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A Plan for Decan -- Originally Published March 5, 2008

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hey, y'all. We're taking a quick break from Michael's travel log to bring you some medical news. We took a trip to see Dr. B________ today. Dr. B is the pediatric ENT that Michael sees for trach-related monitoring, and he was the next step on the process of eventually getting this trach tube out of our little man.

Well, good news. Dr. B sees no reason why Michael can't be tested for decanulation ("getting the trach out"). The current plan we are working toward is to have Michael checked into the hospital PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) for a couple of days in April. While there, he will have a bronchoscopy and have his trach capped all day and night (possibly for two days) to see whether he can handle it without problems with his 02 levels or his CO2 levels.

Anyway, Dr. B sees no reason not to proceed. It was really a quick and uneventful visit, with no big issues. Ultimately, the decision is Dr. Pulm's, but Dr. B's attitude was "He has to bite the bullet and do it sometime." He also told us we were in great hands with Dr. Pulm, which we already knew. We discussed for a few seconds intermediate steps like downsizing or something, but again, the approach seemed to be to just "go for it" and give the little man a chance to prove to us what he can do. Tongue control may still be an issue during sleep, as Michael's airway is still small, but Dr. B says that it is amazing what the body will know how to do to protect itself.

Interestingly enough, Dr. B says that there may be a possibility of doing the test by removing Alex's trach altogether rather than capping. As he pointed out (and we have pointed out many times), it's hard to breath with a small airway and a big ol' tube down your throat. Per Dr. B, "if there is a problem, just put the trach tube back in." We have a funny feeling that Dr. Pulm won't go for that idea, but we'll see. We go back to him next week.

Finally, on the medical note, Dr. B took a look at what we think might be a small fistula (hole) at the part of the mouth where the hard palate meets the soft palate. Like us, he isn't sure. There is a dimple there, but no one can tell if it goes the whole way through or is just a dimple. Either way, he isn't worried about it (and neither are we). It is what it is, as we figured he would say.

And, on the food note, Michael keeps eating more and more solid foods daily. What a champ. He has actually eaten a whole jar in one sitting, and he is getting better every day. This is one thing we are GLAD didn't stay in Vegas.

More from Michael's travel journal tomorrow.


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