Saturday, November 3, 2007
If a Picture Could Tell A Thousand Words...
This would be the one that summed it all up.
This amazing shot (yes...it is a picture of Hallie in mid-projectile vomit) was captured by our good friend Vanessa a few months ago. Sadly, it just about sums up our life on a daily (who are we kidding...multiple times a day) basis.
This week has been a pretty bad one. Hallie did have her ear tubes placed, is probably teething (she's always teething), and ran a bit of a fever after getting three vaccines during her belated 15 month well-baby (???) check up, during which we discovered that she has not gained much weight at all in the past three weeks (like 2 ounces total, for a grand total of 9640 grams, or 21 lbs. 5 ounces. We know that, after two 300 to 400 calorie days, she has lost at least some of this weight). Anyway, our ped. put Hallie on reglan, which used to scare us but which looks far better than the alternative (a surgical procedure called the Nissen Fundoplication that essentially places a knot in the baby's esophagous that will a. shorten her already too short GI tract and make reflux worse and b. prevent her from vomiting, even when she really needs to do this to clear a bug or something poisonous from her system). Alas, the reglan is not helping Hallie empty her stomach (maybe because she's not eating?) yet and is not having any of its magical anti-emetic effects yet, either. At least it is not having any negative neurological side effects (which is why we were reluctant to place Hallie on it in the first place).
Anyway, after a bunch of projectile vomiting and virtually no food intake, we decided to bring Hallie into the ER yet again. I was hopeful that Hallie had a hairball---yes, you heard it right, a hairball: after all, the kid loves carpet fuzz more than any other food group---but alas, no obstruction (we had to subject the kid to an NG tube to do an upper GI series. Hallie was in serious emotional and physical pain over this particular aspect of our ER visit). At least we've ruled this out.
In the end, what we're left with is a diagnosis of reflux and delayed gastric emptying. We're not sure what caused the flare up and why Hallie isn't able to process food and poop as well as she had been able to in the past. Perhaps it's the antibiotics she had been on in August and September; maybe it's teething (she is veritable drool factory right now); maybe it's the change in formula from pediasure to nutren, jr. to nutren jr. with fiber (and now to pediasure with fiber). Maybe, like in the NICU, she finds it hard to process 30 calorie/ounce food. Perhaps the simply thick is simply constipating.
We've decided to focus once more on diet in the hopes of managing this beast: We're adding probiotics and we're trying Hallie on a mixture of goat's milk (supposedly easier to digest and closer to breast milk than other forms of milk) and Enfamil AR powder (to add some calories and more nutrients), and less in the way of Simply Thick. We're trying to remain optimistic, but that is getting pretty hard to do.
Meanwhile, I bought a lot more laundry detergent, because if there is one constant in our life, that's it.