Friday, September 5

Changing belly plugs

This is a picture of the plug in my belly. Generally, it's called a G-Tube. Specifically, it's a BARD. When I woke up on October 16th (2007) last year it was in my belly!

What is a gastrostomy (GTube)? Well, the doctor makes an opening through the skin, abdominal wall and stomach wall, then puts into the opening a tube, or a small porthole-like device that has an opening at skin level (in my case it was the BARD shown above). Gastrostomy is the name of the opening into the stomach through the abdomen.

Here are some nice advantages of having my Gtube:
The ability to provide additional food and calories.
No nasogastric tubes are needed---no more tape! --no more skin allergies on my face!
Feedings can be done at night or during the day
Does not interfere with daily activities.
Less chance of spit up and less chance I will aspirate on milk
Less chance of tube coming out (I loved to pull my NG tube out)

What are the disadvantages of a gastrostomy (GT)?
My 'site' is sometimes infected, but more often it leaks, and becomes irritated.

Since I got my Gtube, only milk goes into it. Everything else (spaghetti, hamburgers, fruits, veggies, etc) I use my mouth to eat!!!! But the milk.... it still confuses my mouth... it gets all drippy out the edges and sometimes I breathe it in and forget I'm suppose to swallow. The feeding therapist says milk is still 'too much information' for my mouth. So does the swallow studies.

So, now that a year has gone by, I am now 25 pounds (yippee), I need a 'bigger' belly plug (in diameter) and my parents have decided it's time to change the BARD to a Mickey button. Huge thanks to Sheri at OptionCare who is a WEALTH of information...and Amy, Max's momma. Both are informative, encouraging and reassuring of my parents' 'choices'. And here is more information from my friend Braska on how my new belly plug might get leaky and need changes:

Here is what my new belly plug will look like: I am changing belly plugs on Friday of next week (9/12/08). My pediatrician will be changing it out (with anesthetic) in his clinic, which save us a three hour round trip to Children's Hosp. Oh, have I told you lately how much we LOVE our pediatrician? Mommy says it's a two way love affair, he likes me alot too!

Tommy Adventures