10 years off my life

so i was having an average day. Isabella was doing her spelling test while i did an oral feed with Em. normal enough. Em did great tasting her bananas and i picked her up to go hook her up to the feeding pump. that is when it happened.

first of all, for those of you who don't know. em's g-tube is a hole that goes through her side and then through a hole in her stomach. there is a round valve on the outside that is held in place on the inside by a balloon filled with water or air. from there, a cord called an extension hooks the
g-tube up to the feeding pump. Em eats frequently so we leave this cord attached to the g-tube all the time because it is uncomfortable to take on and off.

i picked Em up as i was standing. i didn't realize that her cord was stuck in a crack of the high chair. i have accidentally pulled on the extension before. it really hurts her so i got really upset when i realized i had done it again. i yelled and took her over to the living room to change her out of her banana clothes. whenever i pull the extension i always put my hand on her stomach to make sure the g-tube is still there. when i did it this time i felt nothing. i felt some more, wondering if the gauze was to thick to feel it. i pulled her onesie up and all remember seeing was blood. i froze. it took me a second to register what had happened. then i saw the g-tube . it was laying on the floor with her onesie. a million thoughts popped into my head most of which are to graphic to post here. at one point though i actually thought "Megan this isn't so serious. everyone will laugh at you and say you didn't even need to go to the Dr." after considering this for a minute i decided that it was indeed a big deal and if anyone tried to tell me it wasn't they would get very very hurt! the balloon of water was still full which meant i had pulled something the size of a gumball through a hole the size of a nail head. at this point i almost threw up.

since the balloon was still filled with fluid i couldn't put it back in. i scrambled around and found a syringe. i fumbled and got the water our of the balloon. the thought of sticking anything through a hole in some one's side petrified me, much less my helpless baby, so i tried to just put it in before i thought about it to much. it didn't go in very easily so i had to twist it a bit. this just made Em scream even more. i got it in on the second try.

somewhere is the middle of everything i was apparently giving Isa instructions. she turned up with Aunt Terra and her shoes and socks on. Terra was great and held a clean burp cloth over the newly inserted g-tube because i was sure it was still gushing blood (it wasn't). i then took a few deep breaths because i realized i hadn't in awhile. em was no longer screaming. just whimpering. i gave her a chewy and she calmed down a bit more.

i then called the doctor and the emergency room. ER wouldn't give any info and wouldn't even tell me if i should brig her directly there or her Dr first. the whole Dr office was at lunch and not answering the phone so we taped down the g-tube and piled in the car to meet them at the door after lunch. Terra in the mean time had called her brother in law Jim. YAY for Jim. he just finished nursing school and is a pediatric nurse. he was great at being thorough with his questions as well as keeping us calm. i owe him a present!

i walked into the Dr office and didn't even finish my sentence of " my daughter has a g-tube and i accidentally pulled it out and the ER..............." before the nurse was taking me through the door. the Dr was in our room with in 30 seconds. we are friends and he could see that i was very frazzled. he was great as always and told me i did a great job. as stupid as it sounds that made me feel a ton better. Em was smiling at him happy as could be. until he had to take the tape off. apparently i went a little over board. in the process of examining her the g-tube cam out again since i hadn't re-filled the balloon. i totally freaked out but it ended up being a good thing because they were able to clean the little bit of blood that had come out off her stomach. ( i could have sworn there was more). she cried a bit when he put it back in but then calmed right down. she actually cried longer when she got her shots.

all in all she was cleaned up good as new. so far i can't tell anything even happened to her. she is happy smiling and using her abs just fine. poor Isabella got really scared during the whole thing. understandably so since i was freaking out and her sister was bleeding but we worked it out. i am able to keep a good eye on her emotionally since this all started. The doctor was saying how much easier it will be next time. i almost threw up again when he said that.

josh thinks it is to hard to picture what the g-tube looks like so here are some pictures. sorry they are tiny. i just couldn't bring myself to sift through all those pictures of different kinds of g-tubes pre and post surgery. not today.

this is what it looks like on Em on the outside (obviously).

this is the whole thing with the balloon inflated. that is what i found on the floor in her onesie.


Anonymous said...

OMG you are seriously super mom! I remember when u didnt want anything to do with babies....and look what a WONDERFUL job you are doing! I'm impressed!!! BTW both of your girls are absolutely precious! -Abbi

Brittany H. said...

I think 10 years came off my life just reading that! I guess we never know what we are capable of until we are put in that situation. Great job on making it through!

Laura said...

Wow! Well done on writing a story that made me feel like I was right there with you. I feel like I need to do breathing exercises to calm myself down. You're amazing Megan! Lura is very proud of you:)

Mary Ann said...

That is the most suspenseful blog post I have read in a long time. I was on the edge of my seat.

Ashley said...

WOW!! I would've been freaking out right along with you...

Casey Redd Kennington said...

now THAT's a real mother

Anonymous said...

What a blessing that Terra was there and that Jim was available. You showed great presence of mind in an incredibly stressful situation. I hope you know you are amazing.

Lance said...

You rock! If you think you were in shock today, just wait until your little girl grows up and the worry moves from g-tube to g-string! That's when you'll really panic. Great post.

Kelly said...

Oh my gosh! I think I forgot to breathe through that whole post. My heart rate is Way up. But holy cow you did amazing! I'm so glad its all okay.

AmyCurtis said...

Way to hold it together -- you're a great Mom, Megan.

oleyfriends said...


I found your blog. Great job at getting through a difficult situation.

I wondered if you had heard of the Oley Foundation yet.

We offer free information and peer support for families like yours with a member on home tube or IV feeding.

Check out our website at www.oley.org. In particular you might be interested in the

• Tube Feeding Tips page

Check the Helpful Products section for products that can help keep Ems tube from getting tugged out again.

I have some samples in the office I can share with you too, including:

1. Baboo's patch. Not manufactured anymore. These are iron-on patches that have a snap or velcro closures that are meant to hold tubes/catheters to prevent tugging.
2. A Bundie Baby onesie (size 6-9 months)
3. A one-piece sleeper (size 0-9 months) that has an opening for a tube -- in case Em is on overnight feeds. FYI, it is "boy" themed.

• Meet Patients Section (try all three links)

• Oley's annual conference -- where you can learn a lot about tube and IV feeding and meet other families facing similar challenges. Keep checking for updates at http://www.oley.org/2009_Annual_Conference.html
There are travel scholarships for first time attendees.
(At last year's conference I saw a child lose his g-tube and have it replaced, minutes before his flight home. The parents had lots of support from other parents who have changed tubes loads of times.)

If you have any questions, would like any or all of the samples, or would like to be introduced to another family, feel free to contact me.

Warm regards,
Roslyn Dahl
Oley Foundation Staff Member
(800) 776-OLEY

Shiree said...

WOW! So I was going to comment, but everyone already said everything going through my mind. I don't I breathed much while reading that thing. I'm sorry about the g-string comment from Lance, although it was funny. :) Love from Utah!