It's been a week since we brought Little Quinn home from the hospital after his bout with bronchitis, and he's pretty much all better now. For a few days his throat was unquestionably bothering him; he's always been one to cough and spit a lot, due to secretions issues that we still haven't fully worked out, but in the wake of suffering bronchitis and being intubated, his poor little throat was, I'm sure, as raw as the ground beef at The Store. So every time he'd cough, he'd follow up with this horrible-sounding moan. But that seems to have gone away, mostly.
He's also been recently cleared to start experimenting with tastes in his mouth, on a limited basis. This is the first step toward our possibly one day being able to get him off his G-tube feedings and onto a more normal diet. That will still be a long and hard climb, but one step at a time, over and over again, until you're standing atop the Matterhorn.
The other new development is that we have just started using a pump to assist with his G-tube feedings. Little Quinn's caloric needs are becoming such that it's just practical for us, in terms of the time investment, to continue with the gravity-assisted bolus feedings we've been doing ever since we brought him home from the hospital the first time. In fact, the pump is feeding Little Quinn as I'm writing this, which is sort of nice -- and this frees us up not just timewise, but it will help his therapies, too. For instance, we can do taste experiments (putting a few drops of nectarine juice into his mouth, for instance) while the machine is feeding him; the desired effect here is to teach his brain to associate oral stimulation with the sensation of his stomach becoming full. The stuff they have to think of these days.
And finally, Little Quinn has started making vocal noises that are, so far as we can tell, not related in any way to any discomfort he is suffering. It's a different kind of sound, but we're currently sticking with our hopeful hypothesis: at nearly a year old, Little Quinn is starting to coo.
(Nearly a year old. Wow.)