Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The doctor your mother warned you about

By the Monday morning of our holiday weekend, wee Hannah was well behind in her food. Hannah's disorder, MCADD, presents a problem only when she goes hungry, and as long as she never burns all her glycogen she will always be fine. When she came home from the hospital, her longest period of fasting was directed to be no longer than three hours. The metabolic specialists gave us a guideline, for each kilogram of weight, Hannah could go one hour between feeds. At nine months of age and now seven kilos, Hannah can go seven hours.

A baby with an ear infection is often fractious and annoyed, and really, why not? Said baby may not want to eat much, or regularly, regardless of mommy's little plan. See how pissed off she looked on the day the ear infection really set it?

Despite this smiling visage, I was beginning to lose it, since I couldn't figure out how to get calories in a resistant infant who actually doesn't really like any solid food yet, and who felt pain swallowing. On Sunday, we got about 60% of her normal milk load down the hatch, and through Sunday night she was at less than a third of her normal intake. I hovered over her, making little contingency plans in my mind, but I had waited until Monday to call her MD, trying to be the mommy who makes it through instead of the mommy who amps everything up to panic levels. However, I sobbed into the phone when the clinic was closed and I got the doctor on call, our doctor's partner. I told him about the disorder, the suspected ear infection, the resistance to feeding, and how I was thinking about taking her to the pediatric ER if she showed any signs of low blood sugar but that if she wasn't crying she was smiling, and that I was confused. He asked me about her solid food preferences, what foods I had tried to feed since she didn't want breast milk, and then, right after he agreed to see her in the closed clinic in 45 minutes to check her ears, he casually asked me "have you given her a few bites of ice cream, or maybe some jello?"

1 comment:

  1. *giggle*

    Sometimes it's possible to get too focused on what we see as the "right" nutrition choices, isn't it?