Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Days Are Here Again! (First Post Written By Jordan)

Pictures 1 & 2: Happy Valentine's Day!
Picture 3: Kenzie playing with her new friend Emilyean
Picture 4: Yet another buggy ride!
Picture 5: The shirt we bought Kenzie at Ra Sushi :Future Sushi Lover!

Well, it's Valentine's Day and Kenzie has given us the greatest gift! Excuse me for the cheesy title of this post, but it's the first time i've written and i can't really contain my (our) excitement. I arrived in Baltimore yesterday in time for lunch. It was the first meal i was able to watch in about a week. I knew Kenzie had some good meals while i was gone, but i wasn't really in store for how well she was doing. Yesterday at lunch and dinner, Kenzie ate 2 ounces of food in about 15 minutes without gagging or vomiting. Something must have clicked in the past few days, but kenzie swallowed the food as soon as it went into her mouth. Just 4 weeks ago, we would get excited if Kenzie opened her mouth to allow a dry spoon in her mouth. Now, she's eating 2oz of food!

Today was Valentine's day and, of course, Kenzie dressed the part. She ate well at breakfast so at lunch, her therapists changed it up a bit. Instead of giving her a toy to play with after each swallow, they used the incentive after 2 swallows. This hopefully would shorten Kenzie's meal and allow them to increase the volume at dinner, if she did well. At lunch, we couldn't believe our eyes. No vomits, no gags- but better yet, Kenzie ate 2oz of food in only 8 minutes. After nearly a year and a half, Kenzie finally looked like she was eating like a normal kid. Although we still have a long way to go and lot of therapy to endure, we were simply overwhelmed.

At dinner, the therapists increased her volume to 3oz and added corn for the first time. Amy and I looked on in complete disbelief. Kenzie opened wider than she ever has for every bite and swallowed every bite as soon as it entered her mouth. Kenzie ate so quickly her therapists stopped using the timer. As the therapist's looked on in shock, we were hysterically laughing in the observation room because it was so comical. The food couldn't go in fast enough. We couldn't believe this was our child! It was such a moment of satisfaction. We can't tell you how proud we are at the progress Kenzie has made. Our little girl has been through so much, yet you would never know it. She's such a happy kid with an incredible affect. What a great Valentine's Day gift our daughter has just given us!

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