Mommy was a little nervous for my follow up VitalStim appointment today. After all, she has been putting the stickers that hold the electrodes on me at home while I am eating to try to get me used to them - but I have been pulling them off as quickly as she can put them back on. But Mommy came prepared - she brought a mini-highchair, food, juice, Signing Time DVD's and a portable DVD player. The only thing Mommy forgot - a bib! A bonus is that there was a wall with mirrors so I got to look at myself the whole time - even better! Mommy got me in my chair got the DVD going and got out the vanilla ice cream. Jan put the stickers with the electrodes on and we were off. Mommy thought it appropriate that our first Signing Time DVD was "Time to Eat". While I danced and ate my ice cream, Jan would gradually turn up the stimulation. As soon as it would go up, I would make a funny face and then be right back to dancing. I ate a lot of ice cream! Then Mommy moved on to sips of apple juice from a cup. Jan kept moving up the stimulation and got me to 5.5! We knew it was working because sometimes you could hear me swallow! Every now and again I would touch the stickers but quickly got back to eating and watching Signing Times. After about 30 minutes with the electrodes on, Jan thought we should try a little longer so Mommy switched me to eating frozen fruit from my feeding bag. Then I was getting stimulation while I was sucking the juice from the bag. Mommy really thought my lip closure was much improved. You can see a picture above from Mommy's cell phone where I am wearing the electrodes. After 45 minutes, we were ready to go but we will come back next week to do it all again. I am going to be a pro pretty soon!
In the evening with my parents, I vocalize more than I do during the day. Mommy tried to get me to copy her and say "Mommy". Up until now, I would say "aaahh" but when it came time to close my lips together I couldn't figure it out. I have started to close my lips better though, and actually started saying something pretty close to "Mah". Of course, as soon as Mommy turned on the video to capture that moment I stopped vocalizing all together! You can see that in the video above. (I'm a little shy okay!)
Peyton Nicole Smith