a pill a day

I will share a little of my neurosis with you tonight.  Maggie was born with a non-working thyroid.  For anyone familiar with hypo-thyroidism, adults take medicine and are pretty much fine.  Kids take medicine and are watched very closely to make sure they are fine.  Infants are watched very, very closely and if they take the correct medicine are usually fine. 

FInding out five days after giving birth that my child had this congenital birth defect was horrible.  I blamed myself for a very long time.  I could rationally see that another mother didn’t “do this” to their child, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had “done this” to my own child.  She grew inside of me.  I didn’t do something right.

With proper medication and observation Maggie will be just fine.  Anyone who has met her knows she is tall for her age, which is specifically the opposite of what a low-thyroid person would be.  She is also pretty with-it, so the mental function is not a worry.  And even now, at the ripe old age of four, she is much less likely to be harmed by missing a dose of medicine.

But it could have been devastating.  The term “moron” comes from children that were hypo-thyroid.  The brain doesn’t grow and doesn’t function properly in untreated children.  The face becomes malformed and a host of other things go terribly wrong.  Not what you want to hear might happen to your brand new baby.  But this is all untreated, of course.   Thanks to the state-mandated heel prick she has been treated since she was five days old.

So here is my neurosis.  We missed one dose of her medicine.  I blogged about it back when it happened and congratulated myself that it was the first and only day ever missed.  But that day haunts me now.  Three days a week she  gets one pill, and then four days a week she gets half of a different pill.  I fill her little weekly pill dispenser every Saturday.  In the little pill cutter I use, sits the half of a pill that never got taken (OK, I have rotated them, but a half of a pill is “leftover” every week.)  I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to chuck that little half-pill reminder into the trash.  Then the rational part of me appears to explain to the “other” me that we pay for her medicine every month and throwing away a perfectly good dose of medicine is ludicrous.  That side always wins and then every Saturday I am greeted again by that stupid half pill. 

The more of this I type the crazier I sound, even to myself.  I understand this.  It’s kind of like when something just gets under your skin and you can’t help but react even though you know that makes no sense.  Speaking of making no sense – I think I stopped making sense right before I sat down to type this.  Keep the pill and get over it, or dump the pill and move on?  I think I just answered my own question.  Thanks for listening.

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One response to “a pill a day

  1. Hang in there! You’re doing great!! I know all about blaming yourself for things but you just can’t! (easier said than done, I know!) Yago was born with VSD and has a pinhole in his heart. –I was left completely alone one morning after giving birth to him. I hadn’t been emotional or cried or all at the birth, everything had gone pretty smoothly–except for the whole turning blue and having to suction the fluid out of his lungs after I tried to breast feed him as soon as he was born…

    Anyway, on that lonely morning with no baby and no husband or family in the room (it was probably the first time…otherwise my room was CONSTANTLY FILLED with family and friends and that’s how I liked it!), the pediatrician walked in and informed me that my perfect little baby was a little jaundice and had a heart mumur. I felt like they had dropped on a bomb on me. Once the pediatrician left, I broke down.

    Fast forward to this pregnancy and I just found out that my TSI levels are high (I was treated for Hyper (Grave’s) in 2005). They are not much higher than the threshold, but enough to have my endocrinologist report it to me so that I can report it to baby-to-be’s pediatrician. I guess this means that I might have a baby with the opposite issue…a hyperactive thyroid!

    I guess my point is that we do what we have to do and we do our best so we can’t beat ourselves up about it! You said it! Look at Maggie! Tall for her age, beating all of the usual side-effects of no thyroid function. I hope that I can be as diligent as you if/when baby #2 is born needing constant thyroid supervision and care!

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