Eureka! (Greek “I have found it!”) (Or: “Please hand me a bathrobe!”)

Your wonderful, caring comments made me feel… well, all warm really, despite the icy hand of fear clutching the Wifey-vitals. It’s so comforting to know that there are people inside our droning, rattling battleship of a PC! Lovely people! People that care! People that make hyper-intelligent suggestions, moreover! Albeit they have been unwittingly hamstrung by the fact that Ann has stupidly overlooked (and hence failed to report) some telling symptomology.

Harry still has reflux.

I kept typing and tapping and bashing his symptoms into Google, muttering feverishly to myself in bitter frustration that the only results popping up were for reflux. These I instantly dismissed with much wrath, as Harry was a spectacular purveyor of volcanic, copious reflux right up until he was 6 months old.

I lived reflux, for Chrissakes. Providentially for our shoulders and carpet, Harry’s reflux-vomiting stopped (virtually overnight) when he started solids. No vom? Oh, end of problem, then! We stopped his meds. But he’s always been intermittently difficult over food, and often grumpy for no discernable reason. We simply pigeonholed him as a bit of a diva. And in throwing myriad reflux references at me, Google, I felt, was attempting to teach my inner Granny to suck eggs. 

Yet I sat up late again last night, determined that Dr SearchEngine would stop pissing about and Cure My Bloody Baby. When my weary little brain could think of no new phrase to Google, it struck, and stopped sending messages to my eyes; they came to rest, lifelessly, on the screen. I suspect there are dead mackerel on a fish counter right now with more sparkle in their baby blues than I had at midnight. The eyes, however, freed of officious interference from the desiccated pellet that I term my brain, discovered something interesting. There is silent reflux. The non-vommy kind. The kind that Harry has just about every single symptom of.

  • irritability and pain
  • poor sleep habits typically with frequent waking
  • arching their necks and back during or after eating
  • frequent hiccups
  • frequent ear infections
  • refusing food or accepting only a few bites despite being hungry
  • food/oral aversions
  • anaemia
  • excessive drooling
  • running nose, sinus infections
  • sinus congestion
  • swallowing problems, gagging, choking
  • chronic hoarse voice
  • frequent red, sore throat without infection present
  • apnoea
  • respiratory problems-pneumonia, bronchitis, wheezing, asthma, night-time cough
  • gagging themselves with their fingers or fist (sign of esophagitis)
  • poor weight gain, weight loss, failure to thrive

So, this morning I rootled out some old packets of infant gaviscon and, by dint of placing the jollop in a popular-with-child smoothie pouch – wicked, tricksy Mummy – got a couple of swallows down his throat before he cottoned on to the vile parental treachery.


We then tootled off to a harvest widows and orphans lunch-gathering at a friend’s house, where Harry proceeded to munch half a banana, half a bread roll and a biscotti, before signalling a halt. This was a damn good effort, and I was really exceedingly pleased.

Half an hour passed, in which I was the life and happily-wittering soul of the party, before a late arrival brought her tuna rolls into the room. The change that the sight of this loaded plate brought to Harry’s demeanour was quite pronounced. Think… interest. Intense interest. Think….

He bustled over, knees wheel-spinning slightly, and stood expectantly by her knee, patting her leg insistently. I’ve never even seen my liquid-eyed spaniel, a consummate and practised beggar, work a victim over with such beseeching professionalism. A small chunk of bread was obligingly proffered, and consumed with gusto. This was duly upgraded to half the top layer, for which he needed both hands, so he plumped down cross-legged on the floor and proceeded to munch industriously. He then ate another biscotti. And then some more bread. And burped happily, before scampering off again to resume taking toys away from smaller children.

This evening I have repeated the gaviscon/smoothie deception, although with a far more suspicious child. He nevertheless swallowed enough to facilitate consumption of another half-banana, half a slice of bread and jam, and an ounce or so of cheese. He also helped himself to several bites of his father’s tea, not realising in quite how much danger he was placing himself.

We are not entirely out of the woods, as the mere sight of a bowl and spoon this evening still sent him stratospheric. Entire meals consisting of finger food are new ground to him, as we usually spoon-feed him variations on mashed meat/carbs/veg, and rusk/squished fruit/yoghurt, but it seems that spoon-delivered foodstuffs are the subject of pain-association, unsurprisingly, and are not currently acceptable. His limited (eleven months adjusted) dexterity reduces our options a little and we shall have to have a fairly fundamental re-structure of his usual menu. We do not mind. We’re good like that. As we’ve merrily, blithely dismissed our beautiful child’s suffering and distress for over 6 months, we feel we can now find it within ourselves to be vaguely accommodating about some new food textures for him.

If anyone is passing with a small person, do drop in for lunch. I have a freezer full of yummy chunky mush, and no further use for same.


7 Responses

  1. Reflux! Of course! Of-bloody-course!

    I get wicked heart-burn myself (reflux for grown-ups). Poor little Harry. Hurray for gaviscon! *Waves box of gaviscon tablets in solidarity*

    Huge hugs for working it out and getting Harry back into tea-stealing mode.

    And unfortunately, yes, he will be a pain about spoons for a long time. Oy vey. Minx regarded forks with fear and loathing for about four months after one, ONE, unfortunate overenthusiastic lunge for her daddy’s dinner and a subsequent (and completely accidental on daddy’s part) stab in the soft palate. No blood or anything horrid like that, but Minx was having no forkage whatsoever after that.

    Fish-fingers make good finger food, by the way, and taste pleasingly insignificant, and are fairly easy to get a grip on, and are squishy enough to make the semi-toothless chewing easy. Also, fairly easy to remove from long curly hair and sea-grass matting, as long as you don’t step on it.

  2. Aw, man! Poor baby!!!!
    I am so glad you were able to figure it out and come to a tricky solution. I hope he continues to feel better. 😉

  3. Can I just say, you have the cutest son ever.

  4. Oh well done! Yay hooray! I nearly cried reading his amended list of food items. And finger food is good and will prepare him for cocktail parties and opening nights at the theatre when the canapes are sent around.

  5. Yeah! Good for you! You figured it out. You’re just kidding about the “merrily, blithely” part, right? Babies, without much in the way of communication, are so puzzling, and like any individual have lots of quirks, and it’s a constant game of trying to figure out what is causing a behavior or whether there’s a cause at all, since of course they can’t tell you. One could say the doctors should have figured it out, but you deserve nothing but kudos for unraveling the Gordian knot.

    Also, Antigone is right. There are a lot of cute babies online, but yours is really tops.

    Congratulations! Eat, Harry, eat!

  6. And here I was veritably counting down the mere five months more of this malarkey I have to put up with until Naan’s ‘flux buggers off.



    Hand a woman a tissue?



  7. Good on you for tricking young Harry into tasting the gaviscon smoothie. Sounds like you might have cracked the puzzle. Hoping that the improvement continues into the indefinite future.

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