Tuesday, March 03, 2009


This morning at PT I was talking to Avery's therapist about different doctors and treatment options and all of that, because sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I worry that I'm missing something, or that there are more things I could and should be doing for Avery. I've been thinking about it a lot. A lot of my blog buddies seem to have taken the stem cell infusion route, and to be honest, since Avery's diagnosis didn't occur until two weeks before she was born, this was something I hadn't heard anything about when she was born, so we never kept her cord blood, so that wasn't an option for her at the time. I felt bad about this, because although I know the research is limited with the whole stem cell thing, I do wish we would have known about it at the time, because even if it hadn't done anything to help her, it certainly wouldn't have done any harm! I've stopped feeling bad about this though, because as I said, it couldn't be helped - in all the research I did during the short time between Avery's diagnosis and birth, the whole stem cell thing never came up, so I didn't know about it, and I've come to accept that if I was meant to do it, I would have been inspired in my research to find information about it. For us, it apparently wasn't meant to be.
Anyway. The reason I've been thinking about this recently is that Avery isn't currently seeing a neurologist. We're seeing her neurosurgeon on Thursday of this week, which I'm sort of excited about because we haven't seen him for almost a year, which is the longest we've ever gone! But Avery used to see a developmental neurologist until he moved to Idaho, and then we started seeing Dr Brown instead who is a wonderful physical medicine doctor. We love him, but I worry that we should be seeing someone else as well as him...I don't know. I was asking Lisa (PT) about what she thought, since she deals with other kids like Avery and knows what sorts of doctors they all see, etc. We were talking a little about the orthopedic doctor we took Avery to almost 2 years ago - he was actually the doctor who officially diagnosed Avery with cerebral palsy. We got her original prescription for her walker from him, but he wouldn't write a prescription for AFOs for her because he didn't believe that braces actually helped. I'm not sure what he would have had us do instead. Lisa was saying that there is now another pediatric orthopedist in town, but that she's pretty sure that he would never prescribe AFOs either. She was saying that she's also quite certain that if we took Avery to an orthopedic surgeon right now, they would recommend some kind of surgery, such as tendon lengthening. She says that as a physical therapist she has mixed feeling about tendon lengthening. *sigh* why can't everything be black and white?? I want to do what is best for my little girl, but how am I supposed to know that what I'm doing is what's best, and not just what one person thinks might be best?
Anyway. Sorry - a rambling sort of post, I'm just in a little bit of a quiet panic because I worry that I'm not doing everything Avery needs me to do.
I do remember that back before Avery got botox in her adductors back in November 2007, Dr Brown seemed to think that she would learn to walk independently during the several months of the botox's effectiveness, and that once that happened she would be using those muscles so well that she wouldn't need to get botox again. Obviously that didn't happen, and her poor little muscles just keep on getting tighter and her tone keeps on getting worse, even though she's working harder and harder, so of course I worry about her. She's having to fight against her body more and more as time goes by, but shouldn't it surely be getting easier?! One of the evidences of this is the fact that her constipation has been getting progressively worse and harder to manage. It's directly related to the muscle tone and tightness of her legs and the other muscles that are affected by her CP, because of course this kind of constipation (neurogenic constipation - I only recently learnt the name for it!) is a reslut of the intestinal muscles behaving in the same way as other muscles affected by CP. We used to be able to control it with an abundance of prunes/flaxseed/apple juice/water in her diet, but it's been getting worse and worse and we have to give her miralax now. I hate having to medicate her in any way, but we just can't control the problem without it anymore. Dr Brown prescribed colace, but have you ever tasted that stuff?? It's foul, and Avery screamed every time I tried to give it to her, and half of it dribbled out of her mouth in her distress, and even after all that she still wasn't going any more often, and even when she did there was still blood every time I wiped. I feel so bad for her. *sigh* What to do?


Sarah said...

I didn't get the option of keeping Violet's cord either.

I have to admit Violet's botox does such a great job, she has been having it every 6 months.

It's hard for us as parents when nothing is black or white.

Really hope her Neruosurgeon appt goes well on Thursday.

I think the fact that you are always searching for more therapies for Avery shows that you are such a great mum.

SuzanSayz said...

I can really understand the frustrations you must go through. Not knowing and having doctors telling you that all you can do is "wait and see" is just about the worst thing you can hear. That's one of the things that have been so frustrating for Donald and Lisa, and me too.
I'm wondering, how old is Avery? I thought at first that she was still very young but it sounds like she is definitly out of her baby and toddler years.
I'll tell you one thing Josephine, I sure do love her spirit.

Lisa said...

Don't feel bad about not doing the stem cell infusion. The truth is, Elisabeth was only the 3rd baby with hydrocephalus to have it done. And Owen, who was born 1 year before her (almost to the day) was the first. So this was a brand new procedure.

I have the same question as my mother in law. How old is Avery? And I was also wondering how old she was when she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy?

You are doing the right thing by asking TONS od questions and seeking out every possible advantage for your child. She is lucky to have you.

I want to thank you for all the kind words of support that you gave me this week. It meant a lot :)