Thursday, January 14, 2010

Puberty... A blessing or a curse?

 

Ricky hadn't grown significantly in two years when I took him to the endocrinologist a while back.  He also showed no signs of puberty -- the embarrassing ones or non-embarrassing ones.

Some kids with cystic fibrosis go through puberty late and many of them end up being a little shorter than their contemporaries.  But because Ricky's lung disease and nutrition were not significantly poor, the doctor did not thing that the CF was the problem.  She predicted he'd go into puberty by the time he was 14, and if he didn't we'd look at interventions.  His blood tests came back normal, though some were close to abnormal.  "Watch and wait," the doctor said.

Within the past six months, Ricky has turned 14 and grown a bit.  His voice hasn't deepend, but he's growing.  And you know how I know he's entered puberty?

Some of you won't be surprised at all.

The attitude!  Big sighs, rolling of eyes, ignoring me when I ask him to do something, stomping off into the other room when he's angry.  Oh yeah.  He's really a teenager now.  And boy am I in trouble.  We still have years of this to go.

On his medications for bipolar disorder, Ricky's mood is usually fairly even.  But this teenager stuff really throws that off.  I mean, he doesn't lose control, but this is something we have to deal with without meds.  That's unexplored territory for me!

So this presents a bit of a quandary for me, one I posted to Twitter/Facebook when it hit me:  Good news!  Ricky's in puberty!  But on the other hand, bad news!  Ricky's in puberty!  Because of course, while I'm glad that he's... well... Becoming a man and not going to lag as far behind as some boys with CF... I'm also frightened of this teenager stuff.  And teenager stuff plus bipolar disorder?  gulp

I'm sure we'll survive it, just like we have survived much more difficult things.  But if anyone has any advice for me, I'd love to see it!

Rebekah blogs at story of a boy.

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