Today Leona went in for a swallow study at Memorial Hospital of South Bend. The pediatric specialist wanted to check & make sure she wasn't having any intake issues that were causing her small stature.
A Swallow Study is basicly a moving x-ray that shows the movement of food as it is being swallowed. They check to make sure that it is not going into the airways instead.
Leona could not eat 2 hours prior to her test. Of course she did not want to eat upon waking up this morning, when she was allowed to. She drank about 1 oz. & decided she was done. When we arrived at the Radiology department, they said it would only be a few minutes... I should have known hospital time a little better than that! Of course we waited about 30 min. because the therapist had not even shown up yet! At least it wasn't the 2 hour wait that we waited for the MRI at EGH.
After waiting that long to eat, she was not very pleasant; not to mention nap time was too close for comfort.
HUNGER + TIREDNESS + FEAR + FOOD WITH A WEIRD TASTE = 1 CRABBY KID
She screamed most of the time! They had to put a liquid on the food for her to eat so it would show on the x-ray. She did not like it! If she saw the white stuff on her food, she refused it. Ben had to sit in the chair for her to stay even remotely calm! It took over an hour for about 60 sec. of recording.
The therapist asked a lot of questions! She noticed that Leona does not chew her food, but mainly swallows things whole. She asked about her eating habits & suggested maybe she has sensory issues with textures. She also said that we should not feel bad for her still being on the bottle & not moving toward all cup because her biological age & her eating/weight age are not the same. The focus needs to be on her gaining weight. Of course all of these comments are based on this crabby child she saw for about an hour.
After all the trauma, both Ben & I were feeling some frustration. She passed the test, but what now?
WHEN WILL WE HAVE ANSWERS, LORD?
We talked through the possiblity of her having texture issues & we wonder if this is even a possibility. We have had this brought up by several friends prior to all of this. She loves feeling things. She doesn't mind getting messy. She eats foods with a lot of texture like hamburger meat, grapes & broccoli. She used to eat more pureed foods like baby food, but as soon as she had finger foods, she didn't want anything I fed her. She will refuse foods she doesn't want & there is no forcing her either. Anything sweet is pretty much out too! So is that a texture issue or merely a picky, stubborn child? We think it is the later b/c she is a strong willed child. Right now as I write this she is in her highchair playing in soy yogurt, eating grapes, hamburger & deli ham while watching Baby Signing Time!
Before Ben left for work, he gave me a long hug as I cried a little. Sometimes I am just so tired of all the doctor appt's, struggles of getting her to eat, & the wondering what to do! Ben assured me that she is normal, just small. I continue to be on the other side of something is wrong, just what?