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Don’t Look Up – That Falling Shoe Will Knock Your Eye Out

I took Big Man for his 13 year old well-child checkup last Thursday afternoon. We were totally cruising through the appointment…ADHD under good control, asthma acting like we would expect, hearing checks out, heart and lungs good, typical and healthy 13 year old boy….when WHAM!!! Falling shoe. ARGH! I hate when that happens.

It seems Big Man isn’t so big. He’s never been too high up on the weight charts, but now it seems he’s fallen off his height growth curve. <insert choice word here> I think he’s tall, or at least average. He’s just two inches shy of my height. And when I see him with his friends, I never think, “Wow, they’re a lot taller than he.” But apparently, charts don’t lie. He’s dropped from the 35-40th percentile down to the low 20’s. And he lost a pound (a pound!!!) since his last visit in November. I reasoned he probably had jeans on at that last visit, and maybe a sweatshirt. This time, he was in shorts and a t-shirt. That could account for a pound, right? Regardless, we received the informational page with healthy weight gain food suggestions – which we’ve received probably 10 times before. And we have a referral for a bone age scan of his hand to see if his bones are younger than his chronological age. This might explain his slowed growth.

Then came the double-whammy. He has a mild curve in his spine. Seriously? A few years back, his pediatrician saw he had one shoulder a tiny bit higher than the other, and his hips were not completely in line. We were sent for x-rays. They came back negative for any curvature of the spine. Not so much now. The tool they  used at the pediatrician’s office showed a 5-6, whatever that means. The doctor explained it was mild, but since he hasn’t had his big growth spurt yet, she wants the orthopedic doctor to take a look at it. Apparently, the ortho at Children’s has a special, lower-radiation x-ray thingamajiggee that will do two views at once of the spine. Of course, after all the x-rays Big Man has had in his life, we’re all for lower radiation. (In an aside, we went to the orthodontist five days later and he had another head x-ray…I sighed inwardly) I have to call today and make the appointment with the orthopedic specialist.

I’m somewhat in denial. Honestly, hasn’t this child too been through enough? I get that he should be a ton worse off given his 3.5 month early start. But geez…now, just when we’re entering the teenage years and his growth has slowed considerably, he’s beyond thin into the scary-skinny stage, and now he has a curve in his spine. Awesome. Thanks a lot, falling shoes. I’m about done.

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