This photo describes Joshuas and our lives from 3 months to 9 months of age. Ever since the day Joshua came home from the hospital I could tell something was off. During his feedings, he’d gag, choke, cough, turn extremely red with a blueish tint. It was terrifying. In the first 3 months of his life, I brought him to his pediatrician 18 times for this issue. I was told “it’s just reflux”, “he’ll outgrow this”, “you’re really young and this is your first child, we know more”. Let me tell you they gave me the run around people… but mother knows best. Eventually, I’d had enough and had them refer us to a GI specialist. Dr. Dykes was the first doctor to listen to my concerns and act accordingly. She ordered an OPMS aka “swallow study”. It turns out Joshua was aspirating his milk, so instead of going down his esophagus to his stomach, it was slipping through his lyrnx making it way to his lungs. As soon as we found this out Joshua was hospitalized at our local children’s hospital, and placed on an NG tube. We stayed for 2 nights. During this stay, Derek and I were responsible for soaking up as much knowledge as we could out Joshua’s condition and everything Ng tube related. When Joshua was discharged from the hospital Dad and I were in charge of replacing the NG tube at least every 10 days from home. It was a long process that I won’t even get into. The older Joshua got the more handsy he got. He ended up pulling out his feeding tube more times than I can count. After a while, it became a problem because getting the NG tube in was a 2 man job. Dr. Dykes recommenced placing a bridle. The bridle did its job… until it didn’t. Eventually, the tube clogged from the bridle and the bridle was something Derek and I could not mess with. We went to a children’s ER and they removed the bridle and placed a new clog-free tube. At this point, we decided not to replace the bridle because Joshua had a repeat OPMS coming up 2 weeks out. We were about 5 months into Joshua being on the NG tube here. At the OPMS study, it showed no aspiration and we were given the OK to start tube weaning. It only took Joshua about 2 weeks to get off the NG tube.
It’s almost been a year now since Joshua has been feeding tube free! We still occasionally go to feeding therapy due to thin liquids penetrating his lyrnx. We thicken his water with something called Simply Thick. Other than this he’s all healed! Doctors say it was a developmental delay. I’m just so happy it didn’t take very told for Joshua to get over that BIG hump.