The Family

The Family
For Christmas 2010

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Learning to Care for the G-Tube

The G-Tube surgery was remarkably quick.  And according to Dr. Scaife, it went very, very well. We weren't overly concerned about this surgery, but it's always a relief to hear the surgeon say that everything went well.

Following surgery, we made our way to Nathan's room in the Infant Unit, where he would spend a couple of days recovering and where we would learn how to care for the G-Tube.

As much as we had been through and seen, you would think that we would have been prepared for the giant tube sticking out of Nathan's tummy.  But for some reason, it was still somewhat of a shock to see.

The stomach and abdomen will usually heal in about a week.  To prevent against infection and other problems, the dressing around the G-Tube needs to be changed twice a day for the first two weeks.  It's also important to make sure the area around the stomy is cleaned each time you change the dressing as well. 

Following the surgery, they started Nathan on clear fluid and ran his feedings really, really slowly at first.  As he would tolerate it, they would increase the rate and eventually transitioned over to formula.

In addition, we were also taught how to care for the skin around the tube, how to spot signs and symptoms of infection, what to do if the tube gets pulled out, signs and symptoms of blockage, how to feed through the tube, how to empty the stomach through the tube, how to hide the tube safely under clothing, and what normal activities can be continued.

It was a lot to learn, so we were glad we had a couple of days to watch and the nurses even had us help change the dressing a couple of times so that we would know how to do it when we got back home.

But perhaps the most pleasant aspect of Nathan's new G-Tube was the fact that we could now see more of his face!  For probably over 8 months, Nathan had had the NG Tube up his nose and taped to his face.  And now that it was gone, it was nice to look at his cute little face, even though he still had the oxygen cannulas in his nose.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. So many scars on such a tiny body. I'm sure there are just as many scars on your hearts not knowing what would happen with each and every procedure they had to do. Again, you are all so amazing. You inspire me with your strength, endurance, and never ending love.