Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It Has Been a Time

A month has passed, and life is going through the doldrums of winter.  It has not been especially winter-y here, but depressingly gray and overcast most days.  Still, I wheel the kid and myself out and about just to get some fresh air.

While my studies have been put on hold due to scheduling changes on the school end, my time has been much needed at home.  Things happen for a reason?  Things happen for a reason.

(skip the rest if you're not interested in reading kid stuff)

At his last wellness visit, when kid's get shots and their height and weight are measured, my little guy's measurements showed nothing.  No progress.  Off the growth chart, but in a negative way.  And all of this dancing around that I am doing equates to a diagnosis of Failure To Thrive.  Nice sounding, right?  FAIL.  So heart wrenching to hear when I had nourished this person in my body, then with my body, and then he stalled out.  He's not the best or most interested eater, my little guy, but you don't know how bad things are until you're faced with numbers and charts, and so you're told this thing about your child and the helplessness sets in.  And of course, you want to jump into action tout suite, but you must wait for THE appointment.  Side note: one of my many complaints with the medical field is that even with all of the questions that one can ask, you're still not given a complete picture when you don't have something super life threatening.  But maybe that's just me- I like looking at a complete picture.  I wanted, needed, to know if we were racing against time to get this turned around by a certain point to avoid some unknown consequence.  And unfortunately, Dr Google is not the answer when trying to figure out medical issues as for whatever reason Google leads with the negative and devastating articles.  You're also left alone after receiving negative news so must seek out support on your own.  Unfortunately everyone has picky eater stories, but those don't match up with the extra challenge that we have been facing, so not helpful.  Ironically, my trainer put me in touch with a friend who has a child who received the same diagnosis, and we have had a helpful- to-me email exchange. You don't always have to meet someone in person to receive time and kindness.

Anyway, we went through a series of appointments with first a Neurologist, then a GI specialist, and finally a Nutritionist.  The head appointment went fine.  Our Pediatrician was concerned that my son's head was growing too well, while I felt like my son was just joining us in the big headed people club.  And he is.  The GI went through some of the facts with us, but the main take away was that visually my son didn't look like an emergency case and since just a short amount of time  had passed since his growth stalled, we would take a more measured approach.  So nutrition first to pump him full of calories, and then evaluate after a month to see if his body is absorbing said calories, and if not, the tests and maybe food therapy begin. Of course I am mentally freaking out, and the visit to the Nutritionist didn't fill me full of hope, but you have to just hold it together.  Of course I thought the food advice was not aggressive enough, like doesn't she know that my son isn't growing (!), but in the same vein I had to trust.  So, I did.

Her advice was simple: do a better job of reintroducing foods, add fat to the foods he doesn't mind eating, and most importantly set a mealtime schedule.  3 meals, 3 snacks.  I'm not going to lie, getting into the routine of almost constantly feeding my child leads our lives, but at the same time, he's getting more food in, and as an added bonus, this practice has changed my habits as well.  I now make a concerted effort to mentally prepare what I am going to do for my own meal and snacks so that I minimize the need to graze.  And honestly, this has balanced out the variety of foods that I am getting.  The only thing I need to work on is a more filling before bed snack.

Well, a month has passed and my guy has made progress!  He's back on the chart, and doing well enough that we get to wait two months until our follow-ups.  Fingers crossed.  I haven't stopped being diligent because we're not out of the woods yet, and now that we have him on a schedule, he's going to stay on one until he gets into school or at least starts eating us out of house and home.  I pray for that time.

This unexpected journey has been tiring and almost soul sucking.  I have had to let go of almost everything just to keep myself together enough to be patient with the process.  And even then, I sometimes break.  But, I have to hold on to the thought that things happen for a reason and I needed to slow down and take a break for a reason- I haven't lost anything.  And my kid is going to be okay.

Well, I was going to post some cooking ideas, but decided to share some RealLife instead.  Next time.

One of my favorite bands.  This song seems appropriate in light of the current state of affairs...