After the Barium


This morning we took E. back to the hospital for yet another test— an upper GI X-ray. We’re still trying to figure out why she is so averse to eating. Cedar and I have ideas and theories. All kinds of theories. I even have a conspiracy theory (no, not really). But we have nothing conclusive.

For the test, E. had to drink barium so that the doctor could get a look at her digestion. For a kid who doesn’t like to drink anything, she did pretty well. No tears, no push back, she just looked around at all of the machines and took it in (literally). She’s so laid back that sometimes I wonder who she came from. If I had to drink barium, I think I would probably be less cooperative.

I hemmed and hawed about going forward with the test. I talked with her gastroenterologist twice beforehand, asking, “Do we really need to do this?” I also tried to convince E.’s speech therapist that we should call it off. Because we don’t want to put her through unnecessary assessment or appointments. And also, I think about what we could be dong instead. E. could be resisting a nap, for example, or we could be schlepping out to do the errands that I have so far neglected this week (grocery store, medicine run, etc.). Or, we could be doing something beyond the obligatory (fancy that), like spending time at Patisserie 46, my favorite bakery, and that way I could model for E. what it looks like to really, really enjoy dessert.

Now we are waiting to find out if the doctors will recommend surgery. Apparently the X-ray video footage of her GI track did look different than average. The radiologist at the hospital said that he wasn’t sure if it was a normal variant, so he is going to consult with his colleagues before getting back to us. If it’s abnormal, then they will recommend surgery to correct the problem. But apparently the surgery can lead to other serious complications over time, as scar tissue develops on the wall of the stomach.

I’m just going to try not to think too much about it until we get more information.

Today is another grey ho-hum Thursday and what I really want to do now that the test is over is to go find some flowers. And because this is Minnesota and this morning was a mere 35 degrees, the irony is that we will have to find the flowers somewhere inside. Maybe we’ll drive all the way to Como Conservatory for the hyacinth or maybe we’ll take a really long time to look at everything bright at the garden store just down the road. We need to be away from antiseptic. Among fresh plant life. Surrounded by something thriving, somewhere that smells real. So that is what we will do when little E. wakes up. And knowing how she does with napping, that will probably be in about five to seven minutes.

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