Thursday, July 31, 2008

Feeding Update

We went for our feeding study today. It was our first visit to Children's Hospital in St. Louis, we normally go to Cardinal Glennon but since the therapy that we are hoping that Will is a candidate for is only offered at Children's we decided to have the study done there instead. The hospital itself was amazing, so child friendly and really cool. For example, on the elevator there is a child's voice that says "Welcome to Children's Hospital, this is the 3rd floor". I thought that was so cute, and such a personal touch. Anyway on to the study...

During the feeding study there was a speech pathologist and an occupational therapist in the room with us and we fed Will all sorts of stuff. We were supposed to bring things that he eats well and then things that he has trouble eating. I brought pureed pears which he normally lets fall out of his mouth without swallowing, cheetos, which he normally really likes and tries to eat but still let it fall out of his mouth and cheerios which he does the same. There is really nothing that Will eats "well" except for drinking his bottle, he never lets any of the formula come out of his mouth.

And wouldn't you know....he ate like a champ!! Like I hadn't fed him in days, weeks, months and years!! The pears, ate them with out anything coming out of his mouth! I couldn't believe it, Josh and I sat there in shock as he opened his mouth for each bite. I kept saying "he normally doesn't do this well". The therapist said that this sort of thing happens all of the time, I am not sure that I believe her!

So they watched Will eat his food for about an hour and asked us questions and took notes. After that was all done we went down stairs to the x-ray department, where he would have the swallow study. During this study they mix barium with his food and take an x-ray of him swallowing. The barium makes the food glow in the x-ray. So Will did some more eating, which he did really well but was starting to get tired and full.

They said that Will is swallowing some food even though he is letting some come out of his mouth. He also doesn't pocket food in his mouth or throat, though they thought that he holds food in the back of his throat longer than he should. And that his suck is not very efficient, he has to suck a few times before he gets anything out of his bottle.

The therapist thought that he would be a good candidate for the e-stim therapy that we had discussed with his GI doctor in June. We are going to have to wait until one of the therapists has an opening in their schedules and we also have to line things out with our insurance.

I will have to take him to the therapy sessions 2-3 times a week for 90 minute sessions each. So this is also a major time commentment for me but I am totally on board with it because I really think that this is going to help.

So it was a really successful visit today, even though he ate like it was his last meal!!


Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

I hope the e-stim works wonders. Right now we would have to drive to St.Louis to recieve it for Alex, no one does it on children under 10 aournd here.
Thats great that he ate so well, now you know he can do it!

Cindy said...

That's a great sign, that he's comfortable eating in front of strangers. Maybe he even was showing off! At least you don't have to worry about him not wanting to perform in front of strangers.

Praying for a quick start to therapy!