Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Endocrinologist

Today we had our first visit with the pediatric endocrinologist to discuss Colin's levels of thyroid enzymes that have been off the past 2 times he has had blood work. Hypothyroidism is a common problem in children with Down Syndrome, so it's important to check blood work every 6 months or so. When Colin's blood work was checked at birth and 6 months, his levels were normal, however when they were checked again around 14 months, they started coming back slightly off.
Unfortunately, we had a very long wait because there was apparently a misunderstanding regarding a change in our appointment time that we were unaware of, so we had to kill lots of time in the room by ripping (and eating) paper. Don't you love the island of paper he created for himself?
We can now add self-feeding paper to the list where sand already exists (who would have thought something that tastes badly would be a favorite self-feeding item).

We also killed time by playing a fun paper throwing game.

The doctor explained to us that the thyroid works cooperatively with the pituitary gland in the brain. Sometimes, in children with down syndrome, the thyroid enzymes can be off for a reason that does not imply a problem. However, in other cases, there is a trouble with the production of the enzymes and in the 1st 3 years of a child's life, brain development is very important. Therefore, it is highly recommended that Colin take a medication to help with the production of those enzymes so that in case there IS a problem, we did not wait too long to begin the medication. There are no side effects associated with the medication, so it's worth it for us to begin this process. The medication is a pill form which we will have to crush and get him to eat all of it.

At 3, if Colin's levels were easily maintained by the medication, then we will be able to take him off and see how his body reacts. So, there is the possibility that he will not have to be on this medication for life. The only downside is that we will have to check in with her every 3 months, which we did not find to be a downside since she was very good at explaining the details. She made us feel comfortable with everything for the time being.


Kristin said...

Cute videos - love that squealy laugh. Paper is Max's favorite food, too!

Kelly said...

Colin, you silly little goose!! What is it about paper that you & your buddy LOVE so much? I'm always trying to tell Landon that it has no nutritional value!! I do however, love the island you made for yourself!! That is really quite clever=)

Glad to hear that the doc is taking precautionary measures with his thyroid issue. Fingers & toes are crossed that this is just a temporary thing!

Happy to see our buddy in action!! And that to my ears=)

Sweet Pea's Mommy said...

That is very interesting! Thank you for sharing! The endocrinologist is one of the few doctors we haven't seen yet.

Rochelle said...

Love the paper island you are docked on Colin! Great way to kill time while you wait =).
Glad you felt comfortable with the dr and got the info you needed.

Jen said...

He is just so darn cute!

Anne Pagnoni said...

What a great picture of him and his daddy!! He's getting SO BIG!!! Samantha also enjoys sand and paper. Toilet paper, paper towels, and anything else that tears is on her list of things to eat. Sorry to hear that you had to wait so long to see the doctor, but I'm glad that it was a good visit.

Becca said...

Cute video! My Samantha likes to draw on the paper on the exam tables in doctor's offices. What else could it possibly be for, other than art projects anyway? Glad the visit went well. I've heard that it's not a case of "if" regarding thyroid issues in our kids, but "when." We monitor closely, too.

Stevenson Family said...

Isn't it funny how they love that paper? It's Beau's favorite!