Today was a big milestone for Grayson: he had his first bite of food in 6 years! G stopped eating in the fall of 2011, when he had an NG tube for 7 weeks. As much as we tried, after a year of fighting to drink milk and eat food, only to throw up almost every bit, he was just done. So we didn’t push it. He gets all his calories and nutrients through his formula in his G-tube.
G has been working with an amazing speech therapist twice a week for a year now, and his progress has been slow but steady. She does a lot of oral stimulation to train his tongue, lips and mouth what to do to make sounds as well as to swallow. G is having a swallow study done in a few weeks to determine if it’s safe for him to start pleasure feeding trials. He most likely won’t ever eat for calories or nutrition, but we are hoping he can start eating purees for fun and to participate in meals with his family.
G’s therapist suggested we start practicing for the swallow study, so the introduction of food doesn’t freak him out. So today, she gave him 5 teeny bites of applesauce as well as a little bit of water on a spoon. He spit a lot of it out but did swallow some! His first reaction to the applesauce is so funny, but it must be quite a shock having not tasted any food in 6 years!
I will admit I got a little emotional watching him do something that I thought he would never do again. It also brought back happier memories of feeding Grayson, like the first time he ate rice cereal at 6 months old.
I’m so excited for Grayson and what this could mean for his quality of life. It’s a small thing that today feels really really big.