If you missed my last post about this topic, you might like to go HERE to read.
After more than two years of battling acid reflux in our toddler, after bloodwork and barium tests and so many medicines we'd lost count, we found ourselves faced with surgery. Pierce had three severe setbacks that fall, with weeks of projectile vomiting. It was time to investigate more thoroughly.
Granted, it was just a scope. He would be having an upper and lower GI done. But still, knowing your baby is going under anesthesia is terrifying for any parent.
Here is Pierce at age 2:
The drive to the hospital that morning was somber. Paul and I were nervous of course. We waited in a waiting area for a while. It was early morning, around 6 am. Pierce was hungry but couldn't eat anything. There was a toy box in the room, with signs that each child was allowed just one toy, and afterwards it had to be placed in a separate bin for sanitizing. We broke the rules after 30 minutes and allowed Pierce to get out a second toy. We couldn't help but indulge him.
Finally they called Pierce back to a bed, in a waiting area for pre-surgery. The nurses put him in a tiny gown, and he looked so small and helpless. He knew something big was at stake, and fought against having his blood pressure taken. Paul said he felt sick to his stomach. I went around the corner and bought him a gingerale and some crackers, but we felt too guilty to eat or drink around Pierce, who couldn't have anything.
The nurses were kind, gentle, and reassuring. They put some cartoons on for Pierce, but he wouldn't watch them. I had brought along some books and his stuffed Elmo. He clutched Elmo, scared, as I read Goodnight Moon. Dr. C. came in and talked to us about the procedure. He told us to expect Pierce to wake up grumpy afterwards. And then he said that one parent could go back with him when he was put to sleep.
Paul and I looked at each other and blinked. I imagined watching my only son being put under anesthesia. I said, "Paul, I don't think I can do it. You go."
So he went with him. And I sat there feeling guilty that I didn't go with him, that I didn't want to watch. I fretted and tried not to cry. Paul came back in shortly, and we waited. I tried to read a book I'd brought, but I couldn't concentrate. Paul ate his snacks. The clock ticked. We listened to the bustle in the hall of nurses and other patients, other children waiting to be wheeled back.
Finally they wheeled him in, asleep. The surgery was over. Pierce rested peacefully on the hospital bed, swallowed up by the bed and his tiny gown, IV still in foot.
Dr. C. came in. He said that everything looked good - normal. There was some inflammation in his esophagus, but other than that he was fine. They had given Pierce some IV fluids while he was out in hopes of giving him some strength back - he was so weak after so much vomiting.
Dr. C. said he'd be changing his medicines. He wanted to try Nexium now that Pierce was a little older. In addition, he prescribed a month of Carafate to reduce the inflammation. We were told to take it easy on foods, to start small.
When we got home we dosed Pierce with new meds and then started with a cracker, but Pierce wanted more. More crackers! We couldn't hold him back. He ate half a sleeve of saltines before we were able to stop him. We waited. Would he start vomiting again? Thankfully, they stayed down.
In fact, the new meds worked. Suddenly, Pierce wasn't getting sick anymore. Gone were the days of multiple outfit changes and following him around with dish rags and Wet wipes. I can't tell you how thankful we were to have found something that worked.
The following summer, just before Pierce turned 3, we were finally able to wean him off the Nexium. He finally, thankfully, had outgrown his acid reflux. Once in a while, he'll still fight it a bit. I'll hear him fighting it and he'll rub his esophagus and he'll talk about it, and say that he doesn't want to throw up. But now, I just give him a children's tums and he's fine. And these days are few and far between.