Samuel is on eating strike #581. Ok. So that may be an exaggeration. This is probably the sixth time we've face his food boycott since bringing him home (and one of those boycotts lasted over three months!)
I'm under no illusion that we are the only parents of a child with eating issues. In fact, Samuel's issues are very mild compared to many children born as small as he was. However, every time we go through this, I find myself incredibly frustrated, sad, anxious, and emotional.
I called the GI clinic at ACH today asking for the results of the Upper GI that Samuel had last week. The radiologist said that he did not have a stricture and that his reflux was under control. But she never said anything about how his stomach emptied after eating....and I had my suspicions that it was not emptying as quickly as it should. I can literally hear the formula in Samuel's belly sloshing around four hours after he has eaten. No wonder the kid isn't hungry.
This afternoon the GI doctor called me back (not a good sign since the nurse usually returns my phone calls.) He explained that one of the loops in Samuel's bowel was swollen....meaning that he could have a small stricture or an 'adhesion'. It also showed a slight delay in gastric emptying. I was right, the food really is staying in his belly longer than it should.
Oh yeah - that whole thing about Samuel's Upper GI not showing anything???...just joking.
For now, the doctor is going to put him on two different antibiotics. One to keep bacteria from growing where the intestine is swollen, and the other to help speed up his digestive tract. An appointment has been made with the surgeons at ACH to hear their thoughts on the matter. It sounds like the steps will be: appointment with surgery, trial onto a dairy-free formula (again), scope with the GI doctor to see if they can find an area of scarring, then if nothing else...we go back to the surgeons to prepare for a procedure.
I was a little shaken up after the phone call. I kept asking myself, "Is all of this really necessary? I mean...he is still gaining weight (albeit, a little slowly) and most of the time he brings himself out of these eating strikes after a few weeks...do we really need to be talking about surgery?" But then the other part of me thinks, "We've been battling this since he began eating a year ago....I wanted answers, now I have them. Let's move forward and see if we can get him eating and growing like a normal kid."
Please pray that Samuel's eating strike ends soon - that he will once again start taking his bottle and food (if not enthusiastically, then passively.) Pray that the antibiotics work wonders and that Samuel will not need anything else....no scope, no surgery. Pray that he continues to grow and thrive.
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