Tessa makes 3!

The adventures of a young couple starting a family, teaching each other and learning as we go, and having fun doing it!

December 2, 2010

Barium Swallow

This past Tuesday we had to take Tessa back to Des Moines for another test. Since she is still having apnea episodes that they didn't expect her to have at all, they want to rule out a few things. This test was at Methodist and it was a barium swallow. They were testing to see if she did in fact have a hiatal hernia. She got to have a sweet hospital gown, which was adorably huge and didn't really serve any purpose because it was too big to actually do anything. See? And she's flashing gang signs while she waits.

They gave her barium sulfate in a bottle, which is a metallic substance that shows up on x-rays. They watch her drink it and see how it goes down, fills the stomach, and then empties the stomach. I've had this test done before, and it is quite unpleasant. Think berry flavored chalk in milkshake form. Yum. And it messes up your bowels so much. Seriously, cramping, gas, and then BAM.... white, and I mean white like marshmallows, diarrhea for a day or two. It's quite uncomfortable. I felt terrible for my baby going through this, but dang, she took it like a champ. She chugged that bottle like she usually chugs milk.

Luckily the radiologist saw nothing abnormal in her anatomy, which ruled out the hernia. We had previously ruled out heart/lung problems with other tests, so this was great news. It looks like the culprit of her apnea episodes is reflux. We even saw the reflux during the barium swallow, it was pretty cool. I mean, cool in a medical way, not cool in a my baby's uncomfortable and has reflux kind of way. You know what I mean.

So now we've ruled out all the anatomical problems. The doctor thinks it is reflux that is the culprit. But, he said when she does reflux and have milk coming back up, her defense is to close both sides, meaning in order to keep the milk from coming up into her mouth, she closes the breathing side too, or something like that. So, she'll stay on the apnea monitor for a while until she grows out of it, which could be several weeks or several months. And, the doctor said we may be able to transition to her regular carseat soon! So, hopefully not much longer in this ridiculous thing!

See? Ridiculous. And it takes up over half the backseat in the car! Hopefully soon we'll be graduating!

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