Monday, January 18, 2010

Brock's Doctors Appointment

As some of you know, Brock has had some trouble gaining weight. That coupled with a large posterior soft spot, the doctor was concerned about his thyroid. Two weeks ago she had that tested along with a CBC run. The thyroid was normal and Brock is now gaining weight at a great rate. However his CBC came back with some hinky results. Our pediatrician discussed it with a pediatric hematologist who wanted us to come in. He wanted to see Brock's blood himself to double check the results. They got us worked in and our appointment was today.

The main concern the pediatrician had was his white blood cells and platelets. Well today his white blood cells and platelets were normal. However, his hemoglobins were still high. Brock has had circulation issues from day one which are not uncommon for newborns. However, it should be gone by now. While the doctor was examining Brock today he noticed that Brock's hand was purple and he has some circulation issues in all his extremities. So he has decided that Brock has polycythemia. Basically his blood is a little too thick. This would explain why we have been having to wake him to eat. He rechecked his hemoglobin level- it should be 10, his was 19 two weeks ago and was 17 today. It is headed in the right direction. If it would have been a 19 today then he would have drawn some blood out and then given him an IV of saline to help thin his blood so we were happy it was down.

So of course our next question was what is causing this? There could be 3 things. The first and what we hope is the problem is that before they cut the umbilical cord they try to push the blood back down the cord into the baby to help give them plenty of blood and the good stem cells. He may have gotten too much blood and is having to work through that. This of course would be the most benign reason and what we hope is happening. The other two reasons could be a lung or heart issue. He does consider him at risk for heart issues because of Peyton's arrhythmia.

Of course there is a battery of tests that could be run on Brock at this point. He does not want to wait and just see if it works out, the levels are high enough that he wants it checked out now. So the office is scheduling Brock for an ultrasound of his head, a chest x-ray, an abdominal ultrasound, an EKG, and echo-cardiogram. Of course Brian and I were shocked and a little overwhelmed that our baby boy who is 4 weeks old today is going to be getting all these tests. However, the doctor then tells us that these are the non-invasive tests and he wants to exhaust all those before we move on to the more invasive tests such as liver and kidney functions, skin biopsy nor does he want to expose him to the radiation for CT scans. Well then we felt a little better about the testing we were doing and made us like the doctor even more. The tests he will be getting will not hurt him, make him mad- yes but hurt no.

Brian and I were very happy with the Pediatric Hematologist and felt very confident in him almost immediately. He is concerned enough to recommend the testing but not so gung ho that he is doing a lot of invasive procedures on a 4 week old baby. The goal is to get the testing done in the next two weeks. We will see him again on February 1st. Of course Brian and I worried but we are not panicked because there is still a plausible benign reason that could be causing the polycythemia. We ask that you keep Brock in your prayers. I'll keep you posted on the status of his testing.

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