What the title says. Unfortunately, “Namine is not sick anymore” is not part of it. We’re still fighting whatever she has – whatever is giving the raspiness in her chest. On the plus side, though, Dr. Gordon is back in town and we got the okay to bring Namine in for a chest x-ray. Thanks for nothing, Dr. McArthur. When will all these arrogant doctors get it through their thick heads that parents usually get it right?

After meeting me for lunch, Jessica and Namine headed over to the radiology clinic at Children’s Hospital. They took some x-rays of Namine’s chest and found streaks on one lung. The doctor doesn’t think it’s too bad, though; he said we should just continue what we’re already doing – that is, the antibiotic, the twice-daily steroid to combat inflammation on her airway, and nebulizer treatments every six hours. Business as usual, I guess. He did say that it was a good move for us to insist on a chest x-ray.

I’ve talked before about how Namine’s arms seem to be bothering lately, her elbows in particular. (Note to self, I should ask the CRS/SA group about possible joint problems.) Yesterday Namine was playing in her corner – doing her best to destroy my clean living room, of course. Our neighbor Leah had just given her some new puzzles, so of course she got into those and tore them apart. Then I heard her call, “Haha. Haha!” So I went over to her. She pointed to her left elbow and said to me, “Ih elmo!” She paused. Then she tried again, “Ih elm-BOW!”

Of course I kissed her elbow. I speak fluent Naminese, so understanding her is usually not an issue. I gave her an extra hug, because I was so proud. This little interaction probably seems like nothing to you, but to me it means a great deal. Let me explain.

Because Namine had a trach until last September, her verbal development was significantly delayed. She’s been playing catch-up since then, and doing a wonderful job. But she still has quite a bit of trouble making consonants, especially “plosives” – B’s, D’s, T’s, and P’s. For her B’s and P’s, Namine often will just make an M sound, which makes sense because they both start off with closed lips. But yesterday she caught herself in the word “elbow,” and amended her pronunciation to make it right. This proves that she not only knows what the right word is and how it sounds, but also that she can make the sound.

This has larger implications. The ENT (ear/nose/throat) people at Children’s Hospital want to do another swallow study, because they believe that Namine’s unique and narrow airway does not allow for proper closure, thus limiting her ability to create consonant sounds. Only time will tell if Namine is able to teach herself how to create plosives, which she seems to be starting to do.


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