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Friday, June 20, 2014

Henry Wellness Update: Meds, Munchies, and Moves

This week we saw Henry's gastro doctor, feeding therapist, and he had his usual physical therapy session. Here are some updates from those appointments:

Playing footsie in the stroller while we waited for Henry's doctor :)
Gastroenterology - 
We knew from Henry's ENT appointment last week that his acid reflux was still bad, despite the Prevacid, and was irritating his throat and causing vomiting. Gastro doc said the next step in treating reflux would be adding another prescription: Erythromycin. This is actually an antibiotic, but it has a side effect of causing strong stomach contractions. To the best of my understanding the idea is that because of his hypotonia, Henry's stomach and digestive system in general are moving the food through too slowly which is causing increased acid production. So the goal of this medication is to help his stomach pump more effectively and get the food moving on through. 

Pros - It could improve the reflux. It might also help with his appetite because if the food isn't sitting in his stomach too long, he won't feel full all the time and he'll be hungry to eat. Also if the acid production decreases he may feel better in general and be more interested in eating. And more eating = healthier weight gain.

Cons - It's an antibiotic :( So it's going to mess up his "gut flora" = good bacteria needed for digestion. 

I'm giving him daily probiotics and feeding him yogurt every morning to try to combat the antibiotic. It's only been a few days, so I feel like it may be too soon to say whether it is worth it. We have seen a decrease in vomiting, but it hasn't stopped completely. We will see the gastro doc again in two weeks.

I wish so much that we didn't have to give him all this medicine, but the reflux seriously causes so. many. problems. Vomiting, only being able to eat small meals, fussiness, waking up at night, irritation in his throat and voice box (could be affecting his speech? He doesn't babble much.) and sniffly snotty mucus production giving him a constant runny nose. 

Feeding Therapy - 
Henry has been eating purees and yogurt for a couple of months now, and I had backed off in recent weeks because I was trying to get him to take more formula (per the nutritionist's instruction that formula needed to be his main food) and because I was in constant fear of triggering a vom. This week our feeding therapist said I needn't be concerned about Henry vomiting because of overeating. She said it sounds like it's a reflux issue not an eating issue and that I should let him eat as much as he is interested in eating - both formula and solids.

She also said it's time to work on adding texture to his foods and increasing variety. We tried out tiny pieces of banana which he hated and gagged on. She showed me a great trick to stop a gagging reflex before it triggers a vom which is to blow in the baby's face as soon as he starts to gag! (Talking about gagging here - not choking.) It totally works. He stops gagging immediately, smiles, and continues working on trying to swallow. 

We mixed the banana with his veggie puree and sprinkled cracker crumbs on top. Our therapist also showed me that patting his hand, talking, singing, etc. helps keep him calm while he's dealing with these new textures and sensations.

So in the next few weeks we'll try some new fruits and grains and even some meat! Yikes! Meals are becoming very entertaining for Henry and even for Calvin because I'm now doing a lot of singing and playing with Henry while feeding him. It's kind of exhausting but it's also fun :) And it's always nice to see my boys actually EAT!

Physical Therapy - 
Henry has been rocking the rolling lately, but in therapy he's got a lot more to work on. Our main goal lately is to get him pushing and bearing weight on his arms. I'll hold his lower torso and legs and put his hands on the floor, trying to get him to do a little partly-supported baby plank pose. Bearing weight on his arms will strengthen his arms, upper body, and abdominal muscles and also increase his awareness of his wrists and hands. Our PT also showed me how to push on his feet or hands when he's lying on his back with the goal of getting him to push back in a constant muscle contraction rather than a big movement (like a kick). Again, this is for the purpose of strengthening his muscles and helping him feel his hands and feet, but also to help him get used to holding a muscle contraction instead of constantly moving. I should take pictures during PT so this stuff makes more sense!

Happy 11-month-old Henry! We love this little nugget so much.


  1. sounds like you're doing what you should and thinking everything through! keep up the great work! i know henry's going to be fine! thanks so much for these updates! you're wonderful!

  2. i know, too many exclamation points. somehow a period just seems so blah, you know.

    1. Ha! When I edit my posts I often have to remove exclamation points because I tend to go overboard! Those and smiley faces and commas,,, :) !

  3. Interesting! Erythromycin makes me puke! I never knew about the blow in their face trick, I bet that is very useful. So many things to cover everyday, you are very admirable, Diana. Keep it up girl! Thinking of you!