Callie had her swallow study at Duke today and all went well. She cooperated until the end, when she finally realized that something in her pudding and drink didn’t taste right (barium). She had not eaten for several hours before the study, so she gladly took whatever they gave her at first.
SMA weakens all muscles, including those that are used in swallowing. This can lead to aspiration–when food or liquids enter the lungs. A swallow study is an X-ray with barium that highlights the inside of the mouth and throat so the doctors can see where everything goes as the patient eats or drinks.
The speech therapist and doctor feel that Callie’s current diet isn’t putting her at risk for aspiration since we feed her a lot of soft foods such as yogurt and sweet potatoes. They recommended another swallow study a year from now; sooner if she develops feeding issues. The speech therapist also recommended using a sippy cup instead of a regular cup so liquids won’t flow into her mouth too quickly.
She will be evaluated by an occupational therapist in about a week to asses how she is doing with different kinds of foods and textures. She’ll also be followed by a nutritionist, who will address all the details of her diet, such as caloric intake and weight gain/loss.
Thanks to everyone for reading and subscribing. We also want to thank Paula and Angela, who kept all 3 of our boys during our trips to Duke this week.