Monday we went to OHSU for Quinn's two appointments I blogged about this past weekend. Both appointments went well and we won't head back up until March. In the meantime, Quinn's swallow study was very, very interesting. The therapist and radiologists gave Quinn goldfish, oreos, banana pudding, and milk all laced with barium. Each time we fed him something, the radiologist would take a series of pictures or film with the x-ray machine. Unbelievable. They were able to record Quinn swallowing, assess the physical structure of his mouth, throat, etc. and watch for reflux. They determined that there is no physical abnormalities that would require surgery so that is a praise.
They did find two things: 1)delayed swallowing-this means that rather than a normal, quick swallow that most people have, Quinn's swallow doesn't force everything in his throat down his esophagus and the remaining part trickles down his throat which can contribute to Quinn's gagging. This is something that will be dealt with over time. 2) Severe reflux-It was immediately apparent, as the therapist reviewed the film of Quinn swallowing and milk entering his stomach, that reflux occurred and items in the stomach were washing back up into the esophagus. This reflux will be treated by medication that will hopefully decrease the reflux, gagging, throwing up.
We'll continue to be in touch with the therapist and see how the medication and feeding plans go.
The cystic fibrosis clinic went well too. The people we work with at the clinic are helpful and kind. Quinn was pretty tired--at the end of our visit we were waiting for one of the doctor's to come back and Quinn was restless. Ryan told Quinn that we could leave when the doctor came back. Immediately Quinn began yelling, "Doc! Doc! Doc!" He was ready to go! Quinn's lungs sound good, he hasn't been sick, and we still are doing what we can to help him get the calories he needs. That is a challenge because of the gagging and throwing up. We continue to value prayers for Quinn and for all of us in this process.
I will say too that whenever we go up to visit at OHSU we are on a floor that has many different kids with many different kinds of issues. Some children are in wheelchairs, some have oxygen, some have severe developmental issues, some don't have any hair. Some have parents that look exhausted, some have parents that struggle to care for themselves or their kids, some have parents that sacrifice everyday to care for their children.
I wonder sometimes if the kids and parents who aren't "perfect" ever hear how special and beautiful they are. These kids are children of a Most High God and their parents are precious to the Lord. I just wonder how we could do more to encourage one another...and how to encourage these families whose "normal" involves medications, treatments, therapy, and doctors' appointments.