1/13/09

Ilsa Has Anemia

Turns out that our tiny, finicky eater has severe anemia. I took Ilsa to the doctor on Thursday for her annual check-up, which included FOUR shots. Ouch. Don't even get me started on how much angst that was to endure. The phrase "screaming bloody murder" was coined for half-grown kids suffering the pain--and the days' worth of anticipation--that comes with immunizations.

Anyway, I asked the doctor about her pica tendencies, where she eats gravel and carpet bits and cat litter and vermiculite. Compulsively. That, coupled with her complete reluctance to eat meat, tipped the doc off to the possibility of anemia. We did a hemoglobin check--more pokes!--and found her count to be 7.2. Normal is 12, and blood transfusions are recommended at 7. Eep!

Now she's only a heavy dose iron supplement twice a day, and we've introduced the most disgusting culinary experiment into her diet. See, she hates spicy foods and red meat. That's a problem because a) red meat has a lot of iron, which she needs, and b) most things we cook hamburger in, such as spaghetti and lasagna, are spicy. Our solution? I brown ground beef every night and douse it in honey. She eats it up like crazy.

*Insert sigh of relief*

I figure, well, I don't have to like it! And she's still skinny, down in the 18% percentile for weight, so she could use the extra calories from the honey.

We get her checked again in two months to make sure the anemia is dietary, not genetic, and she'll be on this marvelous diet of iron supplements and honeyed hamburger for the foreseeable future. Good thing she likes that stuff, because dude--so very nasty!

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