Friday, October 29, 2010

What a little extra thyroid medicine will do!

Olivia gets her bad reading habits from me.
Surround yourself with lots of books and read them all as your  mood  dictates!
There is no such thing as too many books!
As I have mentioned before, Olivia was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at 4 months of age and has been taking medicine ever since. Hypothyroidism affects 80% of people with Down syndrome before they reach adulthood.  It is a major contributor to low cognitive function if left untreated, and also causes kids to be smaller and have less strength and endurance.  If treated appropriately, all is well!  Lucky for us, our first pediatrician knew to keep an eye out for hypothyroidism, and when she saw the warning signs at 4 months old, she ordered blood work to check. Some pediatricians might have waited until the standard yearly check.  It is not prudent to do this!  If they see symptoms, they should check right away.  The cognitive and physical development of the child is at stake! Too much to risk to just wait!

Olivia's latest thyroid blood test showed "normal" TSH and T4.  However she was symptomatic.  She was falling asleep by 9 am and then again by 3 pm.  She fell asleep quickly for nap and bedtime, but her sleep was fitful.  Olivia's gross motor development was struggling as she just did not have the strength that she needed.  Luckily, our new endocrinologist noted that her TSH and T4 were just barely normal and that Olivia was very symptomatic.  She took one look at all the facts and told us that we needed to increase Olivia's dosage. She explained that they don't like the numbers on the edge of normal, as that is not good enough to help developing children.

Olivia has been on the new dosage for about 10 days, and Wow! what a difference!  She can stay awake! She takes a little longer to settle down to sleep. Her sleep is more restful.  She started pulling up to kneeling at the sofa, exercise bar, and shelf, without any help whatsoever from us.  She finally got the "supported pull up to sitting from side lying"!  That one is a big deal!!!!! I have been working with her on that one since January! And she just could not put it all together, because of strength and because she insisted on back arching, and because she just thought it to be a ridiculous idea, because she was able to pull up to sitting by pulling up with both hands, so why am I asking so much of her and wanting her to do this trick.  But now she can do it and she loves doing it!  These two developments took place in the past two days! She is also saying Mama!  Glory Be! And she was saying DaDa a bit just this late afternoon. I also caught her saying Ball, just as plain as day!  In the past few weeks, she had quit talking (almost) and was only signing.  Oh! And the stuff she is learning these days!  It is like an explosion of sheer genius!  Ok... I exaggerate a bit!  But you get the idea! She is amazing us these days in comparison to what had been going on prior to the increase in her thyroid medicine.  Oh, yes! And she is now a pro at getting in and out of sitting for the past week. Add that to her crawling and she can now play happily by herself for as long as a half hour!  She is so neat to watch play! She is so inventive and such the scientist!  And after 18 months of being so incredibly hands on with Olivia all the time, it is so nice to sit back on the sofa and watch! (and drink a cup of tea that is still warm and look at an entire Michael Olaf catalogue in one sitting!)  Oh! And with the increased strength, she can really get some air on that spoon when she throws it!  :-)


Erin said...

That is amazing how much it affected her. I am so happy for you both! It is nice to just sit back and relax a little and watch.

Was it just the sleepiness that sent off warning signs? I wonder because Lucas is always sleepy by 9 or 10 in the morning but we make him wait until 12. He falls asleep very easily most days but has fitful sleep too.

heidi marie said...

Getting medicine and having the right dose deifinitely makes a world of difference. I know that from having hypothyroidism myself. Even though she can't tell you, she probably feel so much better, too!

Looking Up said...

So thankful that she is doing well! :)