Last time the study revealed that the epiglotis wasn't working. The epiglotis is what folds down to cover your airway when you swallow. Also, last time, the substance slid to the back of his throat, and sliped right into his airway - no cough, no reaction of any kind.
So this time we weren't really sure what to expect. They got him all set up, put me and Nancy behind the lead wall of safety, and we watched the tv monitor with anticipation. The therapist put the pudding his mouth, and Garren started to swallow. He was able to control it, and push it to the back of his throat. He tried several times, you could see him pushing. But eventually it spilled over into his airway.
There are a series of sphincters that lead from the back of the mouth to the esophagus. When food hits this area, these sphincters work to push the food downward, into the esophagus, and then into the stomach. These sphincters didn't move at all.
The good news is, there was more control and more movement in Garren's mouth as he tried to push the pudding down. What we are seeing is the result of the injury to his brain. It's a neurological issue, and it still has time to heal. We will continue to work with therapy. One of his doctors said "This is not the timet o back off." We are in a crucial phase, and we have to throw everything we can at this. So we will.
His speech therapist has been great. She did some research and has found a couple of programs that we are looking into.
Thanks for continuing to pray. Pray that Garren's connection between his brain and his throat continues to heal. Pray that the connection will rebuild, that his swallow will heal.