We have had our surgery consultation for the placement of Cade's g-tube. He will be getting the surgery sometime in January, and we could not be more ready. We have come to a point that the idea of having to put one more ng tube in makes us both want to vomit. Caution: This post is not for the squeamish, not for those who don't like graphic descriptions or stories of torturing infants. Okay, well, you can't say that I didn't warn you.
Cade has had a tube shoved down his nose and the back of his throat since his time in the NICU. It makes him constantly cough and gag. Your natural defense is to cough out any foreign object lodged in the back of your throat. At first, he was not successful in coughing it out, but now that he is bigger and stronger, he has the strength to cough hard enough that the tube which is in his stomach will come up out of his mouth. This means he then has a tube going through his nose and out of his mouth. At this point, we have to completely pull the tube out and re-insert it which is not an easy task.
To insert the tube, we have to hold him down with full force and hold his head still. Then we take this long skinny tube and shove it down his nose, preferably as quick as possible before he really knows what is happening to him. As one of us is shoving the tube in, the other who is holding him down tries to look into the back of his throat as he is screaming to make sure the tube is not coming out of his mouth instead of down his throat like it should. Lately, it comes out of his mouth more because he knows how to clench down. It usually takes at least 5 attempts before we manage to get it to go down correctly. Of course, then we have to worry if we managed to actually get it into his stomach! The nurses warned us that if it isn't inserted correctly, it could go into his lungs. Well, isn't that just great?! We then listen with a stethoscope to his stomach as we push air through the tube with a syringe. If we hear the magic "poof" sound of the air hitting his stomach, then we know we have it in, and since we have been holding our breaths during this whole process, we can finally breathe out. Then we pick up our screaming baby and try to comfort him as I am sure he is wondering why we are torturing him.
Even though we tape the tube down thoroughly, he has on several occasions, found a way to grab it and pull it out, but the coughing it out is so much worse. Somehow, he is able to cough it out at the most inopportune times. The first time was in the McDonald's drive-through. I was waiting in line, and I hear him coughing up a storm in the back seat. Then Brenna tells me, "Mommy, Cade spitted up." I got out of the car to check on him, and sure enough, there he was with spit up all over him and a tube hanging out of his mouth. I quickly pulled it out, took the tape off, and cleaned him up. The drive-through line was completely backed up, and I felt like everyone was staring at me. All I could think was that if anyone honks at me, I am going to go off! Luckily, the people behind me were very patient, and I did not have to cause a scene. The second time happened just last night. Jim's parents came in to town to watch the kids so we could go out and celebrate New Year's with some friends. At about 10 PM, they called us to let us know that Cade had coughed out his tube, so Jim left the party and drove home to put the tube back in. He told me I should stay, and he would be back as soon as possible. Of course, I should have insisted on going with him because all I did was call him every 5 minutes. It took him 6 attempts to get the tube back in, but he finally got it, and headed back to the party. He got back to the party at 11:52 PM, so we were still able to count down the new year together at midnight.
As you can probably imagine, we are so ready to be done with the evil ng tube, and I can only imagine how my sweet son must feel. He is so laid back and easy going and is such a great baby. I'm sure he can not understand why we have to torture him. Very soon, the days of torture and the battles with the evil ng tube will draw to an end.
Update (1/3)- I thought I was done with this post since we are scheduled for the g-tube soon. Since the episode on New Year's Eve (only 3 days ago), Cade has again pulled the tube out last night and then coughed it out again today. Last night, it took us 8 attempts to get it back in again. At one point, we thought we had it in, but he soon started coughing and sputtering a lot. I then noticed traces of blood mixed in the drool he was coughing up. I quickly pulled the tube back out. Instead of going down correctly or coming out of his mouth, it had coiled up inside his nasal cavity. Today when he coughed it out, I called the pediatrician to ask if I could just pay them to reinsert it. Well, that was a great idea except that they are overbooked and have no time to see him. I have already tried 10 times with no success. It came out of his mouth 9 times and coiled up inside his nose once. Jim is coming home early from work to try his luck. I am about to just pay $100 to go to the ER to have someone else do it! I did call the surgeon to get a response about scheduling the surgery. I told them that we needed to be scheduled ASAP! We are scheduled for Cade to get his g-tube on Friday. Keep him in your prayers that the surgery will go well and that he will make a speedy recovery. Also pray that after we get this ng tube in today that it will stay in until Friday.