Thursday, June 09, 2005

Matters Quinnerific

It's been a while since I updated on Little Quinn's progress, so here's what's up.

The worst news we've had recently is more of a confirmation of something we have suspected for a time: his vision is likely to be very poor, and he may actually be legally blind. Now, what that itself entails is actually a wide range -- he could be completely blind, or he could have enough acuity with help to focus on large objects. But that's it. This is, according to Eye Doctor #1, almost certainly due to damage to the optic nerve, because the doc could find nothing wrong with Little Quinn's actual eyes. (His eyes are beautiful, in my opinion.) We'll have to see an optic specialist, because these kinds of treatment are beyond the ability of Eye Doctor #1.

In other news, we're homing in on the causes of his coughing/gagging/choking lately. The major worry was that he was either refluxing from his stomach (which shouldn't be possible, given the fundoplication surgery he received) and that he is aspirating (taking these secretions into his airway). The doctors currently believe that neither of these things is happening, which is good news -- in the latter case, it means that at some point after the current issues are resolved, we can start experimenting with oral food intake -- but still leaves current questions unanswered.

So the current hypothesis* is that instead of refluxing, Little Quinn's secretions are pooling farther down in his esophagus, because the fundoplication is too tight. This would necessitate some form of procedure to loosen the fundoplication, which would be risky in itself, because if you loosen it too much, you render it essentially useless and allow him to bring food back up his esophagus, which the fundoplication is supposed to render impossible. A further set of tests has been ordered, and the next course of action will be determined on that basis. (Wow, I can write like a doctor talks!)

On more mundane matters, Little Quinn keeps growing. We haven't had an official weighing in a while, but he's very close to outgrowing his infant carseats and his body is starting to get round in places where we've been hoping for roundness to develop -- cheeks, arms, belly, et cetera. And another nice consequence of his growth is that his G-tube feedings aren't quite the arduous task they were before, now that his stomach capacity is up and he's getting stronger at handling his gas. Our feeling is that if we can get his coughing and gagging under control, his comfort level will be much better. And so will ours.

And in one final development, it seems that now that cloth diapers are a small niche market, they're no longer just boring white with safety pins. You can get nifty "designer" diaper covers, complete with nifty prints and stuff. Here's his newest one, which seems to me to be as cool a diaper as is possible to make.

That's our little Youngling!

(BTW, I've just now decided that I will from now on make effort to not use the word "theory" when I really mean "hypothesis". We've gotta start the fight somewhere, and reclaiming the word "theory" seems like a good place to start, right, Dr. Myers?)

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