Today as I watched Ellie suck on a dried mango I was launched into a surreal moment. I was breaking the rules by letting her have it, but truly I had no idea she would actually put it all the way in her mouth and try to eat it. We have headed back to Occupational Therapy, and are taking a look at her major feeding delays and sensory issues. She has begun to finally show signs of wanting to put food in her mouth and learn how to chew. Today she surprised me by putting a dried mango quite into her mouth and following it up with a 'dat yummy good'. As I looked at the mango smears on her face and revved up for the coming confrontation of having to take it away, I had a flash back to what that would have meant one year ago.
A year ago it would have meant panic. It would have meant waiting and watching the clock and wondering if there would be vomit, or skin blistering diarrhea, or hives, or fluctuating blood pressure, or.....? Today it meant 'oh crap, how much fungus is that feeding', and 'she is going to be crushed that I have to take that away'. And she was.
She sobbed as I told her that was enough because it would hurt her belly, and screamed 'mine' repeatedly at the top of her lungs. She let me hold her as she yelled in frustration to the point where I was certain the neighbors would call the police. And then we moved on.
There will be consequences. Regardless of what symptoms we may actually see, those minor slip ups are not minor at all when dealing with the extremes of Ellie's gut health. But in one year's time she has had enough healing that the day ended different. I am not gearing up for a long night in the over-sized green recliner holding a baby crying in pain, and cleaning up continuous vomit. And for this I am thankful.
A few steps backwards due to a dried mango certainly stinks. But this time I have the opportunity to see evidence of healing, and be happy she is showing progress with self-feeding. Works for me. Makes all of that broth making a little easier.