I've heard there are these children in existence who have only vomited a handful of times, some are said to have lived their whole lives without vomiting. I believe them to be mythical creatures, though, it is less depressing that way. BubTar is a healthy kind of kid and even he's vomited more times than I can count on my fingers and toes. And KayTar, well, she is in a different league altogether. She puked tonight actually. Josh said, "You threw up!" She said, "No Daddy, I PUKED." Throwing up is for novices, she's a professional. She is a puker. In the past two weeks, she has puked 4 times and she's healthy at the moment.
The first puke was a negative reaction to brushing her teeth with a different toothpaste than we normally use. Something about it was highly offensive to her delicate ladylike senses. Yuck. This one was really sad because it was in the early post-op days when she was still having a lot of throat and stomach pain and it hurt quite a bit to get sick.
The second and third pukes were voluntary. Oh yes, you read that correctly, voluntary...as in, she can contract her stomach muscles in such a way that in about a minute, she can produce satisfactory results, no gagging involved. This is a brand new skill, a skill we are not all that happy about. It is employed as a tactic to win an argument. As in, "KayTar, time to go to bed!" "But I don't want to go to bed! I want to play the laptop!" "Nope, sorry, it is bedtime." Silence and concentration, stomach contractions, then PUKE! Totally controlled. Totally voluntary. Totally irritating. How do you respond to that? How do you appropriately redirect or discipline when instead of throwing a fit, your child throws up? We are in such trouble.
The fourth puke was tonight. Josh, who is really skittish about this tube feeding business and is still afraid of hooking and unhooking her, was feeding her...he got to the end, flushed the line, and then she gagged and puked. A lot. There was a lot of puke. We aren't sure why. She had a few bites of ice cream shortly before her feed, maybe she was the tiniest bit overfull? She's starting to get congested and has some sinus drainage, maybe that made her oversensitive, it usually does. Maybe she just felt gaggy all of a sudden. Regardless, I think poor Josh has been traumatized. He is probably having nightmares right now of her stomach filling up like a balloon and bursting. Anyway, I asked her about it later.
Me: KayTar, how does your stomach feel?
K: Hmmm, too stomachey.
Me: How did your stomach feel when Daddy was feeding you?
K: Too burpy and gaggy.
Me: Did you feel full?
Me: What does full feel like?
K: Full feels like hungry!
Suuuuuure it does, kid. We've known that she doesn't understand the sensation of hunger for a long time, but we didn't realize she didn't understand what it means to be full either. Makes sense, though. Now we know that if we tell her to tell us when she is full, her answer isn't exactly reliable. We learn something new every day!