Monday, September 21, 2009

Water + Food = Vomit

Who knew? They knew. They who? Not Kaiser. Not UCD. Who? The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. Who are they? They are the pioneers in the field of brain injury.

Trina highly recommended this program; she went to The Institutes and learned exactly how to best work with her daughter. She was extremely impressed with them. We have decided to attend the next seminar in Pennsylvania between November 30th and December 4th. During this week, Dave and I will learn how to help Aviana in every way possible.

We will then bring Aviana to Pennsylvania; they will assess her and create a rehabilitation plan tailored exclusively for her. This plan is to be carried out at home by us. We have decided to bring Aviana back every 6 months to have her re-evaluated. At that time, they will devise a new plan.

We are very excited about the program and cannot wait to learn how to help her. Something amazing happened over the weekend. This finding added confirmation to our Pennsylvania plans... Aviana has thrown up at Kaiser, UCD and here at home. Out of 5 meals a day, she would most likely throw one of them up. Dave and I revisited and revised her feeding plan daily to try and eliminate her sickness. This portion of the day/night was hands down the hardest part of my day. I had only seen Aviana throw up two times prior to the accident. Having to witness this on a daily basis was completely tearing my heart apart.

Finally, after almost two weeks at home, we thought we had singled out the culprit. It was the water. Aviana is to have 40ml of water 4 times daily. At the hospital they always included it with her feeding. We stopped putting it with the feed and started to give it at some other time of day. Further tweaking was necessary, because she threw up a few water feeds as well.

The next day I was reading some information which was sent to us from The Institute. There in black and white it was clearly stated:

• Drinking liquid at meals interferes with digestion and worsens reflux.

• Give your child small but frequent drinks of pure water between meals.

Hallelujah....hallelujah, hallelujah!!! There it was...I wish I would have read this eons ago. Aviana would not have had to suffer through so much sickness. As they say, knowledge is power.

All I have to say is....Pennsylvania here we come!!!


  1. I am so happy you have found some other place to go for help. As a mother of a special needs son I know I hard it is to watch them struggle and how much you need answers. The internet has opened up so much to us.

    We are pulling and praying for Aviana and your family.

  2. I wish you the best of luck. Where in PA are you going to be?

  3. Wow this sounds like an amazing place to go. I suppose its no differnt then allowing fluids to a child that has the stomach virus, just a little sip every 15 minutes or so.
    I love the pictures of her room and her daily activities, great therapy dog!!!!

  4. Hi Jen,
    My friend Jen and her husband Hector visited the Institutes last year. Here is one of her blog posts:
    There are more throughout her blog if you are interested :)
    Best wishes,

  5. Thank you for the link Kim! I look forward to looking through their blog.

    We will be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania :o)

  6. Oh, I'm soooooo happy to read this! So excited for you guys! You are going to LOVE it at the Institutes. Seriously, it was THE BEST thing we ever did for our daughter. The best thing. No doubt in my mind. Aviana is going to do great on their program. Be warned: it is THE hardest thing to do, probably the hardest schedule you will ever keep to. BUT once you see Aviana begin to do things that you thought she might never do again, it's just so worth it. I wish for the millionth time that I lived closer to you. You will need volunteers to carry out her program, and I would love to be one of your patterners!


  7. So glad you have found something that helps! Yes, knowledge IS power!!!!

  8. That is so awesome. I am sooo happy you found them and that you are able to make it to the class and to have her addressed. So wonderful.

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  10. I was just going to say that I had a hard time drinking water when I was having trouble with reflux. I am so glad to hear that you found the institute. Wishing you all the best luck with the program!

  11. This is fantastic! I'm so glad you have found this resource. Can't wait to hear how it goes.

  12. Great news Jen and Dave, we are praying with you and for you every step of the way. Good luck and give Aviana big hugs and kisses from us, keep up the wonderful work.

    Becci & Angela

  13. Sometimes we have to be our child's advocates. We find the time and expend the effort to find out what will benefit them. Doctors aren't bad but the logistics are overwhelming. Our kids are our only concern and we can take the time to find out what's out there to help them. Thank God you were able to find this!