After 5 days of running fever, not eating or drinking, coughing, pink eye, congestion and just feeling miserable, Bryce landed in the ER for some IV fluids.
One thing we've learned about food allergies and oral aversions is that they creep into every aspect of life. Including being sick. Bryce's food allergies lead to the oral aversions which rear their ugly head in full force when he's sick. He won't put ANYTHING in his mouth when he's sick, so dehydration is something we work hard at to keep at bay.
But we failed this weekend. There's only so much water we're willing to force him to drink. Every time we force him, we re-establish his disdane for putting food and drink in his mouth. When his fever was approaching 104, we did dribble water in his mouth with an eyedropper. He gags and sputters and chokes. It's not nice.
At the ER, just about every single practitioner that saw Bryce called him "picky". I take offense to that. "Picky" implies he has a choice-that he CHOOSES to not eat. A 10 year old who refuses all vegetables is picky; a 23 month old who hasn't really learned to eat is not. The various doctors, med students, nurses, student nurses that paraded into Bryce's exam room did NOT listen to me when I told them he does not drink juice, he does not eat popsicles. They called him "picky" and it really feels like a 4-letter word to me. I got tired of explaining that he has oral aversions, that he doesn't eat a standard American diet, that his food choices aren't due to pickiness-they're due to foods making him very sick when he was very young.
If a bee stings you when you're 3 you're probably not fond of bees. Same thing goes with foods. If the first foods you eat as a baby make you sick, you become not fond of foods. Forcing a child to play with bees isn't an acceptable means of getting them over their fear; why would forcing food down Bryce's throat be acceptable?
The one Dr that didn't force "juice" or "popsicles" on Bryce was a guy called Dr. House. He was the one bright spot in our evening. First, his name is House. I asked if his first name was Greg, and he said, "No, it's Joe, but I get asked that a lot." I bet. (sorry, if you don't watch House on Fox, this isn't funny). He also didn't have a cane and he actually HAD a bedside manner. He didn't offer popsicles or juice, he said that he thought the best way to get Brcye to drink the things he will drink was to give him an IV, make him feel better so he'd be willing to drink. VOILA!
So, Dr. House ordered the IV. After Bryce received about 300mL of fluids, he asked for his bottle. A-ha! The next 300mL were finished and we were sent home with a diagnosis of dehydration and double ear infections and pink eye. He was still sick, but at least he was hydrated.
It's almost 2 days since our ER trip. Our sick boy is definitely on the mend. He's eating and drinking in his normal fashion, his pink eye is clearing up and this morning he almost decorated a wall with a highlighter.
He's not sick and he's not picky.