Well, if you’re reading this, clearly I went with the share. If you aren’t reading this then I am talking to myself.
I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not to discuss Odette’s health. Don’t worry she fine! She has no major medical issues (praise the Lord!), but just like all kids, and especially all kids living in a third world country orphanage, we had some concerns.
Let’s take it from the top. Literally.
You’ve all seen that Odette’s head is shaved. Most of you know that it hasn’t always been. Yes, many orphanages do keep the kids’ heads shaved, but ours didn’t. Until what I think was the day before we got her. Did I already share that I pathetically walked right past her in my search for her because I was looking for her hair? True story. It was easy to see why the heads were shaved. Something was having a feast day on their scalps. Ring worm as a matter of fact. Now before you go and run away squealing ewww. Chill. Odette’s ring worm has been treated for weeks now. It is not contagious. The spot should clear up in a few more weeks and then her hair will fill in.
Let’s continue down and stop at her teefers. She has all of them. There doesn’t appear to be any chips, cracks, or missing teeth. What she does have is some discoloration both on the fronts of them and the backs. We will be making a trip to a pediatric dentist here in the next few weeks hopefully. Our pediatrician said it could be decay or malnutrition that has taken a toll on her pearls.
Down, down, down to that huge belly. Please don’t comment that she is an eater. Please don’t joke that she looks healthy. That is not the cause of her Santa Claus like belly. What is the cause? Malnutrition and/or parasites. We have a follow-up at the doctor to try to figure that one out. There are some interesting lab results that we have a lot of questions about. Hopefully we get to the root of the cause soon and she can get her tummy back to normal. I think she would be wearing a size smaller if it goes down. Maybe we can get more wear out of her clothes this way? Wishful thinking…
We got video of Odette and some friends blowing bubbles earlier this winter. Instantly I noticed that she was walking differently. I paused and rewound and watched in slow motion and rewound and watched again. Giving her that first cold shower I inspected her little legs. Her thighs are pretty much pressed together all the way to the knees and then the lower part of her legs curve out a bit. The pediatrician commented the curve was more than usual and referred us to a pediatric orthopedic doctor. The specialist said that her gait was fine for a three-year old and that she didn’t seem to have any difficulty moving or any loss of range of motion. He said she might out grow it, but she might not. We are to keep an eye on it and be watchful for hip/knee pain or injury. There is a simple procedure he could do when she is closer to 9 if it is causing her problems. For now we do nothing.
The final stop on little Miss O is her feet. They are wide and flat as a board. Her pediatrician said to get her some nice supportive shoes, but we also asked the orthopedic doctor about her feet while we were there. Interestingly, he references several major studies out of Congo and India that have shown that lack of shoe wearing has no impact on foot formation. He said that shoes are good for protection of the foot, but do not help prevent deformities. Interesting. Too bad we had already run her to Stride Rite for shoes with an arch support. The very nice doctor also told us that there is nothing that can be done to correct it. Shoes, braces, nothing. He also addressed that Odette’s heel protrudes beyond the back of her leg, whereas most people’s leg connects to their foot at the very back, hers isn’t that way. We were a little uneasy when he mentioned that it could be an indicator of cerebal palsy. He quickly added that he didn’t see any other indicators, but since he wanted a xray of her hips anyway he would go ahead and look for cerebal palsy. Her hips looked good, but because of a lot of bowel gas (as he put it) (remember the bloated belly?) he couldn’t for certain say she had some bone. I can’t remember what bone it was, but he couldn’t be positive that she had one or that her’s had been worn away (pretty sure that’s what he said anyway). Long story short…her feet are fine. We go back in July for another x-ray hoping that the bowel gas is gone and that he can find that bone he was looking for.
So there you have it. I declare that she is a perfectly normal and healthy three-year old little girl with killer eyes and plump lips.
I won’t mention the incident at the doctor’s office last week for a mystery fever that quickly revealed it’s cause by coming out of her at both ends at the same time. We just might have had to take home a naked child wrapped in towels. Special. I should add that she is better now. And clothed.