Elizabeth (greyautumnrain) wrote,


If you play very many role-playing games you will be aware of a certain style of gamer. The power gamer, the optimizer, the guy who makes the most weirdly unbalance character ever just because that way his character will be the best at the thing he’s optimizing for. Sometimes gamers of this school of thought are referred to as munchkins.

Lately I’ve been stressing at just about anyone who will listen about Duncan’s growth issue. It was Jerry who first made the role-playing connection: “Duncan’s player is putting all his points into Mind,” and I have to admit it struck a chord with me, and I keep thinking about it. A week after Duncan’s appointment with the endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital we have the test results back, and we have more data, but not a definitive cause of the problem. Lacking an actual diagnosis it still sticks in my head that perhaps Duncan is turning into a munchkin (of the small person variety) because he’s being played by a munchkin (of the power-gamer variety).

The email we got from the doctor says a lot of nice things about Duncan. “On physical examination Duncan is a beautiful well-appearing youngster… He was able to be converse in almost full sentences and was able to see an analogy of a chimney cap with his mother's hat which seems advanced for a 16-month-old.” Down at the bottom of the email, though, there was the litany of test results, and a summary explanation of what they mean. The heart of the matter seems to be summed up thusly: “Undetectable IGF-1 and decreasing IGFBP-3, more concerning for possible growth hormone insufficiency.” So basically it feels like we haven’t made much progress on the issue. He doesn’t have enough growth hormone, it’s something we need to be concerned about, and it’s still not clear if it’s being caused by his diet or something else.

So that’s where we are right now. The endocrinologist was supposed to call us back about the next step, but hasn’t yet. Until we hear back all we know to do is to try to get as much high-quality food into him as possible. Whatever is up we need to get this fixed, because unlike the GURPS system, in the real world having the Short Stature disadvantage doesn’t give you extra points to spend raising your IQ, it just means that you’ll probably end up earning less as an adult and you’ll have a harder time finding a mate, especially if you are male.

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