Friday, June 28, 2013

Water Bug

Bryan loves water as much as I do.  Splash Day at school was a huge success.  Bryan's classmates hated the water so he got the table to himself.  As the story goes, Nuggs was very disappointed that he couldn't climb into/onto the water table.  According to his teacher, they just wanted to know if he'd like the water before they have him get in the kiddie pool.  While his classmates sat in the shade and cried, my kid laughed and splashed in the water.

Starting next week, he gets to "swim" with the bigger kids!

We really aren't surprised by Nuggs' reaction to water... do you remember this? Sometimes I forget how far we've come!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

You know you are doing alright when...

The trainer leading the class at the gym pulls you aside and says, "Jenna, I am so proud of you.  Look at your heart rate!  You are recovering so quickly... athletes work long and hard to get to this point and you just had a baby 14 months ago!"

She called me an athlete.  I think I recovered quickly and had to work harder to get my heart rate up in the first place because I was on the spin bike. I HATE that thing.  But talk about awesome cross training.  And who cares.  I am an athlete that had a baby 14 months ago.  I'll take it all as a compliment :-)

Friday, June 21, 2013


I have always had a knack for learning lessons the hard way.  And in May, I learned that if you run four miles  once a week then every Saturday run one more mile than you did the Saturday before, you can finish a half marathon...and get really close to a personal record (darn side stitch got me at mile 13!).  So, yeah, that was good to know.  But did you also know that this lack of running and lack of at least decent cross training can also lead to patellar tendonitis?  Yeah.  That's not so awesome.

My racing in started on April 28 with a 10 miler, then two more 10-mile long runs followed by a half marathon on May 19, and a 10k on May 27.  After that I took a much needed three week break to heal my achy knee and feet and ankles.

This week I am "easing" back into it.  I have another 10 mile race on Labor Day, a couple of fun 5k races and another half marathon in October.  This time, I am committed to the cross training.  And by "committed" I mean my orthopedic surgeon said that if I, "don't get in the gym and do SOMETHING other than run, then I am not a committed runner and will never be able to do this for the long term because it will ruin my legs."  Ok.  That's all I needed to hear! YIKES!!

Our air quality has been really poor so I have been hitting the treadmill a little more than I'd actually like to.  But at least I got two shorter runs in.  And two other cross training workouts that included an eliptical and a spin bike, each followed by some circuit strength training.

I know it's only been a week of effort but I feel really good.  Like "running five miles on Saturday will be pretty easy" good.  I feel stronger and faster than I did in May.  Maybe I just needed a little rest to recharge the batteries and heal my legs.  BRING. IT. ON!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

We pulled back the curtain and...

So the Wizard of Oz (our pediatric gastroenterologist) totally redeemed himself yesterday.  It was a rough start, though, so we were wondering how this conversation would go.  Our appointment time was 11:20 and at 12:40 we were still in the waiting room with a hungry toddler.  Thankfully, as any smart mom would,  I came prepared for the hungry toddler part!

We told the Wizard of our troubles with getting information from his medial assistant.  We also spoke of the waiting times in the waiting room.  The office manager was promptly called in and assured us that not only would we not be charged a copay for yesterday's visit, but our insurance company would not be billed either.  I didn't even know a doctor could do that.  I guess it's considered pro bono work. Regardless, after the discussion of our frustrations and his office staff not measuring up to the reputation of the doctors, we were more than satisfied with the outcome.

Now on to the results.  Nugget tested negative for all food allergies.  That's awesome.  But his labs came back positive for inflammation, and the upper portion of his small intestine was inflamed and irritated which is typically indicative of a food allergy.  The Wizard believes that Nugget was born with an allergy to something (most likely dairy...which explains all the formula issues we had) but has outgrown it.  Unfortunately, until the inflammation and irritation in his small intestine subsides he will not be asymptomatic even though he's outgrown the allergy.  Sounds confusing, huh?!?!

So here's the plan.  We've switched Nuggs from Prevacid (there is no evidence of him ever having reflux, but the symptoms of reflux and a food allergy in infants are very similar. Without testing there's no way to know for sure.) to an antihistamine that will help calm the inflammation in his small intestine as well as a combo medication that is another form of antihistamine combined with an appetite stimulant.

His growth trajectory not only did not improve, it actually got a little worse (he's under the 2nd percentile in weight) because he is growing taller but not gaining weight.  Everyone is hopeful that these two medications for a short period of time will right the ship.  We have six weeks to put a pound and a half on the little man.

So, how are we going to do that, you ask? That's the fun part!  We've been asked to turn Nugget into his Papa.  Per the Wizard's orders, "put peanut butter on everything.  Anything that you can imagine would be good with peanut butter, spread it on, including spoons.  And don't use the healthy, grind-your-own, all natural, Boulder-esque peanut butter. I want you using Jiff or Skippy or another brand with added fat and oil."  Ummm...OK!

Here's why. You make 19% of your brain cells after birth.  In order to make lots of them (according to the Wizard, this can equate to up to 9 IQ points), you need fat and protein as an infant and toddler.  Especially the fat.  Lots and lots of fat! And because there isn't much irreparable harm caused with food this early in life, its' best to load kids up on fat from sources like avocados, peanuts, almonds, and olive oil.  BTW, for you naysayers out there, in April of this year, the AMA and the American Association of Pediatrics released new guidelines with regard to peanuts and children.  And the new ruling is to feed your kids peanut butter much earlier in that it greatly decreases the likelihood of a peanut allergy.

Maybe we should rename Nugget to Skippy!  Nah.  We like Nugget.  Here's hoping that in six weeks we have a chunky Nugget!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The hope of an angry momma bear...

Today is the day we've been waiting for since May 20.  Actually, this dates back way farther than months and months.  Maybe even 9 or 10 months.  

Bryan has been through the ringer. Between the dozen ear infections in 6 months, the reflux, the persistent cough and the bazillion doctor appointments, I am amazed that he hasn't tried to run away yet!  We keep telling ourselves that despite the "concerning" weight loss and frequent typical childhood sickness, we have a really happy little boy.  Not only is he really happy, he's developmentally either right on or slightly ahead of the curve.  You'd never know by spending a day (or a week, or a month) with him that he's been through so much.  Even at his fussiest, he's not nearly as fussy as his otherwise healthy "friends" at daycare.  

Here's the list of what we are really hoping to learn today (emphasis on HOPING):
  1. We missed the mark on the dairy "allergy."  There really isn't one and we can start re-introducing dairy products again (or at least soy).
  2. We can stop giving him the toddler formula that costs $35 for 8 bottles, smells and tastes like a marshmallow and is 54% corn syrup (no joke. That's what the label indicates!)
  3. There is nothing anatomically, or physically "wrong" with Bryan.  The endoscopy tells us that he's totally normal.
  4. There are no other food allergies
  5. Our kid is just a really picky eater and we will have to keep trying new foods until we find what he loves the most
  6. He's gained enough weight that he's back on the growth chart and is no longer considered tiny for his age.  And even if he is tiny, we will just be happy if his growth trajectory is headed in the correct direction!
And here is what we are hoping our doctor will learn today (actually, he will learn this. I am taking a list with me!):
  1. When you tell parents that this is an urgent matter and that it cannot wait a month, you must also be prepared to arrange your schedule such that you can follow up with said parents in a reasonable amount of time.  
  2. A month later is not a reasonable amount of time.
  3. When you tell parents that you will take their call to discuss results so that they don't have to wait a month, you need to provide them with the best way to contact you. 
  4. Your medical assistant is not the best way to contact you.
  5. When a parent leaves a voice mail for your medical assistant asking questions two days after surgery, they expect a call-back the same day... or at least within 24 hours.
  6. When parents don't get called back, they will call again and leave a second message.  They expect a call back within 24 hours.
  7. If a parent has to call back a third time on a third day because nobody has returned their call, expect an earful from a pissed off mom.  
  8. I am that mom.  Sorry about your luck.
  9. If your medical assistant thinks it's OK to not respond to a distressed mom,  you need a new medical assistant. 
  10. If you piss of a mom, she'll tell everyone she knows, including the pediatrician and managing physician of the practice that sent her child to you.
  11. Make it right by the mom or she'll blog it, hashtag it and make sure the entire area knows how great you are but how lousy your practice is.  Don't expect your "best of the best" award for 2013.
I feel like this doctor is the Wizard of Oz.  He's capable of a lot of awesome stuff, but when you pull back the curtain, he's just a smart man with some fancy machines.  He's no better than we are. He just knows different stuff. But for him to perceptually hold the keys to our kingdom for a month has been tortuous.  Like flying monkeys and wicked witches tortuous.  

But in two hours, everything will be different.  I hope.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oopss. Sorry about the delay

I think I've opened blogger two dozen times since my last post.  It's been a bit of a whirlwind since then. Some fun stuff, some interesting stuff, some scary stuff.  And most of you know about Bryan's challenges with weight loss (2 lbs in about a month is too much for a baby).  And to be completely honest, if I had blogged as we traveled this extremely bumpy road, I am not sure you would have continued following me.  It has been two months of tears, frustration, trial and error, accomplishments and setbacks.  Two "surgeries" (ear tubes and an endoscopy) and a GI x-ray and we know no more today than we did when this all started at the beginning of April.  And to rehash all of it just makes me sad.  So I am not going to.  Let's consider today a fresh start.  I'll fill you in if we actually learn anything, but in the meantime, let's focus on the good stuff!

Here's a brief description with accompanying picture and/or video that will paint the picture of our lives in the past few months (and believe it or not, they are in chronological order!)

Brown Bear cake turned out pretty well!

new bike

Blocks in a wagon.

first bubbles

digging in!

first cake




not sure what that look is!
best friends
the day of ear tubes

what a ham!

I caught his first steps on video!

love the bunny

Nupboard in the cupboard.