It started off as a lovely Monday morning. The sun was shining and the kids and I were relaxing at the house. Then the phone rang. It was Caleb's pediatrician. The doctor himself was on the other end of the line and this is what he told me: "Caleb is pretty anemic. His protein level is half of what it should be. And there are a few other abnormalities, like his liver function. Caleb needs to be treated at the hospital." "Today?" I asked. "Yes, today. I've made arrangements at Wolfson for you..."
And thus began the never-ending journey. Upon arriving at the hospital and getting settled in a room, we were told that the rice milk Caleb has been drinking has absolutely no nutritional value. Who would've thought?? His pediatrician in Raleigh told us it was absolutely fine for him to be drinking it! The doctor at the hospital advised us to immediately stop giving Caleb rice milk. We started trying to offer a formula called Elecare to him, but of course, he wanted nothing to do with it. He has wanted nothing to do with almost anything at all since then. Therefore, an NG tube was put in his nose on Tuesday. At the same time, the nurses attempted to put an IV in. Seeing as how Caleb is a hard stick (meaning it's very difficult to find a vein) they had to put the IV in his scalp. It broke my heart to see him with tubes and all kinds of nonsense coming out of him. But now, he's getting fed the proper nutrition and we're hoping we're on our way to healthy weight gain!
By the way, Caleb weighed in at 17 pounds 1 ounce on Tuesday morning. Not good for a one-year-old! This morning he weighed 17 pounds, almost-10 ounces. But we think a lot of those ounces are fluid. Caleb has become a puffy little guy. That's because of the lack of protein. Don't ask me how that works. It just happens that way.
Caleb is having lots of blood tests done. At least a few everyday. So, because he's bruised all over from poking him so much, the doctors decided on Wednesday that it was a good idea to put in a PICC line. (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) Although the procedure itself is kind of serious, the PICC line itself has been a blessing. They can give him IV fluids and draw blood from it. So no more poking! And a bonus: they took the IV out of his head!
As of today, Caleb is doing okay. He's still not eating much of anything, but a speech therapist is working with us everyday to help with that. The doctors want to keep him at the hospital until he's healthy, gaining weight and eating. We don't want to be sent home with a feeding tube! The gastroenterologist wants to perform an endoscopy to look into Caleb's esophagus and stomach to see if there could be something that doesn't feel good to him when he eats. But that can't be done until he's healthy also.
So it's like a lot has been figured out, and at the same time, there's not much light at the end of the tunnel. The big question: Why won't he eat anymore?? The other big question: Why did his pediatrician tell us it was okay for him to drink rice milk????? But, we all know Caleb is getting the right care now and we're on our way to getting him back to normal!
And Laura Anne? Well, she's been having a blast with grandparents galore! What a lucky girl!