Sunday, February 7, 2010

Reflecting on reflux

Max had an event-filled week, with his 15 month checkup (complete with two vaccinations) on Tuesday and his monthly Synagis shot on Friday. Somewhere in there Max picked up a cold; it flared up on Thursday and at Friday's shot the nurse reminded Carolyn that "colds get worse before they get better". And then on Friday night it began to snow.

Katy and the Big Snow
Katy, we need you!

Max was a little uncomfortable, but he got to bed without much incident. I worked until midnight and then noticed that there was quite a lot of snow. Don't ask me why, but between midnight and 2:00 AM, instead of sleeping soundly, I went out into the blizzard and shovelled snow. Crazy? But consider this: several of my neighbors were also out at that hour doing the same thing. We agreed that we were just trying to stay ahead of the accumulation, but the storm filled the air with snow and electricity. We were elated to see the old world erased in front of our eyes, and keeping the walks clear felt heroic. Well, what do you expect from a bunch of men on Friday night? None of us could sleep.

Snowmageddon by night
The night was as bright as day

When we woke up, it was still snowing, and there was no way to keep ahead of it. Max's cold really bothered him, and aggravated his reflux. In some ways, I had forgotten that he even had reflux, but when he threw up his morning bottle, we were right back into the fight again. Carolyn and I cudgeled our heads to remember all of the tricks we had perfected to keep food in Max. He was once again like a fragile waterballoon full of formula. We resorted running 100 ccs or so into him during his naps to keep him from getting dehydrated. We also kept the pump rate below 1 cc/min, burped him after three sucks at the bottle and many other precautions we thought were behind us.

Our theory is that post-nasal drip, combined with the ng tube, really inflames his stomach and interferes with its ability to close the esophagus. Maybe it's crazy, but he certainly had a very runny nose.

No-one looks good in extreme closeup

By Sunday night Max's cold seemed to be getting better. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but Max's reflux (to me at least) also appeared to be subsiding. In a few days, he'll probably be back to his old self. But the weekend was a vivid reminder of how we used to live.