Monday, May 16, 2011

Three Things I Learned Last Week

 Three things I learned last week:

1. Last Tuesday, I learned that nine out of ten times I will be able to carry a baby, a bag of groceries, a water bottle and a set of keys while ascending the stairs without incident. But, there is that one time when I will trip on some invisible object in my new sandals. And, in order to prevent myself from landing on The Baby, I will jam my foot into the rise of a step and break my toe. Broken toes which swell like purple sausages are not only unsightly, but they also make you feel stupid because you cannot help but walk around looking lame( in all senses of the word.). It doesn't hurt anymore, but I can't feel it either. I wonder if it will just continue to turn black and fall off?
I exaggerate, of course. My toe, while that purple was not more swollen that my big toe. It was, however, as swollen as my big toe; and by the third day, the bottom side had turned black. Ick!

2. On Wednesday, I received the results of The Baby's testing. Fortunately she is negative for food allergies. Unfortunately, we learned that the poor thing does have mild reflux. But more concerning, she was diagnosed with gastroparesis (delayed gastric emptying). The pediatrician did not leave me with any more information than a diagnosis as he is sending us to a Feeding Clinic. And then, depending on how the meeting with the Feeding Clinic goes, we will most likely end up needing a consultation with a gastroenterologist. I am trying to learn as much as I can about her condition. The information has made my head swim. Basically The Baby's stomach is not working efficiently enough to digest food- it's not emptying properly and her food just sits there. It explains all of the feeding issues, the infant colic, the current waking at night in pain, the slow weight gain and the weight loss that we have been dealing with since she was a few days old.

I cannot even put into words the amount of guilt that I feel for not having pursued this more aggressively early on. My gut kept telling me that there was something wrong and I kept trying to express it to the doctors; but, they brushed off my concerns because she appeared so content in the office. I feel awful for ever having entertained the suggestion that this was just a personality/ behavioral issue that we just needed to overcome. The poor kid was in pain. Luckily, since it was suggested prior to the testing that she might have reflux, I was able to try a modified diet with her. She is doing better on smaller meals through out the day. Putting her back on pureed baby food has seemed to alleviate the discomfort as well. We have even gotten some nights of uninterrupted sleep (accept for last night). Her gastroparesis is not something that will ever go away; but, if we are diligent, we will be able to manage it with diet.

I cannot help but feel a little bit sad that she will no longer be able to consume the foods that she has come to enjoy like blueberries and peas. I worry that it will limit her gratification of social experiences since so many of our social interactions involve food. I am glad to have this knowledge now- so that we can continue to learn, continue to help her. She will learn at a very young age to be in tune with her body and to advocate for her health. There is a small gift in that.

3. Now that Henry is twelve years old (he just celebrated his birthday on Friday) and is entering a quiet, brooding adolescent phase (as opposed to the quiet, brooding childhood phase), it is so difficult to find topics to talk about with him. There is very little I can offer that will pique his interest to either speak or listen to me. I cannot even entice him, my only non-picky eater, with new or inventive foodstuff. We used to bond at the dinner table over our similar palates. I know that we are following a typical course in the pre-teen/ parent relationship. But, I am sure I was in denial that my Henry would ever close me out. I did, however, learn this week that not all hope is lost. I have an iPhone App to thank for a moment of mutual, unbridled joy. The Fart App, is an invaluable tool which helps bridge the gap between parent and child. The App provides a catalog of gas passing sonorousness which ranges from the sound a duck would make if one were to step on it to the sound of a nuclear explosion.  I did not know that Henry even remembered how to giggle. But, as he took me through the index of characters busting a grumpy, a smile, which had been tucked away for too long, lit up his face. His amusement at my cracking up only made me laugh harder; and, then Princess Commando joined us and we were all goners. Tears streaming down our faces, abdominal muscles aching with a burning joy and intensity. While, a twinge of guilt makes me question the appropriateness of my parenting choices in these situations, it is always squashed by the realization that if I had stifled their sense of humor, I would have missed out on a much needed moment to laugh with them. Farts will always win.

In the immortal words of Shinta Cho: "FARTHEEWELL!"

I knew that I would have a reason to hold onto this awful illustration which was part of a proposal for a children's illustration project that was posted on a few years back. If I remember correctly, the employer who posted the position wanted us to include an illustration of a boy farting in a movie theatre.


  1. eeewww ... broken toes are a bitch! Be grateful though, that it wasn't your big toe. That one can be healing nicely seemingly, then put you on the ground with no warning at all (yes, that is the voice of experience).

    Sorry to hear about the baby's problem, but glad you found the cause. Maybe now she and you will get some relief.

    It is a sad soul that cannot appreciate fart humor.

    And yes, I'm back. I have crawled out from underneath my rock. You can expect to be seeing more of me.

  2. Oh my, sounds like a very stressful week. Don't beat yourself up about the baby's dianosis. It sounds a bit like a lot of her symptoms could be explained away by other things, and how were you to know? So many people have dietary restrictions, i think it just becomes a part of your daily routine and she will find foods that she can enjoy.
    So sorry about your toe!

  3. I'm glad for you that you've now figured out what was botering The Baby, but sorry to hear of her condition. She sounds like a tough cookie though! Hope it all works out.

    Oh boys and bathroom humour, lol it never stops.

    P.S. hope you can start to have feeling in your toe soon! :)

  4. That's a week meant for Wonder Mom. Sounds like you are filling that position well. Hugs to you and let's not forget that farts make things seem so much less serious! ;)

  5. Girl, I have broken toes several times, and it is NOT fun. I feel your pain, literally. Hope your gimpy-ness ends quickly.

    I'm so sorry to hear about the Baby's health issues. It makes me so mad when doctor's dismiss concerns, and I know it's so hard to help little ones when they aren't old enough to tell you exactly what's wrong.

    I'm so glad you and your son were able to bond over the fart app. Who knew that would be a great thing to download? Your Henry will be back to normal in a few years, I'm sure. Laughter is always the best way to bring a family together though!