The Family

The Family
For Christmas 2010

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Placing an NG Tube

We "learned" how to place an NG tube by watching one of the nurses.  Then it was our turn.  Before Nathan was to be discharged, we were each supposed to place an NG tube 3 times in order to be able to check it off the list.

Lucky Bekah got to go first, or more likely I volunteered her to go first.  So she was going to place the tube with help and coaching from the nurse, while I watched and "learned" some more.

And for her first time, it didn't go well at all!  She had to try twice because the first time it either got stuck or it tried to go down the trachea.  So poor little Nathan was gagging and choking.  So they pulled the tube all the way out to let Nathan have a little rest and calm down.  Then he was so upset and gagging that he threw up 3 times.  And that made Bekah start crying.  But she had to keep her composure the best she could because she had to try again in a few minutes.  Meanwhile I felt so bad for both of them that I couldn't watch and had to look away. 

After several minutes, Nathan finally calmed back down.  Bekah then tried again and, thankfully, the tube went right down that time.  Ugh!  What a day!

Bekah was lucky enough to get to try again in a couple of days.  This time they decided to empty Nathan's tummy before trying to put the tube down.  This time there was still gagging, albeit considerably less, and no puking at all!  So Bekah was definitely making progress.

And as the old saying goes, the third time was the charm.  Bekah was able to get the tube down the third time without any complications.  Whew!  So apparently it does get easier with each try!

But that meant that it was then my turn.  And I was completely dreading it.  I'm sure that Nathan probably wasn't looking forward to it much either, having already had a tube stuffed down his nose every other day.

So I did some combination of praying and psyching myself up when it was my turn to place the tube.  After I lubricated the tube, I eased it up Nathan's nostril and....and...and I couldn't find the hole into the nasal passage.  So basically I just ended up poking Nathan in the the inside of the nose about half a dozen times!  He was just crying and crying and I felt like a child abuser!

The nurse helped me finally find the passage and I was able to move the tube down into the throat fairly easily.  But that's when it curled, probably because Nathan was crying so much.  As he was crying, I could see the tube in the back of his throat and that was it.  I was done.  I pulled the tube all the way out and let everyone know that there was going to be no way that I was going to be able to do it now or in the future.

Placing the tube was going to be something that had to be Bekah's responsibility.  I would do whatever she needed from an assistant, but there was just no way that I was going to be able to place an NG tube.  EVER!


  1. Oh! That would be so hard to do. Way to go, Bekah!

  2. That had to be so hard. I couldn't even imagine how tough it was emotionally let alone physically. You are awesome Bekah.