For the past month or so of summer, Chris and I have felt that something has been off with Colin. While he had been mostly acting himself, he seemed more tired than normal and a lot of activities that he would attempt or participate in were short lived and he would need to take more rests than we were accustomed to. However, we still had a hard time pinpointing exactly what it was because it's always been obvious to us that Colin doesn't have the same kind of stamina that Kailey does. Despite being on the beach (a place Colin loves), he still seemed to tire more easily. He's always had some difficulties tolerating more extreme temperatures, so it seemed like it could have also been attributed to the higher temperatures. We also noticed that he was starting to get some discoloration beneath his eyes, similar to raccoon eyes. I had a script for a CBC from the pediatrician (she often gives me the scripts knowing my paranoia regarding the higher incidence of leukemia in our kids where I am free to use them if things don't seem right to me), thyroid function levels (from the endocrinologist), and a script for a celiac workup from the gastroenterologist.
After I received a call from the endocrinologist saying that the thryoid levels were normal, I called the pediatricians office to see if she had received hers. The secretary told me they had not, but I attributed it to the fact she had just changed offices to this new location. On Thursday, the office called to verify Colin's appointment for a well visit on Friday and I asked again if they had received them. When they told me they had not, I told her why I thought this was the case and after giving me a hard time, she said she would follow up with the lab so that the results were in the pediatrician's hands by Friday.
Later that night, we went for ice cream and I had left my cell phone in the car. By the time we got back in the car 45 minutes later, I had a missed call from one of the pediatricians in the new group that ours had moved to with a voicemail saying that he needed to speak with me right away. I had also discovered in that minute that Chris had the same missed call and just as I was about to follow up, my phone started ringing again. The doctor told me that Colin's hemoglobin and hematocrit levels were really low and he wanted us to take Colin to the ER at a hospital a little further from our hometown one because he wanted us accessible to the hemotologist we had used in the past. The hemoglobin in your blood is the protein responsible for carrying oxygen in your body and the hematocrit counts indicate your red blood cell counts. There was also another number (I can't remember the name) with a low iron count. He was sending us right away because he wanted Colin's levels retested to check for falling numbers that could possibly indicate the need for a blood transfusion.
We were obviously taken by surprise and quite nervous for the possibilities. However, even though Colin has been off, I was pretty confident that he wasn't sick enough to need a transfusion.
He was quite the charmer at the hospital despite it being past bedtime. The blood draw was pretty rough because they missed his vein and then when they got it, caused a quick blood spurt. The ER doctor said that this happens all of the time (kids being sent to the ER for dropping numbers) and mentioned that this had probably been happening over the course of months. The hemoglobin levels had just slipped by .02 about 10 months ago during his last blood draw.
While it was a rough evening, we walked away feeling that it was good to err on the side of caution, but we also now know that Colin is pretty anemic, which explains a lot of things. He has started an iron supplement that he will need for a minimum of 6 months and our pediatrician will be consulting the hematologist to see if further testing is necessary. Quite a little scare but at least we now know what's been up with him!