Friday, October 12, 2007

A scare

I apologize to my readers (all three of you, bless your pea-pickin' little hearts!) for taking so long about putting up a new post, but really, things are just nutsy here. Whenever I feel like I just might have things a teensy bit under control, something new happens. Today was a case in point.

Yesterday was the boys' six-month checkup (never mind the fact that they're nearly seven months; that's the way it is when you're dealing with Humongous HMO). Dr. Pixie looked them over carefully, as she always does, and asked in detail what they were doing. I told her about Sam's apparent wish to become the first ever Baby Marathoner: He will stand for as long as you will balance him, dancing and grinning and having the best old time. (We also call him Elvis Boy.) I have never outlasted him. It's clearly a matter of time before he pushes off the starter blocks and starts doing laps around our living room.

Gus, however, takes things a bit easier. As in, he clearly believes that legs were made for kicking (by preference, Mommy in the stomach) but chooses not to believe the vile rumor that they can also be used to stand upon. Whenever we stand him up and encourage him to use his legs, he just grins that adorable little (two tooth!) grin and oozes gently downward into a pile of baby goo. Hah, he says. He's expecting a high school graduation present of four strong bearers and a gold-leafed and velvet-upholstered litter. Walking, Gus clearly intimates, is not part of his future. (But let me reiterate that he does have quite strong little legs. Boy has a kick like a mule!)

At any rate, I told Dr. Pixie about Gus's antipathy toward standing, and after observing his other slightly floppy attributes, she ordered a creatine kinase test (CPK). Creatine is released when muscles break down -- which of course they do every day, as we use them, but they are also built back up again. Gus had a tough time with the blood draw, since his elbow vein rolled around for the tech instead of sitting still to be properly poked, but in a minute he was all past the screaming, and all was good again. (Well, until we trotted over to get his and Sam's immunizations. Three shots at a time, right into their little thighs -- ouch! I think I might scream too.)

I didn't think much about the blood test since Dr. Pixie didn't seem overly concerned, but this morning I had an email from Humongous HMO telling me that his blood test results were in. Of course, they couldn't just email you the results, right? No, you have to check into their (badly designed) web site, go through about 10 screens, and finally find out ... that Gus had a CPK level of 291. Normal, the web site informed me, is 0 - 200. His results were flagged as "high."

I was still pretty rational at that point. I fired off an email to Dr. Pixie, asking her to either email me back or give me a call so we could discuss this. Then I turned to my old buddy Go*gle for information, typing in "creatine kinase infants high" ... and got return after return featuring the words "muscular dystrophy."

It doesn't take long to become completely nutsy with that staring you in the face. Muscular dystrophy. Wheelchairs. Shortened lifespan. Oh my God....

I won't bore you with my blow-by-blow account of the rest of my morning. It was divided between Go*gling for more information, and taking care of the babies, with the added feature of my little boys curiously touching my face to feel the tears flowing down my cheeks. I couldn't stop crying. Or praying, for that matter. I admit, it was a bit of an overreaction, but while I am fairly rational about my own ailments (real or imagined -- with not too many of the imagined type), I am a complete nutcase about anything that impacts or could possibly impact the boys. I know, they're just two little boys, nothing particularly wonderful or special about them, objectively speaking -- except that they are my little boys, and I am besotted with them, and if you ask me, I will seriously tell you that yes, they are the most wonderful little boys that God ever created and put into this universe. (I am prepared, tentatively, to admit that in some other universe -- using the Many Universes Theory -- there might be some little boys who are just as cute and amazing as my two. But not in this universe. I'm pretty sure of that.)

Thankfully for my sanity, Dr. Pixie got back to me about 2 p.m. She said, essentially, that 291 was a nuthin'burger. She said that in the dystrophies, you see CPK levels of 2,000 or so. She agreed with me that it was probably a good idea to track it, just in case, so we will repeat the test in a couple of months, but she added that many infants and toddlers under the age of two have elevated CPK levels, and no one knows why. It doesn't seem to hurt them any, she said.

So that's why I can never seem to get a post up here. I spent at least two hours that I didn't have on tracking down an ailment that my kids don't have. Duh.

(In other news, the boys did get helmets for their plagiocephaly. More info and pics in a couple of days -- promise!)


And one addendum: Can anyone tell me how to set things up so that when I receive the emailed version of reader's comments, I can email them back? Right now, when I hit Reply on these emails, I got an automatic No Reply address. Is this just because I'm using Blogger or because I'm stupid? My blogging deity, Cecily (whom I adore as a writer though I disagree thoroughly with most of her politics), has the lovely habit of always replying individually to her reader's posts. I would love to do that too but clearly this is beyond my ken. Suggestions?


Blogger Veronica said...

Regarding the comment thing - I think it's because we are using blogger. There is nowhere for them to input an email addy so nowhere for them to send a reply comment.

I would also love to be able to send back reply emails to my commenters.

Glad the boys are doing well.

3:29 AM  
Blogger Suz said...

That is terrifying, but I'm glad that Gus is okay.

Good luck with the plagio helmets. We had them as well and the boys minded them MUCH LESS than I did!!

10:19 AM  
Blogger Thalia said...

what a relief that all is ok, I can only imagine how terrifying it is to get results like that. Hoping its fine and that the helmet time doesn't last long.

3:44 AM  

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