For the last 4 1/2 years of Jacob's life his nutrition has been a huge burden on us. All that kid would eat was salty, crunchy foods and a few crunchy sweet items. His diet consisted of the following: pretzels, potato chips, Cheetos, cookies & Popsicle's. We substituted his nutrition with Ensure shakes but after a few years he was tired of those and would no longer drink them. We started trying to give him vitamin supplements and the fiasco of holding him down to force the medicines in him wasn't working and became heart breaking and miserable for everyone. His skin felt scaly and no matter now much lotion I slathered on him, his skin was never smooth like it was supposed to be. Sometimes his eyes had dark circles under them and he didn't sleep well. We weren't sure if the circles were because of lack of nutrition or because of lack of sleep and was the lack of sleep caused by the lack of nutrition? Everything always seemed to come down to his nutrition. We figured that if he got the appropriate nutrition his skin would be normal again. If he ate right his mind may sharpen and strengthen. If he ate healthier maybe his meltdowns would diminish. If he was healthier maybe he would sleep better. Our worries always came back to Jacob's nutrition.
Jacob started occupational therapy (food therapy) a little over a year ago. For the longest time we were just trying to get him to lick foods that were undesirable to him and this seemed to last forever!! The next step was getting him to bite the foods and then spit them out and then bite them and swallow them. I have to say, that kid has worked so hard. I can't tell you how many times I've seen him gag, but he just kept working and trying. At times I thought it was hopeless and at other times I would see little improvements. The idea of him ever eating anything healthy always seemed way way way in the future. Until recently!! I don't know what it is about wheelchairs that that kid likes but his therapist lets him sit in a wheelchair and all of a sudden that kid is eating with no rewards and no gagging...WHAT??? For about two months he would only eat healthy at food therapy and wouldn't try anything at home. But I'm happy to announce that last night for supper he ate steak, cheese and strawberries. That is the absolute healthiest meal Jacob has eaten in 4 1/2 years!!! And not only did he eat steak, he asked for seconds and even thirds!!! Over the coarse of the past week he has eaten something healthy with every dinner. His list includes apples, bananas and carrots and he's tasted a few other things. I've been so overwhelmed with joy!! Not to mention that he lets me give him his medicine now with very little fussing, considering what we were dealing with a year in a half ago. His skin is so soft again and even though he doesn't always sleep good, he's healthier, talking more and seems happier most days. This is one huge milestone that we've struggled with for a long time and I praise God that Jacob continues to progress and be a huge blessing to us. We love that boy with everything we have and it overjoys me to see him let go of his hindrances.