I think as a parent with a chronic illness that can be passed down to your children it always sits somewhere in the back of your mind. For me, as a mother who was not diagnosed until after I had both of my kids I am in a frequent state of concern about my boys.
For the past few months, my youngest who is six, has been more clumsy than usual, complaining of headaches, stomach aches and other vague feelings of being unwell. I always ask about the last time he ate, or pooped, or had water. Try to think if the leg wobbles are from growing pains, or other normal things before I let the slight panic set in.
I know the likelihood of him having MS, especially at six is low. Though I had it when I was 13 they say to me now, because the health issue I had that started during my freshman year of high school has been linked now. After denial for a few weeks and he started asking me if I could make a doctor appointment for him. Normal kids don’t ask to go to the doctor, I told him I would, but that they may need pictures or blood if they weren’t sure what was wrong. He said ok, I knew it was serious because he was both ready and willing to have his blood drawn in order to figure out what was happening.
I’m going to skip over the first attempt at the blood draw at the pediatrician’s (who agreed, tests should be run) and move to our visit to CHildren’s Hospital after days and days of extra hydration before our second attempt for getting his blood. Deep veins are a problem I do not have, but my sweet little boy does. This makes it even more challenging when trying to assist the techs in holding a child who is sobbing from the pain of the band wrapped around their arm.
They eventually got the blood, and the techs were not enjoying the steps it took to finally get the blood from the rolling, deep veins so I will spare every mother the torment I went through sitting there with my youngest, but I will tell you, I hope to never have to go through that again.
The next day, the results were in the portal, having had blood tests done so frequently I know what is and is not normal for my body I was anxious at the results. A few things were flagged as high but I know that children’s blood work is different so I managed to stave of my panic a little longer before I called the doctor on the 3rd day.
Our pediatrician is great, they hadn’t received the results yet but the nurse logged into the portal, got the results and spoke with the doctor before calling me back. Over all, the kid is in good health, the few numbers that were high, in relation to all the other numbers was not a concern. At some point my little boy had EBV (mono) which is super weird if you ask me but apparently 95% of the world’s population has antibodies for this virus. His vitamin D is low, but that is hereditary and I have the same issue. Knowing that low vitamin D is linked to MS you better believe both my boys take supplements now, also advised by their doctor so I know the actual amount that will help them.
The next step is to set an appointment for him to see a Pediatric Orthopedist. Honestly, I am procrastinating this one because I hate the thought of putting this little human through so much medical testing already, but I know as his mother I will do whatever I can and need to in order for him to feel better.