My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sarah's Weight Loss

As I read the comments on Sarah's weight loss this morning, I feel a quick explanation might be helpful.

Sarah's wonderful pediatrician, the one who saved her life on many different occasions, retired when she was 16. It was such an awful feeling for me, as he knew her so well. After sulking for a few weeks, I choose another Ped that had been on rotation at the hospital many times during Sarah's stays so she also knew of Sarah's medical issues. She herself has a young family and about a year later decided to switch to dermatology as the hours are better.


So we were back at the point of having no primary doctor. Sarah was almost 18, and the more I thought about it I decided it was time to switch to adult medicine. I had not been to the doctor for almost seven years, since my 40 year physical actually, but I love the doctor I have. So I scheduled a consultation for Sarah with Dr. H. She and Sarah hit it off right away. But she did tell me she had never had a patient with Down syndrome before. She said she was willing to learn what she needed to know, but she would also look to me to help guide her. Through the years John and I have joked that we have definatly earned our doctor degree but, Hmmm....I wasn't sure what to think.

She went ahead and did a full physical. She put Sarah on the scale. It read 154. She looked at her height at 5'0" and said in her beautiful Jamaican accented voice, "Miss Sarah, I think you need to loose a little weight my dear. No need to carry so much weight on your beautiful petite frame." I started to open my mouth and say, "Oh that is a characteristic of adults with Down syndrome." But then I said to myself, Is that true? I better do a little research before I say anything. She then looked at her chart to see when the last time she had blood work done. And then the doctor said to me, "Momma, let's do some blood work and make sure there are no thyroid issues that could have an impact on the weight. I also want to get a look at her blood counts. I want to rule out any blood disorders." Hmmm....maybe she knows more about Down syndrome than she was letting on.


A few days later, I went online and saw that all the tests came back in the normal range. Sure enough Dr H. called to let me know. She also asked if I could bring Sarah in for an x-ray of her spine. She wanted to rule out any issues there. I think she did some homework. While we were in her office, she talked to Sarah about her eating. They talked about making good food choices. We had already started doing a better job at home, but the school cafeteria was a problem. Sarah had a hamburger and french fries everyday for lunch. There were only a few more months of school so I decided to just let it slide.

Once school was out, Sarah spent the summer making healthy food choices. She was almost obsessed with it. She ate lots of salads and we rarely got fast food which we used to do too much. And she has a lot more physical activity planned in the summer, softball, kickball, beach volleyball, swimming and yoga.

Then in the fall she was accepted into the Independent Living program at the Hilltop Apartments. Her instructor there helped the students go onto an awesome website: http://www.mypyramid.gov/. You create your own food pyramid based on your age, height and whether you want to loose weight or maintain. Sarah hung that pyramid on the refrigerator and took it very seriously. She is now at 117 pounds which is in the healthy range for her height.


We go to see Dr. H. for Sarah's yearly physical for therapeutic riding next week. She is going to be so pleased. But, no one is more proud than Sarah herself. It has been great to watch her confidence soar, as she puts on clothes that are too big. Now, if only I could follow the same regiment.

25 comments:

Mary said...

That is absolutely fantastic! Way to go Sarah! You should be proud!

ABandCsMom said...

Well..she looks fantastic! Good for her to be able to commit to something that really does pay off in the end. Again, YAY SARAH!

Beverly said...

You have done a wonderful job Sarah! Sounds like you found a wonderful dr too!

Lianna said...

Your post hit me on a few different levels. First, letting go of that pediatrician that "just knows" is a hard thing to do. Gabe is only four, and I believe that there should be no question about it, but moving here and having a ped take him on was difficult. I feel more secure knowing that there is a good doctor in place for him.

Another thing that hit me about your post is how letting go of Sarah the child and accepting Sarah the woman seems to be developing for you right now. Maybe I'm way out in left field with this, but I sense you sensing this shift in your relationship with her.

Supporting her in the independent program as well as her desire to live healthy is so great. I understand very well that sense of accomplishment that Sarah feels right now.

Before Gabe was born, I lost 20 pounds by eating better and working out every evening with my husband. I've let myself go since my pregnancy (foolish, I know!) but I've begun walking again so I can take back my health.

At any rate, your blog always offers up such valuable insight. And I thank you for that!

Tsquared417 said...

Way to go Mom and Sarah!

Jessica said...

Well done! Sarah is beautiful and doing something that is very hard for anyone to do in making smartier choices in food. Very inspirational!

stephanie said...

I was just saying I need to loose some weight before summer hits,does Sarah want to be my food coach!!She's great at everything why not that too!

Lacey said...

No kidding, if I could follow those same food choices, maybe I could loss a few pounds.

Emily said...

That is awesome! You go Sarah!

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

Sarah,
You are awesome for your commitment to your health and seriously, what willpower to stick to your decision to eat healthy! Glad to hear you also get a chance to play sports, swim and do yoga, CONGRATULATIONS again :)

sheree said...

okay...so it looks like I'll be hanging a food pyramid on my fridge in the very near future.

Sarah- you ROCK!

The Lehnick Family said...

Way to go Sarah! That is a great accomplishment and I'm sure she feels great! I love the PROM pics...brings tears to my eyes as I think about my little ones going on their PROM dates! Someday...

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

WOW what a great doctor!!!! And great job Sarah!!!! I'm proud of you! I could take some lessons from you, I think!

Jeanette said...

More fantastic advice from such a wise mom.

Kele said...

Wow, 36 pounds, that is amazing... she should be proud of herself!

jjpsmommy07 said...

WOW that is awesome Sarah!!!! What a great accomplishment to add to your list of many accomplishments. You should be very proud.

Debbie Yost said...

Yay for you Sarah! You are an inspiration. I know it wasn't easy.

Karen said...

That's awesome! Sarah, you look great, and congrats on losing the weight. You're an inspiration to me.

Chrystal said...

Thank you so much for sharing such great tips! Somone else had told me about the pyramid site, but I never followed up. Today I did!

Thank you so much for the inspiration, Sarah!

Monica @ Monkey Musings said...

Wow, Sarah, good for you. So proud of you!

The Bliss Family said...

Congrats on the weight loss! You look great!

The Bliss Family

Perplexing Situation said...

That is fantastic! I completely agree though...if I could could just muster up that same determination I'd be golden. :-)

Kristen said...

What a story!! It takes a lot of strength and discipline to do what you did Sarah! I am proud of you too!

Monica said...

Sarah, if I haven't told you, you are one of my hero's!!!!

rickismom said...

Well, we have tried pyramids, everything, and while she understands that some foods are better for her, Ricki has GREAT trouble decreasing her carbohydrate consumption. I am hoping that my being on a diet and exercising would help, but at first it didn't. Last night when I pointed out that I had taken much less than her, it wasn't helping. Then I said: You know, Ricki, I am ALSO hungry, still. But I am choosing to eat healthy anyway. That helped. I want to take her to a good dietician who will work with her, and give her the feeling of being her own boss, but I am not sure that she could yet handle going all on her own, and be clear enough.