wrapped in a middle
surrounded by a mystery.
The poor kid has been physically miserable since coming home. As I've blogged about before, my little guy has suffered from giardia, rat dung tape-worm, cryptosporidium enteritis, and something else that I can't recall/could never pronounce.
Add to that ringworm and eczema, plus sores that ooze blood out of his scalp.
And add to that a child who has never been able to clearly communicate his feelings about his physical self. If I walk into a room and say, "Keenan, does your stomach hurt?" and then the doctor asks a minute later, then Cliff does 5 minutes later, we are all going to get different answers (all of which will likely make no sense whatsoever.)
He's never been able to articulate headaches, belly aches, tired, itchy, scratchy, pain, etc. Growing up through toddlerhood in Haiti, a place where nearly no one cared what physical condition he was it, he just learned to shut out that part of himself.
It's like he's detached from his own body, because he was conditioned that way due to neglect.
It breaks my heart.
I've known all along that something is just not right with this child. Pediatricians, our hospital's Infectious Disease unit, and the Children's Hospital G.I. clinic have listened politely, did a bit, and pooh-pooh'd Mama's worries.
"5 years in Haiti is a lot to recover from." "Not every child will grow a lot after being adopted." "Give him time.
Last month, I took Keenan in for his 7-year check up. The doctor took one look at him. "He looks horrible," she gasped upon walking into the room and seeing his pallor.
Uh-huh. I know.
"I believe he's severely anemic." She pulled down his lower eye lids, revealing grey-white flesh.
Finally, I felt like I had someone's attention. As she was examining him, she noted that he lost weight. I mentioned that his foot size has only grown a half size in the 2.5 years he has been home (something I've mentioned before, but for the first time, I felt like I was being listened to and not thought of as paranoid/hysterical.)
Looking at his nails, I mentioned to her (as I have mentioned to every doctor he has ever seen) that I've cut his toenails 3 times since he has come home from Haiti, July being the most recent time.
So she runs a CBC and it turns out that Keenan has no iron in his blood. Zip. Zero. Nada. No iron stores of any kind, although he does have hemoglobin.
She initially theorized that the iron he was taking in would go to make hemoglobin and then the parasites "utilized" (or ate, but man, the thought of parasites eating makes me feel all heebie-jeebie-ishy) the rest.
But guess what?
The parasite test came back clean.
I did some research on anemia/iron deficiency, and there's something like eight possible causes of anemia.
Behavioral issues and learning disabilities are two of the side effects of severe iron deficiency.
And guess who has some severe behavioral issues and learning disabilities?
I am beyond frustrated that it has taken so very long to begin to put all of this together.
So, where I go from here, I'm not quite sure. To sum everything up, I have a child who:
1) has no iron stores, and does not look improved after 5 weeks of nearly toxic doses of iron.
2) the worst breath/bowel movements
3) little foot growth
4) no nail growth
5) behavioral issues
6) speech issues
7) learning issues
We have seen pediatricians, received Infectious Disease consults, and the G.I. Clinic at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
Anyone have any suggestions or ideas? I am really tired of the whole: Let's try this dose for two months and see type of thing. I know, he's been home 2.5 years and surely he can hold out for two months of dosing, but he's my boy and I'm feeling impatient.
Enough is enough, and I'm really hoping that this is beginning of getting the help that he needs to grow and become healthy.