Summer Medical Update

posted Jul 17, 2011, 3:43 PM by Grady Smith

July 17, 2011


It has been too many weeks since we gave you an update on Grady Jeremiah's progress.  The summer months have been a blessing with time together as a family, as well as with good reports from the doctors.  We have seen a lot of doctors since the last update.  Here is a summary of their findings...

  • Neonatologist   - We were able to meet again with Dr. Carlo, the lead neonatologist at UAB who oversaw Grady Jeremiah's care during our hospital stay.  He was very pleased with Grady Jeremiah's progress and said that his lungs sounded great!  This report is so encouraging as it comes from one who watched Grady Jeremiah closely for so long and from the one who is the lung specialistic for children at UAB and Children's Hospital.

  • Cardiologist
    - If you remember, before being discharged in January the doctors discovered a faint heart murmur caused by a small hole in the heart (a patent ductus arteriosus).  For our recent follow up visit, the cardiologist did a ten-lead EKG and an echocardiogram.  The result is that they found the hole has closed and there is no murmur!  The doctor said his heart function looks normal and they do not need to see him again. 

  • Ophthalmologist - Also before being discharged in January, an MRI scan revealed a slightly under-developed right optic nerve.  We returned to see the pediatric ophthalmologist who evaluated Grady Jeremiah while he was in the hospital.  We had another good report here.  Grady Jeremiah's vision appears to be normal and the eyes have developed as would be expected.  The doctor said that what he could see of the optic nerves in the back of the eyes looked healthy and normal!  He also was pleased with how well Grady Jeremiah could follow objects with his eyes.  We already knew that as we have watched him follow the trash truck and UPS truck with his eyes as they drive down the street :-) 

  • Endocrinologist - At the newborn follow up clinic in May, they asked us to see a pediatric endocrinologist to check Grady Jeremiah's pituitary function.  Since Grady Jeremiah is missing the septum in his brain, they wanted to take a closer look at the pituitary gland since it could be a related issue that could impact his growth as it regulates growth hormone and many other essential hormones in the body.  The doctor's first evaluation of Grady Jeremiah led her to believe that he did not have any pituitary issues.  However, she wanted to do a number of blood tests to verify as well as to give us a baseline for future tests.  The results indicated that his pituitary is functioning normally!  Because Grady Jeremiah is still considered "at risk" for growth related delays, they will see us again in six months to check the hormone levels again as a precaution.

  • Pediatrician - We continue to regularly see Grady Jeremiah's pediatrician here in the Auburn area.  She remains very pleased and encouraged by his progress.  His last weight was 13 pounds, 10 ounces!  He continues to just eat breast milk (with a vitamin) and is growing really well.  Based on our pediatrician's recommendations, we will probably begin spoon feeding him in August.  It is hard to believe how much he has grown just on breast milk all of these months!

  • Early Intervention Developmental Specialist
    - Due to Grady Jeremiah's extreme prematurity, the developmental specialist at UAB recommended that we enroll him in Alabama's "early intervention" program for children at risk for developmental delays.  It is a wonderful program where a developmental specialist comes to our home once a month to assess Grady Jeremiah's progress, look for any delays, and give us specific goals we can be working toward to help him develop.  The specialist has been to visit us three times now and is amazed at his progress.  There is no indication of any type of developmental delay!  During our visit this past week, Grady Jeremiah decided to be a show-off for the specialist...  She told us she wanted to see if he could pass objects between his hands.  She put the rattle in his left hand.  He immediately grabbed it, brought it to the middle, passed it to his right hand, shook it, threw it, and looked up at her with the "did you see that" look :-)  We continue to be amazed at the way he tries to talk (with his cute baby sounds) and with his great alertness and curiosity about things.
As you can see, the summer has been full of lots of doctors appointments.  However, we feel so blessed to have such great medical care available, and are incredibly thankful for the great insurance policy that is provided to us through Grady's job at Lakeview.  We also are very grateful to the Lord for the way He has watched over us and blessed us.  Thank you for rejoicing with us and giving thanks to God for these good reports for Grady Jeremiah!

Grady, Julia, and Grady Jeremiah


PS - Be Sure to see the previous post of lots of summer pictures!

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