My Baby the Car Battery
We took Erik to the hospital and put him under an x-ray machine. He drank a bottle filled with formula that would glow on the radiographic films. He swallowed the substance as they captured x-ray after x-ray, but the chalky liquid came back up into his throat so many times the technicians said there was no question he had gastroesophageal reflux and saw no point in continuing to irradiate our baby (One year later at the children's hospital in the city just mere minutes after we were handed our devastating diagnosis, I held our son in place at an x-ray machine while I sobbed all over the lead smock I was required to wear. An upright study performed while he ate a cookie would produce the same results).
It was then we were prescribed medication, and our lives changed. First, we gave him Reglan. That evening we had a baby mysteriously screaming in even more agony and spent some time on the phone with a physician who instructed us to stop this preparation immediately. After that medication cleared out of his system, we were given a trial of Prevacid, a medication that turns off the pumps in the stomach that produce acid. The change was immediate. My baby began to emit the soft scent babies should for the first time, and he no longer seemed to be wracked with pain. It was nothing short of a miracle after months of what felt like hell on earth. He has been on Prevacid morning and night ever since. When the doctor suggested we try weaning him long ago, we both laughed too loudly at this and declined.
Now that Erik is older, I decided to stop his morning dose of medication last week and continue giving it to him in the evening. This was two or three days ago, and he seemed to be doing fine. However, this morning he woke up grouchy and refused to eat hardly anything at all. His feelings were crushed when I scolded him for kicking me with his long legs as I changed his diaper, and he repeatedly worked his lips as if he had put a little piece of something in his mouth. He sounded junky and congested up into his nose. Before he could leave in his father's arms for day care, it was clear to me that the reflux was back with the exact same intensity as before. I could actually see his throat beginning to work trying to keep the acid down.
I was already feeling a little blue this morning. The sky is heavy with clouds and the holidays are looming over me like a glittery monster, complicated and heavy, and I want to ring in the New Year already. Seeing the ruthless symptoms of reflux manifest themselves in my poor son for the first time in years was a little unnerving and made me feel like the worst mother on earth. It was also a grim reminder of the darkness this diagnosis brought to this family at one time. I could have done without this today. I thought perhaps that there would be an improvement with age.
There hasn't been any improvement whatsoever.
Erik left sobbing carried down the driveway in his father's arms with tiny beads from the dissolved Prevacid SoluTab on his lips. I'm saying a prayer right now that the magic properties of this miraculous medication take hold in his gut before he is subjected to the additional, terrible trauma of being immersed in a group of squealing, laughing children.
All I can say is this: If I could marry the good folks at TAP Pharmaceutical Products, Incorporated, I would. Thank God for them.