Tag Archives: eating

Medical maladies and eating strategies for the picky eater that will eat anything — sort of.

I had a physical last week. When I got home, I announced that I only had six months to live. My parents laughed and rolled their eyes, a natural reaction from anyone that has known me for 33 years (they were there to watch Connor since Chris was working upstairs). Chris told me to stop it. He never enjoys my macabre sense of humor. I’m not allowed to play games like “What If?” or “Would You Rather?” He doesn’t like hypotheticals, where as I thrive on knowing things like, If I died, would you keep the cats or give them to my mom?  Or, would you rather be married to a donkey or smell like a port-a-potty no matter how many showers you take.

My doctor confirmed that she thinks the headaches I’ve been having are migraines — mild as far as migraines go — but still migraines.

I also took Connor to a dermatologist for a wart he’s had on his foot for some time now. One $50 co-pay and $4 for parking later, off I go to Walgreens for standard over-the-counter Compound W. Sigh. I did like the dermatologist, though. He was an old guy that put out the vibe of an old-timey pharmacist. AND he was familiar with TSC! Even though we weren’t there for anything TSC related, he saw his history and asked questions about how Connor was affected, and he was familiar with various organ involvement. It sounded like he had even been the one to diagnose people based on facial angiofibromas, who were otherwise unaware of their condition. It’s always nice to come across a medical professional that actually knows what TSC is, and that he knew about the effects beyond the dermatological made me quite happy.

In other medical news, CHOA is once again trying to give me what I now know is a migraine. We finally got the call to schedule Connor’s first visit to the keto clinic so we can consult about the modified Atkins diet for seizure control. Want to guess when the appointment is? March 18. March. 18. Lots of four letter words when I hung up. I’m still not really clear on how this is going to go. She told me the nutritionist would call me. Possibly to start the diet before that? I couldn’t get a real clear answer, though I expressed my dismay at waiting three months. She also couldn’t tell me how soon the nutritionist would call. So I think we start the diet via phone consult, which is better than waiting three months, but I sure would prefer meeting with the expert before making such a drastic change to Connor’s diet. But like I said, I’m not even sure if that’s the plan yet.

I must also accept the blame for making Connor sick this week. Connor came down with his first normal, run-of-of-the-mill illness. We’ve had seizures, brain surgery and weeks in the hospital…but not one bout of ordinary childhood illness. He woke up late Wednesday night coughing and ran a low-grade fever most of Thursday. No fever this morning, but still coughing occasionally. Fantastically, though fevers typically lower the seizure threshold, I saw no seizures during the course of battling his temperature with Tylenol and Motrin. But why my fault he’s sick? I recently blogged about his superior health and just this week, I thought, man, we might just make it to his second birthday with no viruses! My bad, buddy. I know better. I’ve been sleeping on the floor next to his crib the last couple nights because it makes me feel better mentally — my hips hate me though. Chris would have done it, but Connor doesn’t tolerate snoring.

So it has been a lot of lying around and sleeping, along with more PBS than usual. If I see this Mouse King episode of Super Why one more time, I will scream.

Progress in the eating arena:

On the bright side, it appears we are making progress in the eating arena. His speech therapist has been providing tools to work on his sensory issues with his mouth. He does not appear to have any other sensory issues whatsoever, but try getting him to use a sippy cup or eat food with no degree of pureeing has been about as fun as…as…as trying to make an appointment for anything at CHOA. To eat non-pureed food, it had to be cut extraordinarily small and he would eat in very limited quantities. But this week has been far more successful at getting him to drink from this cut-out cup (which allows me to see how much he’s getting, as well as prevent it from hitting his face making him buck away).

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He also ate this whole serving of mac-n-cheese. Just a couple weeks ago, I had to cut the pasta up and mix bites with pureed food so he wouldn’t just store it in his cheeks like a chipmunk. But he demolished the whole thing with no mixing or cutting this week.

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He also did well with this, though he didn’t finish due to stubborness. The bites he did take, he swallowed, while before this one was almost inedible because he just built a fortress of peas and meat in his mouth.

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These are his other fancy tools:

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The blue and orange thingy can hook to his clothes or seat and its purpose is to prevent him from throwing his utensils. Unfortunately, they slide out anyway, so that’s not really helping. The purple and green spoon is bendable to work on getting him to feed himself. Angling it should aid in helping him put the food in his mouth. This is all theoretical as he shows little interest in anything other than being fed or throwing spoons. Or removing food from the spoon with his hand. The purple tool is a textured spoon to desensitize his mouth. He hated it at first, but now it doesn’t phase him. That’s a Nuk brush on the end. He hates that bad boy. It is also to desensitize his mouth. Not just for eating food, but also for rubbing it around in there. The therapist added the rubber grip so he could hold it himself, I suppose not realizing that his complete and utter hatred for it means that if you actually put it in his hand, it will immediately be on the other side of the room.

Now if you’ll excuse me, he just fell asleep and I’m going to check his temperature. He’s made it pretty clear that if I stick that thing in his ear one more time, I get a Nuk brush in my eye, so cross your fingers…

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By the way, my blog is nominated for a couple of awards over at WEGO Health. Thanks to those who have endorsed me already! It’s not too late 🙂 to do it here.

Connor’s First Cheerios! (Don’t tell him I think they taste like packing peanuts).

Because of Connor’s motor delays, we’ve introduced the chunkier foods later than normal. Now we’re starting with the finger foods. He just tried Cheerios for the first time.

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All it takes is one baby zombie to start the Apocalypse.

My goal is to blog 2-3 times a week, but clearly that has not been happening lately. Our weekly schedule has gotten a whole lot busier. We’re really trying to amp up our time we spend with Connor working on his physical therapy. He’s finally sitting independently! He even retired his bathtub lounge chair and sits up like a big boy for bath time. He also had a checkup at the pediatrician and she recommended giving him solids three times a day. I may have let her assume I had stuck with her previous recommendation to go up to twice a day…

Look, it’s not that I don’t want to feed my child, but for the love of God, when she said three times a day, I almost asked her if I could just take a bullet to the head instead. When Connor started solids he was pretty cooperative, but as time went on, he decided it was fun to swing his head around vigorously while we desperately try to catch his mouth. Sometimes he seemed to think this was funny. The thing is, he doesn’t complain when the food is in his mouth, he just wants to make a game out of letting us put it in. Meal time stretched into oblivion. But I’m happy to say that while getting three solids in EVERY day has proved to be elusive, we are consistently getting him two, and once he realized we weren’t giving up, he started to become more cooperative. Sometimes, he chows down in a matter of minutes. Especially prunes. Hmmm.

We’ve added a few other things to our weekly schedule as well.

Monday-private music therapy

Tuesday-physical therapy (most weeks, not every)

Wed-group music class

Thurs-swimming

Fri-Mommy lies on the floor exhausted letting baby beat her about the head and rip her hair out just so she won’t have to get up.

And it won’t end there….we are looking at adding occupational therapy (more as a precaution as his fine motor skills appear much more on target than gross motor),  and speech therapy (you’re probably wondering what this looks like with a baby that doesn’t even talk yet. Me too. I’ll let you know.)

Lest you think I’m going to be one of those overscheduling moms that ends up on Dr. Phil, this is all intended to be therapeutic and catch up on his delays. My dream is for him to catch up to his peers so I can be a normal mommy, dump him in front of questionable television programming, and spend all my time in the Macy’s shoe department.

We had a highly amusing moment in swim class the other week. One of the baby skills is blowing bubbles in the water. I kid you not, right as the instructor has us put our mouths under to do so, Connor makes the most incredible bubbles you’ve ever seen. Just not with his mouth.

I’m hoping he will learn to give me a kiss soon. I have no idea at what age kids learn that, but the other day, I thought we were there. I leaned down to give him a kiss, and he immediately reached up, grasped my hair on both sides of my head, yanked my face down to his, and….bit my nose. Soooo, yeah. No more Walking Dead for him.

Which leads me into some thoughts I’ve been having about some of the items that dropped his scores in Boston during the cognitive testing. Apparently, he should know the word “no” by now. But I realized  he really hasn’t had the opportunity to learn it. Not to sound like one of those permissive moms where anything goes, but the reality is we don’t have a lot of stuff to say no to. He’s not as mobile as the average 10 month old, so he doesn’t get into stuff he shouldn’t. And I seem to want to teach him bad habits by snorting with laughter when he’s tearing my hair out of my head or pffting food at me. I’m going to rectify this by placing the following items around him on his playmat: a rat trap, household cleaner, a stick of dynamite, matches, and a machete. Every time he goes for one of those items I will scream NO! And that will be that. I should write a parenting book. There’s more gold where that came from.

I’ve also been busy preparing for the March on Washington coming up at the end of February. I’m working on updating the Faces of TSC booklet which features Georgia families affected by TSC that we share with our representatives and senators when we meet with them. I also started contacting some of the representatives to set up our meetings. This proves to be more challenging than expected as some don’t confirm a meeting until the last minute. There goes our brilliant plan to organize meetings in advance by building. But I’m excited about it. I think this will be a really interesting experience.

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Brains...errr, noooose!
Brains…errr, noooose!