BIG BIG BIG day in our house! Kelsie learned to SWALLOW HER ENZYMES WHOLE tonight! This is such a HUGE victory for a CF mom!!!! The closest thing I can equate it to for non-CF parents is potty training. But even bigger!
For the past 4 1/2 years, I have opened these capsules and sprinkled them on a spoon, with a dab of applesauce, anytime she eats anything, wherever we are. She currently takes about 20 pills a day, so just being able to hand them to her without going through all the other steps is a major success!!
Opening those capsules has become second nature around here but it is still an annoyance. Especially when your child wants a snack while driving down the road and you are by yourself, or when you are in the grocery store, at the park, on the soccer field…you get the point! You have to have applesauce and a spoon with you wherever you go. So letting her take them whole is a BIG deal!
How did I do it? It wasn’t part of a big master plan, it just kind of happened. We had been trying for about a week but she hadn’t been able to get it down. My husband showed her videos of other kids taking their enzymes by watching YouTube and that definitely motivated her. So she was interested in trying, just couldn’t get it to go down. So at dinner, we were having corn and black beans. She was about to try her enzymes again so I asked her to try by swallowing a piece of corn first. She got that down so we got all excited – lots of cheering! – and then we tried a black bean! She swallowed that easily as well and then she felt empowered. So we let her try baby sister’s enzymes which are much smaller. She got it down as well! She next tried her enzyme but still couldn’t get it down but we still praised her for such a great job trying!
Then after dinner, she wanted to try again. So Nathan emptied the contents of the capsules and let her practice on the capsule hulls. She got several down first thing and had to call everyone in the family on FaceTime to show off her new skill. It was such a sweet, proud, victorious moment! We are so proud of her and she LOVES the independence. The confidence she feels is radiant!
I still have to carry around a bag with a spoon, enzymes, and applesauce every where I go for Mackenzie. But at least I only have to open and dispense the capsules for one child now! I am hopeful Kelsie will inspire Mackenzie to master this task even sooner! My goal is age 2!
Who would have thought…corn and black beans would teach a child to swallow pills whole! But it worked! You should try it! The raucous applause and parental praise was obviously highly contributory to her success as well. So hoop, holler, scream, shoot, dance around, clap and cheer as loud as you can! And if they fail, just keep encouraging. Do not belittle or punish. Just encourage and offer lots of positive reinforcement and praise! Just like potty training, every child is different. Each responds differently but it will come!