Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Yesterday I took Ezra for a follow-up visit to the pediatric endocrinologist he first saw in May.

He's still in the 3rd percentile for height, which is good in that he's maintaining his growth velocity, but bad in that he's nowhere near his potential growth rate, as determined by his bone age and heredity. Also bad because this means that the hypothyroidism (which he's being successfully treated for) is not the cause of the growth delay, and what we're probably looking at is a growth hormone deficiency. We haven't yet scheduled any testing for this because the test itself is a sadistic nightmare, and the treatment--daily injections until puberty--just isn't something I'm really eager to get started on. The doctor says waiting another six months won't make a difference in the long run, and it's possible that by that point Ezra will have an investment in getting the growth delay treated as well. We will have achieved buy-in.

Buy-in: now there's a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it means he'll be more willing to endure the treatment. Presumably, I won't be chasing him around the house every night with a needle in my hand. He won't be finding new places to hide. He won't be seriously bummed out by and angry about the routine because he'll understand that it's fixing a problem that he wants fixed very badly. He'll be motivated.

On the other hand, what is it that will have motivated him? Not being able to reach the classroom supplies that he should be able to access without a problem. Not being able to wear that really cool shirt from his grandma, because it's still too big even though she sent it six months ago. Seeing his younger brother shoot past him. Getting teased on the playground, getting called names.



Ezra turns six in February and is the height of an average four-year-old--an average just-turned-four four-year-old, I should say. Every day when I pick him up from school, I am amazed anew by just how tiny he is. His backpack covers half his body. His classmates tower over him. And yet he walks with confidence, like he really has no idea.

And here I am, wanting him to recognize what a peanut he is and feel bad about it, wanting him to suffer so he'll become a more compliant patient, and at the same time wanting to protect him from cruelty and difficulty, wanting him never to know he is anything but as big as he feels.


Ginny said...

He's adorable! Good luck with everything.

family-of-five said...

oh, honey. that's so hard. it's the innocence that kills me with my kids, every time. there's so much to protect them from, and yet so much we have to let them discover, sometimes painfully so. you'll get through it with your characteristic honesty and bravery, I'm sure.