Thursday, January 17, 2013

Failure To Thrive :: An Update

The last update I posted about Drew's struggle to gain weight mentioned that we were going to take him to one last specialist, the pediatric endocrinologist.

Well, we took him. And, like we expected, we did not really learn much. In fact, the doctor did not run any tests. From his viewpoint, all the pertinent tests had been run, and any that he could add to the mix would be more hassle than they were worth because of how intense they were. 

Basically, all he could tell us was that he did not feel Drew's problem was a result of an endocrinological problem. He did not have any of the typical signs of a kiddo who was lacking in Human Growth Hormone, and his thyroid was normal on all of his blood tests. He did throw out the possibility that his structural growth (bones and teeth) were simply 6 months behind where they should be. After Drew turns 2, we can have an x-ray done of his hand and that could tell us more definitively if that is the issue or not.

So, we took him home and decided to be all done with specialists. They weren't telling us anything our family doctor wasn't telling us, and it wasn't worth driving all the way to the city for a 15 minute appointment where we were told to keep on doing what we were doing and to come back in 2 months for the same advice.

Then, Drew got sick. And was sick for basically most of December. He cycled through a cold, the stomach flu, roseola and an ear infection.

Not only that, but he was throwing up. Majorly throwing up. I tracked it for a couple of weeks, and it was intense. I could barely keep up with his laundry. One of his sheets was almost always in the wash, along with a lovey (getting 2 loveys was one of the best decisions we have ever made!!). 

It felt like we were at the doctor's constantly. Between the throwing up and his other sickness, he started to lose weight. And that was slightly concerning. There was talk of sending us to Omaha to the Children's Hospital because of his condition.

It was a really stressful couple of weeks. We had a newborn, I was still recovering from a c-section, and our poor little kiddo was so sick. At one point, he ran such a high fever and felt so junky that he spent a couple of days basically just sleeping. He would get up from his nap and come out to the living room to fall asleep on my lap on the couch. Very unlike him!

However, we were finally able to get him on antibiotics, and we took him off of dairy to give his system a chance to reset. For a month he drank soy and almond milk, and went light on other dairy offerings. And it worked. He quit throwing up, he started to gain weight (we finally broke the 20 lb mark!!), and got his energy back. We slowly reintroduced dairy into his diet, and it's been going really well. He had one instance of throwing up last weekend, but besides that, he hasn't thrown up since before Christmas. 

His turn around was so great that our doctor went from talking about Omaha Children's to telling us that we didn't need to come back to see him for 2 months. So lovely.

So, things have settled down. Drew is eating a lot better than he ever has, he still has a ton of energy, and he is astounding us every day with his developing mind. Our doctor is going to keep a slightly closer eye on him than some of his other patients, but we're praying that we're over the hump. He might just follow his own growth curve instead of the growth curve 'they' say he should. As long as he's growing, we'll be happy!

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