EOE. Who knew that three letters could mean so much. I want to take you back, to right around September, 2020. Boden was just about four weeks old, I had been functioning on one hour of sleep per day and advocated my way to a much needed diagnosis, level 3/4 lip and tongue tie. I remember saying, "I have never heard of this before." Oh, if I only knew how many times I would say that in the next 18 months. Fast forward through in-grown toenails, laryngomalacia, multiple ear infections, severe allergy diagnosis, more food intolerances, ear tubes, weekly gagging/choking, to our most recent journey Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE).
The first time our allergist mentioned those words, I was thinking "what in the ...?" After going down the Google rabbit hole, calling my primary doctor for support and clarification I had myself convinced he couldn't have this condition. Well after months of him choking on solid and non solid foods, liquids, really anything. Five to six blow out diapers a day. Daily random hives. An upper endoscopy was scheduled. I went into it with false hope, boy was I wrong.
When I sat down with the doctor for a consultation after the procedure and many failed attempts to get the computer to work, he drew me a lovely picture on the whiteboard. He made sure to first point out the areas that were normal, I knew something was up when he was avoiding the esophagus. He started drawing dots and lines throughout the esophagus and wrote abnormal=EOE next to it. He said he cannot confirm a diagnosis until the biopsy results are back, however, "If it smells like a dog, looks like a dog, it is likely a dog." I'll never forget that saying for the rest of my life. Let's just say he was right.
As his allergist and pediatric GI PA stated last week, Boden's throat resembles an "85 year old life-long smoker." As they explained the biopsy results, treatment moving forward, etc. When they told me he had 80 eosinophils when they only needed 5-15 to diagnose. That his case was severe. I couldn't help but notice something was missing. My normal symptoms of panic, fear, sadness, guilt....anxiety, depression...were not there. Was I scared, YES!! Very, this is uncharted territory. BUT, the difference was I felt able and ready to do what was needed. I didn't cry, I didn't break out in a sweat, I didn't instantly start biting all of my finger nails (It could have been the mask, though). I was able to actively listen, ask questions, and develop a plan. There was a level of peace and relief being able to recognize this progress.
Reflection... Oftentimes I think we get so caught up in the day to day stress, always planning, running, going that we do not allow ourselves time to reflect. Be present in today and see the progress, strides, leaps, or even baby steps. Reflection is so important and one of my words for 2021. (I don't like resolutions) That appointment last week, although life changing, provided me an opportunity to reflect. See how much I have grown, take a moment and be proud of how far I have come. I was able to be there, in that moment, holding my healthy and thriving boy, receive a chronic health condition diagnosis and hug and kiss on him. Life sure has a funny way of showing us what truly matters, today that is reflection.
As my 3 year old reminded me today, "Just keep swimming." Be well, Type A- Mama