Once again, I didn’t go to one of Maria’s appointments and it was bad news. That seems to happen a lot when I don’t go.
The feeding therapist wants to start Maria on VitalStim therapy. (Incidentally, that’s a really crappy website) to help her dysphagia (her trouble swallowing). It involves mild electrical stimulation of her throat muscles to build them up and get them working properly.
I understand the use of electrical stimulation on muscles and I’m less freaked out about that part than Cathy is. The real problem is that they want to do it 4 times a week for 5 weeks. They can’t schedule us until November and that means we would be juggling these 4 appointments, her 5 therapy appointments, preschool, plus the usual agenda of doctor visits and other miscellania like sleeping and eating. If it is at the children’s hospital, that’s an hour and a half of driving each day. They might be able to get us into a closer facility, but it’s still a heck of a lot. The nanny doesn’t drive on the highway and Manolis doesn’t have a good car, so either me or Cathy would have to do the driving.
It has a high success rate. The feeding therapist or possibly one of her colleagues has followed 50 kids and 48 of them have had improvement in swallowing, so that’s 96%. The website claims 98.4% success.
With 5 months to stew over it, maybe Maria will get scared suddenly start drinking better. The threat of the g-tube helped two years ago so maybe that’s all the incentive she needs. We still suspect she only PRETENDS she can’t understand us
Maria has had so much trouble with the honey thickness milk that she isn’t getting enough fluid every day. Cathy has cut the thickness back a bit and she’s doing better. The feeding therapist says we need to stay on honey for a few days, but it’s just impossible to get her to drink enough. Even the lower thickness Cathy is giving her is still WAY thicker than what she used to get so we will continue to do that despite the therapist’s advice.