Wednesday, November 5, 2008

hardly a reason to smile...

Our sweet little Asher...my heart just breaks for him. Poor little angel has had such a rough go at life. We first noticed signs of irritability when he was about 5 days old. He would just cry, and cry, and arch his back, and cry. And it wasn't just the usual (I'm crying because I'm hungry, tired, or need my diaper changed) baby cry either. This was always a cry of distress...a cry of pain. We took him to the doctor, who refused to treat him because he was too young. Our suspicions, based on his symptoms, were that he had acid reflux; but the doctor told us that acid reflux doesn't normally manifest itself until the baby is about 6 weeks of age. However, as the days and weeks progressed, it became more and more apparent to us that the reflux was indeed what had been ailing him. At two weeks old, he got a double ear infection, and was hospitalized for four days. We were told that babies with reflux are more prone to ear infections because the acid from the stomach can come up and settle in the small pockets located behind the ears...which then turns into a bacterial infection. To prevent this from happening in the future, we were told to feed him while sitting up, and then to keep him upright for about an hour after each feeding. We were also instructed to have him sleep at an incline. Unfortunately, even after following every instruction, both his ears became infected just 4 weeks later.
In his short life, I have taken him to 15 doctor's appointments, three different hospitals, we've seen half a dozen pediatricians, 2 chiropractors, he's had 4 sessions of cranial sacral therapy (which is a very light touch massage type therapy), he's been on four different antibiotics, and two different dietary supplements including Magnazymes and Probiotics, two different anti-acid medications (Zantac and Prevacid) for the reflux (and even stronger dosages of each of these prescriptions), we've tried five different formulas (one of which was very expensive and still didn't help), and even experimented with adding rice cereal to his milk (in an attempt to weigh it down so that it would stay in his stomach). Although some of these things have helped relieve some discomfort, nothing has seemed to provide complete relief. He's already over two months old, and still hasn't even gained a pound. In fact, it wasn't even until a couple of weeks ago, that he finally surpassed his birth weight. (When Ruby was his age, she had almost doubled her birth weight.)
My mother-in-law used to call every day and ask if our little guy had smiled yet. Finally I just had to tell her that he really has had nothing to smile about. Who feels like smiling in the midst of so much pain and discomfort? (I am quite happy to announce that he is smiling a little now. That - and the fact that he is still sleeping through the night - has literally been my saving grace these past couple of months.)
Due to his slow weight gain, and constant discomfort, our current pediatrician finally ordered an upper GI - a fluoroscopy x-ray examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract. We took him to the hospital for the test, and after drinking a contrast material called Barium, the x-ray indicated that his anatomy was perfectly normal, but that indeed he has GERD - acid reflux. I was relieved that we weren't dealing with any other serious issues; but at the same time feeling a bit frustrated with the diagnosis, simply because we had already been treating him for reflux...and obviously none of these treatments have properly treated him. Our doctor has now referred us to a pediatric GI, who can hopefully help us find some answers to relieve some of his painful symptoms...symptoms which have prohibited our little sweetie from being the happiest little baby he could be. I just love him so much, and it hurts my heart to see him have to go through so much at such a young age. They say that this is definitely something he'll grow out of, but I don't want to wait that long. I want to find him some help, and some relief...now...not 10 months from now. I want all of this because I want his first year of life to provide him with countless reasons for smiling.

These pictures were taken during his Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Radiography...
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Don't you just love our stylish (radiation) protective aprons? You can tell John sure felt cool in his :)

17 comments:

ahe said...

You are such an amazing mother. Seriously! I can't imagine the stress of your situation. You are a trooper!

Jess and Matt said...

I second that comment. You are truly amazing. I just love catching up on your blog, you are inspirational and your love for your family is actually tangible to me. I am so sorry Asher has to go through all of this. I am sad for him, for being so tiny, not able to understand, and just hurting all the time. i am sad for you and John, because I know that must be impossibly hard to see him hurt, and so energy consuming on you both. You are incredible, he's lucky to have a mommy who will comfort him and be there for him through anything. He is a happy boy, I am sure.

BOWDENS said...

I'm so sorry he(and especially you) have had to go through all of that. My nephew had the same thing and he slept in his bouncy seat for the first 9 months of his life so that he was upright. He struggled with it for a couple of years and he is now 3 with hardly any trouble at all. So, stick with what you're doing!! You are amazing, but I know it's hard. Talk to you soon!

~~Heidi~~ said...

I am so sorry! That really is the worst then you can't comfort your child. Trust me I know. Ty was colic for 5 months, but I totally understand what you are saying, and the poor little guy, reflex is not fun for anyone no matter what age you are. Oh, our prayers will be with you guys!

The Bentleys said...

poor little dude. Im sorry. I am sure it will get better but its sad to see him cry... it breaks my heart. Good luck and keep us updated!

Rania said...

That's so unfortunate. However, he is so blessed to be in an amazing family who cares enough to take him in constantly to care for him. I do hope his ife becomes easier and he can enjoy the little things a little dude is suppose to enjoy.

buddens said...

Oh, poor little guy! That stinks. No fun to have to learn what pain is so early on in life. Maybe he'll end up being a super resilient little superstar in the long run!

John said you were a little concerned about his reflux and staying with us, but honestly, you guys are more than welcome! It's up to you, but just know the offer stands.

Kelly said...

Oh the poor little guy! I hope he gets feeling better soon! I just read back on your previous posts. I can't believe he swallowed a safety pin! Never a dull moment in your life!

natalie eve said...

poor little guy. he is so blessed to have you as parents though, you guys are doing everything in your power to make him comfortable and happy.

i hope you find something that works SOON!

Rachel said...

Poor little guy! My daughter had GERD too. It's a horrible thing because, just like you said, you try a million different things and nothing seems to work. She finally grew out of hers after we had exhausted our options. Hopefully that specialist can give you some relief! However, you both look great in your radiation aprons! (:

Sonja said...

NICOLE!
I'm so sorry to hear about little Asher. It is so frustrating to see someone you love that is in pain and there is nothing you can do about it.

Have you looked into a chiropractor? I have had several friends who took their infants with GERD and Colic to a chiropractor who performed a minor adjustment and every thing was better. I know it might sound crazy, but when you think about everything those babies go through to get here it kind of makes sense.

Just a thought...because I want to make it all better. sigh...

((hugs))

Travis and Teresa Wilson said...

Nicole I am so sorry. Boston for the most part grew out of his around 5 months but I don't think that he had it as bad as poor little Asher. Good job for not waititng it out it makes for some really long sad days.

sarahtuckett said...

Nicole, you and John are so wonderful, and how lucky Asher is to be in your family. I know that things will get worked out for him. I know how frustrated you must feel, and poor Asher, he probably thinks, what the heck? Have fun in Boston. See you when you get back!

disillusioned said...

Nicole,

Have they put him on an anti-acid medication yet? My nieces and nephews (including my new niece) have had the same thing. The new one has been on an anti-acid med since about 6 months old. She now mainly sleeps in a bouncer, or my sister holds her. She's spent the first 4 months a hollering cause of the burning--ugh! I'll ask my sister what they put her on.

Mary P.

diana rose said...

i keep waiting for you to call me telling me that something finally worked... i can't wait for that call, until then you know i'm here to bring you dinner, take ruby off your hands, whatever.

have fun in boston... i'll miss you!

Amber and Dallas said...

I am i tears reading this... especially b/c I have seen him in his moments of pain. I am soooooo sorry. I wish I knew how to fix the problem for you and especially for him... I will keep praying for you guys to find something that will help little Asher. He is such a blessing. Enjoy your trip to Boston! I will miss you guys!!

boneck family said...

my wife pretty much summed it up.
there are blessing for you for taking on such a responsibility and the blessing for your new child are countless! what a blessing. hes in our prayers.

_clint