Paranoid Mommy Syndrome…

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I’d always been a paranoid Mommy. I think it all started when I was pregnant with Zach. One blood test led a careless doctor to tell me my son “probably had Down Syndrome” (it took an amniocentesis and two weeks to learn he didn’t). Once I felt a lump in Frank’s neck and was terrified he had a tumor (he was coming down with a cold). An infected mosquito bite on Mason’s leg led me to hurriedly research staph infections online. A nitwit school counselor told me Ali had ADD (after much testing, we learned she did not – she just didn’t like reading). But, on other occasions, I thought Frank had pneumonia and insisted the doctor’s office stay open so I could rush him in (he did and spent 4 days in the hospital) and when I found red spots on Ali’s stomach after an illness, I feared she had Scarlet Fever (she did!). So, while my hypochondria is usually a stressful annoyance (that’s probably an understatement), sometimes it’s good to be extra cautious but sometimes it can get a bit ridiculous. They should ban people like me from medical websites…

Anyway, several months ago, Frank (age 15) asked, “Why are Mason’s legs so short?” (Mason is 24 months old.) His legs do look short but I figured it was an optical illusion caused by his droopy diaper and his big head. But, ever since Frank said that, I’ve kept my eyes on Mason’s legs, hoping they’d lengthen a bit so I wouldn’t worry. They’re still at the same proportion. They do look kinda short for his trunk and head. Richard’s dad also asked about Mason’s build, saying, “Is it normal for his head to be that big?” I explained to him that, yes, baby’s heads are always large in proportion to their bodies.

I printed growth charts for the boys last Saturday morning because I think Max is too heavy and Mason is too thin.

I did Max first. I measured him using this weird, large tape measure Richard has with his tools. Soft-spoken Richard said something about, “You’ll have to adjust for (inaudible) if you use the other (inaudible).” Sometimes it’s just easier to tune him out than to ask him to talk louder.

Max is 50 inches tall and 76 lbs.

He’s in the 90th percentile for height and about the 110th percentile for weight.

In case you don’t know, both percentiles should be similar. So, I was right. Max has been eating too much pizza.

I measured Mason next. He appeared to be 31 inches high and weighs 27 lbs.

I marked the numbers on his chart – weight first. He’s in the 25th percentile for weight. I was right. The kid’s a pee wee. He needs to eat more. (He is THE pickiest eater we’ve ever had. I swear if I wasn’t still nursing the boy he’d waste away.)

I then did the height. 2 feet plus .7 inches = 31 inches. I went back to the chart and…Mason was lower than the first percentile for height. I started shaking and my heart started pounding and I got sick to my stomach. Frank was right! Mason has dwarfism!!!

I raced back to Mason with the tape measure and did it over again. Yes, it was 2 feet plus .7. I raced back to the chart. No, he hadn’t grown. He was still lower than the first percentile. About to vomit in my own mouth, I raced back to Mason and asked Frank to help me measure him one last time. This time, I used the CORRECT side of the tape measure, which is inches…instead of metric.

Mason is just fine. He’s in the 50th percentile for height. But he still needs to eat more.

Diverticulitis Update: I’m feeling much better. The antibiotics worked on the last attack and I’m being extremely careful about what I eat…which means not much variety, but also no pain! I joined a diverticulitis forum online and the members there have been a huge help.

This Week’s Maxism:

“I’m glad I’m not the road because I don’t want people running over me…and I don’t want to have tar on me.”

Hugs to all!

Angela

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