On Monday, I was dropping the kids off at their preschool and, when I gave Allie a hug goodbye, I noticed a very grown-up smell coming from Allie's armpits. The girl had some body odor going on! This alarmed me because one of Allie's neurologists mentioned a while back that kids with cerebral palsy can develop signs of puberty early and, if we noticed anything, we should see an endocrinologist right away.
I helped her wash up and called the pediatrician's office as soon as I left. Her pediatrician is out of town but they got Allie in to see another pediatrician that afternoon. That doctor immediately noticed the smell plus some little pimples on Allie's forehead. I hadn't given the pimples much thought because it's summer time, she has sensitive skin, and we've been gooping sunblock on her every day.
The doctor pulled up the calendar of their pediatric endocrinologist, who happened to be available right then, so she went to her office and brought her over. It was one of the most seamless medical experiences we've had. The endocrinologist examined Allie and explained that there are two different components of puberty: one caused by the pituitary gland and one caused by the adrenal gland. The pituitary gland type of puberty is responsible for things like breast growth and menstruation, and is the type of early puberty that is common with cerebral palsy. She said that the symptoms Allie is experiencing with the odor and acne is caused by the adrenal gland and is most likely unrelated to her stroke.
Then the doctor asked if we use any shampoo or other personal care items with tea tree oil or lavender oil. We do! Jonathan and I use a tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner. She suggested we stop using it right away because tea tree oil can simulate estrogen and cause the symptoms we're seeing in kids. She also ordered some blood tests to check Allie's hormone levels to see if anything else might be going on, and also a wrist X-ray to evaluate her bone age to give an indication of her long-term hormone levels.
We haven't gotten the tests done yet because they have to be done at a particular time in the morning, but we'll do them this week.
For now, Allie is proudly wearing deodorant. She asked if she can bring the deodorant to show-and-share to show all her friends. I said she could if she really wanted to but it would kind of be like bringing her shampoo to show-and-share. I think she's decided against it.
On Tuesday, we had a check up EEG scheduled to see if Allie's medication increase helped with her unusual brain waves that were seen last time. She does not love the EEGs but did a good job of staying still while the technician set everything up.
We should get the EEG results sometime this week. After the test was done, we got some ice cream...
... and headed home to wash her hair.
Allie and I then had the whole afternoon with just the two of us. We went to a paint your own pottery place and spent over two hours painting things. Allie made a turtle for her daddy, which she named Qurtle the Turtle.
Then today, we woke up to discover that Andrew has pink eye. After a few quick questions with the advice nurse, they called in a prescription for eye drops. At least we don't have to actually go into the doctor's office for this one. He's home now, binge watching Minions.
Fingers crossed for good test results!