Monday, June 16, 2014

Thriving - of growing a garden and growing a child

Exploring sand
J is happy. He loves his sisters, books, balls and sandboxes. He's growing taller and looks more like a toddler. He is getting healthy after a round of a tummy bug and has snapped back into being his normal toddler self.

But his energy level is and always has been low. He used to quake when he woke up from low blood sugar. He has finally -- after eight months of trying -- gained a pound. But one pound in eight months isn't so great for a one year old. Sometimes he'll be crawling and his arms will buckle beneath him. He's weak.

They say this is "failure to thrive," and I did and do hate that term. But maybe they're right.

I had a garden last year. It was on clay, alkaline soil. I tried to plant blueberries, and if you have read this blog from the beginning, you remember what a disaster that was. No matter what I would do, my garden would not thrive.

Check out my garden this year.

I've never been able to grow squash. My kale has always been wimpy. Tomatoes and peas worked, but barely. And I've never attempted kohlrabi, knowing it wouldn't work in my shady, clay soil.

So what changed?

I moved. I got a new garden, one with sandy-to-loamy soil. One where plants can thrive and the Ph levels are perfect (or easily amendable).

And suddenly plants that would die or barely hang on before started growing like crazy.  I love my new garden.

Jonathan got a new early intervention teacher. She met him for the first time last week. Her sage advice to me? We've got to get him gaining weight. If he doesn't have the energy level to sustain a normal toddler lifestyle, he'll continue to fall behind on gross motor skills and overall development.

No, duh.

Least inspirational speech ever.

He loves to eat.
I wish I could get new, better soil for Jonathan. I wish there were a way that he would suddenly be able to start to thrive, to grow, to gain weight.  I want answers because I want him to become all that he can be.

I learned early on that planting peppers outside before the last frost was a recipe for short, small, probably dead pepper plants. Wait until it's warmer, until they can grow well.  Otherwise your crop will be decimated.

Jonathan didn't wait until it was time. We're so glad he hung on, but I had hoped that by now the
"thriving" part of toddlerhood would have started.

So, I'm praying hard for a diagnosis. We've checked most everything. We've spent the last eight months searching for answers and we've nearly reached the end of the line. Our last hope (before we diagnose him with "wimpy white boy syndrome" - in other words, "sorry, lady, we can't do anything for your son") is acidosis.  That is to say, we hope all of this -- his fast breathing, his failure to thrive, his low energy level, chronic constipation, and the presence of kidney stones a year ago -- we hope all of this is because his Ph levels are off. If he has renal tubular acidosis, everything that is confusing about J (other than his low zinc levels) could be explained by this. If this is it, it means his kidneys aren't ridding the body of acid like they should, and it's throwing his system for a loop.

And like my new soil, acidosis is easily amended. He'd take a supplement. It would help change the ph of his body. That's it. And then he'd start to thrive. I nearly cry thinking about it. How amazing, how wonderful. If this were it?  If this were it, it would be an answer to prayer.

The nephrologist has run one set of tests. It came back confusing and inconclusive because he was still battling a tummy bug and was dehydrated.  So we're running another set of tests in a week.

Please, please be RTA.

Otherwise, we'll just be glad you hung on, and we won't expect you to produce as much as your other pepper peers.

P.S. As J's dad is quick to point out, there is one JAM oddity that cannot be explained by acidosis. That is, his PURE AWESOMENESS. Seriously, this kid is cute!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from readers. Please post your comment below or contact me at