Posted in Down syndrome

Blog #32~ Cheers to Good Health

Blog #32~ Cheers to Good Health

Over the weekend, we took Nick over to the clinic to get his blood drawn.  I say we, because it is no longer something I can do alone.  Nick is strong and getting his blood drawn requires some muscle power. At least 3 people to hold him down and one nurse to do the procedure. Just when you think you have him locked down another appendage will wiggle out and break free. I am not sure which is worse this or trying to bathe a cat.  I can’t say I blame him.  I am not a big fan of blood draws either.  I turn my head the other way so I don’t get light headed and pass out.  Nick did a decent job and recovered quicker this time.  Of course his arm then becomes incapacitated the rest of the day.

Nick is a lefty but can’t seem to use that arm to eat…….. 🙂

Last year it was much worse, they had to draw three viles of blood instead of one.

Walking upstairs from the lab last year……

Still obsessed with the arm later in the car…..I think he’s milking it 🙂

One more, of arm immobilized… doesn’t seem to affect his appetite 🙂

There are health issues that can occur with having a child with Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions.  In addition, all children with DS should be screened for Atlantoaxil subluxation or dislocation. This is done with a cervical spine X-ray.  If the distance between the axis of the first vertebra and the second vertebra is more than 4.5 mm restriction from sports is advised. Nick’s registered at 3mm so it was under the limit and thus no restrictions in physical activities. Many of these conditions listed above are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.  For more information about Down syndrome read Blog # 7 Mama Mia.

I am very grateful that Nick has been healthy and he has only had a few minor problems over the years. Well with the exception of when he was born.  Nick was in ICU for a week and kept on oxygen and had tubes strapped all over him to monitor his vital signs.  The neo natal specialist noted that he was having trouble breathing.  A few days later an ultrasound was done that showed no signs of having any heart defects but rather a valve in the lung that was not closing properly. Fortunately, this was something that closed on its own. He was discharged after a week and sent home with a monitor that was used at night as a precaution. Besides this initial scare, his health issues have been minor.

He had his share of ear infections growing up. Here he is with his brother Hank and Grandpa Tommy back when we lived in Texas.

“Mom, my ears hurt I need some Amoxicillin.”

Nick has had a few sets of ear tubes put in over the years.  This is an outpatient procedure and seemed to help eliminate the ear infections.  At age three, he had his tonsils and adenoids removed. It is so hard to see your child in pain isn’t it?

Poor little guys looks so sad here….. 😦

From a health standpoint, we have had it easy compared to a lot of kids with and without special needs.  My first prayers in the morning are always for good health for my family and friends.   It is a gift that should never be taken for granted. “He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” Arabian Proverb  That’s what is in my noggin this week.  Until next Monday, cheers to good health!



Teresa is the Author of "A New Course: A Mother's Journey Navigating Down Syndrome and Autism" and the mother of two boys. Her youngest son, Nick is 29 years old and has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism (DS-ASD). Teresa's passion is helping others understand and navigate co-occurring Down syndrome and autism. She is a DS-ASD consultant, advocate, speaker, and author. Follow Nick's world on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest @Down Syndrome With A Slice of Autism and on Twitter @tjunnerstall. For more information and media links, visit

2 thoughts on “Blog #32~ Cheers to Good Health

  1. I love the pictures of Nick you add every week. Dwayne has Cole trained for blood draws. He has actually gotten pretty good ad only needing one person holding him down. We will be in trouble though if the lady who takes his blood ever leaves Quest!

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