Charlotte's Journey Home

Just a Regular Kid, Sort Of


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Reflux Chronicle: Trialing No G-tube

Charlotte will tell you that the most memorable part of her visit to the CHOW feeding clinic was that “Dr. Julie changed ‘Harlotte’s tubey.” That’s true. Our RN, Julie, did change Charlotte’s MICKely button since it hadn’t been changed since April.

And for Charlotte, that probably was the highlight. She cried a little, but was mostly very brave.
But what does a 2-year-old really know?

The real excitement of our visit was this: We were given the green light to go for two months with no g-tube usage. In other words, what Charlotte drinks, she drinks. If she doesn’t make a full 200 mls. at a meal, we don’t “top her off” with the tummy tube.

Given that prior to our visit Charlotte had gone for as many as 9 days without needing the tube, I went to Milwaukee ready to lobby for a trial. When the team offered it to me before I could suggest it, I was over the moon.

We’re also supposed to start offering mashed foods in addition to pureed to begin to transition her to eating regular solid food.

So, how is she doing? Since Friday she has drunk all of her “required” milk (600 mls.) and on at least one day she has drunk even more. Yesterday she got to 640 mls. She’s eating just beautifully, though I think she’s bored with her puree repertoire. Mashed foods are more of a challenge, though, because she loses focus quickly.
Sometimes it is hard to remember how far we’ve come. Here’s what I wrote on January 8, 2006:

Charlotte continues, seemingly, to lose ground on the eating front. She took only 1-2 ounces from each of 3 6-ounce bottles today. Just a few weeks ago she was finishing at least one bottle a day and taking 4 to 5 ounces from the others. Since yesterday she’s been refusing or gagging on her solid food, too.

I feared that she would be come 100% tube-dependent.

Two years later, I’m sincerely hopeful that we’ll be celebrating her birthday with a bandaid on the soon-to-be former stoma of her g-tube. Of course, I know she can go backwards as quickly as she has jumped ahead, but my fingers (and toes and ears) are crossed that she’ll be bikini-ready by summertime!
p.s. The other terrific highlight about our trip was that we had lunch with a friend of mine from my Discover Card days who is now working at Harley Davidson. Col, it was so great to see you!


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Reflux Chronicle: Days without…

“‘harlotte is eating a sandwich just like Daddy do.” Mommy is fklemt.

We have long been in the habit of counting DWOV (Days without Vomit). Recently, most every day has been a DWOV. So much so that we’ve lost count. Yeah, Charlotte occassionally coughs up stuff, mostly like anyone does with a cold. But when she has a cold, she’s more likely to vomit at meals or in bed. Last week’s cold involved only one bed change and a few small urpcidents. It was a huge milestone for us.

So, what are we counting these days? DWOTT–Days without Tummy Tube. In the past 14 days, Charlotte has taken 100% of her calories by mouth (drumroll, please) a total of 9 days. On the days when we’ve used the tube, it has been for only 40 mls. and only once a day. So, 65% of the time she’s 100% orally fed. And the other days she’s 93% orally fed.

Today at lunch she downed her peanut butter and jelly puree, chomped on some pretzels and blueberries, and then asked for a sanwich. She asked for it. And proceeded to eat about 1/16th of a pb&j sanwich on wholewheat.

Where were we a year ago? She was eating about 50% by mouth and vomiting almost daily, going for only 3 to 5 days without vomit.

2007 has been quite a year.


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Reflux Chronicle: Losing Count

I have officially lost count of the number of days without vomit. We’ve definitely broken Charlotte’s world record. We’re not counting little bitty urps (wet burps, really).

Yesterday we did not use the feeding tube at all. If I remember correctly, we didn’t use it on Saturday either. And I cannot remember the last time we took the Zevex pump out of the cabinet.

Dare I say that the reflux is behind us?


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Foot Fetish–A Feeding Update

Play piano! Yeah!

Recently on P2P, the wonderful support website for parents of tube-fed kids, a mom asked if anyone else’s kids liked pulling off their socks. Charlotte goes beyond that. She loves to pull of her socks, yes. But she thinks having her feet tickled and “nibbled” is about the best thing ever. We have a blast singing “Boogie-Woogie Piggies.”

So, you ask, how is this crazy blogging mama going to segue from feet to food? (Well, my brother is now asking why I have to use big words like “segue” and I’m sticking my tongue out at him!)

Bummer! I’m wearing tights, so I can’t take my socks off.

Charlotte has been eating terrifically well, for her. She averages more than 600 mls. daily of her 900 mls. minimum. And she takes almost a tablespoon of solid food each meal. It’s not a lot for a regular toddler, but Charlotte is not yet regular in the food department.

Last night she drank her entire dinner, all 240 mls. (8 ounces for you non-metric folks). And, how did I get her to do that you ask? Well, that is where the feet come in. Seriously. She wanted me to tickle and nibble her toes. So, for each five sips she took, I let her pick a toe for nibbling. We did this for a total of 2 ounces. I am not sure how she managed to eat between all those giggles!
On top of that, she’s been taking all of her medicine by mouth all week. Last night when Philippe tried to put her meds in her tube, she said “mouth” and insisted on taking her medicine like big kids do. True story.

I never stop moving.

Why all this progress? I don’t know. But she has started asking to see my “tubey” and asking us to “take out tubey.” I’ve started explaining to her that in order to get rid of her tube for good she needs to eat. Our daily conversation goes like this:
C: “Tubey out” (a bit whiney)
Me: “What do we need to do to take the tubey out forever.”
C: “Eating”
Me: “Are you going to eat like a big girl.”
C: “NO!” Big smile and giggle, “Hungry.”
Me: “Let’s go get breakfast.
C: “Eating!”
Eating indeed!