This article explains some recent research showing that children who have gone under general anesthesia are at greater risk for developing learning disabilities. The study showed no higher risk for children who have had one surgery. For two surgeries, the kids were 1.5 times more likely to develop a learning disability. But for three surgeries, the risk went up to 2.5 times. And if they had more than three surgeries? 50% chance of developing a learning disability.
I only briefly scanned the article the first time I read it. And I must confess to issuing an expletive. My mind was eased a bit after truly reading it again later and found that there was no mention that they took out children who were already known to have a proclivity toward learning disabilities. So maybe that means that Micah will not be any worse off having been under general anesthesia SIX TIMES before his first birthday. There's nothing here that shows that they took into consideration that spending that much time in the hospital alone could have contributed to the delays. And yes, Micah is developmentally delayed. He likely would have been even without the anesthesia. Will I ever know if he's more delayed due to the anesthesia? No. But I do have a pretty good idea that laying on his back in a hospital bed for 3.5 months of his first year certainly didn't help.
But if presented an option for getting his tonsils/adenoid removed or placing ear tubes, I can tell you this: I will consider this data before making a decision.
On a separate note... Micah had gone a whole month without puking until today when he issued a warm welcome to our new student nurse who is helping us this summer while Melissa is working at her internship. We certainly hope Whitney comes back. But after 11 hours with us today, I'm not so sure that I'd blame her for not wanting to come back. It was a long day. And Matthew is sick too, which is likely the cause of him being completely inconsolable for almost 2 hours tonight before crashing from exhaustion.
Oh, and I haven't yet shared about Nathan's busted teeth. Yes, the front of his face met with a falling chair (that he was on) and his front two top teeth jammed into his top lip (resulting in a one-inch gash on the inside). And those two teeth jammed up and back. Our kind dentist looked at his teeth that night (last week Tuesday) at his house. At the time, the teeth were not hitting his bottom teeth. That has changed. One tooth has gone back almost to where it should be. But the other tooth went farther back and is now hitting his bottom teeth when he bites. It appears at first glance as if he has lost a tooth. We went to see the dentist on Monday and he tells us he's never seen it move that much more, days after the accident (leave it to Nathan). The only fix is to put him in a retainer for a month but we can't do that until late summer after the teeth settle more. So my 3yr old will be starting pre-school in the fall with a retainer. Never thought I'd say that.
Quick new Nathanisms, then I'm off to bed to prepare for the long night of Matthew waking up often, only to not eat enough to satisfy before he wakes up uncomfortable again.
At the breakfast table on Saturday: "Daddy, your tummy is getting bigger."
Sunday conversation: "Daddy, why were you running?" "Because my tummy is getting bigger?" "See, I told you that!"
This morning, chaos was happening downstairs (Micah's pump was beeping loudly at me and Matthew was crying for food). Nathan then bounded down the stairs, causing me to say, "Insanity reigns!" which caused Nathan to ask, "Is it raining?"