Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another Excellent Adventure

Lucas and Daddy enjoyed a day of bonding with a trip to Butterfly World and pony rides next door. Lucas loves animals, but horses are among his favorite. For the first time, he got a chance today to ride a pony -- he enjoyed it so much, he asked for a second ride. According to Daddy (I wasn't present), he LOVED the butterflies and the ponies, but hated the helmet. Check out photos and short video.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thyroid Update: Holding Pattern

Based on results from Lucas' most recent bloodwork, his endocrinologist told us that as of now Lucas does not have autoimmune thyroid disease (hypothyroidism) -- he tested negative for antibodies. However, his TSH level is higher than it was last time (now at 8.89) although his T3 (143) and T4 (1.2) levels are well within normal range. The doctor said the TSH level sometimes fluctuates in people with Down syndrome and they don't require treatment. In fact, sometimes the issue even resolves on its own.

Lucas will be rechecked in three months and if he continues to have elevated TSH level, then the endocrinologist will order a thyroid nuclear scan to investigate further. The doctor said he generally will treat anyone with a TSH level above 10; he added that people with Down syndrome most often present with thyroid dysfunction between 5-6 years old or during adolescence. Given how important the thyroid is to so many aspects of development, we will keep a close eye on it and treat Lucas if/when the need arises.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cheese Please!

In what's quickly becoming a favorite activity, Tom and Lucas made some home-made pizza with a yummy sun-dried tomato, pesto dough. Watch the boys putting the finishing touches on the pizza before it goes in the oven.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Lucas was invited by our friends to join a soccer clinic sponsored by the Down Syndrome Association of Miami for kids 3-7 years old -- Lucas was the youngest of the bunch. Tom, who is a soccer enthusiast (which is more than I can say for myself), really worked up a sweat helping Lucas run a lap, kick balls into the net/goal, and do some warm up and cool down exercises. Lucas seemed to enjoy himself, even if he's still a little too young to fully participate. It's another form of physical therapy of sorts, and getting out and running around is never a bad thing. For the record, it was 81 degrees...not too bad because there was a light breeze...that's winter in Miami for ya!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thyroid Woes

Around the holidays, Lucas went in for his three year check-up where blood work turned up an elevated TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone which controls thyroid function), which may be a warning sign of impending hypothyroidism (an auto-immune disease resulting in an underactive thyroid gland). They also measured T3 (active hormone) and T4 (thyroxine) which both came back within normal limits. He was referred to an endocrinologist who we went to see today. The doctor is now running further tests to check for antibodies ; the presence of antibodies may indicate hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is common in people with Down syndrome. In fact, our friends' daughter, Krysta (who is 5), recently went to see the same endocrinologist because she also had an elevated TSH level.

The thyroid regulates growth and development as well as metabolism so we need to keep a very close eye on this potential issue. Lucas is not displaying any of the symptoms of an under-active thyroid. For now, Lucas continues to make good progress developmentally and is growing between the 25-50 percentiles with his weight at about the 50th percentile on the typically developing growth chart (kids with Down syndrome tend to be smaller and often are plotted on a different growth chart). We want to keep it that way.

If he needs treatment, it will be in the form of a replacement of thyroid hormone and the dose will need to be monitored by sequential blood tests to see how the thyroid responds. Although treatment is needed for life, at least it's something that can be treated effectively.

I'll post results when I have them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve was a return to Casa del Amo for yet another memorable gathering, where Lucas was burning up the dance floor grooving to the incomparable Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz (video to come). Below are photos of cutie Melanie in disguise, me and Rob who was visiting from Philly, Lucas with Adita and Rob, and the Rhyneers on New Year's Eve. The last couple of photos were taken by Rob of a pensive Lucas at our friend's Liz's house who hosted an open house on New Year's Day.

The new year is off to a good start...Tom got a job offer on the 1st and he's now working at El Scorpion, a Mexican restaurant and tequila bar on South Beach which will open in a couple of weeks. As with every opening, Tom is working long days/nights, but I'm hopeful he'll (we'll) have a semblance of a life when the dust settles in the next month or so...ah, the joys of being married to a chef!

I love the ring of "2010" and I'm more hopeful then I've been in a long time that things will start going our way -- not just for us personally, but for the country and the world as a whole. We will see what the year ushers in. May the new year bring us all much health, love, happiness, and togetherness.