A Swallow Study, A Bronchioscopy, and Ear Tubes Oh My!

Last week, Jax had his swallow study to check to see if he aspirates while he’s eating. This was a test to try to find (or rule out) a cause for Jax’s lung issues. Sometimes when kids aspirate on their food, it can cause lung infections, wheezing, and coughing. So – it made sense, based on Jax’s symptoms, to check it out.

Jax is such a tough little dude. He just rolls with the punches. Even when he isn’t allowed to eat, he becomes resourceful and starts eating his hands. Here he is in the waiting room wondering “where the heck is breakfast?”

Eating Hands

Check out the cool set up for the swallow study. They placed Jax in a special booster seat that allowed them to see the food and take Xrays as it went down.

Getting Ready for the Swallow Study

Then, they pulled a type of curtain (which was the actual Xray machine) out so they could take the Xrays. He wasn’t so sure about that one…

meh

We knew the results immediately – Jax does not aspirate while he’s eating. This is good news! But, I’ll admit, I was almost hoping it would show something that could be a reason for Jax’s lung problems.

Yesterday, we went to see our newest doctor, Dr. Sidman. Dr. Sidman is an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist who will help us find a solution to Jax’s issues. He discovered that Jax has some slight hearing loss due to a build-up of fluid in his ears. This is also the cause of Jax’s recurrent ear infections. So, he recommended that Jax gets tubes. Sounds good! Hopefully that will help reduce the number of ear infections that the little buddy has to deal with.

At the same time, Doc will also do a bronchioscopy to look at Jax’s airway. He will be looking for cysts, scar tissue, and or a narrowing of the airway. He said something interesting…he said that micropreemies can breathe with a tiny airway when they are small, but as they get bigger, sometimes the airways don’t grow along with them (because of cysts or scar tissue, or even small tears in the airway from the vent). So, he thinks that might be a possible reason why Jax’s breathing issues are getting somewhat worse the bigger he gets.

This will be only a diagnostic procedure. After the procedure, we will discuss any findings and the possible course of action.

So, the procedures are both easy – the total time will be about 20 minutes! The hard part will be Jax going under general anesthesia and spending the night again in the hospital (you all know how much I love that!). I’m actually glad, though, that Jax will have to stay overnight for observation because if he does have any trouble (i.e. breathing spells) we will be in good hands immediately.

So, that’s the plan going forward. I’m not sure when the surgeries will be scheduled yet, but I’ll keep you posted!

Little surfer dude having some fun in between all these doctors appointments!
Little surfer dude having some fun in between all these doctors appointments!
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Author: Andrea M

Oh man, what an adventure! I went into labor unexpectedly when I was 23w3d pregnant. Jaxson was born weighing 1 lb 8 oz. A tiny little peanut, but boy was he feisty. He still is! We love it now, but we probably won't when he is a teenager. I write about our journey and all other things that come with it, including a brain tumor. We look forward to "meeting" you - come hang out with us...we're pretty cool.

7 thoughts on “A Swallow Study, A Bronchioscopy, and Ear Tubes Oh My!”

  1. Good news, and not so bad news. My son had the recurring ear infections and a ruptured ear drum(not fun!) He too had hearing loss from this, but after tubes the ear infections stopped and by the time he was 6 his hearing loss had corrected itself. Hopefully the tubes will work the same and make for a happy boy. You are on such a learning curve with Jaxson, thankfully you have wonderful resources guiding you along the way. We will be saying some extra prayers and sprinkling lots of pixie dust for the little guy and you too as you prepare for another step in Jaxsons Journey!! SO great to see him sitting up so well by himself!

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    1. Yuk – a ruptured ear drum?! No fun at all – poor kiddo!! It’s good to know that his hearing came back and the ear infections stopped. Thanks for the extra pixie dust! Did I tell you this already? My nieces came over and they thought the “gazing” ball in the garden was the coolest thing. Hope you’re enjoying the sunshine today!

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  2. We got tubes when Cj was 3. Made a huge difference in his speech and hearing. Prior to that nobody could understand him. Crazy thing was he never had ear infections just had fluid. So glad they are acting quickly with jax hearing makes learning to talk so much easier. I hope they figure our something with am easy fix for his breathing. The action plan does make decisions easier on when to take him in. (we have one also, saves unneeded trips to the doctor.) Hope to see you thus soon and that he stray healthy after his fun weekend. So he and Isabella can have a play date.i am sure there are things they can tech each other

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    1. I know so many kids who have had tubes. I’m glad it worked for CJ! So far, Jax is showing NO signs of sickness after the weekend! 🙂 He’s a real crab, though. It always takes him a few days to recover from busy and stimulating days. A play date is in our near future, for sure! Let me know what works for you guys…

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