Last week we went in for a blood draw to see if there's any...anything to explain James's fairly recent weight loss, bloated tummy, etc etc. I thought for sure something was going to come up. The blood draw was traumatic. So much easier when they are younger actually. His fear of the doctor's office is bad enough, combined with his fear of lying on a table, being restrained, and the fears he didn't even know he had about blood draws. Actually, I don't think he felt a thing. I covered his eyes and we all counted. The nurse did an AMAZING job. I've seen some sorry excuses for blood draws in my life, and she rocked it. But it still wasn't fun. As soon as he was done we put some F35 videos on my phone. That pretty much made everything okay as far as he was concerned. It was hard getting my phone back though. :)
Thursday we were finally in to see Dr Borowitz and get the test results. First you meet with the students and interns and tell the story aaaaallll over again. I really don't mind; we are pretty used to it and I hope they remember us if they ever come across a similar case. Unlikely, but still. They said Dr Borowitz told them it was a 'really interesting case.' Nice.
Anyway, James has lost weight, which we knew and were concerned about. They are too, which is good. BUT, as usually happens with us, his test results are COMPLETELY NORMAL. It's not like I want him to have a disease or anything, I just want something fixable. Sigh. But here's what was come up with:
I had been thinking the current issue was something that had been progressing slowly for a long time, but Dr Borowitz sees it more as something acute, which really makes sense when you step back. End of December I started calling with questions. Something had changed, not necessarily gotten worse from a previous condition. The most likely culprit now is bacterial overgrowth. This is when bacteria gets into the upper intestine, while it should only be in the lower. Good for the bacteria, bad for the tum tum. I explain it this way so everyone can understand. Also, it's pretty much all I understand. Did you know my brother is a doctor? I majored in Business, and I've barely worked outside of a barn. Anywhooooo, bacterial overgrowth. It creates gas, bloating, diarrhea, eats up calories, and continues to multiply until treated. You can do a biopsy, but it's not always correct and a real bummer anyway. You can do a breath test but they take several hours, etc etc, or you can just give them some antibiotics and see what happens. That's what we're doing for now and we will see what happens.
What was great at the visit was getting to talk every possible scenario through all at once. It's allowed us to have a really good 'go forward' plan in our heads without having to spend a month emailing. Oh I'll still email. A lot. But it was still really great and made us feel good. It's only been a few days, but hopefully this helps significantly. Then we will put him back on some Pediasure to boost his calories and help him gain more weight and get back on track.
Now, none of this explains his ongoing GI....issues if you will. But a theory is that those issues are actually part of the neurological disconnect. That will be very interesting to research and see how the MNRI work affects it over time. But as long as he is absorbing all his fats and nutrients, which he seems to be from the bloodwork, then it is workable. Almost more of just an inconvenience for now. Inconvenient seems like a mild term, but its true if you think about it. Which I do. A lot.
Speaking of school, we will get James's first report card this week and I can't wait to see it! In the meantime, here are some more pictures of what he's up to!
Hangin in there all by himself!
Hammin it up!
If college had been this fun, I probably would have gone more.