Monday, August 9, 2010

Dear Reflux, I Hate You

The pediatrician is 99% sure that Lily has silent reflux. For anyone not familiar with it, that basically means that she has acid reflux, but never throws up. Most of the time babies just cry from the burning (think: heartburn multiplied by 100) but she coughs. And coughs and coughs and coughs.

Nathan had reflux. He threw up all the time. But, since he wasn't losing any weight, the doctor didn't treat it. That little tub of lard was well over 20 pounds when he hit 6 months. (Looking back, I probably should have fought him on that, but I was young and had no idea.)

Nathan threw up on everything until he was about a year old. He was what they now call a "Happy Spitter." There was no pain or discomfort for him at all. When he suddenly grew out of it, I prayed that I would never have to deal with that again.

Be careful what you wish for, Amanda.

Lily never throws up. In fact, she so rarely spits up that when she does we are usually caught without a burp cloth or a bib to clean her up. It just never happens.

But she coughs so hard sometimes that her face turns white and her cheeks get splotchy. She cries when she coughs because her little throat is so raw. She has not choked in her sleep yet, but I'm afraid it's only a matter of time.

The doctor says to let her sleep upright, but all that does is piss her off.

We've only recently determined it's reflux. She's been coughing for over 3 months now. After countless trips to the doctors and trying everything from Albuterol to Amoxicillan, we finally put our foot (feet?) down. Roy took her to the doctor (I was stuck at work) with a list of things we were worried about. RSV, Valley Fever and Whooping Cough topped the list.

The good news? The pediatrician sent her for an x-ray last week which came back clear as a bell. I was very happy to hear that seeing as how she would have already infected her entire daycare and the children of all of our friends not to mention my elderly grandmother.

The bad news? We're running out of ideas. The pediatrician never even mentioned reflux until we brought it up. Apparently, in their world, fat babies don't have reflux. Luckily, I have enough mommy friends to know that's not true.

She needs to have a test at the hospital to confirm reflux. The hospitals are scheduling the test 3-4 weeks out. In the meantime, she's still coughing. It might be my imagination, but I think she's getting worse by the day. Or maybe it's just my mind finally finding a pattern to the coughing now that I have an idea of what it is.

Right now we're managing one day at a time. Cereal in her bottle doesn't help at all and I can't get her to sleep upright for the life of me. But, I'm still packing the cereal in her bottle and giving her non-acidic baby food to try and help for now.

I called the doctor today to ask for a prescription of Zantac or Prilosec or anything to help her until we can have the test done. I called at 9:30 this morning and never received a call back. I was also promised a call back today with my appointment date and time for her test. I didn't hear about that, either.

They have until tomorrow at lunch. Then? No more Mr. Nice Mommy.

1 comment:

  1. Boo! We have also been in Reflux hell! Drew started on Zantac and is now on Prilosec and he won't be weaned for a while. We see a pedi GI who dx him and we see him every 2 months. Drew coughs also, dry hacking cough, but he also throws up a lot and chokes a ton. He sleeps in the FP Rock and play sleeper. I'm sure a million people have told you about it but it is actually made for kids with AR and GERD. It seriously has saved us!

    Hope Lily is scheduled for her test soon! Is she having a swallow study or a upper GI done?