The secret ice cream society

Chickadee’s been home for a week and a half, has successfully managed two half-days at school (and is attempting the whole day today), and while life stubbornly refuses to stop or even slow down while we find our new normal, over here, I am rediscovering the healing power of frozen dairy confections.

The list of things I can control at this point would probably fit on a post-it, with room to spare. The list of things I CAN’T control (but desperately wish I could) is a lot longer. Go figure! On any given day, I sandwich small stints of actual work between doctors’ appointments and carpool and play rehearsal and just plain sitting down with the kids a lot more often than I did B.C. (that would be: Before Crisis), just because my priorities have shifted.

My sanity has remained loosely tethered on getting Chickadee to eat and gain weight. The doctors have to go do their thing, I get that; but I’m her Mama, and I can fatten her up. Right? Maybe? Looking at her will hurt less when she no longer looks like a strong wind might snap her in two?

At first it was, “Anything you want. We can go out and get something, or I’ll cook, ANYTHING. Just tell me what sounds good.” But after a couple of requests for french fries (most of which were left on the plate and later snarfed down by the dog), it became clear that there was no one food that could reliably tempt her. What she ate yesterday “tasted funny” today, and a dish that she usually loves might be pushed aside while she tried to reassure me, “It’s good, it is, I’m just… not hungry.”

We baked cookies. Friends brought her brownies, cake, even candy. I found her one day, standing at the kitchen counter, glaring at all the plates of goodies in frustration. “They LOOK good,” she said. “They SMELL good, and I WANT to eat them. But then my stomach hurts.” We had a lot of conversations about how after you haven’t eaten much for a while, your stomach has to get used to expanding, again, and it can take time, and the only way out is through… and I would think, every time, how stupid I must sound to her. She feels like her body has turned on her and everything is out of control, and I’m chattering on about peristalsis and how protein provides necessary building blocks for everything her body needs to fight the bad stuff. She’s a saint, this kid. She hasn’t punched me even once. Not when I’ve launched into a nutrition and digestion lesson, and not when I’ve begged her to just eat a little more, just a bite or two, c’mon baby, you can do it.

The saving grace in all of this came from the freezer aisle. Ice cream, it turns out, is the neutral zone. Within a few days of her homecoming, we got into the routine of just handing her a bowl of ice cream half an hour or so before bedtime. “Snack!” Otto or I will announce, and for whatever reason, she just… eats it. No arguments, no protestations. Maybe it’s because she’s sleepy, or maybe it’s because her body recognizes that she hasn’t had enough to eat that day. I really don’t know. All I know is that she’s eating it. (And it turns out that a couple of scoops of ice cream added to Ensure makes a decent milkshake for breakfast, too.)

Monkey became suspicious within a few nights. “Hey,” he’d say, spying an ice cream bowl in the sink the next morning while dropping his cereal bowl. “Who had ice cream? I want ice cream!” Is it terrible parenting not to give him ice cream every night, too? I tell myself that part of the reason she’s eating it is the delight in knowing her little brother is sleeping already and not having any. Desperate times, and all of that.

I take her to the supermarket with me. “Pick out some flavors,” I say, and she darts in and out of the cases, asking me what flavors I like, while I tell her to pick what SHE likes, and eventually we return home to replenish the stash in the garage freezer.

Progress is slow. At the last appointment where a doctor referred to her as “malnourished,” I winced. It feels like a basic parenting failure, not being able to plump her up on command. She eats her ice cream while I sit with her and try to eat my worry.

This week I’ve been gone for rehearsal most nights, and now the show opens tonight and I’ll be gone another four nights in a row. I worried about leaving her with Otto—not because of him, of course, but because worrying is what I do and I’m concerned she feels abandoned with me gone so much. Last night I ran out of time to eat dinner before I had to leave, while Otto promised the kids tacos from our favorite Mexican hole-in-the-wall. By the time I got home, I’d gone beyond hungry into “I’m too tired to eat.”

“Did she eat any dinner?” I asked, braced for an unhappy answer.

“She ate two tacos!” Otto replied, and the mini-celebration that followed would’ve been perplexing to anyone who hasn’t spent the last ten days trying to stuff food into a reluctant kid. “And she had a big bowl of ice cream before bed, too,” he added. I did a little victory dance.

And then I had a bowl of ice cream.

It was delicious.

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86 Responses to “The secret ice cream society”

  1. 1
    chloe February 16, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    Im so happy she is eating! Things are looking up….

  2. 2
    Leandra February 16, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    I knew ice cream could cure most anything. Or at least make you feel better til you ARE better.

    Does she like egg nog at all? (not that you could probably find it right now), but at Christmas I discovered that egg nog poured over Breyer’s vanilla is THE BEST THING EVER. Also, super fattening I’m sure. :)

  3. 3
    Jill W. February 16, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Hooray for ice cream! I am glad she is eating. : )

  4. 4
    alicia February 16, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    I believe that ice cream is magic. Sending lots of love to you all.

  5. 5
    Diane February 16, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    ((hugs)) for the whole family. Progress is WONDERFUL, no matter how slowly it happens.

  6. 6
    Katie in MA February 16, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    I’m doing a little celebration dance over here…and craving ice cream, of course. :)

  7. 7
    Randi February 16, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    that calls for something special – Ben & jerry’s!!! Chocolate Therapy is being re-released in stores – I think she needs some, Mom :)

  8. 8
    Alison C February 16, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    A friend of mine ended up in hospital due to a really severe bout ofChrons. She wasn’t able to eat for a few weeks after and the doctor “prescribed” McDonalds milkshakes. A large one has 300 calories and milk has most of the nutrients we need. So I would think you are doing great with the ice cream.

    Love to Chickie. Xx

  9. 9
    brigitte February 16, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Yay! Now how ’bout some deep-fried butter sticks?

    I freak when my own skinny-mini doesn’t eat for a few days from stomach bugs, and visibly gets even MORE skinny, and we practically have to fight with her to eat ANYthing, we don’t care what it is . . . I can’t even imagine the deep degree of your own worrying when Chickie’s situation is so much worse than that. Hugs! :-(

  10. 10
    Sheila February 16, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    I have known about the magical healing qualities of ice cream for quite some time (which anyone could tell simply by looking at my backside). So glad Chickadee is feeling the Ice Cream Love, too, and I’m sure it looks great on her.

    You’re feeding her in more ways than you can count, probably. Most important is filling her up with love.

    Break a leg this weekend! Can’t wait to read all about it- and to read more encouraging words about your girl.

  11. 11
    Cathy February 16, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    I so understand this. My son – 2 – has been underweight for a year and a half. It seems our whole life is ruled by the fat content of food and his appetite. And, of course he’s a toddler, so no amount of negotiating helps him choose to eat his food. We just always offer the fattiest yogurt on the market (our version of ice cream).

    Good luck, and I’m glad to read things are already looking up.

  12. 12
    elz February 16, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Ice cream, the healer of a million wounds. Well, ice cream and queso…hope Chicakdee’s recovery continues to progress. She’ll get there, mama. I know she will.

  13. 13
    Susan in SF February 16, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Glad to hear the ice cream is palatable for your girl. And two tacos at dinner sounds encouraging! Sounds like things are moving in the right direction (though we all wish we could speed up that process for you!). Fingers crossed that C continues to heal and get stronger. Sending hugs to you all. And more ice cream!

  14. 14
    Molly February 16, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    I know you’re desperate to put weight on Chickadee, but sugar is so destructive to the body especially at a time when her body is in desperate need of nutrition.

    Please look into information about acidic/alkaline foods. Illness begins when the body is acidic.

    xxox

  15. 15
    Bryan February 16, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    I don’t know what meds she’s on but sometimes different medications make food taste funny/bad.

  16. 16
    Sarah G. February 16, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    My youngest son has CF and due to the increased caloric need he has coupled with the inability to digest most things without added enzymes he is tiny and malnourished. So he gets ice cream three (!) times a day with the dieticians blessing. (He also is on a high fat and high salt diet and I seriously expect the American Heart Association will one day throw me against the wall over that).

    So what to do with my other three kids?

    I tell them IF they are sick AND they are on extra meds they too can have ice cream. So antibiotics in our household come with a scoop of chocolate ice cream. This makes it understandable- boy does take a ton of meds and prevents me from having three butterballs and a toothpick for children.

    Try telling Monkey that his sister got practically no food in the hospital and needs to catch up plus sick people get ice cream. He’s smart and you are pretty.

  17. 17
    Lori February 16, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Ice cream – its magic. We use the Ensure/ice cream milkshake for our underweight 14 year-old son. His nutritionist at the U of M also recommended a milkshake of whole milk/ice cream and Carnation’s Instant Breakfast – we have one chocolate concoction that’s about 650 calories. He is like Chickee in that he’ll ask for something then not be able to eat it – but the ice cream always disappears – magical healing powers – so happy it is working for Chickee.

  18. 18
    Midj February 16, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Tacos every night, I say! Funny how the stuff you think would be hard on a touchy stomach can be the thing they crave/can stomach. If she likes enchiladas, I think the cheese content would be helpful. Quesadillas might be too bland but covered in salsa they may just appeal. I also think you could make up a batch of your crockpot veggie chili and top it with a huge honking cup of shredded cheddar. Yay, Chickie, for heading back to school and working hard to get better. Hugs…

  19. 19
    Jen H. February 16, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Hugs!

  20. 20
    crazyjane February 16, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    The ice cream will work!! I, too, have a bowl of ice cream every night (because I am powerless over the ice cream) and I have put on lots of weight!!

  21. 21
    deva February 16, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    when I was underweight and malnourished my doctor prescribed pints of ben and jerry’s, and lots of peanut/almond butter. If you aren’t already, you could perhaps try adding some to the milkshakes? And yes, I believe ice cream cures all.

    I am glad Chickadee is on the road to wellness, even if that road is slow moving and bumpy. I can’t imagine what the past few weeks must have been like for you and your family. Many hugs.

  22. 22
    Megan February 16, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    SO glad to hear that baby steps are being made – although I know the pace of those steps is infuriating to all of you.

    [refraining from making comment on hurtful comments. Sure it wasn't meant that way but was good-intentioned sheer bloody insensitivity. You keep feeding your Chickie anything and everything she can manage to eat.]

  23. 23
    Karen. February 16, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Ice cream is fantastic, no question; in the unlikely chance that she tires of it, try making yogurt with half and half. Spectacular with honey-nut cheerios!

    Cheers to all of you from this quarter, where a 4yo boy is wondering who all these strangers are in his goodnight God-blesses ….

  24. 24
    Karishma February 16, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Yay, Chickie! So glad things are looking up :)

  25. 25
    Molly February 16, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Regarding Megan’s comment about hurtful comments, which I assume was aimed at me… And yes, Megan is right. I was out of line. This wasn’t the time or place for that discussion. Mir, please delete my comment #14 if you wish. I’m so sorry to have offended anyone.

  26. 26
    Lylah February 16, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    No assvice here, just glad you’ve found something Chickie will eat!

  27. 27
    Jackie February 16, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    I’m so sorry she is having such a hard time eat. I know you and Otto must have felt at least a small victory with her eating the taco and the ice cream in one night. Totally get the happy dance. Poor monkey. Maybe just a little bit of ice cream but not every night? idk. There isn’t a right answer to parenting is there. You guys are wonderful parents and can only do the best you can do. Your sweet girl will pull through with the support she has from you guys. Hopefully her dad is being cool through all of this and giving her the love and support she needs as well as supporting what you guys are doing for her.

    I will keep you guys in my prayers.
    Jackie

  28. 28
    Karyn February 16, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    My fiancee has Ulcerative Colitis and I know when ever he has an especially rough time with it, seeing food makes him feel sick.
    Its more a mental thing that when he sees food he knows that it will potentially reak havoc on his stomach and then in turn will feel sick.
    The BRAT diet gets old fast and has very little protein. If you can get her to eat it, Kale and Spinach are great for that.
    Anything is milkshake form should be appetizing. Throw some fresh fruit in with yougurt and smoothies maybe?
    I’m guessing the frozen aspect also feels good in her tummy. One of my favorite shakes is a good vanilla icecream and the Tazo Chai Tea Concentrate. (SO FATTENING!)
    I’m glad shes on the mend though!

  29. 29
    meghann February 16, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    I’ve always known that mexican food is magic. Now I have proof.

  30. 30
    Karen R. February 16, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    Ice cream has all sorts of good stuff in it. And ice cream served with love is the best medicine ever.

  31. 31
    Stacy February 16, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    When I went through my divorce, I lost about 15 lbs in a very short amount of time, putting me about 30 underweight. It took more than a year to gain it all back. I remember just looking at food and feeling sick. I started with candy (I don’t like ice-cream) and then moved on to fruits. Eventually, I was able to eat more and I did gain it all back. But, it took forever and it was painful for me and my friends and family. So, I know you’re worried, but it sounds like she does want to eat, so that’s a very good sign. She’s lucky she has a family that loves her so much.

  32. 32
    Kathy February 16, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    “Worrying is like praying for what you DON’T want to happen.”

    Easy to say … I know all too well! It was a good reminder to me when I read it last week!

    Congrats on the ice cream triumph! Keep up the great work!

    xoxo,
    k

  33. 33
    Arnebya February 16, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Hugs to you and Chickie. Hell, hugs to Otto and Monkey and Licorice too. You are doing your best and all that you can for her. Take solace in that. And ice cream and tacos and everything else that may slowly ease back into her diet. It may go slowly, but you’re there with her. That’ll make it go better.

    ROCK THAT PLAY LIKE YOUR VAGINA DEPENDS ON IT. Sorry.

  34. 34
    Genevieve February 16, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Milkshakes and ice cream – wonderful! and tacos! wonder if she’d like guacamole, or avocado on sandwiches? you may have already tried – just thinking b/c avocados are full of good fats.
    you’re taking great care of her. her illness malnourished her, you did not fail in any way. I know how it feels (my kiddo was failure-to-thrive for a few weeks as a baby, due to illness). But it’s not you, and you’re doing all the right things now. She can’t go too fast, so you found what she will eat and you’re giving it her. Good mama.

  35. 35
    The Fairly Odd Mother February 16, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Cheering with you and rooting for you. Virtual hugs to Chickadee too.

  36. 36
    Julie February 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    I agree with everyone who says ice cream is magic! So glad she’s eating something. I especially agree with Sarah G. who left comment #16 – “He is smart and you are pretty.” All true. Continuing to keep all of you in my prayers. And good luck with the play!

  37. 37
    Kathy from NJ February 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Maybe 10-15 years ago I had a burst appendix, peritonitis, blah, blah, blah, and spent a week in the hospital and absolutely could not eat. At my first doctor visit after I got home I asked about Ensure. He suggested Carnation Instant Breakfast (or store brand) – nutrition content exactly the same. From Sept 2001 until his death in Nov 2009, my husband received his nutrition through a feeding tube. I remembered my appendix and checked with his doctor – instant breakfast (with added protein powder) sustained him for 8 years. And you will probably be pleasantly surprised with the $$$ savings.

  38. 38
    Amy @ Binkytowne February 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I’ve written to you before about my son who has terrible anxiety. He went through a really rough patch last year where he wouldn’t eat because he couldn’t/didn’t want to/wanted to be in control and we got to the point where at any point of the day he would accept vanilla ice cream with oreos in it. So we gave it to him. Whenever he asked. I fed it to him for breakfast. He could have it before bed. It got him through until he started to make friends with food again. Dude, it’s got calcium and protein and plenty of calories and I don’t care what anybody says about the sugar, it makes her on some level feel good and happy to hold a bowl of ice cream in your hands and it makes you feel good to see them eating SOMETHING. (I’ll take some mint chocolate chip if you have any extra laying around.) PS: Break a leg at the VM!

  39. 39
    Ellen February 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    I never comment but I say the comment above and I had to. Iwork in biomedical science and the acid/alkaline food theory has been discredited over and over again. The pediatricians I work with say that for any seriously ill or recovering child, calories are calories (outside of known food sensitivities).

    Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty or doubt your judgment.

  40. 40
    Tracy B February 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Good luck on opening night!!! And I’ll continuing praying for Chickie’s speedy recovery and that life gets back to some kind of normalcy. ;)

  41. 41
    Aimee February 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Hey, yay for ice cream and tacos and moms who love their daughters!

  42. 42
    Emmy's Mom February 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Yup, ice cream is a godsend for sick children. Long live ice cream! While I’ve never been a situation of the magnitude you are going through, I can imagine the worry and anxiety you feel. Maybe you can “up the ante” in the nutrition department by having your daughter make her own sundae with yummy, good-for-you stuff? When my own daughter was refusing to eat because of a viral infection, I’d mix fortified cereal, fruit, and other semi-nutritional “toppings” into her ice cream to make it more of a powerhouse food. And maybe giving her the choice of what she adds to her ice cream will make it kind of fun for her.
    Sending good thoughts your way…

  43. 43
    Little Bird February 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    If the idea of raw eggs doesn’t scare you too much, you can crack one into a milkshake to give it more protein. My mother did that for me when I was eight or nine and still only as big as your average five year old. Just don’t let her see you do it.

  44. 44
    el-e-e February 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    I’m so glad to hear that she’s going to school again, and eating something. Continued recovery and good wishes to you guys.

  45. 45
    brigitte February 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    2nd comment – does she like Starbucks or Dunkins? I love the Dunkins zillion-calorie vanilla chai, which MY body doesn’t need, but it might be good calories for chickadee!

  46. 46
    Crisanne February 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Baby steps are a fabulous thing! As for being gone in the evenings, you’d rather her miss you for a few evenings than question why you gave up such a great opportunity for her, right? Thanks for keeping us informed of her progress, Mir.

  47. 47
    Megan February 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Molly – you’re a star. I’m sorry if I was harsh. You get full props for the apology and the – I know very sincere – desire to help.

  48. 48
    ste February 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    I didn’t have a health crisis to cause it, but I did go through a major chunk of high school like Chickadee is experiencing – food wasn’t fun to eat. Smoothies didn’t seem to hurt as much as solid foods. I hope she makes it through this quickly!

    Break a leg tonight!

  49. 49
    Sonia February 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    What happened to her exactly? What was the “crisis”? Does it have anything to do with her sun sensitivity and meds she’s on for that?

  50. 50
    Mandy February 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Do you have Blue Bell in Georgia? BEST ice cream EVAH. Seriously, it’s like breast milk for adults. (Sounds creepy, I know – but you’ll never have any better brand.)

  51. 51
    Holly February 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I have years of experience working with underweight seniors. So frustrating when a great idea one day is a dude the next. I’ve learned a few things:

    Warm foods get appetites going more than cold foods. A bowl of cream soup, hot tea or coco might get her feeling more like eating.

    Also, as much as I was tempted to put a lot on a plate I found small amounts on a dinner plate made it seems more appetizing and “doable” than a small amount on a small plate.

    If nothing else worked I’d put on the Food Channel. Might not be as appetizing to Chickie if a lot of meat is being prepared but, for most people, restaurant commercials, ads, cooking shows and just talking about food makes us hungry.

  52. 52
    Katie K. February 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    So glad to hear she is starting to eat. Hope the trend continues! And have fun with the play. I am sure she is proud of you and not feeling at all neglected. It gives the men in your house a chance to take care of her too, which probably makes them all feel good.

  53. 53
    Poppy February 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Pausterized raw egg adds protein safely, I also hand giant piles of food on overfilled plates and say “eat what you can” Most of it ends up in the trash, but he eats more that way than

  54. 54
    Nelson's Mama February 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Glad things are much better!!!

    Blue Bell Banana Pudding Ice Cream, if you please!!!

  55. 55
    My Kids Mom February 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    I am a member of the Secret Ice Cream Society! Ever since my pregnancies (yes, it HAS been eight years) I’ve had my 9pm ice cream. But now my eldest child is not always in bed and this is a Problem. How can I have secret ice cream when he is Right There?

  56. 56
    teachergirl February 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    amen to molly and megan (and i’m glad i kept reading for the apology).

    i think whatever works, works at this point.

    and who’s to say that the ice cream isn’t priming the pump? two tacos? that’s MAJOR progress! sometimes i think we just have to get things started…

    hugs to you, to chickie, to the adorably suspicious monkey (he’ll live without the nightly ice cream…), and to otto. and ROCK THE MONOLOGUES! you’ll do great. and they’ll be fine while you do.

  57. 57
    {sue} February 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Baby steps!

    And break a leg! (I’m so afraid to say that to you, just because the universe is out to get you and all… but I know it’s bad luck to say anything else… so there you have it. I’m throwing salt over my shoulder as I type. Maybe that will help.)

    I wish I was closer and could see the show!

  58. 58
    12tequilas February 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    The word “malnourished,” while technically accurate at this particular moment, was a bad choice, I think. It also focuses on the negative. The doctor should have said “she needs more calories; try adding Ensure” or something to that effect.

    But ice cream? yeah. Nutritious, caloric, and with magic healing properties they aren’t allowed to include in the ingredient list for some reason.

  59. 59
    Pamela L February 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    So glad Chickie is starting to heal – Ice cream is the greatest medicine for whatever ails someone – you’re a great mom and I’ll continue to say prayers for a fast recovery ~

  60. 60
    Edd Fear February 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Ice cream = Love.

    Tacos = Spicy Love.

    That is all.

  61. 61
    Veronica February 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    I’ve been reading and not commenting before, but the food thing got me, so here goes.

    When I was thirteen or so, I got really sick. Not hospitalised sick, but too sick/exhausted to walk, or shower myself, or go to the toilet alone. I’d have to lay down walking from the bathroom to my bedroom.

    The worst of it though was that eventually, parts of it passed, but I couldn’t eat. I lost a lot of weight and I expect my mother was just as worried as you are. Everything made me nauseous and I would be hungry – right up until the point where I put food in my mouth and then needed to vomit an hour later.

    I think I survived for almost 18 months on ice-cream milkshakes (small sips, slowly) meal replacement drinks (drunk between meals) and pasta, topped with a little tomato soup, with chopped lettuce and tomatoes.

    It was a rough rough period, that got better when I learned exactly how much I could eat, before I’d start puking. Small meals, little and often were all I could do (think – three mouthfuls). Mum used to buy “scroggin” – a fruit, seed and nut mix that I could snack on.

    I’m twenty three now and have since been diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder, that effects my joints and gastric system. I still can’t eat large meals, or rich food and my body regularly makes me vomit, but I’m on a good medication regime that helps.

    No advice from me, but I am feeling for Chickie, because I know exactly how it feels to be in that place, where very little food looks good and eating makes everything feel worse.

    Hang in there. xx

  62. 62
    Jeanie February 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    I think ice cream is a cure-all. Hooray for that, and hooray for Otto getting the tacos that Chickadee loves. Things are looking up. Prayers for you all. And you keep enjoying your ice cream, too, Mir.

  63. 63
    Melissa February 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    Hugs to all of you! Nobody in my family has been in the needing-to-add-calories camp (QUITE THE OPPOSITE, ahem, knocking wood), but a friend of mine’s petite children who whittle away at the slightest illness get Carnation Instant Breakfast at the direction of their doctor to build them back up. It’s apparently nutritious and tasty, so if you threw that in WITH ice cream, perhaps it would be even more magical!

  64. 64
    addy February 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    my two favorites are magical! See I knew that! Congratulations and break a leg Mir. (Please not really – don’t think you would make it thru that one)

  65. 65
    kathy February 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    i think a lot has to do with choices also. I’m not sure what Chickie has/had but my son completely lost all freedom, even the most basic, to go to the bathroom, for a very long time. He was skinny to begin with (always has been) but that month+ of hospitalization really put him over the edge. He was scary-skinny. I think on some level, once you’ve had all of your most basic freedoms taken away from you, you assert control over any area you have control. And maybe not even on a conscious level, but one thing he COULD control was eating. And he didn’t. He had many of the same complaints as your Chickie but the end result was no food going in. Eventually, like your Chickie, he started with miniscule milk shakes. He still doesn’t eat much, but 6 months later, I no longer worry constantly about what he is/isn’t eating. If you think it might be a control issue with her (even subconsciously) try finding other areas she can assert control. Kids who have gone through life-threatening long periods of illness have very little control in their lives and I think they really need to be able to assert some control in what seems like chaos to them.

  66. 66
    katspeakz February 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    If she gets sick of ice cream (ha! like that’ll happen), my kids get a blueberry smoothie every morning with their breakfast (ensure, a cup of froze ln blueberries, and a banana. Sometimes protein powder depending on what else is for breakfast).

    I’m as glad she’s on the road to recovery as its possible to be for someone you don’t actually know. :)

  67. 67
    diane February 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Tacos and ice cream! Hooray!
    Not sure if you have Jamba Juice down there, but that might be a fun one if you need a change up. I always love Jamba when I have an upset tummy, and you can add all sorts of “boosters”–i.e. soy protein, vitamin c, etc. Don’t let them fool you–they may be juice smoothies, but they are still high in calories.
    I love the Starbucks recommendation too. I’m sure Chicky doesn’t need (or probably even want to tolerate right now) caffeine, but they have those fruit and creme frappuccinos that are sweet, delicious calorie bombs too. :)

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    KarenP February 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Glad you found something she will eat! Break a leg!

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    Deanna February 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Yay for Chickie getting better! I don’t know if undercooked eggs are a no-no with her condition, but growing up when I was sick I always got “sick eggs” which was one soft boiled egg scraped into a coffee cup with a piece of toast ripped up in it and all mixed together. It was soft and warm and full of protien. It was magic get better food for me. Of course if she’s immune compromised at the moment the egg might me a bad idea, but I thought I’d throw it out there. Oh and break an imaginary leg at the vagina monologues!!!

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    Stimey February 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    Fingers crossed that this trend continues. It has to be so hard to watch. Poor girl. Poor you. Hang in there.

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    Lis February 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Hope she continues to do well. Before my niece was diagnosed with Crohn’s, we had no idea what was wrong but knew something was very, very wrong – all she would eat was ice cream. Must be something magical and healing in good old ice cream!

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    amanda February 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    Since icecream is her love language right now…. freeze a few bananas… then puree them. It’s so good and has an icecream consistancy. Plus yu can add a teaspoon or so of cocoa powder and make it chocolate! It’s great. At least it’s fruit in her? Also, buy cups of greek yogurt (if she likes it) and freeze. I have resorted to those being my favorite late night snack and it’s better than ice cream.

    I know this suck lemons right now… I think of you often.

    Keep your chin up.

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    sarah February 16, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    Sweet things. I’m so sorry. Eat lots and lots of ice cream. The more butterfat the better for that girl of yours.

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    Meri February 17, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    Yay! My favorite is (was) strawberry Haagen-Daaz. I can’t have milk products anymore, so I make my own out of coconut milk. It is also nommy.

    It took me a very long time after my XH left to be able to eat enough again. I still keep granola bars everywhere.

    I don’t know what Chickie’s dealing with, so I don’t know what of this will be relevant. I have acid reflux which got worse when I had to constantly eat more than my stomach could handle in order to get enough calories. I like Tums. I still tend to eat more, smaller meals – it was easier for my stomach to handle and now I’m in the habit. I found it easier to not worry about eating all the food groups at one time. I ate protein first, then either vegetables/fruit or carbs. Later on, I could eat enough to have all 3, but not at first.

    Much love to Chickie. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this, too.

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    Hall February 17, 2012 at 1:33 am #

    Like everyone else, I don’t know what Chickie has so this might be useless/irrelevant, but my daughter who is 14 has just been through a lengthy phase of daily nausea, inability to eat, major weight loss. Her issues come and go and seem to be related to her hormonal cycles. After several months, things seem to be getting much better and she is genuinely hungry during her period. She’s only thrown up once in the last month and when I calculated it, it was probably right around ovulation. Dunno if this could be involved with Chickie’s situation, but thought I’d mention it. If so, if you feel like shooting me a PM, I’d appreciate it, just for confirmation that this isn’t unique to my kid.

    Thinking of all of you and hoping things continue to improve!

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    Karen February 17, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    Progress!!! Let’s celebrate the victories, shall we?

    Thank you for bringing those wonderful rings to my attention. My daughter is going through a difficult time and we are trudging through “new adult life” trials together. I loved the message, I am getting one for each of us.

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    Kailani February 17, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    Continued prayers for Chickie (and the rest of you, too!). Do whatever works. There is no handbook, we all just have to make it up as we go along and know we are doing the best we can with what we have.

    Hope the show was great! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

    k

    ps~ How’s your dad? Haven’t seen a comment from him lately. Kinda missing that guy….

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    Lori Ann February 17, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Hi there! Does she like mint?? Shamrock Shakes are back at McDonald’s!!!!!!!! I had one yesterday. They’re like crack to me. :)

    Something that helps me get through stuff is remembering “this, too, shall pass.” May be a bit snooty for a child, though – how about “you’re one bowl of ice cream closer to feeling great!” :) I can’t imagine what you’re going thru – when my dogs feel sick, or get hurt, I freak the heck out, and I didn’t have to carry and deliver them!!

    Remember when you’re freaking out – that love hurts sometimes, but it also heals. :)

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    kylad859 February 17, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Ice cream for everyone. How about a tart sorbet for brunch? You don’t want to leave fruits out of your new food pyramid.

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    Jan in Norman, OK February 17, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Veronica (comment #61) makes a good point about small quantities. Tiny nibbles like nuts, small whole grain crackers, even dry Cheerios (one at a time) might help.

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    Amy February 17, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    I’ve been out of my blog loop for a few weeks, and just checked in here today, and oh my. I had no idea you’ve been through so much these last few weeks, and reading back over these posts all at once is making me cry. I’m so sorry your family has had such a scare.

    I have a student that has been back half days for the last couple weeks after missing a month of school for a pretty major surgery. It’s pretty awesome how the kids are SO happy to have her back (even though she generally annoyed a lot of kids before) and are really helpful and accommodating. I’d be willing to bet that Chickie is having a similar experience. Middle school kids can be so amazing. (When they aren’t being turds, that is.)

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    Stephanie February 17, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    i cannot even imagine how i would feel if my little chickee (same age as yours) went thru this… it was terrible when she had her tonsils out last year but what you’re dealing with sounds waaaaay scarier… :( hugs and prayers… and peace for you.

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    Amelia February 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Hooray for ICE CREAM and TACOS! Sounds like things are looking up a bit; I’m so very glad to hear it.

    And I try not to offer advice…but if you are the praying kind (and I think you are), I highly recommend the serenity prayer (God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference). It helps me when I am worried and overwhelmed and don’t know what else to do or even how else to pray.

    Hugs!

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    Kathryn February 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    It is such a horrible feeling to have a doctor tell you that you aren’t feeding your child enough. My son ended up on a feeding tube at 9 months old, because he was losing weight and nothing else seemed to work. Thankfully he’s fine now, and I really hope they find out what’s happening with Chickidee and fix it.

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    Anna February 19, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    (((hugs))) I’m glad ice cream is palatable. My grandma always ate graham crackers and milk at bedtime for her diabetes- the sugar/protein ratio was good for her (although my impression is that it’s bad for most diabetics.)

    Prayers for your journey, Mir. I know that healing or progress are not always an option, so just prayers for the journey.

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    Brittany February 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    I feel like we haven’t talked in weeks and weeks, but it makes sense since we are both have so much on our plates right now.

    First, I’m glad you found the ice cream and Ensure, and that some progress is being made even if it is slower than you’d like.

    Second, I am so glad I took the time to pop over and read you tonight because that second paragraph felt like you were writing about my life since the accident. I too have a list of things I can’t control that is long enough to stretch from here to Georgia, and it is driving me crazy.

    Hopefully soon we will both have shorter lists, be post crisis, and will have time to Skype endlessly about unicorns, missions, and creative Amazon reviews.

    Now I’m off to watch a bootleg YouTube video I heard about recently. ;)

    Brittany

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