what’s eating gilbert grape

August 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm 1 comment

yesterday i took miniMe for her 7th grade physical. a few back-to-school shots and a sports release form were all that were expected so i was a little caught off guard when her doctor started showing concern that over the last year miniMe has grown a few inches but lost a decent amount of weight. last year she was pushing 75 but now, at age 12, she stands 4’9″ and weighs just 69 pounds which apparently puts her in the 4th percentile for weight. it’s not something that’s gone unnoticed at home. in fact over the last couple months she’s gone on a mission to break 70 pounds again but to no avail. granted she isn’t a huge eater. a picky bird … no … but we eat what i see as portioned, well-balanced meals with plenty of ice cream thrown in for good measure since ice cream is the best thing in the whole world!

anyway, as a precaution, the doctor opted to do a urine screen. a small concern of finding sugars and potential diabetes. thankfully that screening came back negative but she found elevated levels of bilirubin. i’m somewhat familiar with BR. as an infant, miniMe had extremely high levels and was jaundiced. a connection to that now. no. but now potentially nothing. potentially of concern. to put things scientifically …

“bilirubin is a normal byproduct of the body. as red blood cells, the cells that carry oxygen to the body, wear out, they are filtered out through the liver. the liver, when functioning correctly, will send these useless blood cells (bilirubin) out of the body by means of the large intestine. normally, your kidneys, which produce urine, will not have to filter out the dead red blood cells. however, when the liver isn’t functioning properly, bilirubin is filtered by the kidneys and comes out in the urine instead of through your colon.”

the doctor’s first question was if there is a family history of gilbert’s syndrome ~ a hereditary condition that is of little to no concern but would provide us with the likely answer of why she has bilirubin in her urine. it’s apparently a pretty common condition (5% of the population) but is often undiagnosed and asymptomatic. though symptoms, when active, can include weight loss. but i have little to no knowledge of my family history. hell, i have little to no knowledge of my family!

but today i reached out. wrote the aunts i have yet to meet again and a cousin i may or may not have ever seen. a confirmed history of gilbert’s would bring a little peace of mind. a reason. a likely answer. so far no diagnosis or knowledge but potential connections to symptoms.

i’m not worried ~ yet. well ok, i lie. maybe just a little. it’s always unnerving when your kid’s doctor wants to send samples for further testing to the outside lab. but until i get a solid answer i’m trying not to let it eat away at me.

update:
the call came sooner than expected … full analysis clean! i can breath again!

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Entry filed under: family, fear, life, parenting. Tags: , , , , , .

that time of the month break point

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. kitkat1126  |  August 16, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I’m so glad I read this after you included the update. I’m glad to hear that minime is healthy 🙂

    Reply

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