Friday, October 19, 2012

Some Surprises

It's been a busy few weeks around here with what feels like more therapies and doctors than normal. True to form, we had some surprises at even the most routine appointments.

1. Due to Collin's elevated heart rate (which we only found out about because of that dang pulse ox - I have a major love/hate relationship with that thing) and his poor circulation, we decided recently to go see his cardiologist. We had been discharged 2 years ago when Collin's PDA and PFO issues resolved, so I was expecting the doctor to listen to Collin's heart, tell us whether or not it was okay, and proceed from there. Instead, Collin had an EKG and an echocardiogram, which revealed thickening of his aortal valve and dilation of his aorta. The doctor assured us that it is nothing to worry about now, but he does want Collin to get 'back in the rotation' so he can see whether it is a static or progressive issue. It is not affecting the function of his heart in anyway and, in fact, the Holter monitor Collin wore for the next 24 hours showed completely normal and healthy heart activity. So, the thing we went in for was a non-issue and the thing that was discovered is, at this point anyway, a surprising but minor issue.

2. Our trip to the dentist for Collin's 6-month teeth cleaning was strangely similar in outcome. Because Collin doesn't eat by mouth and we brush his teeth twice a day, I expected another in-and-out appointment. Instead, the dentist almost immediately found a loose tooth. My first thought was, 'Oh no, his grinding is making his teeth fall out.' But the teeth that bear most of the brunt of his grinding were rock solid. On a hunch after finding two more wiggly teeth, the dentist took a couple of quick x-rays and found that Collin's adult teeth are coming in. I'm sorry, what? Yes. Collin is starting to lose his baby teeth at 3 1/2. The earliest the dentist had ever seen was 4 years old, but these teeth are barely moving, so he may be close to 4 by the time they actually come out. Brace yourself, people. The only thing cuter than a Collin has got to be a Collin with missing teeth.

3. We added a new physical therapist to Collin's weekly schedule to complement his work in the pool and on the horse. The therapist is truly fantastic and in our first real session, she wanted to put him in a harness that would help him to walk on a treadmill. I admired her pluck, but had no expectations other than for him to curl up in a ball of freaked-out-edness. It was amazing to be so wrong. Almost immediately, he started feeling for the treadmill with his feet. When it turned on and the therapist started moving his feet, I felt like I was literally watching the pieces fall into place in his brain. The longer he walked, the better he looked. His torso got straighter and straighter with minimal effort; his head naturally came to midline and looked both left and right, depending on what he found interesting; his arms were completely relaxed and held on to the grip bar or swung at his sides. I can barely keep it together just writing it. It was like the movement made his body say, "Now THIS makes sense!" When the therapist let go of his feet to give him a break and let him explore, he started out swinging himself above the treadmill, then letting his feet drag so he could feel the resistance, and by the end of the session (which was HALF AN HOUR ON THE FIRST TRY) he was obviously trying to take little steps on his own. And do I have pictures or video of this miracle? NO I DO NOT. Because my CAMERA BROKE and I didn't have a NEW ONE YET. Which is INFURIATING. You will be happy to know that I have remedied this situation finally, though, and will be sending amazing footage your way promptly.

As a good-faith gesture, here is a video (sorry it's so huge - I couldn't figure out how to make it smaller) of Collin coloring in the occupational therapy session he has right before hippotherapy. He is kind of into coloring right now. Just a tad.

Coloring from Annie Kratzsch on Vimeo.


  1. I love the video! He is doing amazing! So proud of Collin and all his accomplishments!

  2. I can hardly handle his cuteness!!! Such a doll!!

  3. Video's of Collin bring me so much joy! Thank you for sharing them. Can't wait to see him on the treadmill

  4. Is he left-handed like S?? :) I had a dream this week about you two, and Collin was walking with braces on his legs... And then I read this about the treadmill :) He is nothing short of a miracle, continuing to amaze with every post. REALLY looking forward to the video!!