Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Day in the Life

I have decided to start chronicling my life, since it is so crazy sometimes I don't even belief what has gone on!

Today, along with the normal craziness that comes from having eight children between fifteen and new (you know; tears, tantrums, kids fighting with kids, kids fighting with mom, mom trying not to fight with anyone), my two year old stuck a bead up her nose! We didn't know it was a bead, of course, until it came out. But, that explains why it hurt to push on her nostril and why all the regular tricks didn't work.

We returned home to find things fairly quiet and our infant taking a bottle from a very capable big sister. After taking four ounces, he was still hungry, so his sister gave him another bottle. Having consumed a total of about five ounces, my sweet little boy became a volcano, spitting most of what he'd eaten all over the floor. My husband and daughter barely missed a formula shower, though my husband, who doesn't handle puke well, didn't enjoy his front row seat.

Things are quieter now; the baby seems none the worse for wear after his ordeal. The toddler has recovered from her trauma (though she is not real happy with the doctor), and everyone else is downstairs watching television while they fold clothes. I'm getting ready for my weekly escape (my husband gives me a few kid-free hours to gain strength for the week to come), and dinner is already in the slow cooker. So, things are definitely settling down, for today.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I have joined the ranks of mothers wrestling with a baby who has reflux. This is my eighth baby, so it actually took a while longer to recognize the problems and get some help. You'd think it would be the opposite! But, I know babies spit up. And I know babies cry. So when my new son was doing both in excess, I just figured he was a little fussier and spittier than others. Until it went on for seven weeks.

Honestly, I felt silly taking my otherwise healthy son to the doctor because he cried so much. So I called one of my best friends (who is a PA-C) to see if it was crazy to see the doctor. She said no, not at all. So, we went to see the doctor.

The doctor, an older gentleman with grandkids, prescribed a medication that has some success helping with colic, ordered an upper G.I., and told me I needed to get two hours away from my son's crying every day. I couldn't take care of any of my children if I was completely spent from the anxiety and stress of not being able to soothe my little guy.

The test showed a normal anatomy, so my son projectile spitting wasn't a result of pyloric stenosis. It also showed severe reflux. I now had a reason for my son's constant crying, especially in his swing or car seat! But, I didn't have any answers.

We have been a quite a journey. After the diagnosis of reflux, our doctor gave us a stronger protien pump inhibitor, which has been helpful. I also began scouring the internet for information. Unfortunately, my search was not initially successful or encouraging. A variety of perspectives and thoughts, at times conflicting, gave me a sense of discouragement. It seemed that allergies are often a cause of reflux, so I wanted to try an elimination diet, but how long should I eliminate foods? The answers weren't forthcoming.

When my son started chocking and not breathing, I called my doctor back again. He sent us to a pediatric gastroenterologist. That didn't give me much more information, though the specialist did schedule a gastric emptying test and give me a sample of hypoallergenic formula to try, to see if the problem was an allergy to breast milk.

It wasn't until I found that I started getting answers, and some hope. We don't know yet if this problem is simply gastro-esophogeal reflux (GER) or gastro-esophogeal reflux disease (GERD), but the information on the pollywog site has been tremendously helpful. The site has a store with products designed to treat the causes of reflux, not simply the symptoms, and has links to other sites where you can learn about elmination diets (even a plan for an elimination diet, with basic instructions), read articles by moms who have survived caring for children with GER and GERD, and just find hope. If you are struggling with reflux in a little one, please do yourself and your family a favor and check out!