My son has been diagnosed with Acid Reflux, GERD, from the age of 2 months. We have always tried to keep him upright especially after eating. I have always thickened his formula with cereal. We tried medication, but it didn't seem to work. Not that long ago my son developed these horrific screaming episodes. He would just scream until he fell asleep. Sometimes he would be hungry but would refuse to eat. He would arch his back and tighten up his body like he was in pain. The screams were like nothing I had ever heard from him, and often they would last as long as a half hour.
At first the doctor said it sounded like colic. We tried gas drops, and gripe water with little relief. I tried Tylenol and Motrin with still no signs of relief. I took him to see our family doctor, he usually sees the pediatrician. Again he said what I was describing sounded like colic, but he commented that my son was past the age you generally see colic. I was not convinced and not happy with what I considered a diagnosis of convenience. It seemed to fit so that's what they called it. I wanted to know exactly what was wrong.
The doctors told me not to worry he was thriving and doing well. That is fine and I was very thankful for that especially after all he has been through. However, the screaming episodes were increasing. Each episode seemed to increase in intensity. My son was clearly in pain, and suffering needlessly. I was furious with my doctors, and family for not taking this serious. No one who can talk would be made to suffer so much pain so why is it OK for my baby!!!!
He was spitting up more often and the spit up would stink with a horrific acidic smell. You just knew that it had to burn coming up. I asked the pediatrician at his 6 month check up. He said that with GERD my son would have heartburn, and now that he is older he would experience the pain more. He explained the smell of the spit up was due to being partly digested and therefore was completely normal. However, he didn't tell me what to do or give him any thing for it. I was let down again. Anyone who has had heartburn knows it is not pleasant at all.
He had a couple episodes at my mom's house. She acted like it was no big deal. My youngest brother had GERD and according to her did the same. She said it sounded like gas and told me to hold him, burp him, comfort him, and if that didn't work put a warm cloth on his belly. I was angry she didn't take it serious at all either. I know he is going to live, but he doesn't need to suffer.
Finally, one weekend we were at my in laws and my son was having a particular bad day. They did take it serious and sympathized with me. I call the doctor and insisted they at lease give him a prescription for his acid reflux. If that is whats causing the problem then he needs something. We have been trying it for a couple weeks and he's doing better.
I also restarted introducing solids. He has had bananas and prunes only for the past 10 days. I also realized that when we moved to the crib he was no longer sleeping elevated. Prior to that he was in his car seat which I kept in the bassinet next to my bed. So I put a wedge under his mattress and now he sleeps at a 30 degree angle. I also try to feed him more often so he never goes hungry. The pediatrician recommended this to reduce heartburn. I am also still using gas drops, Tylenol, Motrin, teething tablets, and lots of love. He has had less and less episodes, and seems to be doing much better.
Unfortunately, I don't have a specific diagnosis. I am just doing all I can. I really would like someone to say this is exactly what is wrong, no doubt about it.