Today we had our last and final test. The FEES which is a fiberoptic endoscopic swallowing study. Henry was a little champ. They put a little camara down the nose and into the back of the throat and have him swallow different liquids that have a food coloring in them. This allows them to watch his swallowing function and coordination and to see if he is aspirating at all. They tried the thick feed I've been making and even tried thinner. Basically, he did great. He had a tiny bit of residual that was in his throat but with several more swallows it cleared and even with the thinner liquids he never aspirated. This is really great news. It helped to clarify some of what we saw in the first swallow study. I thought he had some issues with swallowing when we did the first swallow study. However, this study today showed that while sometimes there is a little bit of liquid that pools, he seems to control his swallow and protect his airway; which is the most important part. The ENT doctor told us that he takes really big sips of liquid and that we simply need to try to slow him down. This can be done by using a cup where I control how big of a sip he takes. Also, we can use a spoon at first for the thinner liquids to help him sip slower. Also, with thickening foods we should just start slowly and work up to more textured foods. It was so reassuring to hear that he does not really have ANY swallowing disfunction, just "inexperience" as the ENT doctor put it. We couldn't have had a better outcome. Really, this to me is also a huge blessing from the Lord. With all that Henry has been through, the speech therapist said he could have lots of other problems. It is really great that he doesn't have any adversions to eating and that he is so coordinated and has not lost the ability to eat normally, which can happen when you have had the challenges that Henry has. We are so happy!
So, with that, we are going home in the morning, so I better take off! I plan to continue to write about our progress for those who are interested and also will try to post some pictures when we get home.
Thank you for joining us on this journey and for all your prayers. I know God has used Henry to encourage many of you in your prayer lives. It would mean a lot to me if you want to comment and put your praises to Him here on this page.