ST PETER —
The boy did have an eating disorder where he would regurgitate food, she said. The disorder happened for short periods of time that coincided with “low points” such as Mother’s Day and birthdays, then went away.
“To some degree, there always was a food issue,” Hauer said. “It just changed over the years.”
At one point the disorder became so bad the boy
wasn’t eating normally but was getting up at odd hours of the night to find food in the house, she said. He was eating peanuts out of bird food, taking food from the compost pile and attempted to eat raw hamburger out of the refrigerator.
Hauer said she and her husband were concerned the behavior was becoming dangerous at that point, which resulted in the couple taking turns sleeping in a hallway outside the boy’s bedroom. That lasted four months before Russell Hauer bought an alarm at a home improvement store and installed it on the boy’s bedroom.
He was in an especially long low period, possibly caused by a couple of fires in the neighborhood that were traumatic for all four children, before Mona Hauer took him to the hospital Oct. 9, she said. He had eaten a popsicle without his mother knowing and she thought the red stain on his shirt was blood that had been regurgitated.
The incident was almost a relief, Hauer said. She had been trying to describe the boy’s eating problems to others, including a chiropractor who suggested feeding the boy nutrition drinks to help the eating disorder. The family used a chiropractor as its first stop for medical treatment, Hauer said, because she believes in using the “least invasive” options first.
“The fires really brought (him) down lower than before and we just did everything we could to bring him out of the dip,” she said.