Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Suppose I Could Get a Pair of Stilts

"How's the weather down there?" "Mind if I set my drink on you?" "Hey shortstuff!"

Ok, ok I get it. I'm short. And if you're not family, you are probably asking, 'How short are you?'. I'm 4 ft 6 in. There's some debate over whether I am 4 ft 6in or 4 ft 8in, whatever. Short is short. Just know that I am not even 5 ft tall. It's ok. I'm ok. I've been this way ever since like what... fourth, fifth grade? I'm not sure, I just know I've always been short. In fact, most of my family is short so we think we're normal. Does it stink sometimes? Sure. Like when I'm in a crowd of people and all I see are people's belt buckles or worse yet, their navels. Or when I'm at the store and I can't reach something and I have to either ask a total stranger or go without. (And man, I really needed the cinnamon that day! Why do they feel the need to alphabetize spices anyway?) Fortunately I have a four year old who can stand in the cart and reach things for me now.

Speaking of said four year old, he's not all that tall himself. Preston just had his four year well visit and just like all the previous times we check height and weight and wait for the doctor to chart it and see how he's grown. I don't know if other moms have anxiety about the "chart" but I'm right there leaning over the doctor's shoulder just waiting to see where she puts that little dot. It all started when Preston was just a newborn and his weight was progressively decreasing. Once he started gaining weight again we found that Preston was just going to stay on his own little chart. Actually his height/weight ratio doesn't even get "on" the chart, he's always stayed below it in the less than 5% range. However, every pediatrician we've ever seen has always said, as long as he stays on his own chart everything is fine.

Well fast forward to last Monday and one of my worst fears was realized. He fell off his own chart. His weight was good, but he only grew an inch and a half over the last year. So his pediatrician puts on her concerned hat and recommends we get a "bone growth x-ray" to determine bone age. Basically, an x-ray is taken of a child's hand and wrist and then compared to "norms" for children of the same age. Preston had his x-ray done and the doctor determined that Preston's bone age is that of a 3 year old (he just turned 4 earlier this month). This means that his little body is just a little bit delayed when it comes to growth. The bad news would have been if his bone age showed that of a 4 year old, that would indicate that something was not growing properly. Fortunately he's growing, just a bit slowly.

This actually has a name: Constitutional Growth Delay. Sounds like some kind of problem you have in your high school American History class, doesn't it? It really just means that Preston will likely start puberty a year later than his peers and at the end of puberty we'll see his height max out to the projected 5 ft 5 in. Still not all that tall, but we'll take it. Hey, it's almost a foot taller than me! Cannot fathom one day having to look up to my son.

But being short isn't all that bad. I'm often mistaken for someone much younger. When I was much younger I could get the child discount for most everything. I trick or treated until I was 18. (I probably still would if it didn't embarrass my husband.) Being height-challenged definitely has it's ups and downs. Although I was kind of hoping to spare my children from the "down" part. I mean, I did all that I could. I married a man who is 6 ft tall just to "breed some height back into the family", just like my momma told me to.


MOM said...

We always had to make the rule that noone was allowed to pick Cindy up. You were so small that all the kids at school wanted to carry you around like a baby. When you got old enough to slide down the slide alone other mothers would see you and think their kids who were a lot younger should be sliding by themselves. You were probably 18 before you were allowed to ride "Fire In The Hole" at SDC because they had a sign that said "you must be this tall" and you weren't that tall.

Shama-Lama Mama said...

My hubby is a doctor and he says that a rough indicator of how tall your kids will grow is to find the median height half way between yours and your husband's height. Then, add an inch for boys and subtract an inch if the child is a girl. That will give you an idea of how tall your kid will grow.

It doesn't always hold true, but its generally pretty close.

stacey said...

very interesting! isn't it funny what we would never know of our blog friends if we didn't talk about it!

is hgh something that is considered should the child/family desire it?

Cindy said...

From what I understand hgh would have been a consideration if his bone age showed 4. Since it showed 3, we're just assuming that he'll get to his max height, just a little slower. Thus hgh wouldn't change anything.

And speaking of max height, that median formula that shama-lama mama talked about is how our pediatrician came up with the 5'5" number. I think... I didn't check her math. ;)