The three of us just returned from Liam’s VIP clinic appointment. Although Liam is a very important person the initials in this case refer to the Ventilator Integration Program. We meet with a number of Liam’s services at once here and it makes it much easier than having to visit them all in separate appointments. Today it was his pulmonologist, a pediatrician who is following Liam’s case (though is not Liam’s “pediatrician” proper) a speech pathologist and his neurologist. Liam did great.
The appointment went very smoothly and there are no major changes to his care but we were able to take a very encouraging and exciting step forward today. We got to hear Liam’s voice again! The first time since he had his trach put in last July. The trach that Liam wears has what’s called a cuff that inflates to fully block his airway from air escaping during both inhalation and exhalation. Today we deflated his cuff which opens up the space around the trach tube to airflow, thereby letting air pass by his vocal chords again. Its the first step towards using a speech valve in his ventilator tube which would let him use his voice more often but for today it was just a trial to ensure that his lungs could handle the extra work of staying inflated on their own. He passed with flying colors. He gave us a groan to let us know he still had a voice.
The whole process will take a few months before we get a schedule to wear his speech valve but today was a great first step.
I wasn’t planning on this post being much more than a quick wave hello while I wait for Karin to get back from the gym; But I do have pictures from yesterday when we took a family trip to the zoo! We saw animals from all over the world. Liam’s favorite?? The geese found outside the zoo in the parking lot. That kid of mine.