Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Abnormal blood tests

I just hate it when Ansel's blood tests come back abnormal. It's a little unsettling, even if things are completely fine (or at least seem fine).. it makes you wonder why the tests were abnormal in the first place. The first time this happened was when Ansel was about 10 months old... 6 months after his last transfusion they did blood work to make sure things looked good. His doctor said something was abnormal but she looked through lots of stuff trying to figure out what the codes meant and wasn't coming up with much. She sent that test to Kansas City and they replied that as long as the child seemed healthy not to worry about it. So I tried to drop worrying about that one even though it always bugged me a little bit.

After Ansel's last appointment with Dr. Porte (his NICU doctor who he saw for developmental follow up) he thought it'd be a good idea to have some blood work done. I'd asked about Ansel's slow growth, (at 3 years old he's 24lbs and 34.5 inches tall) and how should I know if it was just preemie related or if there were other issues (like his cousin who has celiac's disease (gluten allergy that highly affects growth and proper absorption of nutrients). Dr. Porte thought it'd be good to atleast rule that out since it was in the family and that maybe he should go see a GI doc also. To be honest I felt like Ansel had some kind of issue (stomach wise.. perhaps some type of allergies..or something that's maybe aggrivating his stomach lining?) I didn't really think it was celiac disease, yet I really felt like if he had the blood work done to check for c.d. that perhaps it would reveal something else (I was thinking like some other type of allergy or something). Nearly every day says he says he has a hurt tummy (which has improved a lot with the new reflux medicine though).

Anyway, at his doctors appointment this past week she said it didn't look like things indicated celiac's disease (which is a relief because I've seen my sister deal with that with her little girl and I know it's not easy... not to mention expensive). She said the weird thing was that in fact he had quite high B12 levels (and usually when there's issues with growth and such the levels run low and that's why those levels were checked). She kept saying how odd it was for someone.. especially someone his age to have high B12 levels. (low levels are fairly common but I guess high levels aren't often seen unless there are certain drug treatments which would make it high.. which Ansel obviously isn't on anything like that!) I guess the other thing is that just because the levels show high doesn't necessarily mean that his body is still absorbing all the necessary B12.. it could just be getting discarded.. I'm not really sure how all this stuff works.. just trying to sort out what bits of information I've gotten so far!! Also his doctor kept saying that high levels could indicate some different things, but things that didn't at all match how he looks and everything so those other things are likely not it because he doesn't have the symptoms, coloring, etc for them (really don't remember what all they are as I was getting a bit of info and not having the background on this, I didn't really know what everything was that she was talking about. She said what we're hoping for is that it's just some kind of transitory thing where he happened to have some high levels.

The other factor, that could quite possibly be related is that he's been (off and on) having reddish brownish sediments in his urine the past few weeks.(the urine color is still normal but it has all these sediments that fall to the bottom) I got a picture of it to show her.. and she said.. "Yeah.. that is NOT normal", but haven't been able to get a sample of it yet. Last week it only happened once or twice.. although the week before it probably happened at least five or six times (and just a couple of times the week before.. so it's very sporadic). I guess the plan is we'll redo blood tests at three months to see if the levels are still elevated, but his doctor really wants a urine sample (one of course that has the abnormalities) before the blood test is ordered because the outcome of the urine test could change the order of the blood test a little. I would imagine the two things are interrelated somehow. The thing is he doesn't seem like he feels sick at all... so that's good, (and hopefully this is all some odd random abnormal thing that just goes away!) I also hope that if there is some issue we need to deal with that we can figure it out and treat it!! (Oh, and also with the urine I ask him if it hurts to pee and he always says no, and he hasn't had fevers or anything to go with it, so it doesn't seem like normal symptoms for just a typical infection either) So, with all of this it's just kind of waiting on timing and tests and stuff to see if there's anything to it or not. I would imagine that if the tests are still abnormal next time around then we'd go see the GI doctor (and atleast we could then go to him with all the tests that have already been done) to try to sort it out better.

This really all is probably not a big deal, I just thought I'd write about it as it is on my mind at the moment especially as there doesn't seem to be a lot of info about high B12 levels (just low levels). The thing is B12 is a necessary thing to have and those who are low have to supplement to get their levels up.. and in their case if they get too much it's no problem they just get rid of the extra in the urine.. it's just odd though when your doctor tells you it's real unusual, especially for his age. Oh, and if anyone's heard of this happening before (with either the weird urine or high b12 levels) I'm always up for added info!


KAT said...

It would be hard to not worry with that kind of incomplete information. Hopefully something turns up soon just so you know. Then you can at least act, it feels better to be doing something. It's good that Ansel is still acting happy and healthy, aside from the hurt stomach. (hugs)

Michelle Church said...

Wow, that would be hard not to know, but I'm glad he doesn't seem sick! I hope you have good insurance, all those tests sounds like they would add up!!

Roya said...

kerri, kerri, kerri - you know it's sad when I've updated my blog before you. how about some new pics of my adorable nephew sometime? :) Love you!

Anonymous said...

PLEASE let me know if you ever figured this out. My son also has very slow growth (he will be 8 this summer and is 44 pounds) and high b12 levels- docs don't seem concerned about the high b12, but from what I've read your body is supposed to get rid of all excess b12 through your urine- his obviously isn't for some reason.