Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Growth Hormone Injections

For many years, I lived in denial over fear of growth hormone injections for Olivia.  She still hardly tolerates haircuts and having her nails cut and teeth brushed. . .how in the world would she do daily injections.  So, even though she has never been above the 3rd percentile, I never pushed the issue because I didn't want growth hormones to be the answer.  Well, I finally pushed and asked and questioned.  She had a growth hormone stimulation test last November and surprisingly passed with flying colors.  Her body makes enough growth hormone.  So, why is she falling off of her growth curve and is now in less than the 1st percentile?  My daughters, who are five years apart, are now only 3-4 pounds apart.  After many tests over the past year, it is determined that she makes enough growth hormone, but her body resists it. . .it does not utilize it like it should.  Yesterday, insurance approved her for growth hormone injections.  I was expecting a fight and lengthy appeals with the insurance company because I've heard that once you pass the stimulation test, they don't want to pay for it.  But, they approved it without any problem.  Within the next few weeks, we will get trained on it because it is reconstituted and has to be mixed, etc.  So, it doesn't sound like a simple "dial the dose."  One fear of mine is knocking on the doorstep, but it doesn't seem so scary up close (to me, I can't speak for Olivia.)  It is not just about her being small or being short and wanting to make her taller.  It is a health issue as some of her internal organs do not seem to be growing at normal pace either so it affects more than outward appearances.  And I pray and pray that this is what her body needs to grow and thrive.  It is heartbreaking to watch your daughter get older and struggle to grow.  It's like climbing a mountain with a really really heavy backpack and no matter how much you try or how determined you are, you can't get anywhere.  We've tried OT, feeding therapy, increasing calories, etc. and NONE of it has made a difference.  To be honest, she is a better eater than Abigail at times.  But, it doesn't make a bit of difference and for the past "almost 10" years that has made me feel like a failure of a mom.  So, I just ask for your prayers as we begin this long journey of daily injections for the next 5-6 years at a minimum.  I pray that Olivia tolerates them well without side effects and adjusts to them easily.  Hopefully soon they will be just another part of life.  No one ever said parenting was for the faint of heart. . .


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