Today Ephraim FINALLY was able to see the pediatric opthalmologist at Vanderbilt. We were there for nearly four hours. Ephraim was so well behaved while he was poked and prodded, and he didn't even make a peep when he had to have his eyes dilated. We filled out tons of paperwork and told the doctor what we knew about his extent of prematurity, birth history and complications, and initial weight. At the end of the exam, the doctor told us that when he reviewed Ephraim's paperwork before the examination, he expected there would be a problem, and he conducted the exam expecting to find those problems. The doctor said Ephraim had the most perfect eyes he'd seen that day, and many of the other preemies he'd seen had weighed as much as two of Ephraim at birth! He figures Ephraim's original diagnosis should have been grade II, zone I ROP, but it has resolved completely.
A few weeks ago Ephraim had his hearing screen. Micro-preemies are also at an increased risk for hearing complications. Although his screen wasn't as positive, we do know that he has hearing in his left ear, and he passed the screen well enough so that he could qualify for speech therapy. He wasn't reacting on the right side when they used what looked like iPod ear buds, and he was flatlining on that side on the machines (I won't even begin to pretend to understand all the tests they performed), so another series of tests is going to be repeated in May. He had some fluid, so hopefully that was the culprit. Eprahim is beginning to imitate the sounds we are making, and he now has a pretty good repertoire of initial letter sounds and funny noises, so hopefully his hearing screen in April will be as positive as today's vision screen.
Ephraim's speech evaluation is scheduled for the last week of April. It's four hours long! Whew! We are BOTH going to be ready for a nap after that morning.
Fine and gross motor skills ... not. a. problem. That kid has talent! I only hope I can keep him safe while he expresses those climbing, jumping, running and general daredevil skills before he learns self preservation!