We have learned over the past three months that nothing about Graham is predictable. He is a man on his own schedule. But given that, we hope to make the trip home sometime this coming week. The perfect scenario, however, is not going to happen. Graham's swallow test yesterday did not go as well as anticipated. The fluoroscope showed that when Mr. G swallows breast milk, he aspirates a bit. This means that he must continue to get his nutrition through the NG (nasogastric)tube. We will continue this feeding process when we go home and will reevaluated in about four weeks. G is up to 70ml of fortified breast milk every four hours and is gaining weigh every day. The docs will continue to increase his intake, in 5ml increments, to the desired 90ml. Because of this increase in breast milk, Graham is almost completely weaned off his TPN, which means his central line can be removed soon.
Graham may also go home with a breathing assist. His fast breathing rate is still a problem and may necessitate oxygen through a cannula.
These interrelated breathing and swallowing problems are a reminder of how much our Graham has gone through. His lungs were seriously damaged and they simply need more time to recover. He was also on a ventilator for five weeks, which meant those muscles involved in swallowing did not have a chance to develop properly. Luckily, all should heal in time.
Happy Birthday, Katie!