced the paddle pop stick in her mouth and pushed her mouth open to check on the cleft. I would have thought that surely someone who needs to check cleft palates on a daily basis would have figured out by now a more gentle approach? I'm thankful that this guy is the ONLY doctor we've had that has been so uncaring. I'm not so happy that chances are, he might be the one in charge of Maddy's first surgery. But maybe he was just having a bad day, or maybe I'm overreacting - I don't know. I'll definitely be a bit more wary next time we see him... 

We have also in the past month seen the pediatric dentist team - and I have to say that out of all the doctors I've seen in Hong Kong the entire five years I've been here, they were my favourite! Such a change from the cleft palate doctor. And they know how to look in a baby's mouth as well - all they need is a little tickle, make them laugh, and voila! Better than making them scream! We were referred to the pediatric dentist months ago when Maddy was having feeding complications. They thought perhaps a palatal obturator would help those issues. In the meantime, her feeding has greatly improved and the dentist said that unless they cannot eat without the obturator, chances are the obturator would just be a hassle. So no obturator for Maddy! They do want to continue to see her for other cleft-related dental issues though, so we will be going back about once a month or so now. They also have access to speech pathologists which Maddy could possibly benefit from - if not now, then in the future. 

Just last week, we had our neonatal follow up appointment. All was well there - but I wanted to talk to the doctor about allergy testing for Maddy. Maddy seems to have a dairy allergy. I've tried to give her yoghurt and cheese a few times and every time, she's had an immediate reaction - sneezing and mucous. Once I think she got some in her eye and her eye almost swelled closed. I mentioned these issues to our GP but she wasn't confident drawing blood from Maddy, plus the scratch test isn't covered by insurance. She suggested that since we're already seeing the public doctors, if we mentioned it to them, we could get them to do the testing for free - plus if she needs blood drawn, they have significantly more experience drawing blood from difficult babies. The neonatologist has now referred us to the immunologist and we will do the testing with them in about a month's time. In the meantime, it's no dairy for Maddy!! 

So that's all that's been going on medically in the past couple of months around here. Next week, we're back off to the dental hospital, then next month we have the immunology appointment. In September, we have another cleft appointment and probably the most important appointment of all - the orthopedic appointment. Maddy will be a year old then and we will repeat all her x-rays and see if we need to do anything orthopedically. My main two concerns are her spine and her feet - her spine, to see whether there is any scoliosis or cervical kyphosis (curvature). Both are common DD issues that we just need to continue to follow up while she is growing. Then secondly her feet - I know they have some turning that may possibly need correction - and her feet are one of the main issues in determining how mobile she will be in the future. We'll see how that goes - please continue to pray for those two issues in particular!!

Everything has slowed right down with the medical appointments lately, and many of the issues are stable, but we still need to follow up. So I might just update the medical side of things every few months, or when there is any actual "news" to report.

1 comment:

  1. HKU has a very good hearing test department, which is in the same building as the dental hospital. The lady who tested my son was extremely good and child friendly.