MRI Scan and Results

posted Jan 18, 2011, 7:08 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated Jan 21, 2011, 6:31 PM ]
January 18 (PM) - Grady Jeremiah is doing well tonight.  Thank you for praying about his immunizations yesterday.  He settled down last night and has been peaceful today!  Thank you for praying about his growth.  He is now 5 pounds, 12 ounces and 18 inches long!  Thank you for praying about his feedings.  He has been able to take several of his feeds completely by bottle today.  It is the best he has ever done with us!

Today was a big day for Grady Jeremiah.  He had a head MRI scan in the "big people's hospital" :-)  In the picture to the left you see him in "baby transport" on his way from the Continuing Care Nursery to the MRI section of the hospital.  When he left his room, it looked as though he was waving bye!

Thank you for praying about his MRI today.  Without any medicine, and with only a little extra swaddling, he was able to lay still during the whole scan.  The doctors have studied his scans and shared with us the result.  We were blessed tonight to have Dr. Carlo, one of the head neonatologists, literally sit down with us for more than 30 minutes to talk about the MRI as well as Grady Jeremiah's progress. 


Here is what they found...

1) No bleeding or major problems in the brain
There is no sign that he ever had any bleeding of the brain that can occur in very premature babies.  Overall, the scan looked good.

2) The septum pellucidum is missing
As we first noted in a post on November 13, early head ultrasounds indicated that he was missing the membrane that divides the hemispheres of the brain.  Since the ultrasounds do not give very precise images, the doctors wanted to do the MRI to confirm their suspicions, and it is missing as first thought.

3) The optic nerve for the right eye is under-developed
This issue is not a separate issue but is likely related to the lack of development of the septum.

4) Neither of the "variance" findings provide any predictive ability for future performance
Some children with these variances will have normal development and vision, while some may have developmental delays or challenges.  In addition, these are both issues that would have occurred regardless of whether he was born premature or full term.  Because he was premature and the doctors were looking for potential brain bleeds, we now have a "heads up" about these variances that we might not have known about otherwise.


So what do those findings mean for us? 
It means that we will carefully watch Grady Jeremiah as he develops.  We will be watching his vision as he grows.  We will be watching for developmental progress.  We will be watching to make sure he continues to gain weight and properly grow.  We will be working with him to help him develop motor skills that require crossing the center plane of the body, something that can be more challenging for children who are missing the septum.  We will be enrolling him in an "early intervention" program when we get home so that professionals can monitor his progress weekly and look for potential problems. 

We are reminded that none of these findings surprise God.  We are reminded of the amazing truth about Grady Jeremiah (and all of us!) that is found in Psalm 139:12-17...

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

Please join us in praying that Grady Jeremiah will have no vision problems or development difficulties or delays.  Please pray for us to have wisdom as we seek to know how to best help him progress in all areas.

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