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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Today's endo. appointment was very reassuring.

Emily now measures 4'5.39" and weighs 58 lb 8 oz. Which means she's grown 1.2 inches in the last three months, and almost 3 inches since she started the treatment. Normal growth for a non-GHD person is around 2 inches a year - the growth hormone is doing what it's supposed to, and has catapulted her into catch-up mode. The endo. is very pleased; says she's going great guns and could be one of the lucky ones who get 5 inches their first year of treatment. I hope he's right ... our own home measurements do seem to show that her growth has slowed in the past month or so, so I am not sure that we'll continue to see such stellar results ... but I guess there's no point in worrying about the might-be's, we just need to relax and concentrate on the here-and-now.

Emily's dosage remains unchanged, and we had a nice surprise in that we didn't have to do all the bloods this time around. He scheduled all that stuff for two weeks before our next visit, and that's not till April - too far away for Ems to get stressed about.

She is still well below the bottom line on the growth chart, of course. And even more so for weight than height. But it's amazing to see that she actually is growing.

I really like our new endocrinologist. He talks to Emily as much as to me, answers all our questions in great depth, keeps checking to see if we have any further questions, and generally seems like a very nice guy.

My in-laws seem impressed by the growth; they have had a hard time wrapping their heads around Emily's need for the daily shots, so seeing results is helpful to them. I sympathise with their concerns, because it took me a long time to come to terms with it all. I had to go from believing that Emily was tiny-but-perfectly-healthy to realising that she was tiny because she doesn't produce growth hormone; that her size actually was indicative of a health problem. It was a long and torturous process, during which I read a headache-inducing number of medical abstracts and articles, and tried to figure out the risk/benefit analysis. I need to remember that they haven't been through that whole process; it was more or less presented to them as a fait accompli. Part of that whole failure-to-communicate thing ... I hashed it all out with my mum and dad during the months where we did the testing and wrestled with the diagnosis, so they pretty much went through it with us, but Bobby seemed to want to protect his parents from all the indecision and anxiety. It isn't entirely his (or our) fault, though. It is hard to discuss things like this with my mom-in-law, because she is so relentlessly optimistic. This optimism is wonderful in some ways - I think that Bobby's tenacity and never-give-up type attitude stem from this - but other times it can be frustrating; almost like a wilful refusal to realise that some things don't turn out for the best. I can't discuss my mom's cancer with her, for instance, because all she'll say is that she just knows that she'll get better, modern medicine is wonderful, and she'll definitely make a full recovery. Of course that is what we all hope. But the reality is just not so clearcut, and I need her to acknowledge that.

The endo. appointment was made much easier by the fact that I could leave Soph at home with her grandparents. Normally I have to take her along, which is boring for her and also tends to put her nose a bit out of joint - all that attention being focused on Em. So having the grandparents home to play cadoo and dominoes all morning was wonderful. All three of them enjoyed the morning greatly. I get teary when I see how very much my in-laws love the children ...

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