Impedance Probe

Tomorrow’s the day.  We’ll get up so early that even the roosters are still asleep, drive up to Primary Childrens Hospital and watch as a reflux monitoring device is threaded down his nose to his esophagus. .  Yes.  Tomorrow is Impedance Probe Wednesday.

One of my biggest concerns is that no matter how well they tape the tubing of this probe to the side of Parker’s face, the minute we walk back through our front door, he’ll have pulled it right back out.

In which case I just might share a few choice words as I haul a million dollar butt back up to have it replaced.

A little boy with down syndrome 2

What does an Impedance probe… know…..actually do?

Good question.  Gather around boys and girls and I’ll try to explain.

A pH Impedance Probe is a thin wire with probes to detect pH level (if acid reflux is present, a low pH will be recorded) and to detect non-acidic reflux. Some children have non-acidic reflux, and an impedance probe will detect reflux with low or high pH.

The probe wire is threaded through the nose and into the esophagus. The most common type of impedance probe is placed just above the lower esophageal sphincter. The placement is usually verified by X-Ray. Some impedance probes have two sensors: one at the lower esophageal sphincter, and another higher up to detect reflux which may reach the airway.

Another type of impedance probe is the “airway” pH probe. This probe is threaded through the nose and placed just behind the uvula. This probe does not detect liquid reflux. Instead, this 24 hour pH probe detects tiny droplets of acid reflux in the airways of a child with laryngo-pharyngeal reflux disease (also known as extra-esophageal reflux disease or “silent reflux”).

Okay, I may have totally cheated and got this info from

A little boy with Down syndrome

I have serious doubts about this test.  But I’m playing along to show that I’m a good sport.  Parker has passed all kinds of tests like this in the past, even though we now know he was indeed refluxing himself into some serious lung disease.  It makes me a wee bit prickly when I try to explain this to the surgeon, who, for whatever reason, cannot believe that one of HIS Nissens could ever have slipped.

Oh.  And did I mention we are interviewing new surgeons too?  Watching my son fall through one crack after another makes me even pricklier.

What can I say?  I prefer Parker breathing.

We plan on taking great care to make sure we place Parker in every possible position for the 24 hours that we will be on Probe Patrol.  If this kid is refluxing it is so important that we get the data to prove it.

In order to keep him from pulling the probe out we’ll be blowing up the water wings and installing them on Parker’s arms for the eternity it will seem like he will spend undergoing this test.

Please send up some prayers that the results we get will be trustworthy.  Parker next line of treatment depends on it.

Don’t miss our first installment of how we use essential oils in the home!

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