Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Poor Eaters

Book review time.

A few weeks ago I searched for books on the topic of food aversion and didn't find much. After reading a couple of enthusiastic reviews I doled out the 20 bucks for a stuffy looking paperback called Poor Eaters by Joel Macht, Ph.D. My expectations were checked by the amateurish geometric cover design and the fact that it was published almost a decade ago, when EoE cases were far and few between. If our pediatrician, pediatric GI specialist, nutritionist, and speech therapist couldn't give us the magic formula to get Roo to eat, how could this old book possibly help? Well Mr. Macht, please accept my sincerest apologies! Poor Eaters might just save us from the g-tube yet.

To be honest, I hesitate to write this entry for fear that the progress we've made in the past couple of weeks will suddenly shatter if I dare call it that - progress. Still, we've seen changes in Roo in the past 10 days that are more encouraging than anything we've accomplished in the past 10 months. He's eating. Not always enthusiastically, but he's eating. In fact, I think he's even bulked up (gasp!) a few ounces. 

I should mention that the book emphasizes eliminating any physiological issues related to eating before attempting any of Mr. Macht's techniques. For us this is an ongoing struggle. We think we've identified the allergens that affect Roo's esophagus and have eliminated them. He's off all nuts, dairy, eggs, and beef. A clean scope (upper endoscopy) at the end of November, indicated that our dietary changes were working but we are still careful when introducing any new food. And he still surprises us with a projectile vomit now and then so we just don't know for sure.

As is turns out, there's no magic formula. We were already doing many of the suggestions in the book - using contingencies, finding the success points on which to build, ending meals on a positive note, etc. Somehow tweaking our methods, having a clear, measurable path for progress, and being able to relax in knowing that other children have come through this has made all the difference. So thank you, Mr. Macht. Thank you.

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