Sunday, November 4, 2012

Idiopathic Short Stature and Needle Phobia

(Now that’s a title I never expected to write!)

This is Girly-Lou.


She’s short.


Really short. As in most kids 3 years younger than her are as tall or taller.

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But she’s always been little. We brought her home from the hospital at 4 lbs 10 oz, and she’s just stayed small her whole life. We thought that was normal.

Back in June, I took her in for her regular check up. And we found out she had fallen clear off the growth chart.  What followed was 3 months of blood draws and x-rays and long scale tests. The results of all this? She was diagnosed as idiopathic short stature – a great big name meaning she’s really short but there’s no reason why. 

If we do nothing, she will probably grow to be about 4 foot 10.  Or we could do growth hormone replacement , which requires a shot once a day.  After lots of praying (and finding out our insurance would in fact pay for almost all of this up to $30,000 a year procedure!), the decision was made to go forward with the treatment.


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And here’s my moment of brilliance – my daughter is terrified of needles.


This tiny thing fills her with unbelievable anxiety.



A nurse came to our house to train me on the mixing of the meds and how to actually give the shot.  An agonizing screaming fest followed until I finally wrestled my girl down and poked her. I had to yell 4 times in her ear “It’s done. It’s done. It’s DONE. IT’S DONE!!!” before she stopped shrieking. 

After some brainstorming, I decided I’d sneak in to her room at night instead. The first night, she woke up just as I finished. I informed her what I did, and my daughter broke into a huge smile. She was so relieved it was already over. 

It’s working well so far – I get up at night with Jellybean anyway, so that’s not a problem.    Most nights she just scratches the area right after I remove the needle.  Once or twice she’s woken up before I did the shot and that’s been a trial to get through. But there’s my brilliant idea – just have your kid be asleep before you give them a nasty shot. So much easier than the screaming!

I just hope the treatment works. If we do all this work and screaming and expense for nothing, I will not be happy!


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