Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 22: 5 months young

Thankfully, this week was a bit less exciting than last week, because honestly I think all of us have had enough excitement for a while and are eager to settle down into something resembling a routine in our new hometown.  To that end, I interviewed a bunch of candidates to watch Lemon when I go back to work starting February 3rd, and identified a few that were promising.  No one seemed particularly fazed by the idea of taking care of a baby with CF, and honestly I don't know whether to tell them that it will be easy or that it will be hard, since only time will tell us that.  And, most likely, it will be a mix of both.  This coming week, I have second interviews scheduled with two candidates to see how they do during a little more prolonged interaction with Lemon, hopefully including both a feeding and a nap, and then I'll pick a winner.  The new nanny and I will have a week together before I start work to hopefully make the transition as smooth as possible.

I've also continued to practice driving--I think I'm now approaching 100 miles in our new car (probably representing 50% of the total miles I've ever driven in my life).  This past week, my wanderings included a field trip to the neighboring town of Verona, where I went to the Sow's Ear, a combination coffee shop and yarn store.  It's pretty much as heavenly as it sounds.  I got some nice yarn for a special project, because I have so much free time for knitting right now.  Well, not exactly, but with the Super Bowl and the Olympics coming up, there is certainly an enhanced possibility of doing some knitting sometime soon.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, sadly Lemon's team did not come through for him on his 5 month birthday.  He nonetheless enjoyed his special outfit (courtesy of Uncle Jared) and will continue to use it to display Patriots pride in this Packer-heavy town.

As Lemon has rolled through the past few weeks, he's continued to make lots  of developmental strides.  In the category of "they grow up so fast," he's beginning to outgrow his floor gym, where he has spent so many happy hours of his little life.  We got a Jumparoo for him before we left Boston, and got that set up for him shortly after arriving in Wisconsin.  He just loves it, even though is legs are still just a smidge too short to hit the floor, even with the seat at the lowest setting.  Nonetheless, he prefers it to the gym now, since he wants to be upright like a real little person, not flat on his back like a baby!
 He's also begun displaying a lot of interest in solid food, so we asked at his CF clinic visit what the nutritionists recommended as first foods.  They recommended either avocado or "baby meats," so we went with avocado, which Lemon seems to like, at least on a trial basis.  We decided not to rock the boat by asking about the feasibility of raising a vegetarian CF baby until the next visit.  Since he'll be getting most of his nutrition from milk for the next few months anyhow, it doesn't really matter what foods we start him with--we just wonder whether we'll be able to get away without feeding him meat once he's bigger.
Lemon has also gotten much more interested in reaching out and grabbing things with his hands, particularly my face and hair.  He is also interested in anything that I bring towards his face, including the dropper from his bottle of vitamins, which can have interesting results.  
For those of you who are interested in a little extra reading, I highly recommend an article by Jerome Groopman in this week's New Yorker, about caring for children with chronic illnesses (link to the article here, let me know if you want to read it and don't have a subscription and I'll send you the PDF).  It discusses how to approach a new problem in medicine: since children with chronic illnesses are living longer and longer (which is wonderful news!), what is the best way to coordinate the myriad specialists that are involved in their care?  How should medical professionals help parents to figure out the best course of action for their child, in the face of so many different choices and no obvious right answers?  Of course, the program described in the article was developed at Boston Children's Hospital, where we used to go, so it made me doubly sad that we had to leave the wonderful clinic there.  Hopefully we can help the clinic in Madison establish some of these same practices, so that as Lemon gets older, he can benefit from the new ideas described in the article.  For now, we're just bracing for this week's battle--as we had expected, our new insurance company declined to cover Lemon's remaining two Synegis shots.  We have an appeal phone call on Wednesday morning where hopefully we'll be able to bring them around to our side--fingers crossed!  

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