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~ JEFFREY'S STORY ~


THE FIRST 8 WEEKS

Jeffrey started projectile vomiting at two weeks old. He was vomiting, crying constantly, and having severe gagging episodes on mucous (especially bad at night). He was gassy, gassy, gassy even after changing formulas several times and nothing made him happy or could console his tiny little body from the endless pain. He constantly wanted a bottle only to suck down 1 oz and scream out in pain and/or vomit shortly afterwards. Jeffrey never burped, had wet hiccups and very bad thrush in his mouth.

THE DIAGNOSIS IS REFLUX

The doctors kept calling the reflux (which I had never heard of before) "kids stuff". After weeks of persistence on my part, he had an ultrasound and a Barrium Enema test to r/o any complications other than a large cyst we were aware of in his intestinal tract, (the cyst was unrelated to the reflux, however, and was removed at 3 mos of age). I kept describing the projectile vomiting as something so fierce..something I had never seen before in my life (and Jeffrey is my 4th child). The first Gastroenterologist downplayed my concern and called it "profuse" vomiting and refused to acknowledge it was "projectile". Jeffrey's vomit would literally project into my face, outside the bassinet, and covered the entire sides of his bassinet . Remember, this kind of vomiting was coming from a two-week old infant!!

After countless sleepless days and nights with "cat-arched" back, colicky crying, acid-smelling vomit, drool and then losing weight, the doctor's FINALLY listened to my concerns and started him on Zantac. After about a week, I saw a difference in my little baby. He was sleeping longer and holding down his liquids. But, this was only the beginning of a very long road .. a road that is still being traveled.

MEDICATIONS

For 8 months, the Zantac helped the reflux remain under control, but with every upset to his system by way of virus or cold, the reflux played havoc on his system. He would get bad reflux spells including choking on the liquid coming up his throat, and his esophagus would hurt causing non-stop crying for weeks on end. Sleeping in his infant carrier and/or stroller in a semi-reclined position to help him feel more comfortable became a way of life. And, this lasted for months (to date, he still doesn't like his crib!)

With the aid of Mylanta, it helped ease his pain through the reflux flare-up episodes, but this was only a "temporary" fix. Jeffrey was happy for a week or two and then the reflux came back with a vengeance.

FOOD INTRODUCTION

By 9 months of age, Jeffrey became more mobile, and so did the reflux .. up and out yet again! He was switched to Prevacid and things got better again with the aid of this new drug.

Then, we introduced solid folds in a second attempt to get his body to accept his significant food intolerances which appeared in his earlier months and followed through to date.

Jeffrey has had a difficult time accepting solid foods. His food intolerances seem to aggravate the reflux and cause intestinal cramping, swelling, irritation and eczema. We are eliminating the foods causing problems and trying to introduce new foods while hoping for success at this, his one year birthday. When a food doesn't agreee with Jeffrey, the reflux gets bad again, and we go through weeks of a very unhappy baby and countless sleepless nights!

Oh, yes, I meant to mention that teething is awful, too, with reflux getting worse before every tooth erupts.

THE YEAR 2000

1999 has been a very long, emotionally difficult year trying to maintain Jeffrey's reflux within tolerable levels. There have been many ups and downs; I just hope this New Year 2000 brings us contentment, and Jeffrey can be free of the reflux, this awful, silent disease.


Written 12/17/99