The very next day after my last entry about Matthew he went downhill again. Talk about discouraging. But this time it wasn't all too bad. I knew I had an appointment again in a weeks time and then we would focus on the ears again. A week of being bad would be enough time for me to fairly see consistency in that area. We didn't make it a week, two days later I had a crying inconsolable boy and then fevers began again. I got him in to the doctor the next day and his ears were infected again ... antibiotics again.
Unfortunately I don't think they really helped. I don't know what the antibiotics did as our doctor ended up being sick for the next appointment he had in order to monitor them. For only a couple days we seen improvement and then back downhill again. So now we're back to the "normal" Matthew ... eat very little (and only with great entertaiment to distract him) and not always happy. Then this week he developed yet another cold. A nasty sore throat that left him wincing and crying everytime he coughed. We were back to the vomits and the hard time getting him to drink ... nevermind the restless nights.
We had an appointment already booked for this week and when we went in she checked his ears. They were a bit red and there is some fluid behind them, but she said they looked the best she's seen them. She said normally she would not warrant them bad enough to put on antibiotics. We are a bit tired with antibiotics as this continual on and off is not good and he's building resistance. Since I did not think the last dose of antibiotics did anything at all (third time on same antibiotic) she ended up giving us a script for something different and said I could decide whether to use it or not. Just before we left we remembered to have her look at his throat to which she was suprised how red it was and thought maybe he had something brewing there but did not have any throat swabs in the office. I decided to try the new script of antibiotics to give his ears one more chance as well as get on top of the throat right away if it indeed was bacterial. I cannot say we really seen any result on the throat with the antibiotics, so must just be a virus.
We're a bit more confused now on how his ears fit into the big picture of the lack of eating and unhappiness. I have asked for an ENT (Ears Nose Throat Specialist) Referral to get the ball rolling on tubes if necessary. I believe (or want to believe) that his ears are a big factor here and so I don't want to keep waiting things out as I know how long it will take to get an ENT appointment and then more months of waiting to get a surgery date. I hate to be sitting around waiting to have his ears "fixed" only to find out that's not what's causing his food aversion. And vice versa, if I know it's his ears then it's much easier to relax and let him drink himself full until we can get the problem fixed. It will likely take anywhere from 6-9 month to get tubes put in and that's a long time to be waiting on a kid that's not eating.
The doctor also decided to order some blood work looking at Matthew's immune system. This is more a "covering of the butt" test. Some kids just get sick lots, but for some reason when we did his blood work we didn't do any immunoglobins, so she'd like to make sure those things are in line.
I'm so thankful for the good days we did have that helped us establish better bottle habits. Even when he went downhill again we were still able to manage these good habits and find we seldom have the bottle battles we used to have. Of course, we tried to explain his bad bottle habits by his ears, but if his ears still aren't good, why the good bottle habits? Kid's can be such a puzzle.
The doctor did state that she's not too concerned about Matthew's lack of eating at this point as he's growing well. Maybe I'm overparanoid but I find that a bit of an odd statement. (James was also still growing well at this age, so good growth doesn't say everything to me.) How many of you have a almost 11 month old child that doesn't like solids and basically survives off of bottles? I do know several people that I found comfort in who were also struggling with feeding issues, but slowly each of them ended up finding a reason (ears, allergies, tonsils, etc) for this habit ... I have yet to hear of someone who had a perfectly normal and fine child who just didn't want to eat ... but I would so love to hear about them if they're out there :)
So my long babble basically says that we're still not much further ahead on our puzzle. Our focus is still on the ears for now, hoping they will completely clear up and so will the other issues.