That's a mouthful, huh? And why is it called GI for short? Where's the I?! I'm assuming it's for intestinal? Anyway...
The doctor was great. Carver actually spit up a little in the office and I was able to show him before I wiped him clean. Just the classic white curdles. I felt like the doctor took us seriously, considered the implications of SPD and make an accurate diagnosis.
It's not what I wanted to hear.
It's called "rumination" and it's a VOLUNTARY regurgitation, a habit or nervous twitch in the stomach that forces food back up. I've googled it and it fits Carver perfectly. It's more common in infants and children with developmental delays/disorders, it's (sadly) often linked with a lack of attachment or the absence of a mother. But we're not going to dwell on that part because it's not our situation, right?
Carver's tendency to eat quickly and not chew well lets the food sit in his stomach longer, making it easy to regurgitate. We'll work on those as best we can.
Another recommendation was to use bio feedback, which is more a psychology technique that builds association with the habit until you can use that association to control and eliminate the habit. For example, singing the ABC song is something other families have done with each regurgitation. I'd be singing it continuously sometimes. He suggested a toy that makes noise, essentially a distraction that will take attention from the behavior and eventually replace it. I get the concept, I'm just not sure how we're going to do that exactly. He recommended a child psychologist for more help. Sometimes anxiety/anti depressants help, but he doesn't recommend that. Thank goodness!
Speaking of medication, he'll stay on his Zantac indefinitely. It doesn't help the rumination, but it will control the acid and prevent damage to his esophagus, teeth, etc... Carver doesn't mind taking it, it doesn't have negative side effects. The dose was right, so we'll be refilling that somewhere cheaper than Bartell's and trying harder not to forget.
The doctor also said that there was a 5% chance there was something else involved and said we could elect to do an endoscopy (en-DAH-scuh-pee). I still have to repeat it in my head a couple times to say it right. Anyway, it's the procedure where they send a camera inside, take pictures, biopsies and rule out any other medical, physical problem. Allergies, hernias, ulcers, etc... It's done with general anesthesia at the Children's Hospital in Seattle. We've been there with ear tubes and it's a very similar experience. It'll be half a day at the hospital for a 10 minute procedure. He couldn't recommend it necessarily and left it totally up to us. His nurse told me after he left that he's very straight forward and would've said one way or the other if it mattered to him. I liked knowing that, but I still wished he'd just decide. Then I thought about my last post and how much I believe in mothers knowing what's best for their children. And I suppose I'm grateful to be involved and respected in Carver's healthcare.
I worried and thought and second guessed all the way home. And I prayed - a LOT. I've been fasting and praying to know what to do, to get answers and to be able to help Carver. I worry a little about the anesthesia because I can't help it. But in the end, I really feel like it is a good idea to go ahead and do the endoscopy. We might not find anything, but that alone would give me the energy and focus to move forward on the rumination with no question in my mind that there might be more to it. I'm pretty sure I don't WANT to find anything else. That would just make everything more complicated.
The endoscopy is Monday morning, bright and early. I haven't gotten all the instructions yet, but I know for sure that he's not eating anything after 7 pm the night before. And I think he's on a smoothie diet the 12 hours before that. It's a good thing he likes that sort of thing, but I still anticipate a rather grumpy day.
I think we'll know some results right away, but the biopsy results will take longer and will be discussed in another office visit. I feel tired thinking of another long-term condition to overcome, but I am so grateful to KNOW. It's where everything has to start. Now I just need to focus on HOPE in the future and the courage to keep heading that direction.