Here is another update. It's been a month and we've done another round of doctor visits.
We took Dean to an Opthamologist a couple weeks ago as he is favoring looking to his left and is still looking up more than anywhere else. The doc said that his eyes are put together properly so there is no physical defect that could be causing it. Dean is, however, delayed in his visual development by about a month. The doc said at this point it is something to watch, but his visual development could catch up all on its own and they won't intervene with any type of therapy (there is a type of visual therapy ala physical therapy for kids and adults) until he is past 6 months old. So we go back to see him at the beginning at the end of July. However, in the 2 weeks since the appointment, Dean has begun to look down more and is looking around alot more so we are hopeful that he will continue to improve. As a general rule babies develope one thing at a time, so the more physical developmeny they do, the less verbal or visual. Dean is doing very well with his gross motor development so that could also be playng a role in the delay.
We saw the neurologist this past Tuesday and he noted the same visual delay, but looking at Dean's MRI his left preference is not due to the injury they saw after he was born. The opposite side of the brain controls the direction he is looking - the right side as he is looking left - but the injury is on the right side. In addition, Dean isn't smiling much, but he isn't a blank slate, he changes expression just not a smile. It is most likely related to the visual delay as he is just starting to look at faces. So smiling at Mom, Dad, and big bro should come in time. Finally, Dean is still a little "jittery" - he has little shakes that are related to the brain injury. They have gotten better overtime so hopefully they will continue to improve and go away all together. The concern with "jitters" is there is some lasting injury that cannot be healed and would be classified as Cerbral Paulsie. However, nothing is set in stone until Dean reaches a year of age. So its more wait and see how he does.
He still is getting Physical Therapy every 2 weeks and his gross motor skills are all progressing as they should. Also we saw the pediatrician Wednesday and Dean is growing well - following a nice growth curve for all the necessary stats of height, weight, and head size.
So overall he is doing well, but we are seeing some visual delays, that may or may not be problematic. Being a scientist kinda sux as I can get my hands on alot of info easily and cannot live in a blissful ignorance just hoping things will get better. So I'll share my findings with all of you: If Dean were to continue to only look out the left side of his eyes, and not the right it can lead to loss of the left side visual cortext in his brain. Inorder for the visual cortext of the brain to develope properly a baby needs to use both sides. Looking only to one side would not stimulate that side of the brain (remember the left visual cortext controls right side vision) and it does not develope. Essentially don't use, don't need to have it around type of thing. SO if things do not change Dean would essentially be blind on the right side of his visual field. Now it takes close to a year of life before this happens so Dean has plenty of time and since we know to watch for it we can do things to help him correct it by approaching him and speaking to him from his right as well as place toys and such for him to look at on his right side as well. As I said above, he is beginning to do more with his right side vision, so hopefully we can keep that up and this will be a non-issue.
In July, there is a NICU follow-up exam that is a rather long (2h) and intensive which will give us a much better idea of what is going on. Luckily even something found then can be addresses so we will keep working, praying and hoping for the best.