Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Failure to Thrive


Elisabeth has been classified as 'Failure to Thrive'; doesn't that sound dramatic? I kept thinking it would make a great movie title, and then I realized that's because it reminds me of, 'Failure to Launch', a movie that I highly do not recommend (by the way, did you watch 7 Pounds yet?).

But back to Elisabeth; after being evaluated and tested and this and that, they decided that at this point she simply cannot take in enough calories to gain or even maintain weight. They have labeled her as a 'recreational eater'. I chuckled at that and told them that I'm a recreational eater too...but somehow I don't have a problem with weight!

The feeding and growth clinic made a recommendation for a g-tube with these goals in mind:

1. Appropriate growth and nutrition.
2. Safe swallow.
3. Viable means of providing medication and nutrition.

That sounds fine and dandy to me.

The next day we had an appointment with the surgeon who will be placing Elisabeth's g-tube. He made the same exact joke that I did about being a recreational eater; I laughed (but realized that my joke must not be all that original...ha!). We then discussed Elisabeth's past medical history and he questioned me about her frequent spit-up episodes. (***side note: a few months ago I announced that Elisabeth was no longer spitting up; well, it resumed shortly thereafter).

His concern is that if Elisabeth struggles with reflux, the pressure from food entering in through a g-tube might just make the reflux all that worse. So he sent us to radiology for an upper GI.

The upper GI showed that she has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In fact, in the 5 minutes of the test she refluxed 6 times. So in addition to the g-tube surgery she will also have nissen fundoplication surgery. This is where they take part of the stomach and wrap it around the esophagus to help strengthen the valve that stops fluids from backing back up into the esophagus, make sense? I went ahead and watched a video of the surgery and decided that I am so very glad that I am not a surgeon :)

Surgery will be one week from today and they estimate that she will stay in the hospital 4-5 days. Also on the calendar is Elisabeth's MRI (next Tues.) to see about the possible chiari malformation.
There's a lot coming up...

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