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Our Pacifier Is a Health Hazard -- Originally Published December 7, 2007

Friday, June 25, 2010

Well, today is our day to see Dr. Plastic Surgeon. We'll keep you posted on what he says. But, in the meantime, I thought you all might like to know that we have a new reason to hate the dumb green pacifier.

Now, I understand that it is more anatomically appropriate for Michael's physiology -- the shape is longer and reaches his tongue, forcing more correct sucking motions than his favorites, and it is closer to the shape of the nipples he will be using after surgery. So, we do try during meals, but he can't hold it in by suck and needs to use his hands, and he isn't as coordinated with it as he is with the other one (and when he is tired, only the favorite will do). BUT, Michael accidentally discovered another downside to the device. That hole in the back where a finger can slip in also fits snugly over a trach tube when mommy's back is turned.

YES, you read that right. Michael was playing with the pacifier during a meal. I turned away to get the suction machine, and he had put the depressed part right over top of his trach. I thought it was odd that he had stopped making the raspy sound he makes when he breathes, and he looked scared but not yet panicking, so it took me a few more moments to react. After a few more heartbeats, I grabbed the pacifier and pulled it away from him, and he began gasping for air and sobbing. Poor little guy -- it was just like a passy-muir valve test! He really frightened himself. And the new lesson of the day -- NEVER LEAVE THE BABY ALONE WITH A GREEN PACIFIER!

And, the puzzle for the day for all of you with "fix it" brains, is this: how can I plug that hole without using something that will be unsafe? I could tape it, but Michael drools like a champ, and tape will not likely hold. The pacifier is rubbery-plastic, so there is no sewing anything to it. Staples are out of the question. What haven't I thought of?

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