As a nutritionist I have always had the “book knowledge” when it comes to dealing with acid reflux. We discussed it in school, studied the medications used to treat it and pondered the nutritional implications. With all of the training my “hands on” experiences provided more knowledge than I could have gained in any other manner.
I began this “hands on” journey through the world of acid reflux in July of 2002 when our first child Melina was born. The days that followed were a blur of doctor’s visits, a diagnosis of Failure to Thrive and hours spent fighting to get our daughter to eat, even to the extent of using an eyedropper to give her at least a small amount of nourishment. We fought for every ounce of Melina’s weight and worked tirelessly to get her pain under control.
When our twins were born in 2005 we started the journey all over again. This time it was with our daughter Ella. Ella had some feeding difficulties but we got Ella on medications for the acid pain quickly because we recognized her acid reflux symptoms right away. A few weeks later a new symptom showed up, Ella stopped breathing. My life changed that day as I was forced to entertain the thought that I could loose a child to this disease.
Ella’s doctor immediately put her on a medicine to empty her stomach faster and she did not have another episode like the first one again. She is currently on medicine to control the acid but is one of the happiest children I have ever seen.
Acid reflux has also flared its ugly head in my own life. It has done damage to my teeth and contributed to ulcers. I spent a lot of time ignoring my own health because I was so focused on the struggles of my children. That is a lesson I hope no one else will have to learn the hard way.
In January of 2008 I was appointed the Volunteer Services Coordinator for the Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association (PAGER). It is nice being a part of something bigger than my self. Through PAGER and Health Central I hope to continue to educate parents about acid reflux. I also believe it is equally important to educate adults about their own acid reflux disease. Early diagnosis and treatment, as needed, can help lessen the pain and improve the outcome for anyone suffering from acid reflux. There is no greater reward then to accomplish that.
Published On: May 11, 2008