Wednesday, 31 May 2006


Some time in May Annie started to take Raphael to a baby Osteopath once a week to see if that could help his problems. Annie also discovered some information on the web about Chinese acupuncture points and realized that Chinese acupuncture point massage was similar to what the osteopathist was performing on Raphael and so Annie started doing the acupuncture point massage on him every night. the osteopathist also referred Raphael to see an Eye behavioural specialist because of his different sized irises.

May to December 2006 - Feeding

From May to December we had been trying all sorts of different things to help Raphael gain weight based on advice from the staff at the RHH. Breastfeeding, expressing, different types of teats, different types of fortification, formula, different strength formula, different feeding schedules, and finally Infatrini (the highest powered formula that can be safely given to a baby). Also during this time we had many appointments with speech pathologists and dieticians.

Friday, 26 May 2006

Echo cardiograph

This test Showed that Raphael has an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). “Two small shunts”; this is not a serious problem but will probably worth while revisiting when he is older as it may repair itself. It was lucky that this was found because no doctor has been able to hear his heart this far because of his really loud breathing and the echo cardiograph was actually only being performed to look at the arteries that were surrounding his oesophagus to check if they were squeezing in.

Tuesday, 23 May 2006


Finally our normal paediatrician was back from leave and we could consult with her.

She proposed that the number one problem that needed to be addressed was his weight gain and that all other problems could be allowed to wait as they weren’t life threatening and his weight gain may resolve some of those problems anyway. She referred us to the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) feeding specialist nurses in Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit (PACU) and arranged an Echo cardiograph to also be performed in the hospital.

Thursday, 11 May 2006

Barium swallow

This is turning out to be a very busy day. Went to have a Barium swallow performed at Calvary hospital with a paediatric radiologist persent. For this test he laid on an x-ray table and was presented a bottle with barium meal in it to drink. To my surprise he hungrily gulped down this apparently milky substance and a series of chest x-rays were taken of him. These showed that he aspirates a bit (sucks the fluid into his lungs), he has significant gastro-oesophageal reflux and that his oesophagus may be being slightly squeezed by an artery.

First ENT visit

Later that same day we visited the ENT. Annie and I carried in our three month, old gurgling like a jack hammer, to the Dr’s office and briefly explained the reason that we had been referred to him. He did a laryngoscopy (sp?) through Raphael’s mouth because his nose was too small for the scope to fit through. Raphael hated it. He sat on my lap with one hand pushing his head back into my chest and the other holding his arms down. Every now and then I had to remind myself to only hold his head firmly and that I didn’t have to squeeze the life out of him with my other arm across his abdomen. This is what fathers are for. Mothers seem have too much heart to torture their sons for a prolonged period of time. After what seemed an eternity the ENT reported that it looked like there was some signs of laryngomalacia but also that he was producing a lot of secretions that were pooling at the back of his throat that he was unable (or unwilling) to clear himself (hence the gurgling sound). He said that all these secretions made it difficult to see what was going on. He recommended a Barium swallow test to try to work out if there was anything basically wrong with his oesophageal plumbing (not the term he used).

First paediatrician visit

Eventually we made an appointment with a paediatrician on the 11/5/2006. This wasn't Raphael's normal paediatrician but we were in a rush. The paediatrician referred us to an ENT doctor for the problems that he was having with feeding and breathing.