Seattle Children’s Hospital Feeding Clinic
Yesterday we made another trek down to the Seattle Children’s Feeding Clinic. Yes, these visits get old, yes I get sick of driving to Seattle and yes, we usually stop for coffee. As if hot, rich coffee can somehow lessen the blow of a hundred mile drive. But really, who am I kidding? Of course it does. Apollo usually asks for a cake pop at these stops, but yesterday he asked for “that iced tea stuff” instead.
Oh my goodness…as I was taking these pictures I couldn’t help but think about how Apollo’s childhood is so different from our other children. Doctors, surgeries, tubes, therapy. We never would have bought our older children their own drink at Starbucks…but driving 200 miles round trip for doctor’s visits kind of sucks…and sometimes a little-iced tea makes all the difference in the world.
Combine that with his feeding issues and we call this outing Feeding Therapy!
He downed that sucker in less than five minutes. I’m not even sure I had taken a drink of my coffee yet!
We used to homeschool. Now we hospital school.
We got another great report at the feeding clinic. He is maintaining his weight and has even gained a bit! As I explained last time, they measure Apollo’s weight gain in grams…not ounces. They are looking for steady gain, something so subtle it doesn’t register when weighing but the pound or even kilogram. This isn’t weight that is noticeable by any other measurement. They graph it and are able to see trends over the past months.
After Apollo is weighed and measured, the rest of the hour-long visit is spent just talking. I’ll be the first to admit that these appointments are tedious when “all we do” is talk. Someday I will take the time to write out exactly what we have learned, but today is not that day. The Seattle Children’s Feeding Clinic is still small, understaffed and not getting nearly the recognition it deserves. And because of that, many children are not getting the treatment, therapy and help they need.
And I know…he looks healthy (!) and bright-eyed and of a normal size. But all of this still takes work. Eating is work for Apollo and we aren’t on easy street yet. In my opinion, the things that have made the biggest difference in his eating are:
Support at the Feeding Clinic.
We would not be where we are today, without those interventions. Even six months of actual feeding therapy up here didn’t yield any results.
After our feeding clinic visits (which are always at 11 am) we head to McDonald’s. This is Apollo’s choice and this is always what he asks for. He likes Happy Meals with chicken nuggets and fries. This is his just reward for a day spent driving and talking about eating.
And today he is anticipating an exciting day at school, the Science Van is coming and his very first Valentine’s Day party!