BRAT Sucks

Sebastian has been sick with an evil stomach virus that also claimed his father and me over the weekend.  He's had it all - vomiting, body aches, listlessness.  But most of all, he's had diarrhea.  And we all know what that means - the BRAT diet.  I now hate the stupid BRAT diet. 

I remember the last time we had to do the BRAT diet - he was on baby food, and while I was a little concerned that he couldn't have milk during the duration of the diet he drank his Pedialyte like a champ.  I think he was on the diet for over a week with no major effects.

This time, at the willful age of 17 months, he did not take to it well.  Not well at all.  The child whose eyes lit up at the sight of a banana (na-na, buh-na-naaaa!) turned up his nose at them in disgust.  Bread?  Made him scream.  Pedialyte was an insult, and water barely torelable.  It's like he knew that he was forced to eat these previously favored foods, and he was NOT GOING TO DO IT.  NO WAY WOMAN.  GET THAT STINKY BANANA AWAY FROM MY FACE - WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!  Everytime I opened the refrigerator he pointed to the  treats we were denying him and screamed.  The screaming got louder when he saw the milk bottle - the one thing that the nurse at the Pediatrician's office insisted I not feed him lest his diarrhea get worse.  It was torture, both for me and for him.

He barely ate for four long days.  Worse of all, he barely drank anything.  I was convinced that he was on strike because we were denying him his milk.  It got so bad that yesterday he went all day without wetting his diaper - and the nurse had warned us that 6 hours without a wet diaper meant a trip to the emergency room.  We wanted to avoid this like the plague.  We had been to the ER already earlier in the illness (for the same reason) and we were sent back with instructions to give the kid a drink already, but what can you do?  We couldn't force feed him Pedialyte for four days, and now he had gone all day without a diaper and he was groggy and had dark circles under his eyes and we did not like the looks of him at all.

I called the nurse to  see if I could give him milk.

"Absolutely not.  Not until the diarrhea stops.  You need to take him to the ER."

After waiting all day, trying to get him to drink something - anything - and failing miserably, off we went.

The ER is nothing like it is on TV (duh).  We felt like idiots for being there for something as simple as the lack of a wet diaper, but then again, this is our baby and he could be dehydrated ANDOHMYGOD his Pediatrician made us.  I'll spare you the long story, but we were there for six hours.  He was hooked up to an IV, about the most traumatic experience of his young life, and he passed out from the exhaustion of screaming in terror for 15 straight minutes while his parents held him down as he was prodded and weird things were hooked up to him and he started bleeding and it all sucked.

The worst part?  The ER doctor sitting us down and telling us that "there have been studies that prove that the BRAT diet is useless.  If a kid is on the verge of dehydration give him whatever he wants to drink.  Even milk.  We could have avoided all this."

Shit.  Do you think these doctors could come to a consensus on this?

Anyways, we went home, went to bed, and - Hallelujah! - his diaper was wet in the morning.  And he was hungry.  And he drank water.  And we gave him milk.  You saw that right - MILK.  And you know what?  No more diarrhea.   And he's happy, so I don't care what the nurse says.  We will never do the BRAT diet for more than 48 hours.

He wins.  I win.  Whatever.