On Thursday, Bob and I went to the hospital for a swallow video study. I had been praying that he would "pass" this test and be able to begin eating and drinking again. Right now, he has a "peg tube" which is a feeding tube surgically inserted into his stomach and nutrition is provided to him via tube feedings of a liquid called "Jevity". He gets three separate Jevity feedings each day, plus he is hooked to a pump at night for a continuous 12-hour feeding. He is "NPO" which means nothing by mouth, so he is not allowed to eat or drink, which I know is very frustrating for him. He is allowed to have a dental "toothette" sponge, that he can wet and moisten his mouth with, but that is all.
The results of swallow test were dismal. Unfortunately, it seems that anything he swallows is getting stuck in the pockets at the back of his throat, and from there slips into his lungs
as he is unable to cough or clear his throat--these reflexes having been damaged by the stroke. The therapist who did the swallow study told me that although the results were not promising to give it "a total of six months" before giving up hope and to continue the e-stim (electrical stimulation) therapy on his throat.
This is all very discouraging as the Swallow Therapist thought he was doing so well. From outward appearances, it does look like he's swallowing without difficulty. They call this "silent aspiration" and it can be deadly.
So, three more months to go with Swallow Therapy. Those of you who are inclined to pray or meditate, please keep Bob in your thoughts and prayers, that he may learn to swallow again.
On top of this, he's developed a new pressure sore, this one on the heel of his left foot (that's his "good" side") and this sore is causing great difficulty as he is no longer able to practice standing as they do not want the pressure sore to get worse.
On Wednesday, he had a nerve block injection in his jaw. He's been having mysterious mouth pain, the doctor can't see anything wrong, x-rays show nothing, so it has been thought to be caused by nerve damage from the stroke. We were hoping this injection would eliminate the pain, but it hasn't. So, he's going back to Pain Management on Monday for another injection.
On Thursday morning, Bob woke up vomiting. And has been having stomach problems ever since. No one can tell me why, which has me worried.
And, the car broke down. I guess when it rains, it pours.
It's Sunday and a new week begins. And I must keep positive. Yikes. So, I will end this post by counting our blessings. I am especially grateful for Bubba, our excellent car mechanic/friend, who once again pulled The Green Machine from death's door and got her running, and for Chris, our wonderful neighbor, who sits with Bob when I have to do things like screw around with the car. I am grateful that Bob has been moving his right leg a little better and for hearing him say a new phrase this week, which was: "I see you. I seeee yooou. Yes, I do!" when he spied our Siamese cat, Zenith, peaking around the corner at him.