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  • A Gwen-sized Setback

    A Gwen-sized Setback

    We've been having a little bit of trouble with Gwen lately. Namely, she started peeing on things she shouldn't. It was pretty okay when it was the bathtub, but when I started waking up to pee by my head, that was less okay. She needed to go in for bloodwork anyway, so I thought I'd bring up the peeing and see if we could get her checked for a UTI.

    Little miss iron bladder utterly refused to give a urine sample (figures, right?) so we made our best guess that it was a uti, and since she was sneezing herself up a uri anyway, antibiotics were prescribed.

    Once the antibiotics kicked in, we could tell that she was starting to feel better, but the peeing wasn't getting better at all.

    We were waiting on her bloodwork, and when that finally came back it showed that her thyroid levels were way too high. Back in January, we had them at the low end of normal, so like, 1 something. They were back up to 10 something, which is not only really really high but about where we started when she was initially diagnosed. It was like we hadn't been medicating her at all.

    We're still not 100% sure that her levels are accurate, but my gut says that this is probably the answer to what's been going on with her. I've noticed that if I forget to give her medicine in the morning for a couple days, she's more prone to pee somewhere. So I imagine, if her thyroid is basically as bad as it was over a year ago, she's feeling pretty darn crappy, in which case, I'd probably just pee on my head too.

    Not only would her thyroid explain the peeing, but it would explain some recent weight loss as well. At barely 6lbs, it's not like she has a lot to lose, so going down about half a pound over the last six months is fairly significant for her. Didn't seem to alarm the doctor much, but I'm not too happy about it.

    So, here's where we're at:

    We're increasing her thyroid meds from .01 and .005 in a day to .01 and .01. She was on this dosage initially when we got her to the ear gel, and at the time, it knocked her thyroid down into the "too low" levels. I'm not sure what kind of results we'll see from this increase, but we should find out when we re-test her in four weeks.

    Depending on what we get back from there, we'll either have to increase her dosage and retest in another four weeks, or we'll probably wait something like either or twelve weeks and retest. Either way, there's a decent bit of poking in Gwen's near future.

    In the meantime, now that she's feeling better, I'm going to see if I can bribe her with some baby food periodically. That's supposed to be pretty good for gaining a bit of weight, and really, anything we can put on her skinny little frame would be a positive.

    I will say, I can tell that she is feeling better, at least with having her cold cleared up, and now two days into a higher dosage. She's a lot more chatty when she's feeling better, not to mention more willing to spend time with us, and KNOCK ON WOOD, she hasn't peed on anything in a couple of days.

    In case you're wondering, I'm not sure what Gwen's long term prognosis looks like at this point. Left untreated/too high, elevated thyroid levels will eventually take their toll on Gwen's other organs, like her heart and kidneys. However, her bloodwork came back really good in those respects, which is great. If we can get her thryoid under control again, we may be able to leave her on the ear gel, though the fact that she jumped from totally fine to bonkers in levels in such a short amount of time is concerning and probably means we can't go more than six months without tests.
    Thyroid removal or radiation are other options, but they're not our first choice. Radiation is a good shot at getting the whole thing taken care of once and for all. However, it's fairly expensive (I'm not sure what it runs around here) not to mention what you're putting her through. That said, we've been spending about $50/month on her thyroid meds. Each thyroid recheck runs about $70 and the increased dosage means we may be spending $100/month on that. SO, radiation might pay for itself pretty quickly. I just don't know yet.

    Part of the dilemma is the fact that we don't actually know how old Gwen is. If she's on the younger end of what we were projected, she's around 9. If she's on the older end, she's 11 or so. But the fact is, she could be even older. We're just not sure. Her great health otherwise, and great muscle tone suggests ... Well, I don't know exactly what it suggests. Just that her thryoid is definitely the problem.
    It's just a matter of deciding how much is humane to put her through in a weird cost/benefit analysis.

    I suspect she might vote for whatever gets her poked less, but I don't know. The frustrating thing about all of this is that we can't ask her. We can't ask her how she's feeling, if things seem to be working, or how she wants us to treat her. If we could, this whole thing might be a whole lot easier.