We took Garren for a follow up visit to the EENT this past Tuesday. Using a scope to watch the inside of Garren's throat, he concluded that he doesn't see any change in Garren's swallow since the last time he saw us about 3 months ago. Needless to say, that was discouraging to hear.
He went on to inform us that Garren's current speech therapist recommends that we discontinue therapy for swallowing, because she isn't seeing any improvement either.
I asked about next steps. What else can we do? Who else can we talk to? Is there anything else we can try? It's as though they know (or think they know) in their heads that Garren will not likely swallow again, but they don't have the heart to tell us. So they keep trying.
Several months ago we had discovered an intense swallow therapy called the McNeil program. It's a 3 week, 5 days a week intensive swallowing therapy that has seen good results in many patients. We had searched high and low, and the only location we could find that would even consider seeing Garren was in Atlanta. When we asked the doc about the McNeil program, he said "Sure, that's what we do here." Ever have one of those moments where you want to throw your arms up in the air and say "When were you going to tell us about it?" I didn't say that, as badly as I wanted to...
So he offered to refer us to one of his therapists. Of course we jumped at the opportunity. His scheduler came in a few minutes later and informed us that the next available appointment was January 24. That's 6 weeks! She was kind enough to add us to the waiting list, in case someone cancelled an appointment.
Friday we got a call that an appointment had been cancelled. So we rearranged our schedule and got Garren over there. The speech therapist assessed Garren, and decided that even though Garren's case doesn't show a lot of hope, she would continue to see him and take him through the 3 week program. He starts January 23rd.
So we will try this now. Let's pray for some kind of progress.