Thursday, September 25, 2008


Well some things have been bothering me for awhile. I know what a surprise. I love to research things. Before the kids came home, I researched health related tests etc that would need to be done on them once they got home. I became well versed with and the CDC.

When I took the kids to our wonderful pediatrician the first time and started asking if they needed to be checked for this and that, I was told, "No, they look great." And so our kids were never checked for ova and parasites, no lab work was done other than the very expensive and not necessary immunization titers.

When I called back and told them that their poop smelled bad, I was told, "Yes, poop smells bad." DUH! So although I love our pediatrician and he has been great with our "born in the US" kids, I'm pretty sure our African kids were the first he had seen.

I found a new doctor for Josh and Jameson who has an adopted son from Ethiopia and is in the process of adopting two more children from Ethiopia. They went to see him today. We are now in the process of collecting poop samples. Gross I know, but I'm pretty sure Jameson has got something because her samples are nasty! She also has this lingering halitosis (bad breath) which is not from her teeth and can be caused by parasite infection. So I say bring on the stool samples. Anything is better than having to evacuate our home after those two have evacuated their bowels.

Shhhuu wee.

I know: too much information. Hey, I'm in a sharing mood.

So the kids got 5 tubes of blood drawn today for:

a CBC which will show if they are anemic, if their white blood cell count is high and if their eosinophils are high (which is indicative of a parasite infection).

They are also getting checked for hepatitis A and B, rickets (which is a softening of the bones caused by lack of vitamin D, calcium or phosphate), a thyroid screen (children can have an enlarged thyroid from malnutrition and iodine deficiency) BTW, Josh has an enlarged thyroid.
HIV screening again, lead levels and a repeat TB test. (All of these things I requested before but received none) Jameson has these weird little scabs that form on her head with a pus like center. He cultured one of those to find out what it is. Josh was 97% for height and 80% for weight. He has grown 3.75 inches and gained nearly 20 pounds, and Jameson was 10% for height and 10% for weight. Her gains are much less than his, but still gaining and growing.

They also had hearing and vision screens. Josh failed his hearing test 3 times today. I believe he failed not because he can't hear, but because he couldn't pay attention long enough to raise his hand when he heard the noise. We will recheck his hearing in 6 months.

Hopefully we will prepare him better for this. My plan is to show him a hearing aid and tell him he will be wearing one of those if he doesn't pay attention long enough to pass the test. That should do it.

So all in all, we had a very productive visit to the doctor and I feel have someone who really understands adopted kids. The new doctor was very sweet to the kids, asked about their backgrounds, asked them how they like it here, and asked how things were going.

When I said, we have our challenges, but things are better. He sighed and said, "Don't I know." As if that wasn't enough, I knew I would like Dr. Stinson when he asked me if we thought the kids really were their stated ages... no one other than an adoptive parent would understand that question now would they?


Meredith said...

Hi there! A friend of mine pointed me to your site. My husband and I live in the same town as you and are also adopting from Ethiopia. I've been following along for a while, but I just had to post a comment because I'm so excited to hear about the doctor in town that has Ethiopian children! Anyways, I love reading your blog and appreciate your humor and your honesty!

Jeanie said...

mmmm...stool samples. Only you and me can blog about stool samples and make it seem glamorous!! I appreciate a thorough doctor and if a stool sample will get a proper diagnosis...get the glove and get to gettin'!

Chris said...

Sheesh Gina. You should put a warning sign before your posts. I am in the middle of my breakfast here LOL
I thought that Julia was the only one talking about poop.
Well the poop here is good. GOOD poop. haha never thought that I would say this :)

Denise said...

so very true Gina... people are always blown away by the fact that we just "assume ages". It makes us feel a bit more sane that other people don't just "get this" but REALLY get this. Good luck with the poop... we are so headed there- there is no air freshener that can stand up to the stink!!!! :)

Laurel said...

While the doctor across the street from our house has been fine for our 10 bio. kids ... we drive 25 min. each way to a different doc. for our new African children. This doctor is not an adoptive parent, but he does have 7 bio. kids and he has traveled to Africa several times for medical mission trips.

Oh yea ... I blogged about our stool samples when we brought the children home. That's the life of a mama of African children.

Our dentist is the one that confirmed that fact that our children are not the age stated on their adoption documents. He said that it would be quite impossible for our 9 year old to have her 12 year molars already. :)


Laurel :)