We have been waiting on pins and needles for over 3 weeks for results from Zander’s blood tests. Well, the wait ended today…we finally got the phone call from the pediatrician’s office. The main reason the blood work was done was to confirm that Zander’s iron deficiency had indeed returned, and to find out what his current iron stores level is at. A child his age should have a level between 24 and 360…the higher the better, of course. Our little Zander is at 10….. According to the reading we’ve done on iron deficiency in toddlers, here are some symptoms that can rear their ugly head:
- pale skin (uh…ya, except for the yellow tinge from his Carotenemia!)
- fatigue (yup…except when he goes into super-hyper-temper-tantrum-spaz mode)
- irritability (ya…no shit!)
- decreased appetite (what a bonus for a kid who already has an eating disorder!)
And if that wasn’t enough, a toddler suffering from iron deficiency could suffer permanent mental and physical developmental problems, decreased attention span, and it also makes kids more susceptible to lead poisoning and infection. Fan-fucking-tastic!
In order to replenish Zander’s iron stores, our pediatrician has put him on iron drops. Finally, a little control over the situation. He doesn’t eat, his iron levels drop. His iron level drop, his appetite disappears. No appetite, no eat. This vicious cycle has been slowly killing me.
We got the iron drops this afternoon, and since he is supposed to take them about an hour after a meal, we were anxiously awaiting his first after-dinner iron “installment”.
I figured it would probably be less than scrumptious, so I took a taste to see what Zander was in for. You know what it tastes like? BLOOD! B-L-O-O-D! Blood! Nasty metallic-tasting blood, with a lovely everlasting aftertaste of bloody blood! I was half expecting there to be a warning on the bottle. “Caution: May cause vampire-like tendencies and, in rare cases, permanent vampire-ism”. Yak! But the only warning on the bottle tells of the high probability that the drops contained within will leave dark stains on you child’s teeth. Attractive, no?
So I loaded up a syringe of iron drops and a little water to dilute the heinousness of it, held a screaming, kicking, flailing Zander down on the couch and squirted it straight down his throat. I’m really looking forward to doing this 3 times a day. Joy.
But, really, it’s a small price to pay to get my happy, healthy Zander back. And we can always hope that his vampire habits will be curbed before he starts dating.