Well, the 4mm version of my trach tube is just too small. It is letting air into my mouth, but just as much comes out around the tube flange when I plug the tube hole. So, still not enough pressure to cough. I did a barium swallow study, and was borderline. On the one hand, still had aspiration all the way down to my tube. On the other hand, I have a very good cough reflex and am aware of this happening, so as long as I can cough a little stronger, I should be good to start trying to eat.
Plan now is to move me back up to a 6mm fenestrated, cuffless version. Fenesters are windows. Basically, this will have the same outer diameter as before, which did mostly block air from coming around the outside of the trach tube. But it has window slots cut into it that allows air to move into the natural airway. If this works…bring me pizza!
Actually, the swallow therapist (actually technically a speech language pathologist, but she does swallows, too), was ok with me carefully trying real food…after I discuss it with the ENT team and if they agree. But, this was before the new trach tube plan. I think after it goes in, almost certainly will be able to give food a chance.
Only thing I was disappointed in was that I’m definitely here until Monday (which means late Monday). I’m not entirely clear on why. Something about needing a swimming pool for the new wing (which they are building outside my hospital room, now…I can hear the cranes moving). I’m itching to get out of here, now.