Sunday, January 09, 2005

Pediatric Endocrinology

Which is where we spent a whole morning, a first consult for Cees's growth issues. He always has been off the charts (at the bottom) for weight, but at least kind of following the chart. Lately, at his 13yo checkup, he has been getting farther away from the bottom line though. The gp did some blood work, which all came back normal. She referred us to the endocrinologist, to check into some things, and hopefully rule out hormonal issues.

Off we went, way too early in the morning, and made it almost in time. Before we left, I first had to find the questionnaire they sent me three months in advance. Of course, I had to wait till the last minute to extract it from our mail mountain, and then discovered that I needed data like the height of grandparents and uncles. After a bunch of emergency phone calls to the Netherlands, we had all that info, although I decided that I didn't really want to wake up all six siblings to find out their current height.

The appointment went reasonably well. We did a bone age x-ray, and drew blood for a bunch of hormone levels. He said he wasn't as much concerned with his height, but more with his weight, because even for his height he was extremely light. So now we are supposed to get more calories in him. His advice was Carnation instant breakfast and juices. I replied that I wasn't so sure about the juice, that I'd rather have him eat apples and oranges as opposed to the juice. But he told me he needed the calories, and he didn't care about empty calories. I am not so sure about that.

He also told us that the growth hormones would not have any side effects and that they wouldn't make him taller than he would be, they would just make him mature and start his growth spurt sooner. Cees and I looked at each other and silently communicated with a 'So what? Does it really matter when he hits his growth spurt, as long as he will?' The endocrinologist explained to us that Cees was too protected in our home school environment, that he would want to take growth hormones if he would be attending school.

In summary, I wasn't impressed with the dr's nutritional knowledge, but I did get the tests I wanted, so I don't care too much. I'll try to get some more calories in him, but I am not going to push unhealthy choices. Somehow that doesn't feel right.

On a more fun note, we hid a new cache, The Fairy Kingdom Tree The girls had fun drawing illustrations for the cache page, and now we are waiting to see who is going to be First To Find. When my friend M and I walked today, we decided to do a quick check on it, seeing whether there were any tracks in the snow close to the tree. Of course, we couldn't get too close, because we didn't want to give away the cache location. So we sneaked our way through the woods, hoping that our tracks would throw off any would-be First To Finders :-) It turned out that some one was trying to find the first stage while we were there, but he gave up because it was getting dark. We could have met him, if only he hadn't been so afraid of the dark!

Other exciting geocaching news is that two of our travel bugs made a big jump in their total mileage. Tim's dire frog made it from New Hampshire to Arizona. 3711 kilometers on it now. It looks very impressive on our travel bug map in the bath room. But even more impressive is Erik's helicopter named Be-ah is in Spain! Close to Gibraltar and within easy reach of Africa. Its mission was to travel around the world, well, it sure is doing that, so cool!

Erik was very excited about his travel bug. I showed him on the US map that Be-ah had flown over the water, and then we went to the world map and I showed him where Be-ah is now. I showed him how big the ocean in between was. He had to call daddy and tell him 'Papa! My travel bug is in Spain! It traveled over a river!!!' I guess he couldn't remember the correct word for that type of water. That's a pretty big river.

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