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Life With a Crumb Finding Aspirator

Submitted by kim on Mon, 09/22/2014 - 12:59 in Lessons for Mom, Nathaniel's Story

Every crumb on my floor has the potential of ending up in Nathaniel's lungs.

I type that sentence and do not know what else to say. There should be something funny inserted here. But facing the gravity of life with this child, I struggle to keep it light. Twice today he has picked something up off the floor, put it in his mouth, and then had a coughing spell that required immediate suctioning.

Daily I am realizing new ways the fact that Nathaniel aspirates will affect our lives. And how out of the ordinary it is not to be able to eat anything. A playmate's veggie straw snack can not be shared. Explain that to two toddlers who heard "Let's share," for most of their play date. Sometimes things make so little sense that repeatedly stomping your feet is the most logical answer.

Now that I have seen Nathaniel swallow on video x-ray I understand his clinical symptoms better. I understand why his first bites of food or sips through the straw went well and then the coughing and vomiting. I understand why he would continue to cough and vomit for an hour after we finished eating. Once food and fluid get under the epiglottis, it must sit on the laryngeal webbing and stenosis for an extended time slowing emptying through the small opening and into his lungs. I understand why he seems to have cycles of coughing and vomiting. The vomiting must increase the fluid under the epiglottis. Aspirating leads to more aspirating.

Mostly I wonder how this little one has made it this long without a more serious complication or illness. Sometimes only when I see a fuller picture of the brokenness do I really understand the power of God.

Photos from our apple picking this weekend.