Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 146: Emptying

We survived the second of our gastric imaging tests.  It was about a thousand times easier than the gastric emptying study.  Based on our experience with the emptying study, I'd brought a new toy and some books with us to keep Lemon distracted and happy.  The plan back-fired slightly in that the new toy that I brought was much more complicated to put together than I thought (Playmobil tractor, about 1000 pieces, some the size of a match stick).  Then the imaging test itself went so fast that Lemon couldn't even really get down off the table, so he was a bit frustrated that his new toy (or the 3 pieces of it that I'd managed to throw together plus the 997 other ones) was sitting on the floor where he couldn't reach it.  I gave him a wheel to hold onto during the test and that seemed to placate him at least long enough for the images to be taken.

We'd been told that Lemon would be given barium as a contrast agent, but they ended up going with iodine instead.  I had the pleasure of teaching the radiology chief resident how to connect and use a g-tube extension, and then he pumped 50mL of an iodine suspension into Lemon and started taking pictures.  The long and short of it is that the results of both this test and the earlier one were normal.  His anatomy is normal, no reflux that they could see, and his liquid emptying rate is normal.  They can't say anything about the solid emptying rate unless he's willing to eat solid food for the tests, so when he's in high school perhaps we'll learn the answer to that question.  In the mean time, when he's sick next there is a medication we can try to help speed the movement of things through his digestive tract.  Of course, that's probably what we would have done without all these imaging tests anyhow, although now I guess we have the reassurance that at least his anatomy is all good. 

Anyhow, that closes the chapter on GI for the moment, and with any luck on Wednesday we will close the chapter on his arm with our final visit to orthopedics.  Then, undoubtedly, we will begin some new chapter that will require bimonthly visits to the hospital.  But, for the moment, I'm looking forward to clearing a few things off our plate!

We're a little sparse on photos this week because for the last 5 days I've had both kids by myself while Papa Bear traveled to a conference.  It was definitely extremely busy, to take care of two very little kids plus do all the extra stuff that Lemon needs.  Nona and Opa were heroes as always, giving me a few much-needed breaks.  Overall, though, I felt pretty empowered by the experience.  We all survived, and even enjoyed ourselves most of the time.  It's definitely easier with two adults in the house but when push comes to shove I really can do it and have a good time at the same time.  It only involves some minor concessions like giving up cooking adult food, reducing personal hygiene to a fairly minimalist program, and making peace with the fact that reading anything longer than a typical newspaper headline is simply not happening.  Suffice it to say, I'm glad that Papa Bear is back!

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