Well the swallow study went off without a hitch. Gunnar stayed home with Brittany so mom and dad could focus simply on Roa. It was a quick wait in the waiting room...long enough for Ro to hang out in his GT in front of the bubbly fish tank. We entered the X-ray room and talked to the therapist about our concerns and questions. Roa was placed in a feeder seat by the X-ray machine and was mesmerized by the enormous tv screen showing sea creatures! Perfect! He then was fed a variety of textures and food/ drink consistencies and took it all like a champ. However, it would have been beneficial for him to do some of his gagging gigs and turning to the right to show one of our concerns, but as life goes...no gagging. As Roa ate, the doctor and therapist watched him on the X-ray machine. Roa does have some pooling of food residuals in the back of his throat on occasion. However he was able to clear it with head posturing, a throat clearing, or drink.
Next we did the barium swallow X-ray check for reflux. Roa drank the chocolate laced barium like a milk shake! He cried when it was necessary for him to lie back on the table under the machine for the doctor to watch for reflux, but was easily distracted by sea turtles and more milk shake! Reflux was observed, but the doctor said it wasn't terrible and he seems to be maturing through it.
Basically, the study showed that: yes, Roa does have reflux issues that may be eased with the prevacid and positioning after meals and at bedtime. And, he does have some food residuals that collect in his throat, but if we continue to allow him to posture as he sees fit for swallowing, it should not be a problem and should ease congestion.
For therapy, we should focus on proper rotary chewing so that Roa learns to break foods down before swallowing. We should stay away from beef or tougher meats that are hard to break down. We should also offer frequent drinks to clear foods.
The toughest part will be allowing Roa to position his head back for swallowing as it goes against what therapists want and what is typical. But as we work to strengthen his trunk and neck, typical alignment should be closer the norm.
So, eat away little man! We will let you figure it out in your smart little brain on your own timeline!
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