Monday, July 30, 2012

Michael's Post-Appointment Update

Today's appointment didn't really yield any definite answers, but it did allay many of my concerns and provide me with a new game-plan for the immediate future. 

Here are a few of the all-consuming fears that I've been nursing, that I can now put to rest:

  • That he's no longer growing: actually, his doctor says that because he's so healthy, strong, and clearly not dehydrated or malnourished, Michael's weight is the least of his concerns.
  • That I'm not producing enough for him: given the difficulties that I've reported in actually feeding him, it's more likely that the discomfort he's experiencing is inhibiting him from eating as much as he should, and if we can figure out how to effectively treat his symptoms, he can pick up the pace and make up for what he's been missing.
  • That he's suffering from Celiac Disease, or some other serious condition: his doctor has seen only two cases of Celiac in infants (it usually develops later on in life) and those cases were so extreme as to be unmistakable.
So, the consensus is that Michael may be suffering from reflux, or possibly from some kind of allergy, or likely from a combination of the two.  However, since allergies are so incredibly tricky to pinpoint, and his reaction, if he is having one, is so mild (he's not having any of the classic, obvious reactions such as hives or bloody stools), our first step is to find a treatment that actually eases his reflux symptoms.  Barring any improvement from tweaking his medication regimen, I plan to meet with a dietician, if possible, to come up with a healthy way to start eliminating some significant elements of my current diet, such as gluten/wheat, that may be causing Michael problems.

One thing we think that we may have determined: Michael's got some kind of sensitivity to legumes, which would explain his recent difficulties with passing them through his system.  No more peas for him a long while.  No more solids for the immediate future, either.  And no legumes for me.  But I can live with that, no problem.

For now, we're going to give his new antacid (Prevacid) a chance to prove its efficacy, while continuing to offer Zantac just before bed, in a much higher dose than previously.  If the Prevacid does not bring about improvement within the week, we are to try going back to the Zantac, only on the higher dose, three times a day.  In the meantime, I'm to try giving Michael a bit of Mylanta when he seems to be struggling or fighting a feed, to see if that placates his stomach enough to allow him to get a good meal in.

We tried it once this evening when he was in the midst of hysterics (he's having a really hard time transitioning to the new medication), and didn't see much of a result.  We did, however, observe pretty swift and marked improvement after he received his dose of Zantac.  So, I'm going to try to be patient about continuing with the Prevacid, but I'm thinking that Zantac may ultimately be the way to go.  I only hope we can get him some real relief with it, finally.  This new dosage is nearly twice what he was receiving before, but only time will tell.

Mei Mei was over this morning to watch Abby during the appointment, and hung around until the late afternoon, so I felt free to play around a little with the camera again.  This time, I wanted to try some close-ups with the 55-200 mm lens, practicing in manual.  I opened the aperture up as wide as the lens would allow, set the ISO to 400, and managed to figure out how to meter in my camera.  However, I couldn't get the exposure level close to zero (up from somewhere on the negative end) until I had the shutter speed down below 60, which I thought would be way too slow.  Even setting the ISO down to 200 didn't seem to allow me more flexibility with shutter speed.  Ultimately, I put the shutter speed somewhere up around 80, and despite that I started off with way too much light.  Then I had problems with the auto-focus.  It kept locking, and then instead of allowing me to take the shot by pressing all the way down, it continued to refocus and refocus.  After getting about five shots of Abby, only a couple of which I felt were worth sharing, I gave up in frustration.  I changed the second one to black-and-white, because it makes the overexposure a bit less obvious.

 When Michael woke up from a brief nap shortly after this, he allowed me to place him in his Superseat for awhile.  I spent a good five minutes lamenting the potential shots I was missing, afraid to try again with the camera for fear that I would break it in frustration, before I finally gave in and picked it up again. 

I did not have problems with the auto-focus lock this time, but unfortunately, Michael began to get fussy just as I crouched down on the floor to set up a shot.

I knew that my time was limited, so I had to fire the next few off pretty quickly (many of which were soft- or out-of-focus as a result).

I think this one was my favorite.

Despite a couple of failed attempts between 8:30 and 9:00, I managed to get Michael down to sleep by around 9:15, and I haven't heard a peep yet at five-to-eleven.  The last couple of times he's had his Zantac dosage increased, he's slept for four-plus hours.  An earnest attempt to get to bed before midnight may be in order- I've got my fingers crossed that we get a repeat tonight.


  1. Glad things are moving with the feeding issues. It's easier to have something to work on.

    You'll need to turn your ISO up, not down, if you want a faster shutter speed. Especially with that large lens indoors.

    1. Ah! Thank you so much, Ashley. Now that I really think about it, that makes sense. I hope that someday in the future I can look back and laugh about how confused I was over "simple" things. Assuming I ever find the time to really improve upon my limited knowledge. Heh.

      And I agree. It was a bit disappointing not to have solid answers (though I prefer this situation over getting definite, bad ones), but it feels good to have a plan.