Healthy, happy kids

When our daughter was just over two, my husband and I noticed that her diaper was fitting a bit oddly. One “cheek” seemed to be growing larger than the other. While her left side appeared normal, we found we had to strain to close the right side of the diaper. Over the next couple of weeks, it was obvious something was awry. The left side was not catching up. In fact, the right side seemed to be getting larger still.

The pediatrician took one look and immediately scheduled a CT-scan. Shortly after that, our daughter was scheduled into surgery at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. It was a tumor of some kind, and it needed to be removed and biopsied immediately.

From a, “hmmm, what’s with this diaper?” to “it might be cancer” within a couple days was devastating.

It was an upside-down pear-shaped tumor that manifested in the mid part of her gluteus muscle and had begun to grow down into the back of her thigh. It was encapsulated, the surgeon said afterward, and fairly easy to remove. 

She left the hospital the next day with a six-inch incision that would turn keloidal in time…because really…short of tying her down, there is no way to keep an active toddler from moving.

But where I am going with this is, first, the professionals at Children’s Hospital couldn’t have been nicer and more supportive of us, the parents. They pretty much had everything basic a parent might need (simple food, a change of clothes, a bed to nap in) if staying overnight with their child. And second, that as parents, it’s hard to think about the bad things that might happen to our kids. 

I would have never believed that my daughter would have two major health crises within the first four years of her life, and yet, things like this happen all the time. 

In this issue, Kelly Jo McDonnell gives us a first person account of parenting a child with ADHD; we have some great products for sick kids; and we touch on the topic of childhood obesity, among other terrific features.

We all want healthy, happy kids, but sometimes things manifest that can’t be contained at home. Thank goodness for the medical professionals, the research, and the insight of others to help us get through the dark, dark days of a sick child—all with hopes that a new day will bring health and wellness into our lives once again.