Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Barium Cocktail, Anyone???

Izzy enjoyed a yummy bottle of barium for lunch today. Actually, I'm pretty sure it wasn't yummy at all, so it's a good thing she's not picky. Like her mama, if you give her food, she will eat it. We went to Cook Children's Hospital today for her second swallow function study. They put Izzy in a little chair that looks like a car seat, next to a big x-ray machine. Then we fed her barium of different consistencies and watched her swallow on a tv screen. We've been thickening her milk to nectar consistency with no problems, so we started with half-nectar consistency, and she swallowed perfectly without any problems. The speech therapist then switched to a bottle without any thickener, and she and the doctor in the room both said they could see laryngeal penetration with almost every swallow. Griff and I didn't see it. She even showed us the tape three times after the study, and we finally just said we could see it. Kind of like when the doctor pointed out all the body parts of the babies when I had sonograms done..."Oh yeah, I see it now," even though all I really saw was a blob. Anywho...they are the experts so we trust what they see. Izzy did not aspirate on the thin liquid, but the therapist guessed that if Izzy were to continue drinking it, she probably would. They only look at 20 swallows of each consistency to limit the radiation exposure. So, we're now thickening her milk to half-nectar because of her "risk of aspirating." We'll talk with Dr. Worsley and schedule yet another swallow study in 4-6 months. The speech therapist said she wasn't really surprised. Apparently many babies aren't able to "skip steps" going from full-nectar to no nectar. This isn't exactly the result we were looking for, but it is improvement. And as much as we hate the thickener, it is keeping her from a g-button, so we will gladly continue it.
BTW - Izzy is sporting a bow from Emily and a pacifier from Hadley in the pics. Thanks, girls!!! Oh, and I couldn't resist the funny face pic.


  1. From the look on her face - she must have REALLY enjoyed her barium juice!

  2. she looks so funny (and cute) next to that huge machine. You need to post that last picture somewhere and see if it goes viral!