Tomorrow Jayden will undergo a surgery that we hope will totally change his life. He will have his submandibular glands removed as well as two salivary glands in the back of his mouth. These are the glands responsible for producing eighty to ninety percent of a person's saliva. This is also known as drool surgery.
When Jayden has his brain trauma at five weeks of age, in addition to all the other debilitating effects he also lost his ability to swallow, gag and most of his ability to protect his airway. This means that all the saliva that Jayden produces either comes out his mouth as drool and spit or it hangs out in his mouth and ends up going down into his lungs. When we initially brought Jayden home his secretions were bad but not unmanageable. After a few months it seemed like the medications that he had been useing to control the amount of secretions he created was loosing their effect.
When Jayden went under sedation to receive Botox to try to render those glands useless the team of doctors said they had never seen such bad aspiration. Literally -- saliva was pouring out his trach and trach stoma and he was needing constant suction. By the way, that Botox procedure did not work and no results were seen what so ever. Bummer.
So that brings us to this surgery. We are hoping that the amount of salivia will be drastically reduced and Jayden will be able to breath much better and much safer and not require the insane amount of suctioning that he requires now. Life changing.
These past two weeks Jayden has made a crazy amount of progress. I think I've said before that Jayden often seems to be in his own little bubble -- not really interacting with the world around him. These past few weeks he has really started to become more aware or at least show us that he is more aware. He has been doing some reciprocal play with Madison which is amazing to see. He is responding with excitement at being tickled and best of all he is now safely exploring the house and community in his walker!
We have been useing his walker at the pool, allowing him to safely enter the zero entry pool, allowing his feet to get wet while keeping his trach dry. He has also enjoyed running around the splash pad playing with the spraying water features -- pretty much being a regular kid and doing normal almost three year old stuff!
He has been using his walker at church and family picnics. Basically we are trying to get him off the ground and in a more age appropriate posture. It's amazing how much better he interacts with his environment if he is upright. Makes sense right?
Can't wait to get him to the other side of this surgery and recovery. I know it's gonna be worth it but it's always hard to watch them go through discomfort. He's a strong kid and this surgery can't knock our little fighter down!