Thursday, July 14, 2011

Swallow Study Results

Last week John won two tickets to see Josh Groban in Indy from a radio show. He gave them to me as an early birthday gift since seeing a Josh Groban concert was on my bucket list. I took a friend Tuesday night, and we had a blast. I left Mikan with John, and my brother Zach who lives in Indy watched Anica during the concert. But my Mikan responsibilities returned early the next morning, and I made the three-hour trek back home with Anica at 5am to drive Mikan to his horseback riding lesson and swallow study.

Although initially hysterical at the sight of all the machinery, Mikan relaxed enough to drink Pediasure, a little water, and one Cheerio during the study. The results showed that Mikan drank his Pediasure and ate the Cheerio fine with no signs of aspiration. However, when he drank a large gulp of water, the water penetrated his vocal chords. He didn't aspirate, but it proved we still need to be cautious. The therapist reccommended we encourage him to only drink small amounts of water at a time. She also noticed that he tucks his chin when he drinks water. This is a strategy she teaches adults who have difficulty drinking since tucking the chin closes off the vocal chords and helps prevent aspiration. She thinks Mikan has learned to accommodate on his own. Since Mikan hasn't had a history of illness related to aspiration, we are hoping it won't cause him too much trouble, and he will outgrow it soon. She agreed that we should talk to his doctor about an allergy med since his drainage may be causing gagging and feeding delays.

We also think Mikan may be brewing a sinus infection. This would be his third infection this summer. We hope that once his seasonal allergies are managed this will go away.

This morning Mikan helped feed Anica her oatmeal. He didn't seem interested at all in trying it himself. In fact, after each bite he kept saying, "Anica's all done!" because he wanted her to play in a blanket tent with him. The speech therapist who read his swallow study repeated the mantra we've heard his whole life. "He just needs more time. Just keep the eating experience positive and don't push him. He'll get there." She didn't seem to think his six-month stagnation was a huge cause for concern. She said it was pretty normal. I think she meant normal for the abnormal. Right?

1 comment:

Dial Doctors said...

First of all congratulations on such a brave young man you have there. My thoughts and prayers will go to your family everyday particularly to Mikan.

I have to agree with the speech therapist. When I was still in school, one of my teachers asked us "what do you do with a five year old child who won't talk?" I remember blurting out how you made him talk. He explained that children all have their different paces and that even small progresses are to be celebrated.

It looks like Mikan is making progress everyday so just let him reach the eating milestone when it's his time. I know you're probably frustrated by my answer and I'd be too but it looks like therapist has his best interest at heart :)