Today marks Day 11 of Clare being on an eating strike. When it first started at the beginning of last week, Shawn and I were not too concerned. She had cut her first molar a couple weeks ago, and we thought maybe a second molar was cutting through, which would obviously be painful. However, as the days went past, Clare's eating (or lack thereof) worsened. She refused to even eat her favorites - glazed donuts and M&M's. We tried everything we could think of to get her to eat. She became fussier and fussier. When no molar came through and Tylenol did not improve her mood or appetite, we decided to wait a couple more days before calling the doctor since it was Christmas. Over the past three days, Clare's energy level decreased drastically and she started sleeping most of the day. After a multitude of phone calls, we finally saw a doctor yesterday.
Clare's GI wanted us to see her pediatrician first to rule out colds or infections as a cause for the not eating. Clare's pediatrician broke his foot and is out of the office, so we saw one of the other pediatricians in the practice. I have met this pediatrician before and like her (she actually was the one in the hospital to first detect Clare's heart murmur), but she is not familiar with Clare now, her history, or Williams syndrome. When she checked Clare out, she said everything looked and sounded normal. No ear infection, signs of strep throat, anything she could see to explain the eating strike. To us, the most alarming thing was that Clare has lost 5 ounces and is down to 16 lbs, 15 oz. It may not sound like a lot, but that was Clare's weight back in July. So to Clare, she has lost six months of weight gain that we have struggled so hard to put on her. The pediatrician was fairly unhelpful with a solution. The only thing she came up with was to decrease Clare's milk consumption going on the theory that Clare was getting full on milk and, therefore, did not want to eat anything else. Shawn and I are not convinced this is the answer since over the last couple days, Clare has not even wanted her milk. But we have no explanations for the eating strike, so are willing to try this. We are going to follow-up with the doctor next Tuesday to check Clare's weight. If she is still losing weight and/or shows no improvement in her appetite, then I am skipping the pediatrician and insisting on an appointment with the GI. Clare is scheduled to have her slew of blood work done in a few weeks with him, but I am sure we can get those pushed up if need be.
We did get Clare to eat two slices of banana this morning before she called it quits. I am very worried about the not eating and losing weight. Clare does not have much weight to lose and we're facing the coldest months of the year here in New England. I feel so powerless because we cannot force Clare to eat, but she needs to eat. I hope next week brings better news.