Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back to the ol' Pump

I love Elisabeth's g-tube. Everyone who knows me knows that. It's hard to believe that she's only had it for 22 months - it's seems like it's been a lifetime! I simply can't imagine her eating in a more - shall we say - traditional way.

Anyways, Elisabeth has been getting bolus feedings for quite some time now. What this means is that we can feed her at set times by simply pouring her formula into a syringe and letting gravity pull it down into her stomach; it's quick and it's easy.

However, she has really, really been struggling with her bolus feeds lately. Everything that goes in comes up. Seriously, all day long I am having to change her clothes because she vomits it all. The reason this is so frustrating is because she had a fundoplication done at the same time her g-tube was placed - this surgery is supposed to prevent anything from coming up the esophagus. Well, obviously it has loosened - because everything comes up.

So yesterday we [sadly] decided it was time to go back to continuous feeds. This means that Elisabeth will be hooked up to her pump a majority of the day. The pump allows me to set a specific rate of flow and then it slowly drips in. But get this - last night, after being hooked up to her pump for 4 hours, she threw up again! Arrgg! I couldn't believe it. So this morning when I hooked her up I backed the rate waaaaay down; we'll see just how low we need to go to get her to tolerate her feeds again.

Am I bummed that we have to go back to the pump? Certainly. It's a bit of a hassle having to have her connected to tubes and machinery all day long. But regardless, I am still extremely grateful for her g-tube. To have a safe and effective way to provide nutrition and medications to Elisabeth is nothing short of a miracle in my eyes.

So continuous feeds it is. (For now, anyways.)





[Stopping last week to give Elisabeth a bolus feeding.]

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