Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The GERD!

GERD - Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.  A disorder that occurs when the acid in the stomach comes back up the esophagus causing pain, vomiting, coughing episodes, and extreme fussiness in infants and children.  Sophie has struggled with this since birth and still needs to be medicated when she has episodes.  

Recently, GERD has struck again in our home attacking poor, sweet, innocent, baby Elizabeth!! Unfortunately, Elizabeth has a severe case of the GERD and it has been reaking havok with her little body.  I knew the first night in the hospital after her birth that something was wrong because every time we placed her on her back in the bassinet she screamed.  Then, she woke up with a coughing fit, obviously choking on something and turned purple.  We had to do an emergency call for a nurse as Elizabeth struggled to get a breath.  The episode was dismissed as an isolated event because they thought she may have just had some extra stuff in her airways from the birth experience.  Elizabeth slept a lot during her first 6 weeks and seemed happy and healthy for the most part, but I did notice that she wasn't nursing as often as she should have been (probably because it hurt her).  Then, somewhere between 7 and 8 weeks she stopped progressing.  She began having the choking episodes and breathing difficulties again, she was constantly vomiting up her milk (not just spit up... the chunky stuff), her voice was extremely hoarse (from the acid), and she was terribly fussy; crying during most of her awake hours. Elizabeth had also stopped gaining weight.  Since I am no stranger to reflux, I knew that she had it.  Clint's mom is a nurse and she also recognized the reflux symptoms while we were in Arkansas.  However, due to the severity of Elizabeth's symptoms and the fact that she was not gaining weight, we were sent to the hospital for further testing.  It was an awful experience as Elizabeth endured chest X-rays, an EKG, and other poking and prodding.  We were told that she may have a congenital heart defect or pulmonary disease, or a malformity.  Yikes!  It was a little scary there for a few hours, but all of the tests came back normal.  She just has a nasty case of GERD!  She started medication two weeks ago today.  There have been some improvements the best one being that she is finally gaining weight again.  She is over 10 lbs. now and is back on the growth chart.  She is 11 weeks old so she still has some catching up to do, but that's ok.  She is our little peanut! She is vomiting less although Monday and Tuesday of this week were really bad.  She has still been quite fussy too.  Hopefully the medicine will continue to bring her some relief and of course we are praying for a complete healing!    

3 comments:

Sherri said...

Oh no! Poor little precious girl - and poor Mom too! I do pray she will feel better soon. Glad you knew what it is and what to do about it.

The photos from Arkansas are gorgeous!

Decker & Christine Smith said...

Oh no! Not more GERD! I remember how hard that was for Sophie. I'm glad it wasn't all of those other scary things the Dr.'s told you about. I'm glad they are so thorough, but man, all of the things that COULD go wrong are enough to give moms a heart attack. Our prayers are with you guys!

Heather said...

Oh no!! We will be praying for little Elizabeth and the whole family. My aunt just experienced this with her little one and I never realized how bad it could be. It sounds like you have much of the same. We will be praying for quick development of her system to handle eating etc. Glad to hear that everything is going well!! Much love, Heather