Monday, November 12, 2012

Feeding Therapy and the Smell of Failure...

One step forward, two steps back. 

The last time I updated I mentioned that CutiePie was being refered to the Feeding Therapy team at our local Children's Hospital.  The hope is that they can evaluate why she isn't eating enough and help us increase her daily calorie intake and help her have a balanced diet outside of my milk.  Sounds like a perfect match, right?  Well I got a call from the intake nurse to schedule our appointment and the next available evaluation appointment isn't until FEBRUARY.  That is a solid three MONTHS from now.  AND after talking to the nurse it is common for insurance companies to deny coverage, and even if they do we have to a pay a co-pay for EACH specialty she will see that day - up to five different departments.  Our specialist co-pays are $40 a pop, so $40 x 5 specialties = $200 FOR ONE VISIT!   ::sigh::  And what the heck are we supposed to do for the next three months?  The nutritionist we saw at Children's last week suggested I download an app for my phone called My Fitness Pal and keep track of everything CutiePie eats to make sure she is at least getting close to the 950 calories/day she needs.  The ap is actually really cool - you can just scan the barcode of anything you eat and it automatically puts it into the diary.  MUCH easier than the notebook I used to keep for CutiePie and WAY easier to track the number of calories.  Well, after a week of tracking and using all the tricks the nutritionist gave us, and feeding her bowls of strawberry ice cream every evening she has yet to even reach 700 calories/day.  I'm beginning to wonder if this little girl is any way genetically related to me.   The other night for dinner she had on her plate a spoonful of sunbutter, Cheecha puffs with cream cheese, shredded cheddar, watermelon, and a strawberry milkshake.  I cringed giving it to her because it goes against everything I've ever learned about what to feed a toddler, but all the ate was the Cheecha puffs anyway.  ::sigh::   At least we have three months to get her to eat before having to spend a small fortune for some professionals to watch her not eat. 

And then we had yesterday.  She was eating so well all morning.  She drank all her milk, ate several snack throughout church service, came home and actually ate lunch.  It looked like she might have her best calorie day yet.  I gave her a bowl of strawberry ice cream in the afternoon, put her down for a nap, and left her with daddy while I went out for a very rare, much needed dinner out with some girlfriends.  I was gone for about 3 hours, so I expected her to be excited when I got home.  I came in the door and immediately knew something was wrong.  Daddy said she had been crying since she woke up from her nap, and as I went over to pick her up she immediately opened her mouth and puked.  And puked.  And puked.  Daddy had given her a bottle full of cow's milk with her dinner and it all came back up.  Plus everything else she had eaten all day.  It was curdled and smelly and EVERYWHERE.   However, after her tummy was empty she was back to laughing and playing and she was happy as could be.  Totally suspicious.  She played with me for a couple hours, drank a bottle of my milk, and then we snuggled up in bed and went to sleep.  Two hours later I woke up to her puking all over me again.  And our bed.  And our pillow.  I used to be a teacher.  I taught anywhere from infants up to 1st grade and I've dealt with my share of kids with a stomach bug.  You would *think* the smell of vomit wouldn't bother me anymore, but I swear I have the weakest tolerance on the face of the planet.  Poor daddy ends up having to be the one to clean it up.  (I married an AMAZING man who doesn't mind either!) So after another shower and new sheets/blankets/pillows we finally got back to sleep.   This morning she is acting fine, but refusing any type of solids.  So far today she's had a bottle of my milk and about 5 Cheecha puffs and 2 small noodles.  I am *hoping* it is just a virus and not some reaction to something she ate, but either way we can't at this point afford for any set backs with her eating.  The last time she had a puking reaction it took her SIX WEEKS to eat anything other than Cheecha puffs.  And back then I was making a heck of a lot more milk than I am now. 

On a positive note though, after four loads of pukey laundry my house is finally starting to smell normal again.  I think I may bake some chocolate chip cookies this afternoon though, just to push it over to a pleasant smelling place rather than just an okay smelling place.  And I'm thinking maybe I deserve a cookie or two (or twelve!) right about now!

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