Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brighter days are upon us :)

Someone has been slacking at posting lately... so Owen is trying to type this for me.  Owen is almost 14 months old and perfectly capable of typing his own posts now!

After all of the tests Owen went through, the doctors have concluded that nothing is wrong.  It was hard to hear this at first, when clearly something was wrong.  Vomiting every day is not normal.

This is the explanation we were given and it makes sense, so we are content as long as he gets better:  Owen had bronchiolitis & pneumonia twice (6 mo & 9 mo), causing excess mucus to build up in his airways.  In the last update I wrote about how his airways are small- called subglottic stenosis- and his left bronchus is narrowed which causes more problems when he gets sick.  The excess mucus would cause him to vomit.  This caused irritation in his esophagus bringing on reflux like episodes.  Owen began to lose trust in food because he became sick when he ate it.  The GI doctor said this just became a vicious cycle for Owen since the vomiting made the reflux worse and the reflux attributed to the vomiting.  The doctors increased his Prevacid dosage to 15 mg 2x per day and this has really helped.  Owen has not vomited since July 14th!!! I can't believe he has gone more than a month.  We are so happy about this :)

Now that the food isn't making Owen ill, he is regaining his trust again.  We met with the Cincy Children's feeding team for an evaluation on July 28th.  All of Owen's oral motor skills were up to par- great news!  He gets a little tired when eating finger foods, so we are doing more calorie dense purees while he eats the finger foods to help with his swallowing.  We learned all kinds of cool tricks from the team.  Like when we are working on drinking from an open cup use a shorter cup with yogurt smoothie to slow down the flow.  Gradually add more milk to thin the consistency.  So cool!  We are cheering when Owen takes good bites and drinks and trying our best to ignore his cup throwing, spitting milk back out, and flinging of food... such a hard task for mom and dad :)  We are working on an 'all done' sign with him so he can inform us he is finished before he begins to make a huge mess.

We have switched our 6 feeds to 3 feeds during the day- just breakfast, lunch and dinner- to help Owen begin to feel hunger.  This plan has been in effect for about 3 weeks.  He now takes about 3 ounces of Pediasure orally and eats around 2 - 5 oz of various purees during each meal.  This is amazing progress!  Just about two months ago he was eating nothing!  We still tube feed 3 additional ounces of Pediasure during each meal to supplement his caloric needs.  Owen hasn't been gaining much weight, holding steady around 17 1/2 pounds.   The doctors said he may even lose some weight while we are working on building his appetite.  We go back for a check up on his progress on Sept. 9th.  We are hoping by this time he will be doing well enough to remove the NG tube :)

Hope everyone is well!  One of these days I will get new pics posted...

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