Saturday, 19 July 2014

A Time For Reflection

More time has ticked by without me updating my blog. It seems the days go faster and faster as Felix gets older. 
All grown up

Sign language cards for kindy
I have felt really emotional over the past couple of days as I've been preparing for Felix to start Kindergarten in two days time. It really does only seem like yesterday that he was a tiny, completely dependent little baby, yet, here he is almost four years old and about to start a new phase in his life. Felix has never gone to child care, so this will be the first time he has been left, with a group of other children and not a babysitter. I will be honest and say I feel really nervous, although I'm confident that our little superstar will do really well (while I sob into a giant box of tissues).

Full time Kindy is two full days per week, but the Kindy Director has suggested easing Felix in gently until he's completely comfortable there. We are going to start with a couple of hours at a time. If he seems really settled, they will call us and we can leave him there longer. I'm sure it won't be too long before we can leave him there for the day. At this stage, Felix will not have any additional help, in the form of a support worker. The Kindy is confident that they will be able to manage without the extra help. Felix is a pretty easy going little guy so, hopefully that will be the case.

Waking up from surgery
A few weeks ago, Felix went into hospital to have his tonsils and adenoids out, as well as a good clean out of his ears and a new grommet for his left ear. The Audiologist could not get a response from Felix's left ear, when he had his hearing test recently, and suggested he may not be able to hear from that ear. Hopefully after getting rid of all the wax and replacing the grommet, his next test will be better. 

The surgery went really well, but we weren't prepared for the long recovery time. Felix had to stay overnight in hospital and then we had to stay in the city for a week post-surgery in case of a bleed from his tonsil surgery (we live too far away from a major hospital). Poor Felix didn't pick up as quickly as we thought he would and ended up needing stronger pain relief over an extended period of time. Four days after the surgery he started running a fever which lasted a couple of days. He was really miserable. On day seven, we packed up the car ready for our drive home, and I noticed blood on Felix's pillow. When we called the hospital, we were told to bring him straight in. He was readmitted, and put on IV antibiotics for an infection. After an uneventful night in hospital, he was discharged. The Surgeon didn't want us coming home but, after a week with hardly any sleep, I begged him to let us leave and he reluctantly did.
Too cute!

Felix still needed regular pain relief for another 4-5 days when we got home and he was on antibiotics. Just when we thought he was almost better, he came down with a really awful cold. He had low-grade fevers in the evenings and even vomited once. Poor kid! He had more Panadol and Neurofen in that 3 week period than he has ever had in his life! Thankfully, at the end of week three, Felix is back to his normal self; eating like a horse and into everything! The great news is that, since the surgery, Felix is sleeping much more soundly and not having periods of apnoea AND he isn't snoring!! As much as it wasn't the most pleasant thing to watch him go through, the results have been good, so it was worth it!

So, what has Boy-Genius been up to? I've mentioned before about Felix's love for numbers. He still loves to count anything and everything, and is still working on numbers
11-20. He's definitely got the 'een' part down on thirt(een), fourt(een) etc, and it sounds pretty cute as he repeats "een" with enthusiasm. He can recognise all of his colours if we ask "Point to the brown one" etc and can say a few colours too, and he has an amazing knowledge of shapes, including rectangles, crescents, hexagon etc. The biggest surprise for us, is that Felix has taught himself the alphabet and can say all the letters. Considering he still has limited speech, that is really exciting! He uses a mixture of proper names and phonetic sounds for the alphabet. For example he says A (ay), but says Z (zzz), although in recent days, I have noticed him saying both the proper name and the phonetic sound for most of his letters. All of these sounds are pre-reading skills so we're really pleased that he is showing so much interest in letters. Felix's speech is coming along slowly but surely. His vocabulary is expanding and his speech has become a lot clearer. I just love his little voice!

For a long time, Felix's Paediatrician has had concerns over his slow weight gain. Now, I'm not a fanatic when it comes to supplements but try to give Felix a healthy diet and lots of 'brain food'. However I heard, through a T21 parent's group, that there was a multivitamin available specific to people with Down syndrome. Some of the parents spoke about weight gain and growth in height, so I thought we would give it a go. It may be coincidence but, within a month, Felix had put on 1kg in weight and had grown 2cm. I couldn't believe it! He has finally reached 12kg, 3 months before turning four years old. I think we'll keep up with the vitamins and see if they also help to boost his immune system against all the Kindy bugs! 
Cheeky boy!

The next few months are going to be different and I'm really going to try hard to embrace the changes. There was a point in our lives (during my pregnancy), when we wondered if Felix would ever be able to do the things that other children his age can do. Now, we can proudly say that he is holding his own with his peers, and excelling in some areas. Now is the time to let go, and give him the opportunity to grow and develop even more. Think of me over the next few weeks as I cut the apron strings......