Monday, 25 June 2012

Holly is looking brighter

Over the last couple of weeks we've noticed a definite, positive change on Holly.

She's much brighter, more alert, smiles more and follows you around the room. It's all the things we could have hoped for, for a child verging on six months old (tomorrow).

She still has her spasms, especially in her leg (for which I've nicknamed her "Mississippi Leg Hound" purely for the crazy leg movements, not for the rest of the Christmas Vacation reference).

She's rolling on to her stomach unaided, which is good. Usually this is followed by a little "help me" cry as she lies there unable to turn back over. Today, however, she was able to roll on to her stomach and then back on to her back, unaided.

We've also introduced new flavours and textures into her diet, to promote the next stage of eating. She's eating more paste-consistency food (thanks to our food processor) and Sue's cooked up some baby recipes with chicken in them, so Holly's getting her first taste of meat!

Emily's still ignoring Holly, but every now and then we notice her spying Holly out the corner of her eye. I think as Holly grows up and becomes a bit more predictable and less of a random crying machine, Emily will warm to her. She's only been around Holly for about six months now, which isn't all that long in the grand scheme of things (obviously it's a lifetime for Holly).

Monday, 18 June 2012

Emily's dental hell

This past weekend has been an utter trial.

Emily has an ulcer in her mouth, exasperated by the fact that she keeps touching it. This wouldn't be so bad if she washed her hands or didn't stick her hands down her nappy. God alone knows the level of infection her ulcer has.

She was sent home from school late last week as she'd made herself throw up. We realised quite quickly, this was because she had rammed her whole fist in her mouth, in a sensory attempt to sort out the ulcer problem.

Over the weekend, however, the problem really came to a head. You just can't tell a child like Emily NOT to eat on one side of her mouth. She was fine for a couple of random mouthfuls of random food, but then it would hit the ulcer and all hell would break loose. It was quite problematic, because Emily would then view the remainder of the food on the plate as the item which caused her immense pain.

We tried everything - from wet sloppy stuff like soup, to things like raisins and the like. It turned out that just about ANYTHING that went into her mouth caused her pain.

Thankfully when she came home today from school, as we furtively gave her something to eat, she gobbled it up completely and utterly. She's now making up for lost time and her dental-issue enforced fasting of the last few days.

Friday, 15 June 2012

More meds for Holly

Holly has silent reflux. We know that.

To help with what is essentially infant heartburn, she has now been prescribed Infant Gaviscon. Sue and I are  over the moon that we have to administer yet another medication.

Like her Topiramate, it's not just a case of open, measure out and administer. It's all sorts of fiddly - first having to make a paste, then adding water, then watching Holly dribble it out as it tastes revolting. Then having to add flavour (i.e. jarred fruit) to mask the taste.

Hopefully this additional medication will help Holly feel relief from whatever pain the reflux is causing her.

Spanish holidays

We got back from holidaying in Spain this week and it was quite a mixed time we had there with the kids.

Emily had decided to really jump into the spirit of being on holiday and refused to go to sleep most nights before midnight. This did make make for some peaceful-ish mornings. Trouble is Holly still went to sleep at her regular time and provided the usual dawn wake up calls. A couple of mornings we got off lightly and it was about 8am.

Emily was flower girl at our friends' wedding. She did a commendable job, given her difficulties. I ended up walking down the aisle with her and we had reached our seat before I remembered that we should be chucking rose petals along the way. Oops.

During the ceremony, Emily proceeded to recite her favourite line from Peppa Pig, "FIRE!". Thankfully she was drowned out by vows and celebrants, but she does pick her moments!

Most days we spent swimming in the pool. Emily's vernacular sees "swimming" as taking a bath, so essentially taking a bath in a massive unheated bathtub (pool) was quite something. She fretted about going in  every single time - a few choice games and help from friends ensured that she ended up having a wonderful time in the pool.

The biggest surprise was food. Em CAN be a picky eater sometimes. If things are out of the ordinary - i.e. carrots cut oddly, Capri sun served in a cup not the foil container, etc. - she will refuse to eat or drink. Also sandwiches turn into two pieces of bread and filling, eaten separately.

Saying that, we ordered her seafood paella one night, assuming I'd have to consume two portions and have her starve. Sue and I were pleasantly surprised to find her hoover down the portion (within reason - she didn't fiddle around with the clams or mussels, but did eat the squid). From that point on, almost every meal we ate out included a child's portion of seafood paella. Can't say fairer than that.

Holly got her usual jar of puréed fruit, which she inhaled. Not sure if the Spanish jars of fruit taste any different. Most of the fruit we get in the supermarket this time of year is from Spain, so my money is on "no, it doesn't taste any different".

Friday, 1 June 2012

The Reflux Flux-flux-flux-flux

Reflux, flux-flux-flux-flux-flux.
Apparently we HAVEN'T gone too far this time, by continuing to give Holly her anti-reflux medication Ranitidine (and no, we're not dancing on the valentine either, to continue the Duran Duran theme of the headline).

One of the many doctors that is seeing Holly wanted to test her to see if she actually needs to continue her medication. Sue has just returned from the appointment to let me know that via the power of ultrasound, yes, Holly has silent reflux.

One of the web pages with info on it lists a load of various symptoms, some Holly has, some she doesn't. Things like low weight gain, arching back during feed, etc. ring true. Thankfully things like blood in the stool have skipped this particular baby.

According to the web site as well, the underdeveloped oesophagus can develop itself in the first year or so of life, but if she's anything like her father or his cousin Ben, she may not be out of the woods yet.

Along with everything else to do with Holly's current condition, time will tell.