What you're seeing is a very mild Sandifer's episode. The pain in his esophagus makes him want to stretch his throat out. Alex will generally sleep through these episodes and wakes up a happy boy in the morning. I will say that him sleeping through these episodes is the only saving grace. It makes it a lot easier to deal with his pain as it seems he doesn't remember it in the morning.
Lately his episodes have gotten worse. He's arching a lot more in them and is crying out. I spoke with the nurse today as we were worried he was having night terrors. That was her first guess as well. The doc however believes it to be his GERD. We're upping his meds tonight to see if that can stop his pain episodes.
Another issue we discussed was that the side of Alex's head was kinda flat. It wasn't too obvious and we had tried everything we could think of short of flipping his head with a spatula in his sleep. (Family joke, kinda.) The doc tested his range of motion and found that he was a little resistant. This is called Torticollis and is rather common among babies in general, but very common among babies with GERD. This article gives a great explanation of torticollis and the relationship to GERD.
Alex started physical therapy the week after his well visit. The therapist said his case was very mild but there was enough of a difference in his head diagonals (measurements of the skull diagonally across the head to form an X) that he would benefit from some stretching and PT. Alex hates the stretches, but in just a week she noticed a great difference in how his neck moved.
Even with all of this going on, Alex is a bright and happy little boy who recently fell in love with blueberries and zucchini. He may have a few extra appointments and we might be on a first name basis with our pharmacist (I also taught his kids in Sunday School), but he is none the wiser. He's snuggled in his swing napping right now. He had a little episode a few minutes ago, but it didn't even phase him.
|Alex after enjoying his blueberries!|
If your little one has infant reflux/GERD, I feel ya. It's more than just a laundry problem for a lot of families. Feel free to share your experience below!