Monday, July 31, 2006

Interesting Doctor's Visit

Today I took Samren to the doc to get the immunizations he still needed in order to go to school this fall. For those that don't know, Samren has a history of severe failure to thrive due to an extremely rare (and sometimes deadly) gastrointestinal autoimmune disorder. Praise be to God he was healed of this disorder over two years ago (the docs might say he went into remission). At any rate, Samren will always be suseptable to autoimmune diseases and disorders because once you've had one you usually get more. Weird, I know.

So the doc has some concerns about Samren because his growth curve has straightened out again. He's 28.5 lbs and 37.5 inches at almost 5 years old. So she wants us to see an endocronologist for possible growth hormone supplements. No fun.

Then I show our doc the pics of Kendi and Caynan (she's known for a while we are adopting again). I asked her about the possibility of Kwashiorkor with Caynan since his hair is red but she actually thought that he looked great! She said that his arms look nice and appropriately fatty, and that she thinks his hair is genetic. Yea! But then she said that she IS concerned about Kendi. What?! That wasn't even really on my radar. Something about the way that Kendi is holding her arms (like a new walker maybe?) in her picture concerns our doc but I didn't get a clear reason as to why. Also, she is concerned that Kendi's face looks "sunken in" and that her appendages are skinny while her belly looks rather fat. She thinks Kendi could be dealing with Kwashiorkor, Marasmus (not enough calories), parasites, or a combination of any or all three. Poor baby!

Any of you adopting from Africa, this might be of interest to you. Our doc also has concern about our African children being carriers of meningoccocal disease (basically an african form of bacterial meningitus). This disease tends to get to pandemic proportions ever 8-12 years in what is known as Africa's Meningitus Belt. Ghana is only partially in this belt but has had outbreaks of the disease as recently as 1997 (so if you go by the "every 8-12 years" theory they are "due" for an outbreak). Only half of those afflicted with this disease live. Others are carriers and don't appear sick but can make others sick.

The good news is that there is a vaccination/innoculation for this disease. Our doctor wants our children tested for this (among all of the other things) as soon as they get home, especially considering that Samren and Eric both have compromised immune systems. She feels that if Samren were to get this disease he may not be able to fight it. She did say the chances of K and C being carriers is very low, but she wants to play it safe. So all of you adopting from Africa, this might be something to consider adding to your "test for..." list.

Until C and K are completely given the green light health-wise our doc wants us to practice Universal Precautions in our home (http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/aha/aha_unipre_crs.htm). We already planned to do this between parents and the new kids, but hadn't really thought about the kid to kid precautions we also need to take.

Guess that's it for the doctor's visit!

2 comments:

Anonymous 9:19 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Momto13 3:43 PM  

Great information in this post A.! Be sure to pass it along to others :)
Blessings in abundance!
Sarah