Monday, March 26, 2012

Iron Man

Collin had some routine blood work done a few weeks ago - the same stuff he gets every six months or so to make sure the ketogenic diet isn't messing with anything in his body. When I got the call with the results, though, the doctor said that Collin was anemic. Fairly anemic, in fact. He said the most likely cause was iron deficiency, but iron hadn't been one of the things tested in that particular blood draw, so he ordered another round of tests to determine whether the anemia was a false reading and to see what Collin's iron levels were. We weren't going to be able to get the blood drawn for almost a week, so I immediately put red meat, egg yolks, and spinach in Collin's food just in case.

The normal range of iron levels for a 3 year old is anywhere from 50 to 212. Collin's is 16. And his iron stores are 8. In other words, crazy low. No wonder he's anemic. The main symptoms of anemia are exhaustion and weakness, so I couldn't help but think, If he's been doing this awesome while anemic, (and we don't even know how long he's been anemic, because a borderline reading wouldn't have necessitated an iron test - we could be looking at 6 months to a year of iron deficiency) imagine what he'll do when he has energy again!

It took a few days and several phone calls to get in touch with the right doctor to devise a plan, but once we did, they just prescribed Ferrous Sulfate (fancy iron drops) and said to get another round of tests in 6 to 8 weeks. Easy, right?

Ha! I laugh in the face of doctors who claim they're giving me a quick fix. Collin doesn't do quick fixes. I knew that iron supplements can cause nausea and constipation. Collin + nausea + constipation = retch city. So I polled his nutritionists and another doctor and came up with a modified plan: slowly work up to full iron dose over the course of 2 weeks, give it with a meal (to protect stomach) and with a dose of vitamin C (which aids iron absorption). Recheck in 8 weeks. We're on day three and so far, so good!

Speaking of Iron Man, Collin has added bicycling to his walking and swimming hobbies. I hope this doesn't mean he's gearing up for a triathlon, because I don't think I would be able to keep up.

This is the Topeak child bike seat Collin bought with his Christmas money (and his awesome monster bike helmet that he got with his gift card from Aunt Carol and Uncle Robert!) This is NOT a piece of adapted equipment. We bought it right off the shelf at Schellers and he does better in it than any other seat he owns. He sat up, never let his head fall, and enjoyed himself immensely. As you can see. And this wasn't even when I was pedaling.


  1. That is so wonderful. I love when pieces of puzzles of our health come together. Praying he will be trying even more new things when he has even more energy!!!

  2. I love that beautiful smile! Can't wait to see you all again soon.

  3. Yay! Can't wait to see what he can do with some more energy. :) He's already so amazing!

    (FYI, we'll be heading to the 'ville in early June for another wedding. Would love to see you and Collin and say hi!)

  4. The boys love this bike seat! Maybe we can all get together for a ride sometime :)

  5. I hope he is still doing well on the iron. You are such a smart and fierce Momma!
    Love Collin's beautiful smile.

  6. Iron man, for sure. What a stud he is and what a smart mommy he has...of course, by now, you must know you are one smart mama!