Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Update on Monkey6 - The Decision Is Made

Thanks to all of you who gave me advice and input last week when I was trying to decide what to do with Monkey6 - my 2yo.

The decision is made: I have taken her out of preschool.

I am definitely "ambivalent" about it. I believe it is the best thing for her [and I was seeing other personality changes in her besides just crying at preschool - she has become very fearful of ALL other adults and of any new situation. Which is sad because she was always so fearless before].

I have re-set my goals and my goal now is to finish rewriting one chapter per day, and hopefully 4 chapters on the days that my dad watches her. This is going to set me back by months and that means it will be that much longer before I can seek out a publisher and that much longer before I can even hope for a book deal.

I have been recently given the possibility of getting my old job back - teaching childbirth at the hospital where I taught for 10 years prior to 2009. I have applied for it but won't know for sure I've got it for a while - maybe a few weeks even. This job would help us financially [and it would help me psychologically - to be working & earning guaranteed income again would mean a LOT to me]. I LOVED teaching childbirth, so it is something I would enjoy. Childcare may be an issue though - I am going to trust that if God puts this job before me that He will also provide a way for me to get my children cared for while I work. We will see how it all works out.

Monkey6 is settled at home - she seems to like it. She misses her sister [my 3yo] a lot, but she's adjusting to it just being she and I. She's enjoying being an "only child" for a while. [I'm enjoying it too. :) ]

More news on Monkey6 - last week at her 2yo check up, she had extremely low iron. The doctor wanted to do more testing, so we went through harrowing IV blood draw [from her teeny little arm]. On Thursday the nurse called me to say all the test results were back and she was fine, she "just had low iron". Then Friday at 6pm the Pediatrician called to tell me that she actually has a genetic blood disorder called "Thalassemia". The doc said she does not have the most severe kind [which is usually fatal by 20-30 years of age], but that she has a case that is serious enough that any significant blood loss could be dangerous for her. The doctor said she may need transfusions during her periods when she is older and that childbirth could be extremely dangerous for her.

Aside from the obvious panic, I am also a bit skeptical. This diagnosis does not make any sense to me at all. We have NO family history on either side of this disease [and from what I understand, this is the kind of thing that you would know about if a family carried it]. We also are not of Mediterranean, Asian, or African descent. Monkey6's father has some Italian blood, but he is of pervasively German ancestry. I am an English/German/Irish mutt with a teeny bit of French thrown in.

In addition, this also should have shown up on her newborn screen [commonly called "PKU" test, but this is one of the things it specifically tests for] and I was told at the time she was a newborn that her tests were all fine.

So, I am not convinced that Monkey6 actually HAS this disease - at all.

But, regardless, SOMETHING is causing her to have severely low iron, so if you would not mind praying for her, and for my wisdom in seeking answers, I would appreciate it.

I'll update when I have a more satisfying answer about the medical issue.

God Bless you!


  1. Hello!

    I know it is tough, but for what it's worth, I think you made the right decision about moneky6 staying home.

    Sorry to hear little moneky6 is a bit anaemic. Just wanted to say that in England (where I live and trained as a doctor), the 'PKU' on the heel prick test stands for 'Phenylketonuria' which is an altogether different condition from thalassemia. (We dont routinely test for thalassaemia as part of the newborn heel prick test in England).

    I too hope she doesnt have thalassaemia.

    God bless

  2. Hey Antonia, thanks! Sorry I'm being unclear in this post. The "newborn screen" here in the past only tested for PKU and a couple of other things - but now it tests for 20+ different things, but people still commonly call it the "PKU" [very confusing and totally wrong. LOL!]. But Thalassemia is one of the things they test for now and it should have shown up if she has it.

  3. ah! okay! sorry for the misunderstanding!

    We only routinely test for 5 common conditions in this country; that's really impressive that you test for 20 in america!

  4. It is all brand new Antonia - and it varies by state. Some test for more things and some test for less. Our state has a more comprehensive test, which is good I guess. :)