We had our first evaluation today with Jenelle's Neurologist, Dr. Steven Phillips. Because of a connection with a very good family friend, we were able to get an early appointment for Jenelle, rather than wait until the end of July. Dr. Phillips seems to be very good at what he does, is up front and honest about what we are going to be facing. He ordered an MRI, and requested it "stat" so that we shouldn't have to wait very long once we get authorization from our insurance. We are told that the process for the MRI will involve Jenelle being sedated, possibly intubated and may also require her to stay the night in the hospital for monitoring. Basically, she is going to be "put under" like anyone would be for surgery.
He gave us an initial diagnosis of Hypotonia, which means low muscle tone and function. He told us that visually speaking, the left side of her head appears to be smaller than the right, which would indicate that there may be something wrong with the left side of her brain. When he saw the shape of her head, he seemed concerned, without really having to look at her development delays. The left side of the brain does control motor function, as well as speech and cognitive ability, so that would make sense with her delays. He didn't say much more than Hypotonia, but when I mentioned Infant Stroke, he said that was another strong possibility.
So now, we wait for our insurance to approve the MRI request. Dr. Phillips told us not to be concerned initially when we have the MRI is the technician says something about what they see. Infant MRIs need to be read differently than an adult MRI, so what looks bad for an adult, may not necessarily be bad for an infant. We should not expect the report to be done for at least 2 days after the MRI. He was going to have the results read by a specialtist who is experienced in reading infant MRIs. Our next appointment with Dr. Phillips will be in 2 months, on July 22, 2003. This appointment is still earlier than the initial appointment we were given without using our connections. We are forever grateful for our good friend's assistance in that regard.