31 August 2010
OK - so, as you know, I am a worrier. My latest addition to the worry queue is Milo's low iron. We've dealt with this before - as his diet is pretty much bacon, apples, chicken nuggets and peanut butter with an occasional granola bar thrown in for good measure (and this is my optimistic list - the other, closer to the truth version, reads as such: chips, chocolate, popcorn, gummy bears, Coca Cola - oh... and milk..... lots and lots of milk, which causes anemia in young children due to the slight intestinal irritation and bleeding that it can cause in ... well.... all humans, really - awesome). He has the minor kidney issue I've alluded to before, so... gets his blood tested often. Most kids this age do not have to do that - I'm told by the doctors that low iron for this age group (toddlers, preschoolers and adolescent girls most common) is relatively normal, but... goes untreated because blood tests are not standard for well visits past infancy. His kidney specialist, who has 6 kids of his own (or is it 7? - usually we confer on such things each visit, but... geez Dr. M, I've lost count ;-), even reassures me that his own kids indulge in the "white diet" - the bagels and cream cheese, pasta with butter, white bread, etc., and... that it is maddening.
Anyway - we did deal with this before - and... he had to go on an iron supplement (which, when he was wee little, he did not taste in his foods or drinks - now... he detects it right away and spits it out - and, trust me, it is horrible stuff - like sucking on a piece of metal - or worse, drinking it - blah :-p). At the time, however, I also had low iron (have had the tendency my whole life too - former vegetarian - tend to overwork myself - got so low with my last pregnancy, I almost needed a transfusion prior to my c-section) because I was pregnant with Lil so was pushing iron in all foods in the house - PLUS Milo liked raisins, iron fortified cereals and did not mind the fortified pasta that I bought (now, he calls it the "flat pasta" for some reason and refuses it). So ... now - because his iron level did not improve at all in a 3 week period, his pediatrician, a man I trust implicitly, told me that, if he does not improve in this next 3 week period, we will have to get hematologists involved. I don't want to do this. The poor kid has already had a lifetime of tests far more intrusive than any adult should have to endure - plus a surgery before he was even a month old. This is his year to shine - to have fun - eat lunch with his friends at school - spend time with mommy on off days - and go back to his beloved gymnastics. It is not a time of repeated blood tests and frequent trips to Childrens' (as much as I love them ;-). I won't allow it.
So..... I have my old list of iron-rich foods up in the kitchen. I am back to letting him drink Coke in the morning because it is the only thing in which he MAY not taste the offensive dropper of liquid iron (a suggestion from a nurse who said that other parents have done this - thinking it might be the tinny, bitterish finish on Coke that hides it). I have little bowls of this fruit-sweetened iron-rich cereal all over the house that he MUST take a bite of before he has any sort of "real" treat (yeah - I know - weird - but... he likes it, so... I'm goin' with what I've got, know what I mean?). I get him chicken nuggets or waffle fries on command now (chicken and potatoes are both iron sources), I "cut" his regular milk with soy milk (another iron source), I bought iron-rich multi-grain crackers and let him have that with peanut butter for dinner (he is not a red meat or veggie kind of kid - nor does he eat mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, hot dogs or other kid-friendly foods) - I am thisclose to buying iron-rich baby formula to put in his ice cream and milk (though ice cream is now super-sweetened tofutti - the extra sugar so he won't detect a difference - Milo does not like to be trifled with ;-) - and I probably will get a multi-vitamin - gummy, of course and let him eat them all day long - a no no for any length of time, obviously, especially a child with kidney issues, but... we HAVE to "pass" this blood test on or around 17 Sept. I will feel horrible if my failings as mom who supposedly feeds her kids well but... nonetheless... still causes him further medical interventions. Though in my defense - I made a chicken dish, using blackstrap molasses which is another iron source, last night - plus I dug into our CSA veggies and roasted beets and made a field greens, goat cheese, onion, pepper and beet salad. I often make homemade meatballs, whip up a marinade for steaks - we do burgers constantly - BIG fave with everyone else in the house - and I do a pretty good occasional pot roast or boeuf bourgignon (sp? like really sp, I think - but I am anxious to post and get input) - love spinach - insist on veggies with every meal - oh you all know me.....
I know my pediatrician, Dr. K, means well. He loves Milo - really - is so sweet to my little Viking. He knows, though, that ... unlike other kids - even spirited ones - Milo can superhuman kick anyone trying to dose him with iron, stick him with any sort of shot or get him to eat something he doesn't like - he can even pull a Houdini and make it down the hall and out of the building before even the fastest of doctors, nurses, office staff and well-intentioned parents can reach him. He KNOWS that, if Milo doesn't want iron, Milo won't take iron. I think he was impressing on me to accomplish this ANY WAY I can ... a tall order indeed. It drives me nuts to watch Lil pop green, iron-rich peas into her mouth one after the other - eat dried apricots like they're candy - or watch Olivia gobble up the different kinds of hummus I have in the house while Enzo eats his giant plate full of eggs - all of these iron-rich foods, and .... Milo refuses it all or nibbles at those I do give him.
So .... I'll do all this. I will be encouraged by the following: Milo has taken steps just this past year by learning to eat something nutritious before he snacks, but... again.... for Milo, this is yogurt, apples, granola, angel hair pasta with parmesan, orange juice - none of them iron sources - though citrus does help with the absorption... I'm grasping here..... bear with me - oh.... and wish me luck. This is killing me. Suggestions?
Posted by Sherri at 1:32:00 PM