Yesterday, I noticed that she was chewing up a bite of her solid food, then spitting it back out. She did it at snack and at dinner, and both times she stopped eating afterward. She said the food was getting stuck in her mouth. I asked her what she meant and she said she was spitting it out because it wouldn't go down her throat. I asked her about her meals at school (breakfast and lunch) for the past couple of days and she told me the same thing about each of them, she tried her food, chewed it, but spit it out because it wouldn't go down. She was with my mom during the day on Monday, so I called and asked if she had seen KayTar eat any solids. She said she had given KayTar chips and guacamole, but she couldn't say whether she ate any chips or just the guacamole (which is a pureed consistency). I also talked to the pediatrician, who said that if it continues to be an issue, we'll need to see the ENT/get an upper GI with a swallow study done.
I emailed KayTar's teacher and school nurse, so they could keep an eye on her at meals. Although I think it is very unlikely because of how cautious KayTar is with food, I'd hate for her to choke and not have mentioned this issue to anyone in advance. At breakfast, the teacher sat with her and encouraged her to try her pepperoni, which she did...but she picked it back out of her mouth because it wouldn't go down. At lunch, she successfully ate a few bites of garlic bread and a pepperoni. At snack, she tried pepperoni again, but it got stuck and she spit it out. After school, she wanted to try bacon bits, so I gave her one and it went down fine...but the subsequent ones got stuck and then she was done. Trying to get some more information about what exactly is happening, I gave her some options to explain what might be happening:
1. Was she trying to swallow, but the food was getting stuck?She maintained that she was TRYING to swallow, but the food was getting stuck. I'm perplexed. I don't think it is behavioral, because these are foods she likes. She could simply says she was done and no one would make her eat another bite. She's never mentioned anything of this sort before. She is fine with liquids and she ate a stage 2 jar of peas this evening without issue. I'm hoping it resolves itself soon, but I don't know how likely that is...probably about as likely as her participating in a swallow study. (Seriously, how do they do swallow studies on kids like her? I think there is about zero chance she'll willingly drink the barium and we can't put it in her g-button because that defeats the purpose of a SWALLOW study.)
2. Was she swallowing, but then the food was returning to her mouth? (she has reflux)
3. Was she chewing her food, but losing track of where it was in her mouth, causing her to spit out her food? (she seems to only eat with one side of her mouth, which made me wonder about this)
4. None of these...something different that I didn't mention.