|All tuckered out from opening birthday gifts.|
During the swallow study, a substance called barium is added to her food. The barium lights up on the x-ray showing where the liquid is going during the swallow. (You can see a pretty cool video here.) Her therapist and doctor at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago ordered the swallow study to check her post-surgery swallow. We went in assuming a routine appointment - after all, she had a post-surgery bedside swallow examination in Cleveland which she passed with flying colors. She had not been getting sick and her lungs have always sounded clear (two red flags for aspirating).
However, the results showed otherwise. While drinking her bottle, even thickened, a small amount of the liquid was making it's way into her lungs during each swallow. Even at it's thickest consistency (honey thick), it was still going into her lungs.
|Sadie eating her breakfast via NG tube.|
|This is what a G-Tube looks like.|
In order to mentally prepare for this possible next step, we met with the surgeon this week who would perform the G-Tube operation. He provided us with pros and cons of G-Tubes. The pros being ease of medication administration, hydration, and most importantly - no aspiration. We have spoken to Sadie's team at Children's Memorial who have advised us to take our time with making this decision. They have offered to repeat a swallow study in 3-6 months to see if her swallow has improved. By that point, we can do more research and become more comfortable should the G-tube be the path she must go down.
Luckily, she is still able to eat pureed food (baby foods), so we've been feeding her her favorite keto-friendly food - mashed banana with butter. While we are disheartened and saddened by another "normal" being taken away from Sadie for the time being, we are grateful that it didn't develop into something even worse.