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!



  1. That IS brilliant!!! So glad it is going well. Jennie Biggs ???? was at church today and she knew all about Emma's adventure from facebook. She has an eleven year old that is really small.

  2. Way to go MOM! That was a great idea! I hope the whole thing works out great!

  3. I find it a little funny that she willingly posed for pictures with her needles. What a cute girl. Sorry this is hard, but glad you've found a solution!

  4. Hi Laree,

    Oh, how I am relieved to find your blog! My 2 year old was diagnosed with idiopathic short stature (20lbs, 29" tall and in 6-12m pants, 6-12 or 12-18m tops). I have been searching and searching for information on children with idiopathic short stature. Not so much medically based, but personally. I wanted to know what other parents were going through and what their choice of treatment was.

    I FINALLY stumbled upon your blog. I am even happier knowing that it is current! Just wanted to say HI and that I'm rooting for your Girly-Lou. :)

    1. I'm happy you found me too! It's a crazy journey to start. I'd love to email with you about why we chose and what you're deciding(I'm hoping you check this post again!). Just leave your address - or you can email me at at gmail dot com

  5. Hi how did the treatments go? And for how long did the process last?

  6. She was in treatment for 4 years. We stoped last fall- we learned that girls stop growling about 1 year after their first period. She's 4' 11.34". And super sad she didn't hit 5 feet! But about 1/2 of girls get 1-2 more inches 5 years after first period, so she's holding out hope for that. It wasn't as much growth as we hoped for, but she also finally conquered her needle phobia!


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