Thursday, July 9, 2009

Upper GI

Since Nolan isn't a big fan of solid food, he is quite hungry when he wakes up in the morning. He usually cries until he gets his "nilt" (or milk, for the uninitiated). I knew this morning wouldn't be fun, but I also figured that his extreme desire for milk would cause him to drink the barium without incident.

We arrived at Buffalo Children's by 7:45- early for the procedure, but since we were the first ones on the list, I figured we might get in a tad early. Which was a good thing, since Nolan was screaming "NILT!" to anyone within earshot.

The technician took us back for the first X-ray (just a clean shot of his tummy, no barium involved yet) and I had to wait outside the door while Nolan freaked out and had his "picture taken." Then she gave him back to me, and we went to wait for the radiologist to show up so we could do the barium part of the procedure.

The technician told me that if he refused to drink enough barium, then they would have to insert an NG tube to get all the images they needed. I had all my fingers crossed that Nolan would drink that barium like crazy once they took him back for the scan.

The actual procedure takes about 30 minutes, and parents aren't allowed anywhere near the X-ray room during the process. The radiology tech came to take a history prior to the scan, and was shocked to see his weight. She said, "does he have a g-tube?" Yikes! No, he doesn't, but that set me on edge. Then the radiologist came in, saw the gastroparesis diagnosis, the failure to thrive, and the refusal to eat solid food. He said, "does he have a mickey?" The nurse said, "No, no g-tube." The radiologist shook his head and asked me why it had taken ten months to get a failure-to-thrive child in for an upper GI. I didn't want to go into the whole, "the pediatrician thought he would grow out of it" thing, so I told him that we had a very dedicated ENT who had pushed the work-up through.

They took Nolan and did the procedure, and then brought him back to me with one hearing aid out and covered in barium. Note to parents of hearing aid wearers who are getting an upper GI: take the aids out or protect them with Ear Gear! Luckily the aid is fine, though I think there might still be some barium residue in Nolan's ear. Turns out that Nolan is not enamoured with barium. They did have to use a naso-gastric tube to finish the scan.

We had to wait another half hour, then take another X-ray to ensure that the barium was moving out of the little guy's system. The tech had told us we would get the results the same day as the procedure, but after the procedure was run she told us that we would have to wait for the report to get written and then sent to our ENT. This means the results won't be available until Monday at the earliest, since the ENT will have to review them before I get the report over the phone.

We were finally free to go, and Nolan was happy to get some diluted fruit juice. After barium, I'm pretty sure that apple juice tastes pretty good!


Ericka said...

wow! what a stressful day! i hope you finally get some answers soon!

Connor's Mom said...

They had to use an NG tube with Connor too the last time he had one of these done. Can't say I blame the little guys for not wanting to drink the barium, though-- it doesn't exactly smell like it would taste wonderful.

I'm sorry they wouldn't let you back with him, and to be honest, kind of surprised! Guess every hospital has a different policy.

Hope the results are good.


Connor's Mom said...


You know, when they thought Connor might have gastroparesis, they talked about doing a pyloroplasty-- don't know if that's an option for you guys or not, but if they are thinking about putting in a g-tube they can usually do those procedures at the same time.


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh man, this kid is going to have a baby book that comes in multiple volumes!

Leah, you are surely earning your stars... hang in there :0) Whatever it is that ends up being at the bottom of this, you'll get there.

He may be "failing to thrive" in the physical growth department, but in every other arena he's doing wonderfully, thanks to his dedicated parents!


tammy said...

Wow ... I'm just catching up on my blogs from vacation and you sure have had a lot (still) going on. Here's to you Leah ... and all you have done trying to figure out what's going on with your little man! Hang in there ... I'll be thinking about you all and praying for some good results and final answers. For all the tests NOlan's been through, he sure is hanging in there and seems to always have a great smile on his face! What a trooper! BTW ... love the bw pic showing his blue ear molds!! Love him!