Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Feeding Evaluation

Tucker had a feeding evaluation and swallow study today at Mercy. I was afraid that we would not be able to have the study due to Tucker's "raspy congestion" once again. They did go ahead and let us do it because I assured them that he was not sick that he is just a noisy baby most of the time. Our first appointment was at 1 with OT/PT clinic. They wanted to ensure he was ready and could do the study to get a good result, such as moving the food in his mouth, swallowing without too much delay, things like that. Then we went to Radiology and did the swallow (barium) study. I took different foods in that he takes , EX: pudding, cheesy potatoes, fruit in its own juice, applesauce, puffs. They also had some plain barium that they added chocolate syrup to for him to drink. I expected the worst results and to have to continue doing what we are, which is NO fluids, not even thickened. Tucker teaches me every day not to underestimate what he can do. He swallowed everything fine. No aspirations, not even on water consistency. OMG....yeah, what a AWESOME DAY! Everything was against us too, I had to hold food, he hadn't had a nap and then the clinic ran behind to give us the swallow test. Tucker fell asleep and I had to wake him,,,,low and behold he woke up in a great mood and the appointment could not have gone any smoother. He loved the chocolate barium THANK GOODNESS and we just sailed through all the different textures and thicknesses.
So, now it is time to introduce water, and milk, and juice via spoon or straw, and COLD only. If we see signs of him aspirating into his lungs, such as red eyes, watering of the eyes or a more wet sound when breathing, we are to stop with whatever we are giving and go to the next thickness. There are thickening agents out there that we will have to use IF he shows those signs. I honestly think he will do great. I came home from the study and gave him some water from a straw....what a difference that can make when eating a cracker. I cant imagine not having something wet to wash food down. It will be an all new experience for him.

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