E passed her swallow study!!!!!!!! We are so thrilled that she's making some progress and no longer aspirating. So what does that mean for little E? Well, it really only means that we can now ATTEMPT to feed her by mouth. Remember, E has NEVER eaten by mouth. She has had a few swallows from a bottle for her three swallow studies and that's it. We now have the huge task of teaching her to eat. Our first step is going to be an attempt at nursing, all the while still feeding her via the gtube. We'll try this for a few weeks at least. We may try spoon feeding if she is still panicking when milk actually gets in her mouth, just to ease her into the new sensations, then try nursing again. The speech pathologist (they're the ones who actually deal with feeding issues) thinks nursing will help E relax more than a bottle. Praising God that I'm an experienced nurser! If E starts taking some volume by mouth then we will adjust her tube feeds accordingly. As for when the gtube would come out? Probably not for quite some time. If E gets to a point where she takes all her food by mouth, it typically would still be many many months before the gtube would be removed. Because E will be having more surgeries in the future, we will probably just leave it in until those are done with. That way she will not need any tubes put down her throat and in the event that surgeries are too traumatizing and she struggles with eating again, we will not need to redo the gtube surgery. So that's what passing her swallow study means for Miss E. We are praying that over the next few months, she will start nursing more and more.
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