Remember when I took the girls to the blood draw last week? (Where I transformed into a pack mule..) The results came back already today! Normally blood work takes at least a week, and with it being right after a long weekend I wasn’t expecting it so soon!
If you didn’t read any of the previous posts about Peanut and Bear’s health issues I’ll give a short recap of everything that’s happened up until this point.
They’ve both got a vitamin B12 deficiency. Normally it wouldn’t be a huge deal with a vitamin. But, as a friend of mine so perfectly worded, even though it’s a vitamin it acts more like a hormone. They have problems absorbing B12 into their bodies through their digestive system. It just goes right through them. It’s similar to insulin for diabetics. If left untreated, it will lead to some very serious repercussions including spinal and muscular problems, paralysis and ultimately death.
We started treatment with a nasal spray. Even though it can’t be absorbed through the digestive system, there are other “entry points” in the human body that absorbs stuff well. The nasal canal, under the tongue, etc. After a few weeks of treatment with that, they had to get a blood draw to check their MMA levels. MMA is ‘M’ethyl’m’alonic ‘A’cid. MMA and B12 basically balance each other out. If one is too low, the other one spikes. When the levels get too dangerous that’s what will lead to the previous issues I mentioned. If I remember correctly, ideal MMA levels are from approx. X-300. When the girls were tested the first time, their MMA levels were in the 2500’s. Dangerously high. That’s why I’ve been going to the hospital so much. They were at such a high risk, something could have happened to them and killed them in an instant with levels like that.
The MMA test results came back a week later. They were now in the 1500’s. So that meant the B12 was improving. The problem was that it should have improved more. The doctor tells me that if this isn’t able to get under control, the outlook isn’t good for Peanut and Bear. It could be fatal. He suggested we start injections, and I begin as soon as I can get things cleared with the insurance company. (Which of course didn’t get covered. We had to pay a massive bill out-of-pocket… again. I now have to work on a claim to request them to cover it. When it rains it pours, eh?) I got trained on giving intra-muscular injections by nurses and have it down in 3 lessons. I complained about it and tried to make light of it, but in reality everything was riding on these injections. I prayed daily for this to work. It was all I could do. I gave the injections and just prayed and prayed. I went about my daily life and still smiled and laughed and put on my brave face. There’s no point in worrying myself and others when I don’t know the outcome yet. I’m trying to be optimistic. It had to work, it just had to…
They called me today to tell me Peanut and Bear’s levels are BOTH normal. I cried on the phone when they told me. I just cried and laughed. I called husband at work and told him the good news. He’s so happy too. We are all now thinking, “It’s treatable.” We still don’t know why they can’t absorb B12, but it’s treatable. What wonderful news.
Now we wait for their skin biopsy and genetic tests to come back. They tested for three very specific genetic disorders. The skin biopsy is a little more complicated. They’re gonna grow the skin cells and start testing on them in various ways to see how they respond to B12 absorption after different treatments. Of all the issues we’ve been facing, this was the scariest one. This was the one with the “fatal” label on it looming over my head. Now,fatal has been replaced by treatable. There’s still risks, but I choose to look at the positive and deal with the negatives IF they come.
What a beautiful word. Treatable.