We have put the cap on her trach a few times for a little while and she tolerates it well. We only leave it on for a little while because we want to give her throat and vocal chords a rest. We have noticed a significant change in her voice. :-( It is much softer and breathier, just like the doc said it likely would be. She also can get raspy pretty quickly. I know it is quite soon to make the determination that this is her new voice, but I have a strong feeling that it is. I know there are things that can be done in the future to help her strengthen her voice, but I still have a hard time knowing her voice will never be the same.
Here is a video demonstrating what she sounds like now. There are times that her voice does get breathier and weaker.
Jeremy and I gave her a bath for the first time last night and uncovered her incision. It looks really good! It is about 1.5 inches long and it is under her right breast. The good news is that, once she develops into a young woman, the scar should be completely concealed.
We will be returning to the hospital on Friday for Marissa to undergo a bronchoscopy. The doc will look for signs that the graft is taking well and is not developing an infection. She will also check the function of her vocal chords, and will measure her airway. She should be able to give us a ballpark time for decannulation. From what she has told me before, we will begin capping trials, with the ultimate goal being that she is capped 24/7 and keeping her O2 sats up. Once we do that, we might do one more bronch and then decan. It is likely this will happen by admitting her to the hospital for overnight observation. Hopefully we can say "Bye-bye trach, hello naked neck!" sometime very soon.
I'll update again after the bronch. Thanks for all the prayers and support, you guys are the best!