Friday, May 30, 2014

Preparing for a Pediatric Endoscopy

This blog post is the first in a series concerning our personal experiences with a medical procedure, called a pediatric endoscopy. Please note:  I am not a medical professional. I am the parent of a micro-preemie who has experienced an endoscopy and I am sharing this story for informational purposes only. Please contact your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your child's health or nutrition. 

"God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it." -Unknown
Parents never want to see their children in pain. I have a hard time watching vaccines being administered to my daughter, Emily. Sometimes I think the shots may hurt me more than they hurt her. 

It also hurts me when Emily refuses to eat or throws up her bottle or one of the few solid foods that she can tolerate. And now, she's having a pediatric endoscopy. I'm a nervous nellie. My heart aches and my blood pressure has skyrocketed. 

A pediatric endoscopy is a medical procedure allows the doctor to see inside the esophagus, which is the tube that carries swallowed food to the stomach; the stomach; and the first part of the duodenum, which is the beginning of the small intestine. It is used to look for swelling, irritation, ulcers and bleeding that can’t be seen in other tests, such as X-rays.

I'm not thrilled about subjecting Emily to a medical procedure, which will require anesthesia, when she's already been through a 67-day Neonatal Intensive Care Unit stay. She's only 16 months old (13 months adjusted), and she's still pretty little at 18 pounds. But, I know that an endoscopy is one of the few tests that may help us better understand her nutritional needs and provide us with greater insight concerning reflux and possible ulcers, and allergies. 

As mentioned in a previous blog post, Emily is a low-volume eater. We feed her every two and a half hours in order to keep her hydrated and to ensure that she takes in a good amount of calories. Over the last six months, we have seen two pediatric gastroenterologists. In addition, we have changed Emily's food regimen to a non-dairy diet. 

Our pediatrician surprisingly recommended that Emily get a feeding tube, for behavioral issues relating to eating -- rather than weight gain concerns, which seemed incredibly extreme to me and not of interest.

When discussing the pros and cons of an endoscopy, my husband asked the following question:  "Would you rather have an endoscopy or a feeding tube?"  The answer to this question was simple. 

Once the day of endoscopy was scheduled, the pre-operative nurse provided us with specific eating and drinking instructions for Emily:

  • After midnight the night before the endoscopy do not provide Emily with any solid food or non-clear liquids, such as formula. 
  • Up to two hours before your scheduled arrival time, provide Emily only clear liquids, such as water, and juices you can see through, such as apple juice.
The night before the endoscopy, we were provided with our procedure and arrival time.

We fed Emily up until 11:00 p.m. I also packed her hospital bag full of her favorite toys and books, along with pajama bottoms that she could wear with her drafty hospital gown. 

Well, today is the day. It’s time for us to head to the surgery center for Emily's endoscopy. Please check back at in a few days to read more about Emily's procedure. 



  1. Oh Michelle. I'm right there with you in anxiety and nervousness the day before procedures. My daughter had a procedure done that required anesthesia, and I was so anxious the night before. I'm praying that the endoscopy provides you all with some clarity and next steps. - Katie @ A Cup of Tea blog

  2. Praying for you all!

    1. Thank you very much. We appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers.

  3. I haven't walked in your shoes but know how you must be worried. Wish I could be there to give you a hug, but I know Craig is by your side and doing just that. Though Emily is little, she is fierce!
    God bless our little one and the doctors as they figure out the next step.

  4. Hugs and prayers for your little one!

  5. Praying for you my dear. My heart goes out to you. I have a 9 month old myself and any kind of pain he endures is like a stab in my heart each time. Big big hugs to you and sweet Emily.

  6. Praying for you! My son had to go through a lot of procedures/testing when he was 1 1/2. He just wasn't growing like they wanted them too. So I feel your pain! I hope everything works out and your little one is ok!!!

  7. Wow that is a scary thing to have to go through. Praying that all went well yesterday. She is young and won't remember it, but unfortunately you will. Peace and comfort to you and your family during this time.

  8. Thinking of you and your child. I was a preemie myself and I well remember the stories my mother told me of multiple hospital visits, tests, and the like. I hope all works out all right.

  9. This is a very eye opening and informative post. I agree about the anticipation of a procedure being really scary. I look forward to the rest of the series.

  10. Mommy shed more tears than Emily in Pre-Op. Emily was amazed by all the activity in the surgery center.

  11. It is amazing how a mother can feel her child's pain! :) I totally understand that feeling. God will be with you and your little one. I will be back to see how it all went with your next post. Hugs!

  12. Keeping your family in my prayers. I hope everything is okay for your little one! I know the worries of a mother are endless. My son had an endoscopy and I cried before he went in and after..I'm always a mess at every procedure. It is always true though what they say that when you have a child you will always have your heart walking outside your body.

  13. Sent a prayer for you and Emily! May God continue to be your strength and comfort! xoxox

  14. It is hard to see your child go through pain. My older son broke his jaw and I was a wreck waiting for him to come out of surgery.