"Whether we are filled with joy or grief, our angels are close to us, speaking to our hearts of God's love."

Friday, November 5, 2010

November 5, 2010

Life sure isn't getting any easier for Benjamin or for us. He's been vomiting almost after every feed and even when we administer his meds now. It's really hard to get the reflux under control when he throws up his medication!

We were at Children's on Monday and Tuesday of this past week for an upper GI and a swallow study. The upper GI took almost 4 hours because Benjamin had to keep getting x-rays every half hour or so. It ruled out any narrowing or strictures in his bowel (which was such a relief). The barium swallow was done to determine if Benjamin could be silently aspirating. We were in the room the entire time and I can honestly say it was the most bizarre and disturbing experience. They sat Benjamin in this plastic seat and asked me to feed him a bottle of barium. He started screaming which I knew he would do because he has an oral aversion. I told them I wasn't comfortable feeding him like that, and asked if one of the techs could take over. After a few failed attempts with the bottle, they decided to try and spoon some rice cereal mixed with barium into his mouth. At this point he was sputtering barium and gagging. They then brought out a sippy cup and told us they would have to pour the barium down his throat! They handed him back to us and the poor little thing even had barium around his fingernails. He never aspirated, but the conclusion was he has trouble protecting his airway. Umm, do you think it's because he was screaming the entire time?!? Anyway, we now have to thicken his bottles with this gel-like substance called simply thick. He seemed to do well the first few times we fed it to him, but now not so much. We're going to try a thickening powder to see if that makes a difference.

We were busy the rest of the week as well. Benjamin had his first session with his teacher from the Perkins School on Tuesday morning. It was a shame he slept almost the entire time! He has an opthamology appointment at the end of the month and I think the recommendation for glasses is going to be sooner rather than later. He's starting to have a lot of convergence (his eyes are crossing) when he tries to focus. It appears as though he can see about 6 inches in front of him and then loses vision beyond that. He has been maintaing eye contact with me for longer periods of time when I hold him, but he's still not doing a great job of tracking.

On Wednesday his Physical Therapist from EI came over. She was able to show me how to move him into different positions to stretch some of his muscles. He has major sensory issues and she spent most of the time trying to calm him down and get him into a position he could tolerate. I've noticed when I'm holding him and he's comfortable and sleeping, the minute I move even an inch, he tremors and screams.

Thursday morning we were at the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center at South Shore Hospital for an OT evaluation. Again, the therapists couldn't do much with him because he was so sensitive, but were able to learn alot about him and they couldn't get over his eyelashes. Everywhere we go, that's the first thing people notice! I think we'll be at the hospital at least twice a week, if not three times (one day each for OT, PT, and Feeding/Speech).

Benjamin got his first Synagis shot Thursday afternoon. He was not a happy camper. Even before he got his shot, he decided to vomit all over himself. Good times. We cleaned him up and then it was time for him to have his shot. They split the dose into two injections, but were kind enough to administer them at the same time. Benjamin screamed so hard he actually held his breath and turned blue. The nurse blew in his face and he still wasn't reacting. She scooped him up and started patting him and finally got him to breathe. This happens almost every time he has an immunization! I feel so bad for him and he has to have this shot every 30 days for the next 4 months. I think Dad might take him next time!

Next week is going to be just as busy. We have a PT evaluation at South Shore Hospital on Monday, Feeding Tuesday morning, EI Tuesday afternoon, and we're back to Children's Friday morning to see a doctor in the Complex Care/Cerebral Palsy Clinic.

I feel bad because I don't have the time to do as much with Jadyn. She's been a real trooper and I've been trying to spend as much one on one time with her as I can... even if it means taking her grocery shopping at 8:00 on a school night! Bad mommy. I am also starting to realize how neurotic I've become. The other night I was taking Jadyn home from my parents' house. Benjamin went in one car with Ryan, and Jadyn was with me. She said "I should be next to Benjamin... he's not in this car with us and I can't tell you if he's breathing!" I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when she said that.


  1. ((((HUG)))) Although I only know you through Ryan and his parents, I wish I could just give you a big hug. You are so brave and strong through all of this, and I'm sure your heart breaks when you must put Benjamin through these tests and shots. I wish I could somehow help, and I hope that our daily prayers do that. I wonder, too, if you have a few minutes to read a story or two, it might help you help Benjamin. There are 2 little boys' stories (Aiden and Jonathan) at http://www.feingold.org/pg-success.html
    that may possibly have some relevance. Our kids follow the Feingold plan, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. I don't have the book in front of me now, but I remember one of the Feingold books referring to babies that were wildly uncomfortable, as Benjamin can be. I'd hoped to find such a directly related story online, but these were the closest I found quickly. If you want me to look into it further, just let me know. May you continue to be blessed, comforted, and guided by Our Loving Father, who loves you all so very much.

    Peace --

    Cheryl Hess

  2. I'm sending my love to you all, Jackie! Jadyn's comment is so poignant. When we first brought Jill home, I remember being afraid to go to sleep because, during sleep, I couldn't watch her breathing. I would pray, "Please, God, do this for me. Watch her for me because I can't anymore right now." It did bring me some peace. I'm praying for your family, and sending special prayers of sustenance for you.