Have you ever had an instinct? An instinct that begins as a gnawing...Then grows into a raging burn; a burning instinct that something is wrong...
Your baby continues to get sick from the very foods he is supposed to thrive on. I did. I am a mom of a little boy just diagnosed with FPIES.
And that burning feeling now? Extinguished. My instincts? Stronger than ever. Guiding me, with my faith, as we navigate through the murky waters of our new world created by something called FPIES.
"Faith is not about everything turning out OK; Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out."
Thursday, May 31, 2012
He got 3 doses today (2tsp at a time, in 3 different bottles throughout the day). His symptoms to note are: crankiness when waking this morning and from nap....but I have to remind myself that is not abnormal for him- he really struggles with this transition and I really wish I knew why.
But the good news, other than that- he was his normal mild-natured self all day. His cheeks aren't as rosy/chapped looking but it is waxing and waning still a bit. The concerning symptom of the blue coloring (cyanosis) around his lips and eyes is still there- there was a point today I just couldn't get over how terrible he looked.....but he was acting fine! He took a good nap, and he has fallen asleep easily tonight. His bowel movements have been great (yesterday and today)- no mucus, no blood, no increase or liquidy diapers, no diaper rash, no allergy ring; but there has been hiccups- twice. I know, seems silly right? Well, he's gotten hiccups before a fail before. He's also gotten hiccups randomly just like anyone else so who knows if this is a warning sign or not.
Either way, we press on. We press on encouraged because his appetite was good today- he ate his millet "cake" for lunch, and he had snacks through the day and willingly drank his bottles, and had dinner even! I made mashed potatoes and he LOVED them! I mixed them with his safe oil (Safflower) and his hemp milk. He ate a few tablespoons, and then he followed that with gobbling down 3 mini millet muffins and a whole cup of peach juice (peach puree + water = his safe juice). He then had a bedtime snack of 6 mini muffins.
The next day started out well, actually really-really well. The two little boys played SO well together! And then as the late morning wore on, we started seeing him crumbling...little things were upsetting him, he wanted mommy or daddy right next to him, he was getting obsessed over things (he has odd obsession behaviors when he isn't feeling good), he had 2 bowel movements - that although they didn't have any reactionary look to them, 2 in a day is out of his norm, plus that "allergy ring" was showing and some spots around his diaper area. What is this about? I actually didn't go right to the ProViMin in my head....
This is where it gets really hard....when you start seeing symptoms but you can't be 100% sure if they correlate with the trial or from something else....accidental exposure, cross contamination, etc. My head went to the Potato Stix he had eaten that morning. We initially found Pic-Nix potato stix at a Fleet Farm on our way up north last weekend. Everyone was getting a treat and I picked it up and read the ingredients: potato and cottonseed or palm, or safflower oil, and sea salt. Safflower oil is his SAFE oil! Right under the ingredients it states that it is manufactured on a dedicated line- no line cross contamination risk! The risk with it though is we're not sure if cottonseed or palm are safe....and actually have had suspicions that they might not be (from other foods with them). But, I took the risk anyway...we're traveling, he's not eating.anything. on the drive....I wanted him to have something to re-stimulate his appetite and was excited to give him a snack, just like this brothers were getting. I took the risk, for him. He ate the entire can over the course of the weekend, no symptoms to note. On the way home, we didn't go the same way but discussed that maybe we should have - since that can was seemingly safe, we should stock up!! Although we do have a Fleet Farm down the road from our house. I ran some errands earlier this week and decided to get some more, from our local Fleet Farm. I brought them home and he wanted some, took a few bites and then didn't want to eat them. Huh, well- maybe his "jag" is done and now that we're home, he wants something else "new"....or maybe it is a different batch with a not-so-safe oil and he can tell? My radar goes up a little. But, he has been asking for his "star cake" so I've been making that everyday (millet muffins made with a small star silicon pan). With the addition of pure maple syrup and ground CheeCha puffs (for potato starch/flour), the texture holds up better than his mini muffins ever did and he's gobbling them up- by the fork-ful! I'm amazed at how well this little boy is using a fork and spoon!
Ok, this is getting long so I better get to the point! Yesterday, he asked for his "potato chips" first thing in the morning. I hesitated- thinking of how he hasn't wanted them and what if they contain a unsafe ingredient and we're in the middle of the ProViMin trial,... but he has been wanting to eat before his morning bottle and I don't want to discourage that! So, I let him eat some- he didn't eat many and then he wanted his bottle, we decided to up the dose of the ProViMin yesterday- he has been SO pale and he needs the nutrients so his body can make iron if we have any hopes of not having to have another IV Iron infusion or blood transfusion. He took his 8am bottle and his 10:30am bottle well and was playing well all morning and then he had a full lunch of peaches, a potato pancake, 4 mini millet muffins, and some more potato stix. After lunch, he took another bottle and he started to get really crabby, we hoped he was just tired and an hour later he took another bottle and finally went to sleep. He did fine all evening, although his appetite was decreased and he was a little clingy to daddy. We got home late and he went to sleep easily and then he woke up around 3am SCREAMING!!! Yelling and screaming and thrashing and then hitting and kicking and screaming! He woke up everybody in the house, he was just crazy!! It's 3am!! We finally got him calmed down but he stayed awake for at least another hour. The next morning he was very crabby all morning- everything causing tears...all out of sorts. He seemed to be getting better as the afternoon wears on, so I am still hoping my instincts are right and that it was the potato stix and that will just have to work it's way out of his system (the can went into the garbage!) and not the increased ProViMin (went from 2tsp/bottle to 3tsp/bottle- upping his intake to 1/4cup/day (end goal being 1cup/day of ProViMin). I am also worried about his anemia and fear we have to face it and bring him in for an evaluation soon- he is so pale and has been for at least 2 weeks now, and this disturbed sleep (sleeping but not acting rested and then being up in the middle of the night) are familiar anemia symptoms. Also, his tube looks terrible!! I'm ready for it to just be taken out...we can't use it and he's now complaining again of it hurting during the day, and who can blame him? It's so red and inflamed, it looks like it is going to push itself out!! Time to address it. Surgery has given their recommendation - to pull it out, that it is causing more pain and adverse symptoms than it is helping (for sure!). His doctors are not sure if we are there yet with it and still hope to utilize it. We are just not sure. We continue to pray that the ProViMin will work out.
Strong blender, such as a Vitamix
To make milk:
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
We are so fortunate that our friends and family have been so incredibly supportive through the many stages of this journey. Family, long time friends, new FPIES friends and even those whom we know nothing about.... There have been times when I read an anonymous comment on this blog and wonder if that person even realizes the impact of their kind and supportive words. There have been times when we have received anonymous and not-to-anonymous donations to help us through some rough times providing for a family through a chronic and rare illness. How do I even convey what these gestures- no matter how seemingly simple they may seem to the giver, mean to me- to us. Nothing goes unnoticed or unappreciated when the small things are the big things- like an illness that takes away your ability to feed your child.
If you're looking for a way to help and need some idea's, please read How to Help an FPIES Family Today
And thank you for all you do for our family, for your kind words, for your prayers, for your positive thoughts and comments left on this blog and sent in e-mails, and for the monetary donations for our family or for The FPIES Foundation to help them help other families, and for the time spent helping us with our other boys, and for the RV loaned for the long travel to specialists, and for the weekend (and longer!) visits to help watch our boys, and for helping purchase the Vitamix that now makes Little Mans' food every.single.day, and for the grocery help,and for the acceptance of our restricted schedule and our special needs to keep Little Man safe, for the care packages sent to his brothers- especially when he is in the hospital and our attention is so divided and energy drained; and for watching our boys while we go to appointments for Little Man or picking them up from the bus, and just for simply understanding the adjustments we have made to help our Little Man thrive, and for multitude of other ways you have helped!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
We started it this evening. Tomorrow will tell us more of how he is doing, so far tonight he has been ok.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Can also add pure maple syrup to the batter.