Jacen and I went to his big physiatry appointment today.  The NICU doctors scheduled the appointment for us the day Jace was discharged.  A physiatrist is a “rehabilitation physician”, but as far as I’m concerned it’s just arrogant physical therapist.  I wasn’t thrilled with our “physiatrist”.

The first question the evil physiatrist asked was about Jacen’s head control.  I smiled and told her that he has great head control and that the pediatrician was really impressed.  The physiatrist examined Jace, looked at me, and explained that he doesn’t have good head control and that developmentally Jace is not where a 2.5 month old should be.  I told her that he was 7 weeks early and had he been born on his due date, he would be one month old today.  She went on a rant about how she doesn’t believe in “adjusted ages” – that it sets a kid up for failure by teaching him that it’s okay to lag behind his peers.

Next, she held toys in front of Jace’s eyes to get him to focus and track objects.  I told her that he was good at focusing and was starting to be able to track.  She told me I’m wrong – that his focus is marginal and that he isn’t tracking.

After that, she rolled Jace onto his side and explained that he seems to favor looking to the right.  I told her we thought he favored looking to his left.  She moved on, then circled back to explain that Jace clearly favors looking to his left.

She proceeded to talk down to me with phrases like “it’s a really fancy word, but you don’t have to worry about remembering it” or explaining something in technical terms and then saying “but for the average person like you, that just means….”  Irritating.

Then she told me I needed to be doing cross-stroking with Jace because he was not aware of his right side and that would cause serious problems later if it wasn’t corrected.  I told her we’d been doing cross-stroking like they taught us in the NICU.  She had me demonstrate and asked who taught me to cross-stroke.  I told her and she said “Oh, she’s just a physical therapist.  I’ll have a talk with her, because that isn’t proper technique at all.”  The evil physiatrist has a very different style of cross-stroking.

Alright – I just deleted the next four paragraphs I’d written, because they were just more of the same.  In summary, Jace has to go to a different hospital sometime next week to be fitted for thumb braces which he will wear 3 times a day for 1+ hour each time.  We’re supposed to do the new method of cross-stroking 3 times a session, 12 sessions a day.  We need substantially more tummy time to work on head control and “side time” to develop awareness of his other side.  We have a follow up in two months.  After the physiatrist rolled him from side to side, put him on his tummy, and upset him (and me), Jace spit up all over the table.  I didn’t even apologize.

For the record, our pediatrician, March of Dimes, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a zillion other sources (, the What to Expect books, the NICU, the preemie boards I read) all recognize actual and adjusted ages and base development on adjusted age for the first 24 months (more, in some cases).  So here’s a photo comparison.

One Month – Actual (31 days) vs. One Month – Adjusted (76 days)
104_2089 104_2090 104_2094 104_2095 104_2098 104_2099

Happy in the Glider
After the appointment, we came home and hung out in the glider.

104_2581 104_2588

Anyways, I understand that (SOME OF) the issues the physiatrist noted are important and need to be addressed.  He does tuck his thumbs in, but it’s worse when he’s stress and she stressed him out!  And he does still go to the fencer pose quite a bit.  But she didn’t have to be so condescending or judgmental about it.  We will step up our cross-stroking, work more on tummy and side time, and follow up with the thumbs….  But look at this face – he’s perfect!104_2570


6 thoughts on “Adjusted

  1. Okay, not that you asked for it, but here’s my advice: GET A NEW DOCTOR. Do NOT go to a doctor who makes you feel angry, hurt, resentful, guilty, defensive, etc. You need and DESERVE a supportive, skilled doctor who gets to know Jace, you and Adam, what kind of people you are, and how you are with Jace. This woman was treating Jace as if he was “patient #6” in her long and busy day, and you were just another uninformed and confused mother. Screw her.

    You and Adam are doing a GREAT job. And it’s a very hard and scary job sometimes. You need a team of doctors who will help you raise your adorable and perfect baby to be a happy and healthy little boy; a team of doctors who preferably know and respect each other.

    Or in other words, fire this doctor. Ask your pediatrician for suggestions for a new doctor and give her/him a try. You and Adam know your baby better than anyone in the world. Trust your instincts, SR. XO

  2. I agree with Leslie completely and I was going to tell you the same thing. Trust your instincts and fire the evil doctor!

  3. OMG! I’m so sorry she was awful! I’m so sorry I wasn’t there with you! Of course wise Aunt Leslie is correct! Get a different doc! I LOVE YOU! I HAD A WONDERFUL TIME WITH YOU AND ALREADY WANT TO COME BACK TO YOU, JACE, AND ADAM!!! Send me your Boise dates, and I’ll see what I can do! Have fun with Chere and Amelia! Xoxo

  4. Personally, i think the “physiatrist” needs a psychiatrist! I’m pretty sure we can give google some names and give her a referral! Goodness!!!!!

    I LOVE the adjusted onesies!!!!!

    And I LOVE the pic of him with his eyes staring right at you! Umm… Hello- he’s focused- on his wonderful intelligent caring mom!!!


  5. I thought the exact same thing when i read your post as everyone else! FIRE THIS WOMAN. You’ve done it before, Sallyrose, you just have to find the right doctor for you, just like with the pediatrician. Don’t hesitate, get a new one right away and don’t go back to this one…ever. Jace is so adorable and I love the adjusted onesies, too! I like that the pen you used matches the printed pen perfectly. He is beautiful and growing so well! Yay!!!!! Love you guys.

  6. I also agree with everyone, you do not have to go to a doctor that makes you and Jace feel that way. You and Adam are the best judge as to what is and is not good for Jace. Follow your gut instincts, you are wonderful parents and will always do the best for “our boy”. Love you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s