Sunday, August 17, 2008

return of the reflux

You may have noticed that I've been MIA these days.  Bottom line is:  I'm exhausted.  Utterly, totally, and completely.  It seems all heck is breaking loose in this household over the last 2 months.  I've been busy planning a return to the work-force and interviewing child-care candidates.  Meanwhile, Samuel is giving me a run for my money where it seems disciplining him is a full time job and then some.  And Sydney, well, she has 4 teeth coming in and her reflux has been kicking it in high-gear.  Until the last few days, she's been sleeping less than when she was a newborn!  Anyone who knows me really well knows that I require A LOT of sleep.  I mean, a lot.  10 hours would be ideal.  I know, I know, who gets 10 hours sleep unless you are a teenager?  Well, I'll settle for 7.  But I'm getting about 4 - and it's interrupted sleep at that.  At a time where Sam needs me on my toes the most I'm lucky if I can get out of bed.

Back to the reflux... Sydney no longer physically "spits up" like she used to. But I know the reflux is still an issue because she has sharp cries of pain that is much different than simply a baby needing attention. She also clears her throat, has an occasional horse voice, and is often congested - all signs of reflux. You don't have to "spit up" to have a problem with reflux.  What's referred to as "silent reflux" can be a problem too.  But reflux doesn't even have to be a problem.  Almost ALL babies have reflux. It becomes a problem if it's either causing pain or if it's causing a failure to thrive. Sydney is NOT failing to thrive by any means. In fact, she eats more when her reflux is bothering her (out of comfort). But she is clearly in pain, and it's affecting her sleep a great deal.  So it's a problem.

It's been difficult to talk to too many people about what we are going through with Sydney's reflux. I think people assume my concern is that she "spits up", but that is far from the case. I could care less if she pukes over everything I own. I just hate to see her in pain. It doesn't help that apparently reflux is a common diagnosis these days so when you say your baby has reflux I think people aren't sure if you mean your baby spits up (duh, all babies do), your baby is in pain, or your baby is failing to thrive. It seems reflux is the new colic.  Many babies that were once described as being colicky are now better understood to have reflux.  

To help control the reflux, Sydney does best when sleeping at an angle.  But since she's such a mover and a shaker, she rolls down the bed. Therefore, I've invested in the following sleep wrap designed to hold her in place while the bed is at an angle, based on a recommendation from my friend Jennifer W.  So far I think it's making a real positive difference.  I don't really like the fact that having the mattress upright at an angle causes her neck to kink to the side, but her chiropractor didn't seem concerned.  Yes, my daughter has a chiropractor.  I'm willing to try it all to get more sleep.

We've also moved on to a more aggressive medication and I'm more serious about eliminating dairy from my diet (I'm still nursing). Often reflux is aggravated (though not caused) by sensitivities; both Sydney's doctor and I believe she has a sensitivity to milk-products.  Occasionally she has blood in her stools, further evidence of allergies.

All in all, I'm starting to "see the light", which is why I can hop back into blog land.  We're not yet back to sleeping through the night, but we're doing much better.  I feel the reflux is more under control now.  I'm not sure if it's the sleep wrap, the new meds, my diet, the chiropractor, or her age that is helping, but I guess I'll continue with our current plan because something is working.  Now, if I could only do something about these 4 teeth coming in for poor baby girl!


P.S.  turns out you can save a good chunk of cash and make a sleep wrap.  Why didn't I think of that???


expatswede said...

Oh no. Poor Sydney! Poor mommy, too. I really hope she turns a corner soon and lets mommy sleep more. Iza's 8th tooth just came out an the week leading up to it - oy vey. I was *this* close to a nervous breakdown. Lack of sleep does crazy things with a person.

bkallsen said...

Hi Tricia, I hope the wrap does the job. Is this the $80 contraption? Good