Monday, April 14, 2008


His first physical therapy session last Friday went so well. They called me on Thursday saying that they had a cancellation for Friday and wanted to know if I would take that appointment. Heck yeah! The pediatric therapy place is only about 5 miles from the house, so that is an added bonus. Our therapist is a really sweet woman who is due with her first child in July, so we also had a good time chatting about baby names and birth plans. She was so good with Nathan and very helpful to answer any question I had.
We found out that Nathan's rib cage doesn't move at all when he breathes, so that is one of the reasons why he retracts so badly when breathing. She started brainstorming some plans for a newish tape therapy for him to hopefully train those chest muscles to work and expand his rib cage each time he takes a breath. During the hour and a half that we were there, she really got a great view of his breathing at it's worst (when he is upset), at it's best (when he is in a deep sleep), and everything in between. He is almost always tachypneic (with a breath rate of about 65-75bpm) when he is awake, but his respiratory rate slows to a more normal level when he is in a deep sleep.
In Nathan's assessment, she tested him on different things that a baby should be able to do within the 0-2 month range. He only passed one of them, but he still does have another week and a few days before he is 2 months old. The good news is that he is not severely hypotonic, but he does seem to have low muscle tone. He is holding his head up better and better each day and putting weight on his legs (when he is mad), and he is starting to shift his weight a little when he is on his back...all great signs. His muscle tone (which is the amount of tension or resistance to movement in a muscle) is something that we can not change, but we can help strengthen his muscles with different exercises. Nate is going to be attending physical therapy every week until we see improvement in is then that we will start going less frequently but still doing therapy sessions at home with me leading them. In these sessions we will be working on making those chest muscles work and making sure he is hitting all of his developmental milestones and retaining them. We are just so thankful that he was able to get in at such a young age and with such a wonderful group.

Shifting gears, I have a new found respect for any woman (or dairy cow, for that matter) who has ever had to endure mastitis. I had my first brush with it this weekend and was thoroughly miserable! I haven't had a fever like that since high school, and I forgot how a fever just paralyzes your whole body in aches and pains. I was able to kick the infection to the curb in a couple of days with frequent nursing sessions and lots and lots of those magical brown pills called ibuprofren. Hats off to any woman who has recurrent problems with this...I feel for ya!


Kim on April 14, 2008 at 3:02 PM said...

Hi Amber,

Okay, first off, I am SO sorry to hear about mastitis, that is the worst!

Secondly, if it is any consolation my son did therapy for a year, he had weak neck muscles. He also refused to put weight on his legs until he was 5 months. We did tape therapy and it seemed to work for the short time we used it. Anyway, he was in PT until just before his first birthday. He is just over 2 now and you would never know, perfectly healthy and normal. I just thought I would share because I know sometimes it is nice to hear from someone who has made it through to the other side.

Praying over you and yours.


Toni on April 14, 2008 at 3:06 PM said...

That's so great he is able to start therapy!

Sorry about the mastitis! I had the same thing happen a few weeks after Shane was born. Ouchies!

skye on April 14, 2008 at 3:27 PM said...

Ick - mastitis. Hope you're feeling better soon.

And Nafey looks like he's getting bigger! What a little sweetheart.
I hope therapy continues to go well.

Dawn on April 14, 2008 at 5:14 PM said...

Oh, honey - mastitis is awful! I'm so sorry you've had to endure it.

This makes me think of Lily. Someone at church noticed how strangely she held her neck (funny how it hadn't occurred to me or the doctor) and I found out she had torticollis, which I had never heard of before that time. We started physical therapy when she was 3 months old. Unfortunately, it was about 45 minutes from our house; our therapist was also expecting her first child. :-)

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