Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Thick or Thin?

Eli's swallow study was great!  The therapist performing the test was the same one who did his last one at St. Mary's.  It was nice to see her again and for her to see Eli!  Even better than that, I love when there's continuity of care for him because he's such an overall complex kiddo. 

In typical Eli fashion, he fussed a little at first, but then he cooperated wonderfully.  He started by eating apples covered in powdered barium (who wouldn't love that?) and drank nectar thickened juice and milk each mixed with barium.  Those went well, as we expected.  Next the therapist tried plain, non-thickened Gatorade also mixed with barium (barium is what makes his swallow visible on xray).  As we watched the xray in real time, no issues were noted. 

After he was done, the therapist went through each picture and video in slow motion to look for any signs of aspiration.  She saw none :)  Because Eli has a persistent cough right now related to allergies and the virus he tested positive for last week, she recommended we wait to start him on thin liquids.  You know when you "swallow wrong" and it "goes down the wrong pipe?"  What do you do?  You automatically cough.  That's one sign of aspiration.  If he already has a cough then we won't know if he's coughing just because he has a cough or because he's aspirating. 

So, technically Eli is cleared to have thin liquids!  We'll just wait a while after his cough goes away to actually take away the nectar thickened liquids.  She did say we could go ahead and give him jello, ice cream, or popsicles which are all things he's not been allowed because of their thin liquid consistency when they melt. 

After we finished with his test we visited the Peds unit.  Even though Eli was only a patient there for 16 days, he became very famous.  Even now when we visit, staff we didn't meet will come out and say, "Oh, this is the Eli everyone talks about!"  We got to see many familiar faces which is always nice.  One of his Occupational Therapists knew he was coming and had asked staff to call her when Eli got there so she could visit.  Eli had fun showing off how well he could run up and down the hall.  He also showed a little work with his left hand.  He had a great game of "toss things I shouldn't because I can get away with it now since I'm so cute and mom won't make me stop with a crowd of admirers."  And, yes, he even invaded the nurses station and tried to use the computers and make phone calls. 

Zachary has been busy the past two evenings with his first Vacation Bible School.  We've wanted to sign him up in years past but the dates never worked out with whatever we had going on.  This week he's going to Our Lady of Hope's camp (at Washington Catholic) and he is loving it.  Next week he is signed up to go to the one at Bethel United Methodist.  We asked him several times if he really wanted to do both and he was adamant that's what he wanted.  However, when I asked him one night he did say he was worried about something.  I asked what and he said, "What if I get confused going to two church schools?"  I was very impressed with his question, as it was coming from a six year old!  I just told him that the point of both was to go and learn about God and Jesus while having a good time making new friends.  Then I told him it's like when Mommy and Daddy each teach him something, but we do it differently from each other.  Like tying his shoes.  We each do it a little differently and told him to chose what works best for him.  I told him going to two bible schools was like that; he can learn from both and use it how he likes.  He liked that answer and asked if there was a third bible school to go to this summer!  I told him two was enough!

It was a busy day and Eli and I capped it off with a stop at Krispy Kreme.  No, it's not the healthiest choice, but darn they're good!  And I'm proud of myself because I've only had one as I type this update (plus the two I ate on the way home!).  Hopefully the boys sleep well tonight and Eli's pump doesn't give me any trouble because this momma is tired!  Eli has therapy first thing in the morning and the nights go very quickly around here!

Thank you for the prayers for a good test today.  Eli cooperated well and we got good results.  He does still have a lot of work to do in therapy, but his progress since the strokes is absolutely amazing.  God is good!

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