Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Adoptive Parent's Nightmare

When you adopt, there are plenty of things to worry about.

Has the child been in an institution too long to bond properly?

Will there be sensory issues?

Are there abuse issues?


But I think one of the scariest things to come to terms with is NOT KNOWING any medical history for children adopted from overseas.  Especially if there is NO birth parent information of any kind.  There is NO way to find out anything about hereditary issues.

And even though giving birth to children is no guarantee that they will be healthy -- at least when you get pregnant with your partner, you can usually find out where a problem came from if you run into medical issues. Or even better, know what to keep a watch for over the child's life and have noted in their records.

We have nothing.

And that's scary.

So scary that we have a life insurance policy on Mouse....and not our other children.  Because what if she ends up with something hereditary surprising us and is unable to get insurance as an adult?  We don't want that for her.  And we feel very comfortable with what is in our medical backgrounds to not feel that same need for our other two.

And along with all the other craziness going on around here....

We ended up getting that call...

From the doctor.

So even though this is information that I would normally not share, it turns out to be common with Asian's so I want to pass on the info to my adoptive parent friends.

Mouse was starting to have alot of issues with hives.  The Ped wasn't that interested and didn't even want to do allergy testing as its not always that accurate on young children.  It was sporadic so I let it go.  For then.

When it started happening even more I told them was time to see an allergist...and they agreed.

So we went to the allergist and he just wasn't liking what I was telling him.  He really felt that this would be incredibly rare if she was having issues with the things we thought were the he wanted to do a full panel workup on her before doing the skin testing.

I was not thrilled as this kid is manic about needles.

But off to the lab we went.

And bless the guys heart....he could not find a vein.  It was bad.  Really bad.  The only thing that kept me calm through it all was that I have been trained on blood draws and I knew he was doing everything right. Finally after holding her down for almost 10 minutes we had 5 vials (oh my goodness I don't know how tiny could still function) and were told the doctor would be back to us in about 2 weeks as some of the tests take awhile.

Right.  So that was the second week in October.

And in late November I had a family member ask about the testing.

BAD MOM.  With the way everything imploded around here it had slipped my mind.

So I left a message to see about the skin testing as if there had been anything in the labs surely they would not have forgotten us.

I did mention this was military care, right? I am so gonna say I told you so when national health care kicks in and everyone has to deal with what military deals with.  Because you get what you pay for. And that crap isn't going to pay.


I got the call back that there was not a allergy issue.  There was a hereditary auto-immune system issue.

Heart stops.

It seems her body has antibodies against its own thyroid.

Hashimoto's Thyroidism.

Heart resumes.

So - its thyroid (which I have been medicated for years for - but not auto-immune) so I know its not really that bad.  Well, its not cancer.  Its not diabetes.  Its not many of the things that could be so much worse.

But it is common in Asians. FEMALE Asians especially.

And some of her symptoms are the hives from her body attacking itself and even what we thought might be growing pains in her legs might actually be related.  Which is a relief because I was having the hardest time accepting that the leg was just growing pains.  It just wasn't right. Hashimoto's tends to cause muscle cramping and pain.

And for now her thyroid is functioning well enough.  But I know to watch her.  And its not uncommon for this disease to kick into hyper - thyroidism before it drops to hypo.  I know what to watch for.

And I know the meds.  Which are some of the safest meds on the market.  Reassuring.

But there is a little more info for my adoptive parent friends to file away in their heads.

Learn something new every day.


  1. Oh, Autumn... I am so sorry. Going through something similar right now, I truly understand how you feel. It really is the scariest thing ever - not knowing. Not knowing the family history, not knowing if there were injuries or illnesses prior to you meeting the child. Not knowing. I'm so glad that you have an answer now, but I know it's still tough. Hugs to you and Mouse, and to all who love her. Send me an email if you get the chance - we'll chat. We're navigating the world of metabolic disorders now, too.

  2. I am so sorry! Thyroid problems run in my family. My mom is beginning to think I have hyper thyroidism, but I haven't done enough research of my own to make that judgement if I do or not! I hope it drops down to hypo and I hope that the meds work and she is no longer in pain!!

  3. Aw Autumn - I'm so sorry to hear this, yet I know a diagnosis is a blessing too. Bless you all during this time of transitions and craziness.

  4. Well stink. But, it is nice to know, right? Something new to be educated on- and from there you can only do it one medicine dose at a time. Blessings!

  5. I agree with you Tonggu Momma it can be difficult not knowing anything about your child or the family history before adopting a child. My daughter gets so depressed and down around the time of her birthday and I just don't know what to do. I hate to see her so upset, when she should be enjoying this moment of her life, but I found some ways for me to better understand the pain she is going through. I highly recommend taking a look and hope it helps.