Thursday, May 22, 2008

A First Birthday

A year ago today we received a very real and tangible gift of Grace. She's grown quite a bit in the past 366 days. We have grown, too ... attached to her, that is. We thank our Lord Jesus for a happy and healthy first year.

Here's a video that takes us down memory lane: Lucas meeting his sister one year ago today.

Here are brother and sister pictured just recently (Grace, by the way, has begun to stand on her own for about ten to fifteen seconds at a time. She'll be walking soon.)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Evil Reflux Monster Update

As those of you who have been reading our blog from the beginning know, Grace has gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. She has been on medication for this since she was 4 weeks old. She has always been on the highest possible dose and sometimes doesn't even respond to that. Because treatment doesn't seem to be working for her as it does for other children with GERD, her GI doctor, thinking food allergies could be the culprit, referred us to an allergist. Testing revealed that she does indeed have some food allergies (milk, peas, nuts, and barley).

As we've been trying to make the transition to solid foods, we've noticed that Grace has a hard time eating anything with any texture to it at all. She'll basically only eat liquified food. She'll attempt to put pieces of food in her mouth but then gags and pulls them out before swallowing. On the latest trip to her allergist (last week) the doctor suggested she may have a condition called eosinophilic esophagitis. This is an inflammation of the esophagis caused by allergies (and also probably by the acid that has been refluxing since she was born), and it would make her feel as if she has something always caught in her throat which would in turn make her not want to swallow anything "chunky". The only way to find out if she has this condition is to do a procedure called an endoscopy in which they would stick a tube down her throat and take a biopsy. The doctor didn't want to put her through that, but he recommended starting her on an inhaled steroid anyway, the same kind used for patients with asthma. It is supposed to reduce the inflammation. Two days after that appointment I received a call from the allergist's nurse saying that the allergist had talked to Grace's GI doctor, and the GI doctor was not in favor of the steroid and to discontinue using it. But it seemed to be helping already! She was actually starting to swallow food! But I followed doctor's orders...and sure enough she's back to pulling wet, mushy food out of her mouth. So today I talked to the GI doctor who said she is not in favor of having kids on these steroids without doing an endoscopy, and she's not in favor of "scoping" kids under one. But it was helping! She still wants us to wait and see how things go... very frustrating, to say the least, when doctor's disagree on treatment...but, I trust this doctor and value her opinion. So, for now, we'll continue the liquid diet!

On another note, here's a cute Grace story. As we were returning from a somewhat long drive today (for most of which Grace was pretty fussy) and pulled onto our street, a little voice from the back said "Duh" which is Grace's word for done. Pete looked at me with a sentimental smile and said, "Now we can never move away from this house." It's incredible that she recognizes home before we even reach the house. She's becoming such a little person! =)