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.