Saturday, June 4, 2011
These two pictures really tell the story of why we're having to go through these terrible surgeries with Katie. The otolaryngologist here, Dr. K Johnson,gave us photographic evidence to help us understand better than we've even understood in the past. The top photo is looking down her airway once you get past the obstructions - it looks very good, and is wide open. (You can even see the trach stoma - the white plastic). However, take a look at the 2nd shot. On you or I, this shot would be wide open, showing the voicebox, which you can barely start to see the base of in Katie. But this shot was taken with the Dr. pulling Katie's jaw outward as hard as he could, and yet, this is all the opening he could get. As soon as he let the jaw go into it's natural place, this small opening completely collapses - they can't even get a microspcopic probe through there without pulling her jaw forward because the whole structure closes off completely! So, the lower jaw distraction (the one we're dealing with right now), will make the opening look like the picture, which is a marked improvement, but still not enough. The upper jaw distraction, which tentatively happens 6 July, will further increase that opening to more what yours and my openings look like. She had a much better night last night, but is on a LOT of pain meds. She still gets very uncomfortable between doses, but she has started showing interest in computer games, TV movies, etc., so things are improving. I actually got 4 hours of sleep last night!