Friday, May 20, 2011

Crackly Matt

Ever since Matt started going to day care, he's had a crackle. He kind of purrs sometimes. You listen to him, and you just want him to clear his throat. Only babies don't take direction like that, and they laugh at you for the funny sounds you make.

At first we thought it was a cold. But it didn't go away. We had one doctor tell us it was RSV, only the test revealed that it wasn't RSV (or any other virus for that matter). The crackle seemed to be in Matt's throat. Not his chest, not his head. He wouldn't have it in the morning upon waking, and it would get progressively worse during the day. After several attempts at different antibiotics didn't make any dent in the sound, we decided to go to the ENT (the same one we went to with Will.)

The ENT did a thorough exam of Matt, but of course because the appointment was in the morning, the crackle wasn't too bad. Towards the end of the appointment, though, Luke did something to make Matt angry, Matt started to cry, and the crackle started up. The ENT immediately got a scope, and looked up Matt's nose/down Matt's throat.

He couldn't really see anything, though. So he gave us some nasal steriods to see if they would help. We tried them for a couple of weeks. No change. We had to go down a new path.

After some careful ENT questioning and watching on our part, we realized that Matt coughs after he drinks. The tie in to starting day care is that is when he started using sippie cups - much higher flow than breast or bottle.

There are two trains of thought right now. The first is that there is something structurally wrong with his epiglottis and it isn't keeping fluid from going into his lungs when he drinks. The second is that there is some nerve immaturity in his throat, and he isn't clearing all of the fluid out of his throat when he drinks.

So the first step is a swallow study, to determine if he is actually getting any fluid into his lungs. I am actually not sure what the second step is right now. The swallow study is scheduled for this coming Monday. Yum, barium. We're old pros at swallow studies, having completed 2 with Will in the past couple of years. This will be a first for Matt though.

Though this might sound serious, neither us nor the ENT seems too concerned. If there is an issue with his epiglottis, there might be some minor surgery involved. If it is the nerve thing, then likely Matt will just grow out of sounding like a crackly cat.

Perhaps if we were different parents with different kids with an easier start to life, we would be concerned right now... but this just seems like a speed bump in the road. It is worth investigating, but nothing to be nervous about.

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