July 21, 2012
Medical Update: A Mother's Instincts
I have been carting Chase around to his various doctors, trying to figure out why he has been so tired lately. The ENT ruled out sleep apnea from the routine sleep study, but something just wasn't adding up so I took him to the pulmonologist for a more in-depth read of the study results.
It turned out, the ENT wasn't wrong - Chase's obstructive sleep apnea has resolved (praise!) now that his tonsils and adenoids have been removed. However, the ENT missed the fact that the study also showed that Chase is awake for over an hour after falling asleep each night. Makes sense for him to be tired, right? But why is he awake in the middle of the night for so long?
In the midst of all this, I requested that we redo Chase's bloodwork. His annual routine blood draw was three months ago and did not show anything of note. However, this go around showed two issue:
First, Iron levels were normal, but Ferratin levels (iron stores) were low. (We didn't test Ferratin in the first blood workup.) We will start Chase on Monday on iron supplements, but this is interesting as it could indicate restless leg syndrome or something else that could disrupt sleep activity. We have an appointment with a sleep pulmonologist to figure this out next month.
Second, We tested for more specific thyroid levels and Chase's numbers were not only out of the normal range, but they had changed significantly since the prior test three months ago. All this points to hypothyroidism (common with Down syndrome) and we are scheduling an appointment with the endocrinologist, who will probably treat with medicine.
Both of these two findings could be the culprit for Chase's crazy nonstop tiredness, and I am so glad that we kept pressing for the doctors to come up with what was going on - It is so nice to have an answer!
Thank goodness for a mother's intuition, and thank goodness the doctors are all wonderful and never told me I was imagining things when the initial tests came back unremarkable! Praise God these issues are easy to treat, too!