Monday, May 23, 2011

The Best of Friends

I loved watching my teenagers tonight.  I'm not through mothering them, of course, but it's a relief this far down the road to see all our hard work hasn't been for nothing :)  I've always told them :  friends may come and go, but you're stuck with each other forever.  I've always encouraged them to feel responsible (within healthy boundaries) for sticking together and helping each other.  Tonight I saw Evan excited to be able to show Jordan some self defense moves (he'd just learned them) and I saw that Jordan admired and respected the knowledge Evan had.  Afterward, talking to Jordan about it, SHE SAID how he just seems so grown up.  It struck me that she's proud of how he's growing up. What mixture of emotions to see my babies, MY babies, my BABIES so grown up.  I'm constantly looking, noticing, memorizing almost, the details, of their grown-up-ness, trying to hold onto the moment. I know teenagers are "supposed" to be such monsters, and mine do have their moments, but like the other stages of their lives I am watching them in awe, a mixture of love and pride and sadness for the time that's gone, I can't get back...and anticipation of what comes next. 

When they were little I always hoped that when they were older, they'd be like they are now.  They can still fight like cats and dogs!! But, they are the best of friends.  I am thankful. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy To See Poop? Our recent GI issues.

Jessie has had significant reflux for as long as I can remember.  At one time or another she has taken Zantac (the mildest, this was the first reflux medicine she took), Prevacid and Prilosec.  If we owned stock in Mylanta or know.  A year or so ago she started having loose bowels, all the time.  Not like you expect with a virus (not as many times per day), no fever, didn't feel sick.  Finally, after this went on several weeks, we determined the culprit was the Prevacid she was taking.  Her gastroenterologist said sometimes drugs in that class, proton pump inhibitors (think I got that right :), after taking them a while can cause diarrhea.  We switched to Prilosec and in about 3 days, we saw that had indeed been the cause, as the diarrhea stopped.  Prilosec and Prevacid are both proton pump inhibitors, but I guess sometimes you can take them for a while before that symptom might arrive.  Prior to this, Jessie had been taking Prevacid, off and on, for several years.  So now, after a little more than a year of taking Prilosec, the same symptoms started again.  It's always tricky at first cause it's not that abnormal for Jessie to have a little issue for a couple of days here and there with no sure explanation.  After more than 2 weeks of this again, we have changed to a new drug, Axid, in a different class (not sure what) but it isn't a proton pump inhibitor.  Finally, we have poop with shape to it.  That makes me very, very happy :)  Normally, it is rare for Jessie to have poop accidents, but when all this was going on, it was constant.  I finally decided that her tummy must have felt unsettled for so long that she no longer could interpret the signal.  That was a sad thought that my baby's tummy had been bothering her enough that she couldn't tell she needed to poop. 

For any of you reading that might have a child taking a proton pump inhibitor, or are taking one yourself, it's a good idea if you've taken it a while, to have your B-12 checked.  Never mind that the doctor may say it isn't necessary :)  Initially, I had her B-12 checked because she had a few gray hairs and alopecia, and a google search revealed sometimes low B-12 is the cause of gray hair in children.  AFTER we discovered her B-12 was at the very lowest within the very large normal range, another google search showed that with the great numbers of people now taking this class of reflux drugs they are finding B-12 deficiencies.  Jessie now takes a B-12 tablet and as long as we take it semi-regularly her B-12 comes up to the middle of the normal range.  If we stop it it goes back down.

I have found it to be SO important to have a pediatrician that really listens to my concerns, and will go along a bit with me.  Jessie's pediatrician checked her B-12 for me after I told him I read that gray hair is sometimes associated with low B-12.  He agreed to check it to put me at ease, but assured me that it is rare to find a B-12 deficient child that eats meat.  We found one!! Jessie is a meat lover!

I share the poop story with you not cause I want to gross you out but because I know reflux is pretty common amongst younguns with Down syndrome.  If you have dealt with reflux and have any suggestions that might be helpful please leave me a comment!