Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Swallow study??????? What?????

Yesterday we had some therapy evaluations for physical therapy and occupational therapy since we've been able to have any therapy services since Jesse turned 3 in July. I was explaining about Jesse and how sometimes he chokes on his food. It seems to me like he gets lazy and doesn't chew it good enough, but they asked me if we have ever had a swallow study done. I have had it mentioned to me before, but the drs never said lets have one done. Honestly, I don't have a clue what a swallow study even is. I feel so horrible for not knowing, but here I am taking a deep breath and admitting that for once I don't know what's going on. That takes a lot for me to admit. I'm always having to be in control and know exactly what is going on and when I don't I feel like a horrible mom. What does a swallow study consist of? Should I tell the drs I want one done even though I think it's just because Jesse gets lazy and doesn't want to chew? Any input or advice on this would be wonderful and appreciated so much. Thanks in advance. Oh and here is a cute recent pic of little man. It's not the best since he is looking down, but Jesse has found a new way of getting around the living room.


Lily said...

Lily has to have several swallow studies since she was born without her esophagus. If it was the one I am thinking about it is not very pleasant, but could prove very useful. They would have Jesse swallow a dye that is seen through a type of x-ray. After he swallows it they follow the course of the dye to see how it is flowing through him. If I remember right Lily was strapped to a board and then they moved that back and forth to watch the dye move. It seemd light there was another thyp too, but I can't remember - it has been many years ago sonce Lily has to have one.
Good luck :-)

jenhiatt said...

Zach has the same wagon, and does the same thing.

Zach had a swallow study right before he turned 2. It consisted of him laying on an xray table, I believe they had an xray monitor of sorts going on, and he had to drink this weird stuff that shows up on the xray. He screamed and fought but somehow they were able to determine he wasn't asparating (which is what his test was looking for).

Overall, if Zach wasn't already terrified of hospitals and doctors, it would have been an easy procedure.

Hope this helps!

Jessica said...

Caden had a swallow study as well. The main concern with the choking is the danger of aspiration. Caden is also a lazy chewer, often swallowing bites whole and gags/coughs often. He is also 3 and they had us come in at lunch time. I brought foods he likes and foods he has trouble with, all varying textures. They added barium to everything. It is a white compound that is a little bit thicker than toothpaste. Caden sat in a chair in wedged in front of the xray machine and they took images as he ate and swallowed. He was not happy about it all and cried a lot but from all that, they were able to see that he doesn't aspirate. As soon as it was over, Caden signed "door, door" so we snuck out to the lobby for him to finish his meal in peace.

If Jesse suffers from constipation at all, be sure to talk to the doctor about the barium. It can make him even more constipated so if you use Miralax or anything like that, you may want to increase the dosage for a couple days. Our doctor assured us that it wouldn't be enough barium to constipate him but we also did an upper GI study a couple years ago and they told me the same thing then. It was horrible coming out of him, he was very much in pain so I knew better this time around.

Also, if it is a therapeutic swallow study, there will be a speech therapist in the room observing how he eats, tongue thrust, etc. Combine her findings with the xray's internal findings and it can be a very valuable assessment. Though we didn't find anything in Caden's study, that in itself was great news to confirm, like you said, that he's just a lazy eatter. Good luck!