Sunday, April 18, 2010

Trying to keep our heads above the puke

Poor Goosey. Which, for those of you that don't know, is what we call Lucy quite often. Lucy, Lucy Goosey, Goosey, you see the derivation, no?

Tuesday evening she blew out her diaper down the front of her leg, a feat we had until then not yet witnessed (most blowouts occur up or down the back of the diaper, not the front). Wednesday she had more yucky diapers, and when I brought her home from daycare, proceeded to immediately throw up all over the (off-white colored) living room carpet. Twice. She earned herself a bath that night, and a day at home with me on Thursday. Each day since then, poor Goose has had at least one blowout, disgustingly aroma'd diaper, and two bouts of vomiting. We are now at Sunday, five days after the first incident, and Lucy is still sick. She has earned herself a bath at least once a day this whole week - that's how fast the bodily fluids have been flying.

M. and I don't quite know what to do. Apparently, one other child in Lucy's class at daycare was sent home with a stomach bug on Thursday. Which would suggest that Lucy, too, has a stomach bug. And for those keeping track (probably no one except for us, since I haven't blogged about every episode), would be Lucy's third stomach bug of 2010. However, M. and I are not convinced that at mere virus is at fault here. Strangely or not-so-strangely enough, Lucy's illness has coincided with our attempt to start introducing whole milk into her diet. Whick throws everything into a quandry, and makes us wonder what the heck is actually going on.

On Monday, we started adding about 1-1.5 oz milk to her 6 oz bottles. She was less then two weeks shy of her 1st birthday, and we were all more than ready to see if the family could be done with formula FOREVER! For those wondering, her formula is Enfamil Gentlease, a dairy-based formula that is partially hydrolyzed. We upped it to 2 oz (so, 1/3 milk) on Tuesday. By Tuesday evening, however, things were clearly not looking good.

I brought Lucy to the doctor's office on Thursday, to discuss the possibility of a milk allergy. Previously, Lucy was diagnosed with a (temporary?) milk protein intolerance. She was having diarrhea with no other symptoms, and her doc wanted her on a completely hydrolyzed formula for a while to see if she would recover. She did, and eventually went back on the Gentlease. But still, there is a history of some milk issues. This time around, the doctor checked for blood in a dirty diaper of Lucy's (not a fun package to travel with), found no blood, and declared her symptoms to be the result of a virus. Which marries nicely with the details about the classmate of hers sent home for throwing up.

However, here we are 5 days after Lucy's first symptoms, and she threw up twice again this morning (not to mention the heinous, heinous explosive diaper she woke up with). Most vomiting that is the result of a virus resolves itself after 24 hours (diarrhea can take much longer). We even went out and bought her Alimentum (the completely hydrolyzed formula) to try and help a sista out for a while, and she threw THAT up. The teeny amounts she deigned to drink, of course, because that stuff tastes disgusting and she is now old enough to realize it.

So, we are back at questioning "Is it a virus? Is it a milk allergy? Is it a virus causing a milk intolerance?" We have no freakin' clue, but to try and help Lucy feel better (and stem the massive amounts of laundry we've been doing), we've decided to make Lucy go dairy-free for everything. No milk, no cheese, no butter, no foods baked with cheese, milk or butter... Basically, we went out and spent a fortune at Whole Paycheck (er, Foods).

A follow up visit for Lucy to the pediatrician is likely in store this week, and perhaps also a referral to an allergist and/or pediatric GI specialist (remember, she still has reflux issues, which could also be indicative of a food intolerance). In the meantime, we'll be bringing most of her food in to daycare for her, provided she doesn't do something silly like puke and get sent home. And I'll be researching good dairy-free cake recipes for that 1st birthday of hers, coming up in a week...

I wish I was blogging about other topics, because some other fun things have been happening lately. Including a 5K I ran (OK, slowly jogged) on Saturday, as a step toward the marathon relay I am signed up for next fall. Yay, me! Really, it was fun, and I can't wait to do more. However, Lucy's digestive system has been stealing my and M.'s thoughts lately, so it's hard to talk about much else. Here's to hope that that changes soon...


  1. I feel for you! But Penny has been dairy free since she was 9 months old and we're surviving. I have lots to offer if you need items she can eat. Also, Alimentum is not completely broken down so the GI may recommend a different formula - especially one that can transition to toddlerhood (ie, Elecare is a toddler formula). The other option is to switch her to soy milk (you can buy DHA enriched but not necessarily formula which is more expensive). Of course there are hormone issues associated with soy. Is she going back to daycare today? Good luck.

  2. Oh, poor Lucy. That must be a miserable situation for all involved. Good luck in getting is resolved quickly. And Lucy - feel better soon!

  3. I don't really want to try soy - not only the hormone issues, but most babies that can't take milk, also can't take soy. Alimentum is usually sufficient for milk allergies/intolerances that don't cause anaphylactic shock. The trouble is getting her to drink it, of course. I'm wondering if we can just skip formula all-together and do a combination of other milks (rice, almond, etc). Lucy's definitely not at the bottom of the growth curve the way P was, so if her diet is balanced, maybe we don't need a toddler formula? Not sure. Lots to talk about with the doctor!

  4. Alex had a milk intolerance when he was a baby. Every time we gave him even one ounce of milk product, he would have runny yellow diarrhea. We tried all the milk formulas and same thing, so we (begrudgingly) switched to soy. And sadly, switched both boys to soy because we couldn't risk a mix up.

    We went to an allergist and he was not allergic to dairy at all. Our ped said some babies GI systems just can't handle milk proteins. After he tested negative for allergy, we were to try milk at 9 months. Still yellow diarrhea. Tried again at 12 months and it was gone and he's been eating dairy ever since.

    Good luck!