Monday, January 31, 2011
There is simply no other word for this post.

I've just come to be conditioned to the fact that regular well baby checks pretty much mean the rest of the day will suck due to the stress of said appointment. In one year's worth of appointments, I have never left not in tears or on the verge of tears. Despite what I was hoping would happen, last Friday's 18 month appointment was dripping in disappointment, just as the rest have been.

Now, certainly, don't get me wrong. This child is meeting and (often exceeding) every milestone on the charts. That is fantastic, and it's not something I take for granted.

However, the issues of eating, nutrition and weight gain/loss have begun to break me down and stress me out in ways that I can only get out in writing.

After gaining nearly two pounds in 6 weeks last Nov-Dec, he has now lost weight again. He dropped  a pound in about 6 weeks. It doesn't seem like much, but this brings him to just over 20 pounds as an 18 month old. He is officially no longer on the growth chart. I think he's pretty much the size of a 1 year old (6 months too late). My heart sank for the 6th time in as many appointments as Henry screamed bloody murder on the scale. I hate that scale. I hate it. Then, when the nurse plotted his stats on the growth chart, my heart hit the floor when she made the casual remark "He's a tiny peanut!". Umm, yeah lady. I'm aware...and I don't find it giggle worthy.

There is something that isn't right. The doctor doesn't think it's anything SERIOUSLY wrong with him or he wouldn't be meeting all his milestones. I get that.

But I go back to the fact that something isn't right. A child born at full term with a health pregnancy history and overall good health doesn't simply not gain more than 1 pound in 8-9 months for no reason, I simply refuse to believe everything is "fine" anymore. So here is the plan laid out by our pediatrician (pretty much 100% requested by me).

Lab work was conducted to check on the following: total nutrition work up (including how his liver is functioning and his levels of pretty much everything in his bloodstream). They will also be checking to see if he has a gluten intolerance/allergy and checking his thyroid. In order to get this blood they needed to draw blood from his arm. This was a brand new experience, and even though he screamed bloody murder, he didn't fight it physically at all and the lab tech said he was the best toddler she had ever seen. Yay for that.

So where do we go from here? I honestly don't know. We won't get the lab work done until 5-7 days from last Friday, so I guess we just have to wait and see right now.

One of the other recommendations given was to make an appointment with a pediatric nutritionist. Based on what I told the doctor, it appears that Henry's eating habits are no longer seen as "typical toddler eating habits". I understand that this could be a huge part of the problem, as there are dinners where he will have 3 bites and 2 sips of milk. There are countless foods offered to him that he simply refuses to try. AT ALL. Because of this refusal of anything new or healthy, he pretty much lives on grilled cheese, pizza, french fries, peanut butter and jelly and french toast. Short of shoving it in his face, which I won't do, and doesn't work anyway, we are at a loss. It also doesn't work to "trick" him. He's too smart for that and has pretty much learned not to trust us with a spoon. Awesome all around.

So I guess I will keep everyone updated via the blog once we know something. If all blood work comes back fine, at the very least I hope to gain some sort of insight from the nutritionist as to what and how to feed him. Mealtimes are almost always stressful, to say the least.

The icing on all of this came today. Remember the last appointment?   On top of the weight gain issues, we also walked out of that appointment with a double ear infection and impetigo. When that bill came in the mail, there was an office visit charge for $92.50 on it. We immediately thought "Hmm, an obvious mistake, well baby checks are 100% covered by our insurance."

After further investigation by Ryan, it turns out no, it wasn't a mistake. We were charged $92.50 because they found something. Honestly. Because my child just happened to have two ear infections and impetigo the day I brought him in for a regular check up, the clinic/doctor charged for it. I think we will continue to fight it, as we've never heard of such a ridiculous practice. But, maybe we're mistaken and it's common. Either way, I think it's a pile of crap.


kfiland30 said...

It will all be fine, and don't stress about it.. It's not good for you or Henry..

Love Mom

Sarah Helfinstine said...

Oh Jenna, I hope the labs and nutritionist will help get things sorted out. That can't be any fun at all. I'm super-stressed over Abby's first 'official' well baby check-up today (her first one was cancelled due to her needing to go back to the hospital); I'm just praying she's back to her birth weight after losing almost a pound in the first 4 days after she was born!
And insurance is stupid. I'm pretty sure we got copies of every single policy mailed to us so we can argue everything! Good luck with that also!

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