Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In UNfamiliar territory....

When I was pregnant with my first and only boy (I have 2 girls already), I was told so many times how boys are SOOO different than girls. ALL THE TIME! And even though I knew that, I can't believe how unprepared and shocked I still am, at the differences. My son is really taking me on a crazy journey! I'm not gonna lie, it can be very frustrating, especially when I'm so use to raising girls. Not to mention I'm a SAHM, so we are together ALL the time. My girls were quiet, let's play Barbies and have tea parties kind of girls. I could take them ANYWHERE. Don't get me wrong they had their little diva fits now and then (still do actually) but I could totally handle it. Nate has started his "Terrible Two's" WAY early and even though that has really thrown me for a loop, I do know I have a couple more years of this. So I am trying my VERY best to keep him under control. God help me! He is SO much louder than my girls were (no volume control!), he screams more, he fights more, he hits more, he growls more..... over all, he's a little big ball of LOUDNESS! Did I already say "God help me!"...... aaahhh, GOD HELP ME!
This next one is really killing! My girls were the best eaters! They love salads and they were never picky eaters. They ate whatever I made with no arguments. Tahlia is about to be 7 now and she has just recently started being more picky (which I'm trying to nip in the bud!) but as babies and toddlers, my girls ate wonderful. Nate.... not so much! He's actually REALLY frustrating me because he won't eat ANY veggies. NONE! He ate them as a baby, in the baby food jars but now as a toddler, as soon as it touches his mouth, he SPITS it out. As a matter of fact, he spits EVERYTHING out! He'll barely eat chicken and rice, pastas he likes, cookies and crackers of course. He LOVES juice and milk but I do mix his juices with water, to lessen the sugar intake. I try to make his veggies as soft as possible and he still won't eat them.
Food, which should pleasurable to most people and kids, hasn't been for us. My son, at 10 1/2 months had, what at the time the doctors called an "Acute Life Threatening Episode" (still not sure what that means). We were having breakfast one morning, when he began to get fussy, as if he was uncomfortable or in some sort of pain. I noticed his lips turning blue, when he started to throw up, as if he was throwing up the devil! I ran outside with him (we happen to be in a restaurant), as he kept throwing up and after his final vomit, he passed out, his whole body going completely limp! Of course at that point I am completely hysterical, as you can imagine. To shorten up this "episode" story; he was taken to the ICU, tested for all kinds of things, everything came back normal, has had 2 more "episodes" since, seen a GI specialist and has been diagnosed with Acid Reflux. He has been prescribed Cimetidine/Tagamet, which he has been on for about 4 months now. It seems to have done the trick, so I guess that means he does have Acid Reflux. I was skeptical at first, just because the episodes were so extreme that I wondered if it was something more serious. So as you can see, food hasn't been very pleasant for us and now he's starting this bad eating behavior and I wonder when it will all end! His pediatrician has suggested I give him vitamins to compensate for the nutrients he's lacking and I have but WHAT DO I DO?!?!?! How can I get him to eat?? Is this a phase? Is he ever going to eat normal? This change, is one I cannot seem to get a grip on!
(Sorry this was so long. But I just had to get this off my chest! Phew!!)
Anyone have an suggestions?? Are there any of you who have had a child with Acid Reflux.... is this a part of it?? HELP!


MICHELL said...

Oh mY!! I wish I had some advice but I don't...sorry..I too have 2 girls and my son who just turned a yr is sooo different...Loud yes poor eater yes...but he's a BIG boy so I'm not to worried...I can't even imagine going thru something so scary...I hope all's well now...I think if he's hungry he will eat..it's our body's natural way...good luck to ya

Anonymous said...

I've learned that sometimes children don't eat certain foods because they have learned to identify that food with the pain caused by reflux. He may have made the connection early on, and the scent or taste of certain foods, though he cannot properly verbalize it to you, may cause him significant discomfort.

His ALTE sounds like it may have been a vasovagal response to intense vomiting. He may have vomited intensely because of one of the foods he has an aversion to. Children have acutely sensitive senses, and the slightest thing can cause vomiting.

Like febrile seizures, ALTE's are very scary but usually have no long term negative consequence.
With all normal exams at the hospital I would be reassured that at least he doesn't have some anatomical problem requiring surgery or some rare, untreatable metabolic deficiency.
His palate will mature as he does, and as he gets older he may be able to better verbalize why he doesn't like those foods... if they make his throat swell, or stimulate his gag reflex, or cause abdominal pain, or something like that.
As for his behavior, it seems like he is just naturally filling the empty niche. The family is full to the brim with quiet, reserved, easy going induviduals... what a treasure it is to have someone to turn up the tempo and the volume now and then! I love crashing trucks and flying like superman loud as all get out with my boys. We laugh like a looney bin on crack! It's fantastic.
I deal with sick children every day who don't have the strength to cry... much less run and yell. And boy, do I LOVE that sound when I hear it- during church or dinner, or whenever, let the well boy be heard! :)

Keri S. said...

@anonymous I was just about to say that...LOL! Great post :)

I totally agree with you about the boys! They are definitely different in their own wonderful ways. My oldest is a boy (4ys) and WOW does he have some energy but he also can be quite shy at times and very creative. He brings my little girl (2ys) out of her shell and challenges her to keep up with him so there are definite benefits! You will get through this..keep us posted :)

J. At Your Service said...

@Anonymous- his behavior is out of the ordinary for me (which is why I'm thrown by it at times) but I can't help but laugh at the crazy things he does too. He's a trip sometimes! What really worried me was the eating but that was really informative! I never thought that it may be the foods that don't agree with him, that he rejects. Since, like you said he can't tell me. Im definitely going to start watching what he rejects and list them, then take that to the GI specialist, to see what his opinion is. Thank you so much! That was REALLY helpful! (ps...this boy is definitely heard! I'm surprised YOU can't hear him, LOL)

J. At Your Service said...

Also....I was asked what he was eating all 3 times that he had those episodes and the doctors claimed that he had nothing that they could tell would cause that. Do you have any thoughts on it....1st time he was eating eggs and little bit of pancake. 2nd time was mac & cheese. 3rd time he was eating goldfish crackers and a hot dog. You seem to know your stuff! :)

Cramazing Mom said...

My youngest son was born premature at 28 weeks and has dealt with Acid Reflux from the beginning. They had him on Prevacid in the NICU and it continues to this day. He's 5 years old now and one of the pickiest eaters I've ever seen.

He likes peas and green beans, but that's it as far as veggies go. He likes chicken as long as it's nuggets, but only in very small quantities. He likes cereal, milk, cheese, yogurt, and some fruits. What I've noticed and what we've learned is that if the food has any sort of acidity he avoids it like the plague. If he does eat it, then we normally end up with an episode of reflux that includes some vomiting and a lot of tummy pain.

Over the years it has subsided some, but he will probably always deal with reflux in some form. One thing he ended up developing are issues with constipation. We try to make sure he is getting more fiber in his diet through various-(Natural)-means like fruits, grains, etc. But when a bout hits him it hits hard and its painful.

I wish I could give more advice but it seems that every case is different. We decided to work with a nutritionist and that has helped. We now know that we don't have to battle with him, and that it's not good to battle with him. Especially if it is an episode related to the reflux-(or GERD as the pediatrician calls it). The best advice I can give is follow your instincts and do what works for your son and for you.

Btw, I'm a new follower from Bloggy Moms. =)

Shay said...

Boys sure are different than girls! I had a boy first and then three, almost four years later - a girl and I've been amazed at the good & bad differences between them!
Thanks for stopping by my blog awhile back too! I'm following now! :)

Dianne said...

I am following from Bloggy Moms with Google friend connect and twitter. I love this post. Boys are easier as teenagers. http://mom-stuffcommunity.blogspot.com and http://www.twitter.com/@dianne_momstuff

JeNi said...

I dont have kids yet nonetheless I can relate with so many siblings and cousins lol. One day I will probably go through this too! I am your newest follower!

I am having a giveaway for a hair straightener on my blog. Check it out you just might get lucky!


Janelle said...

My daughter had acid reflux and it is horrible. She was on Prevacid for 6 months and she had colic too. It was the longest 6 months of my life so I know how you feel.

I am now following you, found you on bloggy moms.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that those foods don't share any obvious common ingredient. The problem may be aided more by adjusting the amount of food. Before you spend a $50 copay on a specialist you can try a few simple things. One is feeding the child small amounts of food in more frequent intervals. Say, for instance feeding 8 meals of 1/2 size meals per day. That way he will have more likelihood that the food in the stomach won't reflux above te lower esophageal sphincter of the stomach. Secondly, avoiding known foods that cause reflux, some common culprits are chocolate, spicy foods, and tomato sauces. Lastly, if he is having nigh time troubles (waking coughing, choking, gagging) try using gravity to your advantage by putting bricks or wooden blocks under the head of the bed to elevate it to about 30 degrees (adding pillows seems intuitive but it doesn't change the angle of the torso much).
If after a few weeks these things fail then you may require a GI specialist's intervention.