One of Evan’s favorite things to do is to take a bath. He will happily play in the tub for a half an hour!
Evan and Nana enjoying the fall leaves.
Evan has a new GI doctor who has taken his case very seriously. The last GI doctor did one or two tests, found nothing significant and told us to come back in a year or two. We left his office with no new leads or answers to Evan’s eating issues. This new GI doctor is committed to helping us to get Evan to eat better and to grow. She reviewed Evan’s (thick) medical records file and gave us several recommendations. She requested that we do the follwoing: an emptying scan, a structural barium x-ray (to see if there’s anything physical that is causing issues), and offered a cancer-related drug that would significantly increase his appetite. This is a very intense drug, one that we don’t want Evan to have to take unless it’s absolutely necessary. Our feeding therapist has worked with kids on it and says they are RAVENOUS, but also that it needs to be monitored closely because it can go too far. We also want Evan to want to eat on his own vs. being “forced” to by a medication, if possible.
We decided to do the emptying scan but forego the structural scan and the appetite stimulant for now until we see if the behavioral feeding therapy is helping. The emptying scan was deemed necessary so we know how much we can push Evan with the behavioral therapy. We don’t want to push him too far if there’s a medical reason for his volume limiting (this seemed like a basic test for a child like Evan, we don’t know why the other GI doctor didn’t offer it a year ago). Some children who struggle to eat, have stomachs that stay full or take a long time to digest food they have eaten. This prevents the stomach from sending signals that they’re hungry but also limits how much they can eat at the next meal because food is still sitting in their stomach.
What happens in an emptying scan? The technical name is “gastric emptying scintigraphy”. Per an online medical dictionary: “This test involves eating a bland meal, such as eggs or egg substitute, that contains a small amount of a radioactive substance, called radioisotope, that shows up on scans (a video x-ray). The dose of radiation from the radioisotope is not dangerous. The scan measures the rate of gastric emptying at 1, 2, 3, and 4 hours. When more than 10 percent of the meal is still in the stomach at 4 hours, the diagnosis of gastroparesis is confirmed.” Evan ate yogurt for his because he refuses to eat eggs or oatmeal and only had to have x-rays done for 75 minutes (praise God, keeping a toddler occupied in an x-ray lab is exhausting). The doctor indicated that in 75 minutes the yogurt should be halfway digested.
It was honestly hard to know how to pray. Did we want another regular test result or do we want the results to show something because it might give us insight into what’s going on with our son? We don’t want anything seriously wrong with him but at the same time, we need to know what’s causing all these growth issues. All the other tests have been negative and have revealed nothing of use. We got the emptying scan results two days later: Evan’s stomach does have a delay in emptying. Our GI doctor again recommended the structural x-ray but since Evan wouldn’t drink straight barium (required for that test), it’ll be put on the back burner. She then discussed medications that are used to treat the emptying issues. One, called Reglan, was actually black boxed due to it causing some patients who took it started having tardive dyskinesia. For those who know psychology history, this is a permanent tremor that some early schizophrenic medications also caused. Crazy how some medicines can have side effects that could be as bad or worse as the symptoms they’re treating! Our doctor also offered an alternative medication, an antibiotic, that can treat the stomach so it does a better job with digestion. We opted for the second option. So only time will tell whether this is part of the bigger solution to Evan’s eating and growth issues. On a positive note, We’re already seeing progress in feeding therapy. He now weighs 20 lbs, 11 ounces, the most he’s ever weighed!!!!
And on a cute note, Evan told his Aunt Shannon about his doctor’s appointment and said he watched lions (The Lion King) and had a fun time so he wants to go back and do it again! : ) Thank goodness he hasn’t been tramautized by all the poking and prodding! And maybe after all of these medical appointments, Evan will become a doctor!
Evan was OBSESSED with being a puppy for Halloween. The first two stores we went to did not have any puppy outfits. We finally were successful at a third. The unfortunate thing was when Evan didn’t have the head portion on, people couldn’t figure out what type of animal he was (common guesses were bunny and bear). Oh well, he was cute whatever animal he was. Evan enjoyed trick-or-treating (he pronounced it: “twick-o-tweet”) and liked meeting his neighbors so much he tried to enter two or three of their houses! He also thought that some of the older, blonde women were his “Nana” which made him super excited!
It appears that the cute pea pod has a stinky diaper!
Makenna’s first year is going by so fast! At almost four months of age, she weighs 12 lbs., 10 oz. Crazy to think that she’s almost doubled her birth weight already!
Here are a few recent pictures of her.