Monday, February 9, 2015

The Feeding Tube version of Luv's

This week is feeding tube awareness week.
I need someone to help me make a video for the feeding tube version of the Luv’s diaper commercial.

You know the Luv’s diaper commercial that shows the first time mom, so tightly wound.  Then flash to her 2nd, 3rd child and it is a free-for-all, a MUCH more relaxed mom.

That commercial would be the best way I could describe the years of having a feeding tube.

First time the feeding tube comes out (a Mic-Key button in our case).
Getting a feeding tube is very intimidating.  Trying to take care of your child with a feeding tube can be overwhelming…and frankly terrifying at the beginning.  Coming home from the hospital with all of the gear, medical supplies and deliveries, a lot to handle.

Then the tube comes out for the first time…and it comes out, not on purpose.  It just pops right out.  Holy PANIC.  THE TUBE CAME OUT.  At first you are paralyzed with fear, standing there looking at a big hole right in to your child’s body.  There is a big hole right in to Brayden’s body, right in to the stomach!  Things are oozing out of that hole.  As you attempt to overcome the initial wave of panic, you start to move in to action.  Move them to the bed, while shouting at your other kids to be quiet because you need to concentrate, start dialing the doctor and/or 911 (and once we may have had a grandmother praying loudly over Brayden when his tube came out).  Lay out a sterile chux.  Wash your hands, get on the gloves.  Remove all of the child’s clothing so you can see what you are working with.  Open the tube replacement kit and go over every bit of it, may even look at the kit booklet. 
Then…you wonder if you are capable of replacing the tube.  Can the doctor talk me through it?  Wait for the ambulance?  Drive to the doctor or ER?  You take a big deep breath and try to push down the panic/fear.  You have to put a feeding tube back in.  Wait, what?!  I have to put a tube back into the hole of his body?!  Am I qualified to do this?  I have to do this.  Here it goes…  Gloves are on, the tube kit is open.  Clean the tube site.  Prep the feeding tube to put back in.  Deep breath…and you slide it in, you are not breathing and silently praying.  It is in so now you fill the balloon (which is inside the stomach to keep the tube in place) with sterile water.  You lean back and realize you just placed the feeding tube back in.  You wiggle it gently to see if it is really in place.  Clean it all up again. You still call the doctor to make sure you didn’t do any damage, check if you need to see the doctor or hospital (which you usually do not have to).  You are still not sure you actually did it right so you check every hour and hesitate to even give food through it.  You flush it to see if it will work.  When you actually get up the courage to hook up the food, another wave of panic comes over you, will it work?  Even if it looks good, you are still going to see the doctor the next day to have it checked (if you haven’t already called 911).

Fast forward several years and we are still handling a feeding tube (now Brayden has a Mic-Key g-tube and a separate Mic-Key j-tube).  Loading in to the car seat and the tube gets caught on mom’s shirt.  Pops right out.  The hole in his stomach is oozing out on to your shirt and your child’s clothing as well.  Shout to the brothers to grab a rag to cover the hole in their brother’s stomach, while mom rummages through the back of the car to find the tube replacement kit.  No panic, no fear, not even from the brother’s (at this point they might even be able to replace it).  While looking through the car, you realize the bag with the tube kit was taken out to make room sports gear and other things.  You look down on the ground and see the tube that just popped out is laying in the parking lot.  You pick it up, it is not really dirty.  Grab a bottle of water and rinse it off.  Meanwhile brothers are still holding a rag over the stomach hole while discussing their basketball games.  Then you find a syringe in the bottom of your purse (yes I have those things laying around everywhere) to suck out the water in the balloon so you can put this tube right back in.  Slide it in to the hole (which is technically called the stoma) in the stomach, while your child is in the car seat.  Fill the balloon.  Tube is back in.  Give it a quick turn to make sure it is in place.  Clothes are a little wet from the oozing out the hole but nothing too bad, so you buckle him up and drive.  No one is upset, just may be a little hungry but we will take care of that when we get home.

Disclaimer – a feeding tube coming out is still not something to take lightly.  But hopefully those who have been handling tubes for a while can appreciate the humor and difference from the first time it came out to when it does now.  If any troubles or concerns come up please do contact your doctor.  And it obviously depends on the type of tube you have.  Brayden has also had a GJ tube which does require a visit to the hospital for a placement with the radiologist.  The simple Mic-Key buttons that he currently has is something we can put in and out at home…and certainly do not make it a regular thing to pick them up off a parking lot, just what you have to do in a pinch.  The GI system is not a sterile environment, it is not like have a trach, pic-line, etc.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Carrie,
Your blog brings back so many memories...
G - tubes...I was scared to death...Trach changes I thought I would just have heart failure....Then it becomes another day in the life....Who would have ever thought as mom's we would be doing something so "Medical"? Amazing how such a beautiful little life can make you a Super Strong Loving Mom....Love your sense of humor in it all...