Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Swallow Study

I called at 10am while I pumped.
The nurse said Bradley had had some trouble eating in the night and was coughing a lot!
The speech pathologist came in for his 8am feeding to try and give him a bottle.
He could not take it because he was coughing SO MUCH.
They put the gavage tube back in and told me to come down and see him.

 When I got in I picked him up and held him and took some pictures.
Then the doctor came in to talk with me about his feeding issues.
She said that he needed to have a swallow study done.
She said they were thinking perhaps he was getting some of his milk into his lungs when he ate.
 They would have to feed him barium and watch it through an xray to see if he was for sure.

So I went down to the xray room with him.
We got there and there was a radiologist, and the speech pathologist.
The speech pathologist mixed up three different bottles of barium in different consistencies.
The first was the consistency of milk.
The second was the consistency of nectar.
The third was the consistency of honey.

They started with the first. I saw a little leak down his airway into his lungs.
The speech pathologist pointed to the screen and said - "see it"
Then they tried the second bottle and it happened again.
Then they tried the third and this time it didn't go down his lungs.
AND it was VERY thick and it was harder for him to get through the nipple. BUT HE DID!

Then the radiologist moved the camera to his stomach which was black because it was full of barium.
And we waited.
And about two minutes later some came back up.
And about two minutes later more came back up.
And about two minutes later more came back up and this time it reached
his lungs and spilled into them.

The speech pathologist said, "he's aspirating his reflux too"

And I knew that could not be good.

The speech pathologist came over to me and told me the results.
For now he could only have formula thickened to the consistency of honey through his bottle.
And that I could not nurse him because he would get it into his lungs.

And I left and realized that Bradley and I would never nurse again.
And I cried most of the way home.