Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Glimmer of Hope

They say it is a marathon not a sprint.

Leo has mastered turning the timer on and off at the start and finish of each session.
Leo will now open his mouth and accept a spoon.
Leo will move the food around in his mouth.
Leo will lay his tongue flat, when accepting the spoon, making swallowing easier.

These are all things Leo couldn't do 12 days ago. We are halfway through our time here, progress has been slow, but there has been progress.

We are now focusing in on the swallow.  This means fewer bites per session, which means less volume, but we are pushing Leo to close his lips, swallow and totally empty his mouth after every spoonful.  There is loud cheering and clapping when he swallows.  To be honest, it is a battle, as he will hold the liquid in his cheek, cry, carry on, flail and wail until he finally swallows it. We are only getting about 7 spoonfuls in, in a 12 minute session. Most of the time is spent waiting for the delayed swallow.

Today we may have turned a corner. Today Leo took in about 3 ounces total. The difference with the ounces today versus yesterday was todays swallows were more deliberate.  He actually took in the 3 ounces with less spoonfuls.  In previous days 3 ounces took at least 14  spoonfuls each session. Today we averaged about 7 spoonfuls a session and still got 3 ounces in total.  His swallows were more immediate and deliberate.  We are praising God for this glimmer of hope.

Please pray that tomorrow we continue to go forward.  That his swallow becomes even more automatic and deliberate and that he continues to become less defensive.  We still have a long way to go but we are cheering for the hopeful steps Leo made today.

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