So guess who called today? It took leaving some grouchy messages, but finally, finally, we got the call from the Cincinnati folks.
Long agonizing story short: he needs to get to 22 pounds (10 kilos) in the next 6 months or so (he's at 14 right now). He needs to stay healthy this winter – no lung damage, no aspirating. If we can get him bigger and keep his lungs healthy, Ike-a-saurus can have the laryngotracheoplasty (with an anterior graft) sometime this spring. They'll take out part of one of his ribs and use it to reconstruct his airway, and we'll be up there in Cinci for quite a long time while he recovers. I am desperately wishing for the surgery and desperately dreading it. Very confusing.
They are hesitant to do the surgery now, while he is so small for his age, because you can't put a giant airway into a small dude. So, if he's too small when they do they surgery, and then gets a lot bigger, his airway wouldn't necessarily catch up. Then the awful possibility of being re-trached comes into play.
For the next several months we're going to closely monitor his lungs and do our very best to fatten him up. Then, sometime in the spring, we go back up to Cincinnati, repeat a lot of the tests we just had done, and keep our fingers crossed that everything is a go for reconstruction.
This is going to be a daunting winter of scary viral threats: flu and RSV and nasty random things. I can see it looming in the distance. I literally hold my breath when I think about it. It makes my hands shake.
We just need a hell of a lot of milkshakes, a baby-sized gas mask, and some good luck, right? Too much to ask for? I guess we'll find out.