Monday, November 28, 2011

Passing on Pediasure

Life is speeding by and I’m neglecting my blog… Is it really December in 2 short days?! It seems like Fall came and went before we even captured the beauty of the leaves. Old man winter is knocking at the door – I’d love to keep him away a little longer.

I’ve been thinking about this blog entry for about 3 weeks. One of the main goals of my blog is to provide support and real life advice to families with preemies, while allowing you a few glimpses into our everyday life as well. As you all know, Greyson and feeding continues to be a challenge. Like many micropreemies the battle of weight gain is constant. Greyson was sick with a mean stomach bug at the end of October. He vomited for 5 days straight and after laundering every blanket/towel/rug in my home I decided to listen closely to our pediatricians’ advice and introduce Grey to the BRAT diet. The BRAT diet consists of bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast. Grey’s BRAT diet was made up of sweet potato cereal puffs for infants, apples and crackers. Most challenging was removing Pediasure from his diet. It was hard to mentally deny him the bottle that I value so much – this is his main source of calories and fat. It was also difficult to ignore his pleas for a “Baba.” However, after 2 days on the BRAT diet, it was obvious to many of us that Grey was truly hungry and interested in food. He even said several times “Let’s eat!” I have to admit, I was shocked to hear him make this statement. He was hungry and willing to put anything in his mouth. On day 4, I maintained my strength and did not give in to the Pediasure - I was allowing Grey to drink soy milk. I didn’t want the dairy to upset his stomach and cause further vomiting. I eventually found Bright Beginnings Pediatric soy milk at the grocery and bought a case – what appears to be Pediasure’s equivalent in soy form. Here’s what I know – Grey’s appetite has increased in 3 weeks. We’ve had one vomiting spell since the switch. Many of you know that we struggle with vomiting and this has been going on for too long. I’ve discussed this issue with many of the health care providers that make up Grey’s team. No one has ever recommended that we stop the Pediasure or that Pediasure may be related to our intermittent vomiting spells.

I have this disturbing suspicion that Pediasure was causing our previous issues with vomiting. We are on our 4th week with no Pediasure and Grey continues to show a new interest in food. He eats chicken nuggets now! I used the word “disturbing” because I am truly troubled that I may have been causing many of Grey’s feeding issues with the everyday Pediasure consumption. I have this idea in my head that Pediasure was causing him to feel sick and many times causing him to be physically sick. I am not confident at this time that my suspicions are factual but I am going to continue to monitor his progress closely. Here’s what I do know, I spent some time researching Pediasure and I’m not the only mother of preemie who has experienced these vomiting spells. I read another parent’s blog and our experiences are almost parallel. Her son was started on Pediasure and then began randomly vomiting after 4-5 weeks. After she stopped the Pediasure her son’s vomiting also stopped. I continue to pray that we too may have found a contributing factor to our many feeding issues.

I’m also thinking about having Greyson tested for food allergies. Many people that witness his intermittent vomiting mention it makes them think he has a food allergy or intolerance that is causing such a harsh response. He literally projectile vomits – it’s like someone pushes back a flap in his esophagus and squeezes his stomach of all its contents (the visual was probably unnecessary).

I realize that writing an entire blog entry on vomit may seem extreme and leave you with an unpleasant feeling. However, I need to share our trials to educate others. I will continue to post about our NO Pediasure diet. We are 22 lbs today and I’m praying Grey continues to tip the scales. We need a WIN!


Anne, Eliza Grace's mom said...

I'm glad to hear that Greyson is on the mend. And, no I for one do not mind a blog entry on vomit :) When Eliza's GI (well the second GI) saw the caloric value of the formula Eliza was on (per the first GI), he told me to go home and eat 4 sticks of butter and see how I felt. I declined to do that and used my imagination instead. Eliza was about 3 at the time and in a a few weeks she was switched from the high calorie formula to whole milk (with a protein supplement added in) and her volume of liquid intake alone doubled, but the calorie count stayed the same. It was also the first time she ever expressed any interest in food. It has still been a long, slow battle, but it is one that we are now winning, one small step at a time.

So here's to hoping to more "No Pediasure" posts and some good eating!

Jordan said...

Kudos to mom for figuring it out when the doctors couldn't! Sad that a stomach bug was the start of the solution, but hopefully you will have a lot less stomach issues now. And that's awesome that he is eating more, I can't imagine what a struggle that must be for you guys.
I don't know enough to know if this is a possibility for Grey, but a boy a used to watch threw up quite often at lunch. His mom hemmed and hawed but finally took my advice to take him to the doctor (she thought he was just stuffing his mouth with big bites and choking) Turns out he had acid reflux! I didn't know that could happen to a 2 year old. They put him on some medication for it and we had no more throwing up. (until she took him off it, she thought he didn't really need it and the throwing up started again!) Anyway, just another possible something to look into along with the allergies .
Hope your good progress continues! He is such an adorable kiddo :)


my four year old son have similar problem when he drinks pediasure!

Shyla Reed said...

Thank you so much for this post. My daughter is also on Pediasure and has been for around 16 months. In the last 3 months or so she has been vomiting forcefully 1-3 times a day everyday. I never imagined that Pediasure could possibly be the problem.

I am going to try and take her off of it and see if that stops the vomiting. If it does I am going to feel like I could hug you

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