That Sounds Like a Personal Problem

posted by Momo Fali on December 12, 2008

My six year old son has always suffered from a pretty nasty case of reflux. When he was an infant, this resulted in constant shifts in medication, a lot of crying by him and me, and more than our fair share of projectile vomiting.

During an endoscopy a few years ago, his gastroenterologist noted that the ring of muscles around his lower esophagus, which is supposed to keep his stomach contents in his stomach, didn’t function properly. Actually, not at all. His ring simply doesn’t contract when it should, allowing half-digested food to freely flow up from whence it came.

We refer to these moments as “yucky burps”. We’ve all had them, right? Those bile-flavored, liquid belches. Mmmmmm. Delicious!

At his last GI visit, his doctor suggested that he was old enough for us to try to wean him off some of his medications. Considering one of them costs $261.00 a month, we were all for it.

But, my boy doesn’t like to make things easy. When we discontinued the medicine, the yucky burps increased, and some of them weren’t just burps. He has been throwing up a lot too. Does anyone have $261.00 I could borrow?

Yesterday in school, he was goofing off with a straw in his mouth and it hit him in just the wrong spot. He gagged, and that gag brought up breakfast, snack, and my personal favorite, regurgitated milk.

His quick-thinking teacher, who is fully aware of the reflux situation, jumped in and cleaned up the mess, then told all the kids in the kindergarten class about my boy’s esophageal “flap”. She told them that their flaps stay closed and keep food where it should be, but that his flap doesn’t work and sometimes that means his food comes back up.

But I didn’t know the extent of her conversation. Which would explain why I was at a complete loss last night when my son exclaimed, “Mom! My flap hurts!”


  • AlisonH

    Your what…! I can just picture it.

    Meantime, good for his teacher! What an angel.

  • Piper


    You know that punching bag thing at the back of our mouths?
    My son told once his K teacher that the penis in his mouth hurt.

    I had a lot of explaining to do that day.

  • Rhea

    Your son sounds like he has an awesome teacher.

    I’m sorry about your son’s flap. That sounds like a mess.

  • Melissa

    Bwhwhaa! Sounds like a personal problem, huh? I’m sorry your little guys goes through that. Will they be able to fix that sometime in the future?

  • Lisa@verybusymomwith4

    Seriously boy is lucky to have such an awesome teacher!
    I hope he can get it fixed when he’s older!

  • Irish Gumbo

    Oh, my dear, I offer my sympathies. I have had reflux problems a LONG time (fortunately not as severe as that;jeez, dating sure would have been awkward) so I can visualize.

    “My flap hurts!” I said that out loud, and it sounds like it has purpose!

  • Weaselmomma

    Poor kid. I hope it stops soon.

  • texasholly

    Oh so sorry! Ugh. I would have never figured out the “flap” thing!

  • NukeDad

    Funny; I said the same thing to my Doctor after last weeks colonscopy: “Doc, my flap hurts!”

  • Stella

    Those yucky burps are the worst for me, as an adult, I can’t imagine how much they stink for a little guy like yours!

    I think your son is so lucky to have a teacher like that! That’s AWESOME! So many other teachers would not have been like that!

    I also think it’s awesome that your son, often, rolls with it and just keeps going. You guys are doing such a fabulous job with him and he is such an incredible little guy!!

    And regurgitated milk is my favorite, too!!

  • Joeprah

    My flap hurts just reading this. Poor guy.

  • Melisa


    Reminds me of when my older one said (when he was about 9) “My hammies (hamstrings) hurt!” and pointed to his groin.

  • Birdie

    oooo I guess so! What a trooper he is on so many levels and you guys too. Wow. Price of meds are ridiculous. I’ll be praying for his little broken flap!

  • Angie

    LOL! Your boy is so funny. Actually, this gives me hope. My friend has had this vomiting problem with her baby girl, so I’ll give her a heads up about the “flap”.

  • Smart A$$ Mom

    his flap hurts? priceless.

  • Rachel

    I’m dying at Piper’s comment 😉

    Dude, his flap hurts. that is just priceless.

    God Bless his fabulous teacher.

    thank you for sharing this story! I’m just rolling 😉

  • Captain Dumbass

    Nothing worse than a sore flap.

  • meleah rebeccah

    Smart Teacher. Adorable Boy.

    PS: If I had $261.00 I would totally give it to you.

  • Kimmylyn

    Your poor little guy.. that cannot be fun..but I can say how freaking adorable he is… can you bring him to BlogHer??

  • Caffeine Court

    I have flaps too, only mine are under my arms.

    But seriously, that’s a bummer…the reflux thing. $261 a month is a lot of dough.

  • bernthis

    I’ve got acid reflux now and can no longer eat tomatoes. A life with no pizza, can’t be worse than a life with no sex, and I’d know.

  • Heather

    Kudos to his teacher for quick thinking. He sounds so precious! I wish I could give him a BIG hug.


    Awww – gotta love his teacher. She sounds like an amazing person…

    Hope the weaning gets better… and soon!!

  • meleah rebeccah

    How are his flaps today?

  • Ashlie- Mommycosm

    OMG, my 3 year old son is just going through this now. Sounds like a similar diagnosis. He has had 5 major vomiting episodes within 5 weeks in the middle of the night.

    We’ve elevated his bed and prohibited food w/in 2 hours of bedtime. Also cut back on acidic foods, although this isn’t an acid problem, per se.

    If you have any advice, I’d love to have you email me:
    themommy at mommycosm dot com

  • Jo Beaufoix

    Oh bless his little flap. That teacher sounds like a good one Momo. And I hope things get easier for him soon.

  • Heather

    Oh man, glad I wasn’t there, I’m a sympathy puker.

  • Ashley

    Awww poor little guy!

  • ria

    I guess your story gives a whole new meaning to the saying, “Shut your flap!” – something my siblings and I would say as a hybrid of “shut up.” 🙂

    But I can relate on a small scale, as my son had bad reflux till he was about 18 months. Not fun!

  • Genevieve

    We call those vurps. Cracking up on the ‘flap’ story. Luckily both my kids were regular spitter uppers — well a bit more spitty than most but their flaps eventually functioned as should.

    Of course, I could’ve just jinxed myself with the baby in making …

  • Mama Dawg

    Sounds like a good teacher.

  • Jaina

    What a great teacher. I hope he does better being off the medicine.

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