First Follow Up

Last week we went to Cincinnati for Parker’s first follow up appointments since his surgery. We had two appointments. On Tuesday we went to voice clinic. At this clinic they did a few things to evaluate his vocal quality. First off, they took us into a sound room and recorded his voice. Parker doesn’t exactly “speak” on command, so we had to resort to some fun and games with bubbles and tickling to get him to squeak and giggle. They record the voice and evaluate its volume, strength and tone.

Next, we did a video scope of his vocal cords. This isn’t the most fun part of the visit as it requires a large fiberoptic camera to go in through the nose and down the throat to just above the cords. It is actually pretty interesting for us to see because we get to watch it real time. At one point Parker coughed up some nice lung snot that (on the screen) appeared to be flying off the screen and into my face. I ducked . . . causing some chuckles with the doctor and speech pathologists who were in the room. I guess they are used to snot bullets on screen. I’m used to snot bullets from the trach and with those you’d better duck or you will be covered!

The consensus was at voice clinic that anatomically everything looks perfect. The doctor believes that there is no reason that Parker shouldn’t have a perfect voice. At this point, he just needs to learn how to use his voice and manipulate his mouth and the air in it with purpose. He will begin speech therapy in a few weeks. In the meantime, we are working hard to teach ourselves sign language and it has been a lot of fun. He’s learned a lot of important words . . . hungry, eat, drink, potty, help, NO!, done, sleep, book, etc. He’s also learned some words that don’t seem so important . . . weiner and porcupine come to mind. I shouldn’t be surprised, really. He is a boy after all!

On Wednesday, Parker went back in the OR for a rigid bronchoscopy. We knew going in that if they saw any issues that could be resolved that they would take care of them on the spot. Potential issues would be granulation tissue or potentially the airway would need to be expanded (think balloon angioplasty). When the scope took longer than usual I started to get worried that they’d had to do something extra. All of my worry was for naught . . . the doctor said that Parker’s airway looked PERFECT! Music to our ears. Perfect voice potential, perfect airway! It turned out that the extra time was from trying to get his IV started. They had to stick him four times to get it. I’m glad he was asleep for that part.

After our appointments we went on to Alabama for a few days to visit Ian’s mom. Now we are in Indiana for a few days to visit my parents. I have a lot of great pictures to share . . . I will post a slide show when we get home.

I have to admit that Ian and I still look at each other and occasionally say “wow, three months ago we’d be doing this with a suction machine, isn’t this nice!” I can’t tell you how much we hope that day comes for all of our trach friends.

5 Responses to “First Follow Up”

  1. 1 thai checel July 9, 2008 at 3:13 am

    finally some news – all perfect!! we are so happy for you guys! so so glad for the great airway – music indeed. keep us posted and let us know if you learn anything great in speech therapy – i’m wondering if mina may need it one day too.

  2. 2 Jolene Cherry July 9, 2008 at 3:38 am

    Hey! That’s terrific news!!
    So happy to hear that everything is going so well!
    Kiss those boys for me.

  3. 3 Angela July 9, 2008 at 4:14 am

    Thanks for the update Suzanne.. been wondering how you guys have been and missing you!!

  4. 4 Jackie Blais July 9, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Im so happy for you guys to hear the good news. You’ve been through alot and its about time its music to your ears.
    We miss you here in Whitby!!!

  5. 5 Amber Schmidt July 23, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Snot bullets! How funny is that????? I can just see you ducking for cover! I am dying to know how the interview went!


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