Sharing the roller coaster ride after our son was diagnosed with Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Grade 2.
Monday, November 22, 2010
It was a Friday that we'd seen the Doctor and on the Monday that followed, I got a call from one of the Paediatric Physiotherapists from the hospital. They asked me if I could bring Joshua in the very next day for an assessment. So I took him in, and we met Kelly and Tahnee, the two physios. They were nice, I liked them. They made a real effort to engage Joshua and he liked them too, and responded with lots of smiles. They told me that they saw a lot of positive things with him and that overall he was pretty good but they did agree with the Doctor. He had high muscle tone. High muscle tone is sometimes referred to as spasticity. When a muscle is very spastic, it can be so tight that it cannot be controlled voluntarily. On the opposite end of the scale, there is low muscle tone, which means that a person is very floppy, and again, has very little control over their body and movement. Between the two extremes, there is a huge range of possibilities. They told me that they see tone like Joshua's in normally developing babies too, and that maybe the high muscle tone would be the only thing they see (as a result of the brain damage) and that it is possible that he might "grow out of it". They said it would become clearer about the age or 9 or 10 months. In addition to the high muscle tone, they noticed that Joshua was preferring to use his left hand over his right. The tone in his right arm is slighter tighter than his left. They booked me in to see them again before out next appointment in the outpatient clinic, which was in 2 months. And they told me to work with him on grasping toys and reaching for things. And to encourage equal use of both hands. This could mean sitting him on my lap and tucking his left arm under my arm so he cannot use it and then encouraging him to play with toys with the right arm. A week prior to this I'd actually gone out and bought him a selection of rattles because he was almost 3 months old and I'd decided that it was time to start working with him on grasping (this was before our appointment with the doctor) and within a week of seeing the physios, he was grasping things quite well.