Some updates . . .

It has been 10 months since Parker’s surgery. Last week we were down in Cincinnati for his routine follow up. It was an eventful trip. First we went to the Voice Clinic where they assessed and analyzed Parker’s voice. The hospital is running a long term study to research vocal quality post LTP and he is enrolled in the study, so we will attend the clinic probably once a year for the forseeable future. His voice is great. Little of  the growly, husky vocal qualities that can be present after this surgery are present in Parker’s voice. It does show up occasionally when he forces sounds but our goal is give him alternatives so he doesn’t fall into a routine where that is just what he does.

The next day we headed back in the OR for a bronchoscopy. Unfortunately, Parker has had some nighttime breathing issues. We felt confident waiting until our scheduled appointment but also knew they needed to be addressed. It turns out that once again the “Perfect Storm” afflicts our little stinker. There are three issues that come into play while he is asleep. None of the issues by themselves would be causing issues but combined, they do.

First, when he falls asleep his tongue falls back into his mouth pushing his tonsils over part of his airway.  Second, his arytenoids are partially prolapsing. (This is a piece of cartilage near the vocal cords.) Third, the muscle at the back of the tracheal rings is flopping partially into his airway. Each of these things takes a little bit of his airway away while he is sleeping and the result is that he has to work harder to breathe than he should. This might explain the constant waking and a sleepy mommy. 

The plan is to have a sleep study done to see how serious the issues are while he is aleep – how hard he really is working, what his oxygen levels are, if he is sleep deprived, etc. From there we will make a plan moving forward. We could take a watch and wait approach or we may need to intervene surgically by either removing the tonsils and/or lasering down the arytenoid cartilage.

We  also learned that Parker has a testicular hernia that will require a surgical repair. We are working with Cincinnati Children’s to try to coordinate the sleep study and the surgery for the same trip. I hate to laugh at my son’s big, blue man parts but really, all Ian and I can think is that only this kid would get that . . . The stories we will tell him someday!!!

Our new favorite movie is “Everyone’s Hero.” So, in the words of Brooks & Dunn . . . we’ll “Keep on Swinging.”

1 Response to “Some updates . . .”

  1. 1 Bonnie Lang February 28, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Just keep doing what you are doing! Sounds like Parker is making strides, however how small they may seem. To him, they are probably coming by leaps & bounds! Yes, you certainly will have some stories to tell him later on in life. Certainly why mom’s hair has turned gray prematurely would be at the top of the list! Continued good luck!

    Uncle Merle & Aunt Bonnie

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