We All Love to Eat!
We all know how uncomfortable we are at the dentist: mouth open, doctor doing work, a pool of spit gathering in the back of our throat, we struggle to swallow in an attempt to manage it. This is what it’s now like for Kenan 24/7. In November, when he was 9-months old he lost his ability to “functionally swallow”, take in nourishment by mouth without the risk of choking and/or aspirating. Since then, he’s been fed exclusively through his g-tube. Enter his speech and swallow therapist, to help us, help him, continue to explore the world and gain pleasure from oral stimulation and to keep him using those muscles for as long as possible. We offer Kenan tastes and smells throughout the day, dipping q-tips into various juices, smoothies, sauces, jams, frosting, chocolate, etc. When appropriate, he also samples what we are eating for dinner. He LOVES it and so do we. Some of his favorites: Sara Knizhik’s Bolognese sauce, barbeque sauce with hints of gouda cheese, cilantro and chicken from the barbeque chicken pizza we make (yes, very sophisticated!), hot fudge, and blueberry anything. He’s probably the only baby to sample an occasional taste of wine and beer (why the hell not?!). We move slow and observe him closely making sure there is no risk of choking. Our suction machine is always close by to assist if he becomes overwhelmed.
Tastes Picture: Hot Fudge Sauce, Blueberry Smoothie, Papaya Juice, Strawberry Jam, Odwallla Super Food , and a Cherry Sucker.
Smells Pictured: Ginger Root, Clementines, Lemons, Coffee, Chili Powder, Cocoa Powder, Cloves, and Caraway Seeds.