Used with permission of the author.
Here is an update on Kim's story!
Things in our house sure have changed since my son, Joseph, was featured in a Washington Post article about GERD in August, 2002. Just over a year old at the time, he was undergoing treatment at Children’s Hospital for reflux and had just learned to pull up and crawl proficiently.
About two weeks after that article ran, Joseph projectile vomited all over the carpet in a vacation house we’d rented…and that was the last time we saw any sign of reflux. It vanished. We weaned him off of Prevacid two months later and never looked back. Now three years old, he is a very active little boy who loves Thomas the train, fire trucks, and construction equipment, and he’s looking forward to starting preschool this fall. He still has issues with food textures and is very wary of trying new menu items, but we don’t see any other lasting effects of his struggle with reflux.
Joseph’s little sister, Madison, was born on July 9, 2003. We celebrated her four-week birthday with no sign of reflux and breathed a sigh of relief that the condition had skipped us—she was a happy infant who slept nearly nonstop, and we joked that unless someone tripped over her bouncy seat, they’d never know there was a baby in the house.
Madison was a reluctant nurser from birth. She’d latch on, take a few sucks, and violently snap her head back. Feeding her literally took hours and never seemed to lull her to sleep; in fact, she got more agitated as she nursed.
At six weeks old, she started crying. The crying escalated to screaming, and nursing became a frustrating, never-ending endeavor. We changed pediatricians when our doctor diagnosed her as “cranky” and left the room. Three days later, a new doctor calmly listened to our family history, agreed with me that silent reflux was likely a culprit, and prescribed Zantac.
Her screaming quieted, but the familiar projectile vomiting began. When we realized that she only seemed unhappy for the half-hour after she nursed,
we began experimenting with my diet and then, formulas—most of which were immediately vomited back up. The first time we tried a soy formula, Madison emptied a 6-ounce bottle and settled into a deep sleep.
She stayed on Zantac until about five months, and happily drank soy formula until successfully switching to whole milk just before her first birthday. Outside of green beans, she hasn’t met a food she doesn’t like, and she’s an active, curious little girl. We count our blessings every day that she didn’t struggle like so many children.
Since Joseph’s diagnosis with reflux in July 2001, I’ve met dozens of moms and dads of reflux children, many of whom struggled with both the disease and with medical professionals who didn’t know enough about it. I continue to be amazed at the number of pediatricians who don’t recognize the symptoms of GERD, and hope that spreading the world through PAGER will help other families like us.