Reflux Revisited?

For the past 6 months at least, Jasper has been doing this constant throat clearing thing while he eats.  It sounds innocuous enough, but when you hear it -it’s a little disturbing seeing it on video actually:

My first thought was food allergy – some sort of mucous reaction to one of the usual culprits like wheat or dairy. But then I observed it happening even when he was eating something as non mucous forming as say watermelon.

My googling of toddler constant throat clearning turned up (surprise surprise) that Reflux was a common culprit.

Like I said, I really wanted this to be nothing – Jeff insisted it was some sort of nervous habit, but the fact is that he doesn’t do it when he’s nervous or uncomfortable, he does it ONLY right before and during eating which is a pretty big red flag for reflux. Given his history, I just can’t ignore it any longer :(

I waited this long to make an appointment with his ENT for one reason: I’m terrified of him scoping Jasper with the little tube they shove up their noses to see the back of their throat/esophagus!

The last time he had that procedure I think he was just over 12 months and he didn’t know what was happening really..this time, he will know, he will freak and he will probably NEVER want to go to a doctor again!

I’m been really worried about it, but I know it’s necessary because the long term damage that can be caused by untreated reflux is even scarier (abnormal cells that can turn into cancer!!)

So we are going this morning – Jeff’s coming with because I’m too worried to do it alone. Wish us luck!

Update: the scope was scary but Jasper was SUCH a trooper! He just kind of whined – and then it was over and he wanted to go back out and play with the toys in the waiting room!

The verdict : as I suspected- Reflux.

The doc saw inflammation and redness around his esophageal opening just like he did when he first diagnosed Jasper with reflux when he was a few months old.  The swelling is making him feel like he needs to clear his throat poor guy.

I feel two things: Relief that I am NOT crazy in suspecting that Jasper’s reflux never really went away (and was most likely the reason he was such a picky eater in his early toddlerhood) and also I feel guilt. Guilt that my mommy instincts were right all along but I let other  people (his pediatrician, my parents), no matter how well meaning make me feel like he was totally fine and that I should take him off the reflux meds in the first place.

Just another case of trust your mama instincts – they are rarely wrong!

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jbhat says:

Just emailed you to say….HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jasper!!

jbhat

ariana says:

Thanks all – I do feel SUCH a sense of relief to finally know without a doubt! Hopefully I’ll have a happy update in two weeks after the PPI (prevacid) has had a chance to do it’s job!

jbhat says:

I am so proud of you, Ariana! Good. For. You. for getting to the bottom of this. And I hope that whatever was prescribed as a result will help him feel better.

jbhat

Heather says:

I agree! Trust your instincts! I could kick myself every time I don’t listen to myself. I’m a firm believer that “Mommy knows best”. Glad you took him to the dr., and that he was such a trooper.

GiGi says:

I sure hope things go quickly and smoothly with good solid results that they can act on right away. (((hugs)))

Pamela L says:

Good Luck. I know my mother just went through this. I kept mentioning to her that she was constantly cleaning her throat (for a good couple years). Another friend also mentioned it to her. It did end up being reflux but they did not stick anything down her throat. They put her on OTC meds and it cleared it up right away. Now she wishes she had not waited so long. I hope things go well today.

Melissa Dorner says:

I had a cough and the urge to clear my throat for almost a year. The cough got better w/i a couple of months, but the throat clearing remained. My doctor had sent me to a pulmonologist who said I had mild asthma and put me on oral and inhaled steroids, but the problem didn’t go away. Finally they did a video scope and saw that I had evidence of reflux damage on my vocal cords. I started taking Prilosec (2x/day) and the throat clearing went away! Good luck!