The day finally came for Ally’s speech videofluroscopy. She needed to have it done so that her speech therapist and plastic surgeon could check the movement and length of her soft palate and decide what needs to be done next. We made this appointment a month ago and I have been gently prepping her for it. I knew she would have no problems sitting through the X-ray, but the barium insertion was another story. They would insert a small tube into her nostril and she would have to swallow the barium, this allows the structures in the mouth and throat to be clearly seen on the X-ray. Ally is good with most medical procedures but I knew this would be stretching her limits. She was scared and asked if it would hurt, I didn’t lie to her, I just told her it would be uncomfortable.
Her speech therapist asked her to lie down on the X-ray table and showed her the syringe and tube which would go into her nose. First she dropped one tiny drop, Ally swallowed it without any problems. I was a bit alarmed to see that she had drawn out 5ml of the solution, in my mind I was thinking there is no way Ally was going to let her insert that much!
Then the time came for the real thing. She pumped a little bit more liquid into her nose, as expected Ally gagged and struggled. Her whole face turned red but she didn’t cry, we had her favourite penguin beside her and I was holding onto her hand. Once she swallowed that liquid we had to do the other nostril. Again she gagged and spat some of it out , it was clearly uncomfortable for her but she held back her tears. Luckily she had swallowed enough and we didn’t have to subject her to it anymore.
Once they got her into position, she had to repeat the phases that her therapist said. Oh, did I forget to mention that we had to remove her earrings? This cause more tears and drama than the barium insertion itself! She finally allowed me to take them off and we could continue with the X-ray. It was really cool watching all of it on the TV, I could see all her bones, the structure of her mouth, and lots of other things that I couldn’t identify. From the X-ray you could clearly see that her lower jaw has still some way to catch up with the upper. Once the lateral view was done, her therapist decided that we needed to insert more barium. Since she cried when I had to remove her earrings, her tears had diluted the solution and it wasn’t showing up clearly on the X-rays. When they gently explained it to her, you could see she was very upset but she bravely held back her tears and nodded her head. My heart went out to her , she behaved so bravely and maturely for her age. It went a lot smoother the 2nd time round, I guess she knew what to expect and didn’t gag so much.
After the whole procedure was done, we bought her a present as promised and told her how proud we all were of her. She still has a nasal scope coming up at the end of the month, I’m hoping that would go as smoothly as the X-ray.