Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My child the drugstore...

So, we're back from the pulmonary specialist. Our pediatrician's instincts were correct, that they would prescribe Reglan. It will speed up his digestion so there's less risk of acid reflux. While he's never had bad spitup incidents like a lot of reflux babies, he's shown a couple other signs and the scintiscan last week confirmed that he has it. The Reglan scares us a bit because one of the main side effects is muscle spasms. Another one the doctor mentioned is diarrhea (duh, it gets things moving faster), but hopefully that will only be a short term one. He needs to take that four times a day, each time on an empty stomach, which is a lot to coordinate considering sometimes I have a hard time figuring out when he ate or will be due again. However, I'm thinking most of the burden there will fall on daycare (which saves us, obviously, but involves a heck of a lot of trust that they'll do it when they're supposed to) because he's always hungry first thing in the morning so I won't be able to pull it off then, and he's only got four other feedings the rest of the day, three of which are there. Still, the thought of taking the medication there every day, getting it back, and coordinating all of this stuff for the next six months (we have an appointment in two months, but most of the time they're on it for at least six) makes me a little crazy. In addition, she prescribed a different reflux medication--one that stops the stomach from producing a lot of acid, rather than just neutralizing what's there. That one also has to be taken on an empty stomach.

As far as the diagnosis itself, the slow stomach emptying can allow for more reflux issues. When the acid comes up (even if he doesn't spit up out), it can irritate his esophagus. Apparently the esophagus and trachea share a nervous system, so if one is irritated, so is the other. The irritation causes mucus to be produced, which is why he has chest congestion and the coughing. While a lot of it seems to make sense, I keep wondering if all of this is necessary. Could just the Prilosec prevent these problems? Is the Reglan really necessary? I mean, Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong is a pretty great place to be able to take your kid, but sometimes you just wonder if there are symptoms that doctors just hop on because they make sense, but in reality it's not really what's going on. It's so hard to know.

At the end of the day I'm just sort of intimidated by all of the coordination these medications involve. We'll still be doing the nebulizer, too...did I mention that? I'm tired of co-pays...doctor visits, prescriptions...it never seems to end. And when it seems like there's no end in sight right now (heck, six months puts us to the end of summer...and it's barely 20 degrees out right now), it's a little disheartening. But as I mention often, I know this is really minimal stuff compared to what some people have to deal with. That hit home a little bit as we were walking out of the hospital and passed a woman and her two daughters, one of which had Down's Syndrome. Or when I think of my longtime friend Heather and how she can't have children, so she and her husband are going through the difficult process of trying to adopt. I know we're so incredibly blessed to have a happy, mostly healthy little boy. And I know we'll get through this, and hopefully Jacob will get healthy soon. It's just a long road and I'm still trying to find the most comfortable way to travel it...

No comments: