Sunday, May 22, 2005

Eating Disorder

Michael has a swallow disorder, pharyngeal stage swallowing difficulties, which basically means that he has an abnormal swallow reflex. He had a videofluroscopy done, at GOS Hospital in London. The video showed that Michael stores food in his mouth, and when it hits the back of his mouth/throat his swallow reflex is absent, so Michael literally has to slide food so far down his throat before the reflex actually kicks in and takes over.

This has left him with major problems when it comes to lumpy and solid food. Anything he eats orally has to be a smooth consistency. Lumpy and solids when they hit the back of his throat set off his gag reflex, and result in him vomiting.

We have struggled since Michael was 11 months old to get him to eat anything other than pureed foods. When we moved onto second stage baby foods, the lumps would hit the back of his throat and make him gag, and vomit.... He then became aware enough to know that what he was eating in no way resembled what the rest of us were eating, so he had a plate of pureed and a plate the same as everyone else.... but it wasn't long before he practically stopped eating altogether.

Over the last 4 years the only things Michael has been able to swallow sucessfully have been yoghurts, soup, melt-in-the mouth foods, such as cheese puffs, weetabix, mashed potato, with lots of gravy, he does like his gravy my son!! Anything he has eaten has had to be soft and almost puree texture. So for him to take a 'solid' boiled egg, and to remove pieces small enough for him to be able to chew and swallow is amazing!!

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