Not sure why, but it seems more people than usual have been asking about Elijah the past few weeks. I don't like to ignore providence when it's jabbing me in the ribs, so I'll take a minute to give an overview of his various health issues. As always, pray as specifically as you can for Elijah's various ailments, say thanks for his successes, and accept our gratitude for continuing to lift him and his family up in prayer.
THE ARM: Elijah's wrist surgery went very well. We'll take him to Shreveport in two weeks to have the cast removed, then we'll visit again in 6 weeks to take the rod out. The rod is pressed up against the ulna and is keeping the surgically altered structure in place. You'll recall that when we operated on the other wrist, the rod became infected and had to be removed early. Elijah got very sick very quickly, but we aren't seeing anything like that this time around. We have reason to expect good things during this trip.
THE LEGS: It's been a point of frustration that Elijah's leg doctors have, uh, left much to be desired. Hopefully that will change during the visit in two weeks to Shreveport, when we meet with a doctor who is supposed to be one of the best. We assume that we're going to, at some point, amputate at the ankles and straighten the knees (which, currently fused, will not bend at all). But we've assumed before, and a new doctor always brings a new perspective. We'll keep you posted.
THE WEIGHT AND THE FEEDING: Melissa the Genius has been adding a jar of Stage 1 baby food to Elijah's tube feedings, and it's done wonders for his plumbing. He really does feel much better over all. We were concerned that the baby food might be missing nutrients compared to the formula (the hyper-synthetic NeoCate), because we had to reduce the 7-oz formula feed to 5-oz to make room for 2-oz of baby food. (Is there a mathmatician in the house?) Fortunately, Elijah's new pediatrician has assured us that we can as an extra scoop of powder formula to his feed and not cause any complications to Eli's tummy. We've been doing just that, and I'm pleased to report that Eli's really doing well. To recap: 5 oz. of formula but with an extra scoop of powder, plus a jar of food, 5 times a day. The kid is pushing 17 pounds and shows no signs of stopping. In addition, we gave him a new MICKEY button, and it's working great (reduced leaking).
COMMUNICATION: Elijah is speaking more than he ever has. He says "Daddy," "Momma," "Ee-ah" (Sophia), "Dora, backpack and map" (not that phrase, but the words). He wants to communicate better, and that's half the battle. Nevertheless, he's missing constanants, which means there's still a problem occurring somewhere either in his ears or his throat, likely his throat since we haven't gotten those muscles built up with regular oral feedings. We'll meet with a speech pathology clinic at the University of Tulsa, which was recommended to us by the magnificent therapists at the Little Lighthouse. These guys really know their stuff.
Come see us sometime! Don't bring anything but a smile.