I really wanted Matthew to be walking by time we went camping so he would be just a bit less dirty, but since he did not quite make it ... I really rather he didn't walk and stay my baby just a while longer!! :) A couple days ago he decided he was done with crawling and since then has been walking 90% of the time. If he's in a hurry he still crawls at his usual high speeds. He has also just figured out how to crawl down the stairs making him much more indepedent as he does not have to wait for someone to bring him downstairs to play. Of course the girls aren't very thrilled by this new achievement as it means he gets into their stuff more often ... maybe they will learn not to leave their stuff laying around anymore (haha, wishful thinking).
The past month or so has been filled with various appointments. Most of them were appointments we had been waiting for some time for, but didn't really feel they were all that necessary anymore. In order to get our foot in the door and not have to wait again if things go downhill we still attended them. Matthew has been doing well and only two issues remained that made me decide to still go to each appointment - his lack of interest in solids and his unhappiness.
Rob has told me I'm not allowed to write about when he's doing good, since when I do he turns around and things get worse. So I won't talk about how well he's doing these past couple weeks, how he's been happy and playing well, how he's finally showing at least some interest in food ... instead I'll just say that we've been seeing more up periods then down for the last little bit.
We have not seen any vomitting since June and his stools remain good. Since those factors left the equation we have been able to relax and not worry so much about the feeding issues. As well we have not had any more ear infections since the end of June. Matthew drinks about 45-50oz of (expensive) formula per day. We are thankful that this formula is being covered (costs about $10.50 per day for his formula) as it leaves us with less reasons to push changes in his diet and instead we can focus on trying to find some stability.
The GI doctor suggested we start introducing milk now that he is a year old. The Allergist Specialist said his experience says wait and don't start until after 18 months. Both doctors have said that if we run into troubles maintaining our formula coverage they will make sure we get some one way or another. Neither doctors are pushing to take him off formula, both realizing his lack of proper diet means this is the way he gets his nutrients. Allergy testing of various common allergies show that Matthew does not have any immediate reacting allergies. If he has allergies they are delayed reacting (more of an intestine problem) and only by trial and error will we figure out if he does. We have slowly been introducing new foods into his diet - one food per month - so he is now receiving rice, corn and we just started eggs. He continues to be milk-free, soy-free and gluten-free (wheat, oats, barley). Our game plan is to have a happier more stable child before we do any changes to these last three.
Lately we're becoming more optimistic that stability has arrived. Not only is Matthew more happy his general mannerism seems more content and relaxed ... it's like his mannerism says "ahhh this is so much better". Now we wait to see if it's a long-term better or a short-term relief. Since he also now shows interest in foods - as in he points to things to indicate he wants it, and then actually eats it when he receives it (altho usually only small amounts) - we hope that a "long-term better" will mean we can soon decrease his formula intake and "starve" him onto solids. All hopeful and wishful thinking.
Two changes we did, which we are unsure if they have made any difference, as we haven't tested what would happen if we remove them. We started him on a probiotic at the end of June. After several rounds of antibiotics we thought this would be a good idea. We also wondererd if he did better while on antibiotics because it changed the threshing floor in his intestines to a level that was better for him. Whether it has helped or not we do not know, but we do know he hasn't been sick since he started on it. We also started him on Ranitidine (reflux med) at the beginning of August. We finally decided to reattempt this idea when he continued to wake up during the nights with an odd cry, we couldn't tell if it was fear or pain. A week later he began to sleep better at nights. We haven't cured the nighttime issues, it's not uncommon for him to wake, but it's not so regular anymore. He either wakes in the later evening hours or sometime after 5am. Lately I haven't had to get up middle of the night, which is a nice change.
We've seen the ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) Specialist. Since he has not had any infections lately this was just another "get our foot in the door" appointment. If we return to reoccuring infections in the winter then he will be put on the list for tubes. He still has to go for a hearing test to confirm he hears okay and double check any fluid buildup behind the eardrums. We have no concern about his hearing, it works plenty fine in our opinion. We also seen the Optamologist (Eye Specialist) recently. This was a follow-up appiontment for the spring. Matthew has had what appears to be a "lazy eye" or "wandering eye". More properly called Strabismus. I say appears because his eyes do not look like they are working together, often one is going one way the other the other way ... or so it appears. But so far when they check him they say he is fine, his eyes are symetrical and it's only that he has a wide nose that it causes it to appear or seem like this is happening when it is not really an eye/vision problem. They have never seen him do it at his appointments, but we see him do it all the time and it seems every other doctor we see points it out. They will continue to follow him for the next year or so to see if any comes of it.
When it comes to growth and development Matthew is definitely not having any troubles, another reason we find it easier to not be concerned about his piddly eating habits ... the formula is definitely keeping him up to snuff. He definitely does not lack any energy and has bounced back up on the charts now that he's not vomitting anymore. So here's too hoping he has a better immune system to tackle the winter ahead with a few less illnesses and lots more stability.
Can't believe how fast they grow up!!