Thursday, October 21, 2010


Today marks an important milestone in our house. Two years ago today, Jason and I gave our son his first of countless injections for a growth hormone deficiency. Joshua was born 7 weeks prematurely and only weighed 2 pounds, 5 ounces at birth. Praise God that he was only small! We were blessed by the outpouring of love and support from our family and friends, the NICU nurses, and our neonatologists. Joshua came home 31 days later weighing a very small 3 pounds, and 12 ounces. Over the years, he grew and got bigger. He didn't let anything get in his way. He was still on the small side, but he was still growing. We noticed at around age two, that he had stopped growing in height. We were aware of the situation and watched it very closely. When we returned to our doctor's for Joshua's 3 year well child visit, we realized that he had not grown at all during his second year.

We made the first of many trips down to Birmingham in January of 2008. Joshua was so excited about "seeing the BOY" at the office. The "boy" was the doctor and he quickly won over the hearts of all the nurses in the office. At his first visit, he weighed in at 25.9 pounds and measured 35 inches in height. They also took a bone x-ray to see the "age of his bones". At the visit, Joshua was 3 years and 6 months old. His bone age was 2 years and 8 months old. This was a good thing, in that it meant that he still had growing room within his bones. We returned for a visit that July, hoping to see some growth. He had barely grown an inch. Our endocrinologist thought it best to go forward with more testing. Over the next few months, Joshua had a 3 hour IV test where they drew 7 vials of blood looking for a spike in his ISG1, but it only spiked 1 point higher than what they were looking for one time. He failed the test and the doctors told us that he was growth hormone deficient.

In order for Joshua to grow, he now takes a daily injection of medicine. He will continue taking these injections until he reaches an average adult male height. On October 21, 2008, Joshua received his first injection. There were days of anticipation, lots of tears, and lots of hurt feelings. Its been two years now, and we still have days of anticipation, tears, and hurt feelings. There have been times where it has been harder than others and then there are the times where it is not that big of a deal. Throughout all of it, Joshua has been such a trooper!

We are so pleased with the results that we have seen so far. Within 4 months, Joshua had a growth of 1 and 1/2 inches placing him on the growth chart for the first time ever! He was barely on the chart at .8th percentile, but he was on the chart. That day in the doctor's office, I had tears of joy! 6 months later, Joshua had another growth of 1 and 1/2 inches and he measured at 39 inches. He measured at the  1.6th percetile. He also weighed in at 30 pounds. He was in the .42 percentile and it was the first time to be on the growth chart for weight.

Our last couple of visits have shown more growth. When we started this process Joshua was only 35 inches tall. This past August, he measured in at 42.4 inches - the 5th percentile and his weight jumped from 25.9 pounds to 38.1 pounds - the 7th percentile! We couldn't be any prouder of our little big guy! Joshua you are "strong and courageous" and we pray that you will "not be afraid" because our God is with you each and every day.

October 2008

October 2008

We've had our easypod device from day one. Jason and I got a quick how-to lesson from a registered nurse and we were sent on our way. Over our time of use, we've only dropped the pod once (and it broke), we've left it about 3 times when out of town at families or friends houses and had to turn around to go back and get it, completely destroyed a vial of medicine, and had to rescue lots of needles that "messed up" in the device. We have to mix his new vials when they come in, keep up with ordering his medicine and keeping extra batteries, needles, alcohol prep pads and a sharps container on hand at all times. We also keep a pair of tweezers handy for those stray needles that occur ever so often. Due to the amount of detail that goes into his injections, only a few family members know how to administer his injections. The night before my surgery, Jason had to give a quick tutorial to one of our family friends because our plans fell through when Joshua had an asthmatic like attack. She was great and followed the instructions perfectly! This is our nightly routine. We look forward to Saturdays, because that is the night that we have "off". Joshua was happy to let me photo document his nighttime routine.

Our pod is kept in the fridge. We have to get it out and let it sit for about 5 minutes before putting in the needle for injection. 

Cleaning the area with an alcohol wipe. I cleaned the area up after snapping this picture.

Waiting for the green light. I love that he can't see the needle with this device. Unfortunately, he can feel it. 

Almost done!

Trying to put on a brave face for mom, but we're all done!



Way to go, Joshua! I'm proud of him...and so proud of you, Sunny, for the way that you and Jason have handled all of that. I know it can't be easy to have to deal with doing that daily, but you've handled it so well. Joshua is so blessed to have you two for his parents.

Jamey said...

Yay Joshua! What a grown up young man! I ditto everything Anna said too.

Jess said...

I can certainly tell the difference & strides he has made in your pictures! What a brave little guy. I'm sure this is a constant struggle--a necessary evil but what an encouraging and compassionate Mommy & Daddy you both are. He has great cheerleaders to get him through the tough spots!

Jason said...

Thanks for recording this. I think we'll look back on this someday and we'll be glad that you recorded all of these details. I'm proud of our little guy and I'm proud of you, too. Thank you for all you do for our family.