Search This Blog

April 10, 2007

Taegan's Progress After 28 Treatments

Hello again everyone. Thought I'd take a few minutes to write an update on Taegan's progress. She's completed 28 hyperbaric oxygen treatments as of this date. I'm continuing to see positive changes from the HBO therapy.

Some more obvious gains are her improvements with speech. She is very vocal now, and jabbers almost constantly. She's saying new words almost daily. And the fact that they are spontaneous is even more thrilling. She will say "Hi!" often times when she enters a room (to whomever is in the room, and even to the dog!) In the past, you'd have to prompt her, sometimes 5 and 6 times before she'd say "Hi!" if she'd even say it at all. Now, she's saying it on her own many times, with no prompting.

She has continued to say "Yes" when asked a yes/no question, but much of the time requires prompting to do so, but STILL! That is a MAJOR improvement for her. Her speech therapist will be thrilled, I'm sure! (We've worked on yes/no for the better part of a year it seems!)

Taegan has said "Open!" to the HBO Technician twice now, as she waits for him to open the chamber door. It's too cute to hear her little voice... and to hear her saying an APPROPRIATE word in the context of the situation, all on her own. She was even proclaiming "Open!" to each door we came to at the clinic today. It's so wonderful to see her grasping the 'cause/effect' of her language.

Her social development has even improved! I'm not sure how much of it is from being around a 6 and 9 year old daily, or how much is from the HBO, but she definitely is making gains socially. She continues to have better eye contact, and is smiling at people and interacting with them, and seeming to ENJOY it, whereas prior to March 27th, she showed little interest in interacting with peers. Her shyness with the opposite sex is diminishing as well. She no longer cries when Jeff talks to her or when the male technicians at the clinic help her in/out of the chamber.

Another major improvement has been her increase in appetite. She is eating so well, I would swear she's gained at least 5 pounds!!! I am anxious to see what the nutritionist reports when she meets with her on April 25th. She's still pretty picky with what she will eat, but she definitely has a healthier appetite since beginning HBO treatments. She ate an entire can of green beans for supper this evening, along with a Nutra Grain cereal bar, 5 Ritz crackers, 4 nice sized strawberries, 6 ounces of chicken noodle dinner and 6 ounces of apple juice!

The improvements with her muscle tone have seemed to plateau a bit this week. She seems to be fighting off an illness... perhaps a cold? Her muscle tone in her legs actually began to feel tighter at the end of last week, which was concerning to me. But she was showing improvement in other areas, as mentioned above.

In the past, when Taegan is ill, it presents in her muscle tone first, and then she has the more obvious symptoms of illness like runny nose, fever, cough etc. So, I have been worried that she is trying to fight off an illness. So far, she's only had a bit of a runny nose. The drastic change in weather hasn't helped anyone, that's for sure. It was 85 degrees here in Cincinnati for 3 or 4 days last week, and overnight the weather pattern changed and the high for the next few days was in the upper 20's! And it snowed off/on for 2 days! It is plain crazy.... Snow on Easter... Go figure.

I know that changes are occurring in her legs though, because her AFO's (leg braces) no longer fit properly! I was trying to keep her in them as much as possible to get prolonged stretching of her leg muscles, and she was crying and trying to get her AFO's off, which is unusual for her. When I took them off, I noticed a red blister on her left heel. It's since scabbed over, and still looks pretty painful. So, she's not been able to wear them since. When we get back to Indy, I'll have to take her back to the orthotist and see what can be done so that they fit properly again.

Her stretching exercises are still much easier to do now, which I'm thankful that hasn't changed with this recent muscle tightness she's experiencing. She's not been standing flat footed as often as she had been the previous week. She's loosing her balance quite a bit now, and has resorted to tall-kneel crawling some.

Today I noticed she winced as she put weight on her left leg and her heel went down to the floor. She picked her leg up real quick and decided to crawl instead of walk. I'm not sure what is going on with that.... I might try to talk with Dr. Cole about these things, and see what his thoughts are about her progress.
We've got 12 treatments left....

Meanwhile, I've recently come across a facility out in North Carolina that has the same type of HBO Chamber/set-up as the Cole Center does, and they are offering 120 HBO treatments for $6,000 (limited time only!) That is an AMAZING deal for HBO! The 40 treatments Taegan is receiving presently cost a total of $4,620. I have spoken with the owner of the clinic in N.C. and told him I'm going to try my best to raise 6K before the end of summer so that Taegan can receive the 120 treatments before she begins preschool this August. He said he'd work with me if the offer was expired when we were able to come to his clinic.

So, once we finish up here in Cincinnati, I'm going to try to organize several more larger scale fundraisers back in Indy. If any of you would like to volunteer to help me out with fundraising, please contact me! I'd like to organize a spaghetti dinner and a silent auction.

There will be a motorcycle ride to benefit Taegan in June. I will post more details on that as I get them.... until then, keep checking back for updates.

Big hugs to everyone for all their prayers, love and support for Taegan!!!

No comments: