|Yes, that is a totally gross picture of my sweet girl vomiting her little guts out like she used to do every night between 10 and 11pm. But all the tests were normal, so that means she's fine, right?|
A child who vomits 600 times in their first year of life has a problem. A child who gags when they see a spoon has a problem. A child who suddenly drops off the growth chart and refuses to eat has a problem. A child who depends on massive doses of stool softeners, laxatives, and enemas in order to produce even a minimal bowel movement has a problem. A child who asks for Maalox for breakfast has a problem. A child who can vomit 6 hour old food has a problem. A child who never progressed from breastmilk to solid food and survives off of formula, gluten-free crackers, and chocolate chips has a problem. A child who breaks out in rashes from touching certain foods has a problem. A child who has diarrhea 4 or 5 times a day has a problem. A child who wakes up in the middle of the night with a mouth full of refluxed stomach contents has a problem. (are we seeing a theme here? and no, these aren't all Raya)
Symptoms like these are problems, especially after a myriad of remedies have been employed with no relief. (or not enough relief) When your child is miserable, has an ongoing problem that you haven't been able to fix, or is not progressing as they should be developmentally, you need to know what is at the root of the problem.
I woke up this morning with a bit of anxiety about Raya's upcoming impedance study. (She's being admitted in the morning for a 24 hour "sleepover" so we can measure her acid and non-acid reflux.) As the day has gone on, my anxiety has built. (and so has the level of acidity in my stomach. I need some of Raya's Tums.) My anxiety is one part PTSD at the idea of being admitted after staying out of the hospital for 2+ years (ok, 2 years, 4 months, and 15 days but who's counting) and two parts paranoia that the test we're about to do will come back "WNL" (within normal limits, one of my least favorite medical acronyms).
|Her last impedance study, complete with RIDICULOUS tape job and arm restraints.|
|Why does a simple hospital admission for a test give me anxiety? Oh yeah, because it might be COMPLETELY MISERABLE and give us nothing new to work with.|
So while a part of me really wants to believe that this impedance study will give us an accurate picture of what I feel is persistant, problematic GERD, there's a nagging, gnawing fear and anxiety that it will be within normal limits and we will be exactly where we are now, which is STUCK. And nobody likes to be stuck and feel stagnant and hear things like, "Well, just keep doing what you're doing and maybe things will improve with time." or "Hmmm...I'm not really sure what to do next." or the dreaded, "Well maybe she'll just grow out of it." (I could write another whole blog post about why I hate that statement but I won't. Not right now, anyway.) Things HAVEN'T gotten better, and she HASN'T grown out of anything, which is why we're doing the impedance study. And if the results do turn out to be normal, I will probably cry and I might even swear a little. But maybe this will be the time that the test isn't normal...But what if it is...But what if it isn't...
*sigh* So there you have it. An anxiety-driven diatribe about why NORMAL doesn't necessarily equal GOOD. Hoping for the best, preparing mentally for "normal", and crossing my fingers that we'll land somewhere in between.