Monday, December 6, 2010

Failure to Thrive and NG Tube. A day in the life of a baby with Down syndrome

I'm beginning to wonder if my baby has a tendency to leave the hospital worse off than when he arrived.

This morning after researching all of the heart meds Jacob was on, I discovered that there were some drug interactions that were not being followed. However, because Nathan (11 year old) and Courtney (18 month old) were up last night and this morning puking, I was unable to run down to the hospital before they gave Jake his next dose of Digoxin. I did call the nurse up and expressed my concern and just about got into a rumble when she dismissed my concerns and told me that she'd forward the information onto the doctor after I pressed the subject further. Not one to be patronized and swept aside, I called our local pharmacist and talked to him about the medications and possible interactions to be considered and found out...the nurse was right.  I was overreacting. Although the Digoxin is not supposed to be taken with an antacid (he's on a form of zantac), Jake's particular medicine did not register in the pharmacist's computer as a potential risk with the digoxin, and therefore should be safe to use.  DARN IT!  I hate it when the nurses are right. 

So, I went down to the hospital and talked the nurse, apologized, and we had a good heart-to-heart about what I'm looking for and needing from the care of Jacob and all of the information they are providing me as a parent regarding his care.  And to her credit, Erin DID talk to the doctor after our phone call about my concerns and had his zantac changed to a different medicine that they were sure would not interact poorly with Jake's medicine. Darn it again!  I may just have to like this spite of my irrational need to be mad at everyone right now.

I got to spend another 4 hours waiting to talk to the doctor. While waiting, I discovered that Jake threw up another 3 times while I was gone the night before, and did not gain any weight overnight.  He'd done some pretty BIG vomits too, so he'd gone through every article of clothing as well as his sling and they had jimmy-rigged something that would have to do until the sling was laundered. 

I finally got to talk to the doctor around 3 PM, talked about the drug interactions and cleared the air with her as well. We discussed my need for a medical 'cheet sheet' and she asked why we weren't enrolled in the Sunflower Program - I guess if I talk to enough people about the program SOMEONE will get us signed up! lol We discussed his feeding and the spitting up, the results of yesterday's tests, and the tests that she wanted to do tomorrow. Again, she reiterated that his problems were due to reflux.  I again explained that there was no question that he had reflux.  I just needed to know if Jake just happened to have really bad timing and the reflux kicked in at the same time he took his medications, or if the medications were the reason he was having reflux. 

 Jacob with his NG tube due to failure to thrive and refluxDr. Starr said that they were going to do a 90 minute test tomorrow that would track how Jacob digests his liquids and how quickly his stomach drains the liquids into his intestines.  She said that if there was a problem with draining they would have to give him a medicine that would help him metabolize his food faster.  But, if there is nothing wrong, and he continues to throw up his foods, they would have to take a tube, place it down his throat, past his stomach and place it directly into his intestines so that they can avoid the reflux and get food into Jake's body so he can begin to gain some weight. Then, as soon as he breaks the 10 lb barrier they will make arrangements to have his heart surgery done.  Hmmmm that heart surgery seems to be screaming to reality much faster than I had anticipated. We've gone from Spring (April-May), to Jan-Feb, and now maybe as soon as the end of this month.  Wow.  I need to wrap my mind around that one.

The one thing I have noticed though through this whole 'reflux' thing is that when I hold him in my arms for feedings and after feedings he almost NEVER throws up.  So, in an effort to avoid a feeding tube, I've decided that it's time to go back to all-nighters in the hospital - holding Jacob in my arms all night long - so that he can sleep without vomiting and (hopefully) get a clean bill of health here in the next couple of days.  However, that also means that I'll pretty much be committing to holding him (or having him held) all day long until his surgery in order to keep his food down (sigh), but  at least he'll be sleeping, not puking, and we'll be able to move that much faster in the direction of surgery and (hopefully) a much healthier baby Jacob.
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1 comment:

Chuck said...

Thanks for the updates, Susan. I keep thinking every day he lives, he gets a little stronger. And he continues to be in my daily prayers.