A couple of weeks ago, my mood was low and my frustration level high. Son #1 has been seeing a pediatric endocrinologist since April 2007. (Follow up visits in June 07, Nov 07, May 08.) At our last visit, the doctor recommended the growth hormone stimulation test, a three hour in-hospital test at which they give Son #1 a simulating agent (glucagon) so his blood sugar will peak and drop. Blood samples are taken from an IV port every 30 minutes. A score below 10 is considered “growth hormone deficient” and therefore treatment is often covered – at least partially – by insurance.
Son #1's result: 10.4. Technically he “passed” the growth hormone stimulation test. We should be happy, right? Perhaps I would be, had the doctor not said that Son #1 is producing “about 60-70%” of the growth hormone that he needs. That’s like graduating high school with a D minus.
The doctor wants to see Son #1 again in August for more ‘data points’ (plotting on the growth chart). I’ve been unofficially plotting his growth chart (downloaded from Centers for Disease Control – these are the same ones the doctors offices use). In height and weight, he’s been below the bottom 10th percentile since age 8 and since age 10 has been below the bottom 3rd percentile. (In weight, he’s significantly below the bottom 3rd percentile line.)
Our last visit was the first time the doctor mentioned the words "growth hormone injections." (Just a possibility at this point, though.) Sigh. Never a dull moment with this child.
More to come later...