Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Parents Of The Year...NOT!

Yesterday Ryan and I did something we swore we would never do to Juliana.  My words from November came back to haunt me, "Just put it in her drink, she'll drink it".  Confused?  I'll set the stage for you.

Yesterday we were back at Children's Memorial for the second attempt at Juliana's gastric emptying study.  This time they were going to put the radioactive isotope in 2 ounces of her drink and then were going to try to get an additional 2 ounces of drink in her after that.  Juliana had not eaten since 12:30 AM, so she should have been hungry at 7:30 AM.  She took 2 sips of the drink, shuddered and was done.  Ryan and I looked at each other.  We did not want to have to go through this for a third time.  Then Ryan had an idea, "I wonder if they have syringes, and we could trick her into taking it like her appetite stimulant."  We asked for some syringes and they filled up several with the 2 ounces of radioactive liquids.  Ryan tried to give it to Juliana, but she was too smart and refused to open her mouth.  She began to struggle.  I took her from Ryan, cradled her in my arms, pinning her arms and legs down.  She opened her mouth and began to scream.  Screams that I haven't heard from her in a year.  Her mouth was open so Ryan took the opportunity and squirted 2 milliliters of liquid into her mouth.  She swallowed and screamed.  I wanted to cry with her, but instead I bit the inside of my lip until it bled. 

We swore we would never force feed Juliana and here we were, forcing her to eat so that we could do a damn test.  We continued the pattern- scream and squirt 1-2 mL's into her mouth.  After what seemed like forever, Ryan was done.  He had gotten all 2 ounces down her throat.  I turned her to comfort her and she pushed away from me, reaching instead for Ryan.  She wanted nothing to do with me.  Then it came time for them to "take pictures" of her insides.  They velcroed her down to a board and she began to scream again.  They pushed the board into a machine and then three of us had to restrain her arms and legs so that she was still for the minute it took for the machine to capture a picture of her insides.  We did this every 15 minutes for the first hour, and then every half hour for then second hour, and still Juliana wanted nothing to do with me.  It broke my heart that she was so angry with me.

I cannot even begin to say how horrible Ryan and I feel for what we did to Juliana yesterday.  Don't even say that we did what we had to do for the test and for our daughter, because did we really need the test done?  Honestly, did we?  I'm pretty sure that they're going to find nothing wrong.  We realize that she won't remember that I held her down while Ryan forced liquids into her, but we will remember.  We can still hear her screaming.  Last night after the kids went to bed, we just collapsed onto the couch and were thankful that we are not alcoholics, because after a day like that we would have gotten drunk.


  1. I am going to say it anyway. You needed to do it. She wasn't tortured--it wasn't a mean thing, you didn't do it for pleasure. you did it for her. When Liam got his lip stitches, they strapped him to the board and it was awful. He was awake when they stitched his lip. He screamed. But doesn't remember it a bit. Seriously. Don't beat yourself up. She's over it already. You didn't force feed her. You were the parent and gave her what she needed to get a medical test done. We all applaud you for loving her enough to get it done. She won't be scarred over this, so don't let it scar you.

  2. Good thoughts Jsmie! I'm sorry it was so awful. We look forward to hearing the results.

    Grandma and Grandpa Mahlberg

  3. It's not easy being a good parent. A parent that does not care would not have done what you did. When we truly love our kids, we do what is best for them in the long run, no matter how much it may hurt for the moment.

    Sounds a lot like God, doesn't it?

  4. Hurts me to read this and to find you are still beating yourself up. You and Ryan are excellent parents. I hope God will reveal this to you. Love MOM