Rachel would just die if she knew her mother was writing this, on the internet, about her. Luckily, for her, I use pen names for my children!!
Rachel is my sweet little 8 year old daughter that has the full fragile x mutation. She is my baby and I can’t help it but that is exactly how I see her….as a baby.
So last Saturday I was doing my weekly thorough cleaning of our house. Rachel was the only child home. To keep her occupied I had her helping me clean. We did all kinds of fun cleaning things. About midway into the day I smelled body odor. I could have sworn that I put on deodorant but just in case I ran into the bathroom and added some more.
A couple of hours later I smelled it again. It was even stronger this time! So I did the one thing that all women do when no one is looking…I smelled my pits to see if they stank. They smelled like roses, literally!
The only thing I could think of was maybe something in the laundry was reeking. I was close to being done with it so the offensive smell should be gone soon. Just in case, I went into the bathroom and added just a little more deodorant.
Not long after that Rachel came in with her Hannah Montana poster. Since we separated the girls rooms I still had some wall hangings to take care of. I grabbed the tacks and headed into her room with her. I had her stand up against the door we were hanging it on, and reach up high to hold it into place, so I could tack the top of it. And there was that offensive smell again!!
I couldn’t deny it any longer. It was not me….it was Rachel!! I wanted to cry. She is only 8 years old!! I bought her deodorant at the beginning of summer, for fun. Now, it’s for real. We had to rearrange the shower schedule so we can make sure she showers right after soccer practice and games. And she has to use her deodorant every day.
In her words, “Puterty sucks!”
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I found this passage on the National Fragile X website about puberty. It’s full of medical jargon but essentially is states that puberty can start early. Though I read that 8 years old isn’t technically early. Apparently they didn’t ask the moms and dads out there!!
Neuroendocrine studies in fragile X syndrome implicate abnormalities in the hypo-thalamic-pituitary system. For example, precocious puberty and elevated gonadotrophin levels have been described in individuals with fragile X (Butler and Najjar, 1988; Moore et al., 1990). In an evaluation of hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) function in 12 males with fragile X, Bregman et al. (1990) reported normal levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) but a blunted TSH response to thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH). Further, Loesch and colleagues (Loesch et al., 1995) found that despite a high rate of physical growth in the preadolescent period, individuals with fragile X show less pubertal growth compared to normal relatives. These investigators hypothesized that premature activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis may be cause of growth impairment in individuals with fragile X. While these studies do not directly show hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal dysfunction in fragile X, they demonstrate that disruption of hormonal processes mediated by the hypothalamus and pituitary may be affected. (http://www.fragilex.org/Hessl_FxCORT_PNE02.pdf, accessed September 17, 2007.)