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Friday, December 12, 2014

Blood Draws

Our daughter Teale is very tolerant of blood draws to check her medication levels. This has not always been true though. There was a time it took the brute strength of a few or many, to get a blood draw done. We tell Teale the story of the time she chucked her "no spill bubble container" at the phlebotomist. Her aim was perfect, she hit him square in the middle of his forehead. Luckily he didn't need stitches, but it did cause a good gash. He had been the one phlebotomist we had found who was willing to work with Teale. He was patient, caring and wanted to help her to not be so scared. He showed her so much caring, that we only went to him for years, until the day he told us he was moving to Florida. By then he had helped Teale to not be scared of a blood draw and we knew we would be ok, even without him. He forgave Teale immediately after she threw the bubble container at him and even followed threw on getting her blood draw done that day. Mike was a special guy in the life of my family. I often wonder where he is today and whether he knows how much he helped us? I wonder if he has a scar from the gash Teale caused and if he thinks of her? How proud he would be if he saw her today. She sits through endless waiting on Saturday mornings to get a blood draw done, never even flinching. She needs them fairly often, depending upon how she is doing. If we are having difficult behavior issues from her, we often first check medication levels. Medication levels can give us information that Teale often can not provide. Her seizure and bi-polar medications have very small windows of therapeutic benefit. If they get slightly high or slightly low, they can cause her great distress. Teale is also on thyroid replacement medications, as she has Hoshimoto's Disease. Keeping her thyroid balanced is often very tricky. A lot of people have thyroid issues, many would probably say it's not a big deal, you just take a replacement. Personally, even I would say that about my Graves Disease. I've been on the same dose of thyroid replacement for many years. My body seems to have adjusted fine, but I'm not Teale. Organic brain injury, her other medications, everything messes with how she reacts to medications and to how they are metabolized in her. A "typical" person would not necessarily need the huge amount of Lithium she takes. The balancing act of her medications from several different specialists is very tricky. Interactions have been missed, problems have occurred. Just last week we discovered some of her medications are off kilter and we are tweaking. Hopefully this is the cause of her unrest. We are hopeful we can get them straightened out, but it is trial and error and blood draws to check and then more trial and error... 

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