Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009 - Update

Sorry, these pictures were taken with my iphone, so they are not the clearest.

Olivia discovered that she loves to slide.

Olivia had another eye appointment this morning. Those things are so difficult for her. If anyone messes with her eyes or points a light anywhere near them, she completely breaks down. My own counselor has a lot of experience with childhood trauma and implicit memories or those that evoke strong emotions, but aren't consciously understood. I think Olivia's NICU eye exams were very traumatic for her (they had to use an instrument to pry her eyes open) and while on the ventilator, she couldn't even cry. I think she associates anyone messing with her eyes automatically as painful, but doesn't know why. I think a lot of her sensory issues are like that. She doesn't necessarily have a problem touching different textures, she has a problem with things and people touching or constraining her. Just simply brushing her teeth, clipping her nails, measuring her feet, or washing her hair is awful for her. As a mother, it breaks my heart and I don't always know what to do. It will be years before I actually attempt to paint her toenails or do anything that isn't "necessary." Even putting her hair in a ponytail causes many, many tears. I don't want to put her through the anguish, although I wonder if exposure will help. It made me angry when her doctor told me that she is just an anxious child. She really is not at all, it's just certain situations (especially those with any type of containment) are very difficult for her. I think it would be very difficult to spend so much time in the NICU when you should still be in the womb and not have any psychological effects from it. Please continue to pray for her healing in this area.

The good news is that we don't have to go back to the eye doctor for 6 months. It seems that her glasses are helping her enough that we have avoided a second surgery for now. Her eyes still cross without them on, but do pretty well with her glasses on. The more and the longer she wears her glasses, hopefully, the stronger her eye muscles become which can improve the outcome of a future surgery. We are so grateful.

1 comment:

Redheaded Mama said...

My middle son has sensory issues, but not for the same reasons. You might try exposure to things that are common problems, just to get her to understand that it's not all bad.
My son was also labeled as anxious and it turned out that it was just sensory issues. Much easier to handle a situation when you know what the cause is. Unfortunately for us, we didn't find out until he was almost 8 that it wasn't anxiety.
I seem to remember that she's already seeing an occupational therapist (or you're planning on it?). Talk to the OT and they should be able to help out with some ideas.