This past January, Gideon had his first swallow study and today was his second one. I must say the two experiences were night and day difference.
The staff was great again, but this time things just went so much more smoothly (despite the picture you see up there). There’s two reasons for this in my opinion. First, I knew what to expect. And second, I actually had the cojones to speak up before the exam began. I summarized Gideon’s diagnosis, explained he was blind and deaf, and then I let them know the best way to approach this procedure. Thankfully, the entire staff was receptive and hopefully I didn’t come across as a witch with a capital B.
After talking to the radiologists, I made the decision that Gideon would not wear his hearing aids (they can get in the way of the picture, and I didn’t want them to do more shots than necessary). I also made the suggestion that I do the feeding, since we were going to have to use tactile cues. The staff was more than happy to let me do it, especially because Gideon doesn’t fight me as much as he fights others… I’m more stubborn than he is and I win 99.9% of the time.
Another thing that was great about today is that Gideon was able to support himself better in the feeder seat… something he wasn’t so good at this past January. This made a huge difference because we didn’t have to have a fourth set of hands holding him place. (Don’t get me wrong, I did my fair share of re-positioning today, but it was nothing like last January.)
The results today were better than even I expected. Liquids have always been a concern because Gideon’s condition makes swallowing difficult. However, there was no aspiration!! The only bad thing is that the liquids put lots of pressure on his airways, meaning he has to really try hard to make the liquids go down his throat. And he does a great job! But after a while, he gets tired and that’s when he could possibly be aspirating.
So it was recommended that we thicken his liquids to a nectar consistency. (Something we already knew we should be doing.) And that can be done with rice cereal in his bottles or thickening substitutes.
Thanks again for praying for us today. After last time I was really expecting it to go bad. Especially since it was just me and Gideon. I’m always nervous because I don’t want my emotions to get the better of me. But after flying solo today, I feel like I’m all grown up.
I can do this special-needs-mom thing.