Sunday, August 9, 2009

The G-Tube Surgery

The surgery was scheduled August 6, Thursday at 7:30 AM, but the entire process actually started that midnight before, when Bambino was supposed to start fasting six hours before the surgery. I didn't realize when I nursed him on Wednesday night that it was going to be the last time I'll ever breastfeed him. It makes me teary eyed even just writing about it now. At 1am, Hubby took him "away from me" because he usually starts rooting at around that time. We all got up at 5:30 to get ready. It wasn't easy keeping him occupied so he won't think about hunger pangs and eating.

We spent the first hour at the hospital with paperwork and listening to more instructions from the nurses. They briefed us on what was to come and what to expect, although that was probably the third or fourth time I was hearing about all those from different sources - from the doctors to therapists and nurses. That and my own researches and readings, I believe I was already well versed on the subject. We also handed over all the medications that he was currently taking.

At 7:30, Bambino was given Versed which we called the "happy pill." We were told that it's a mild amnestic and relaxant which they give to kids for separation anxieties when they are whisked away for procedures. They said we should expect Bambino to act "silly" in a little bit, like a drunk. True enough after a while, his eyes became droopy and he was smiling and making happy noises. When the medical staff came to take him away to prepare him for surgery, he smiled his drowsy smile and waved enthusiastically at us - something that will NEVER happen under normal circumstances.

At 8 am, our GI doctor, Dr. E arrived and gave us similar briefing. We also met with the surgical nurse who will be assisting him, and the Anaesthesiologist, who will be with them throughout the entire procedure. I have exhausted all my questions, but they each had to brief us for the nth time, and ask us if we had questions for them. We were told that the procedure should take an hour or less.

I went to the hospital chapel and prayed.

Dr. E came out about 45 minutes after and reported that everything went well. He showed us pictures of Bambino's insides taken by an oral endoscope. All appeared normal, he said, except for one photo of his esophageal muscles, which had ridges that could possibly indicate allergic inflammation. He took some samples for biopsy.

Afterwards, we were led to the recovery room to see Bambino. He was half asleep, groggy and crying. He wouldn't settle down. Effect of the anesthesia and the pain pill, Demerol. One hour after, we settled into our hospital room. Dr. E gave strict instructions: he was to eat nothing by mouth or by his brand new tube for about 12 hours to allow his manhandled stomach appropriate time to heal.

miserable after the procedure

It wasn't easy denying him even water. He would wake up hungry and parched and I can't do anything about it. The afternoon was tolerable because he slept most of the time and I even allowed myself a little shut eye as well. That night, he cried until he fell asleep from exhaustion but he would wake up almost every hour. At 2am after having read all the available books to him, I turned off all the lights and pulled up the blinds so we can see the moon and I told him stories about the moon. He must have been mesmerized by the sight of the moon from his hospital bed and he quieted down and went to sleep.

The nurses started giving him EleCare (a hypoallergenic, high calorie formula similar to Neocate) by the G-tube sometime after 2am. Dr. E came by to see him first thing in the morning and was pleased to see that the wound was healing nicely. The nurse rotated it and cleaned the area earlier that morning. He OKd a drink of Splash and water but nothing else. We discussed feeding plans and home care. We were going to do bolus feeding (using a syringe as opposed to the continuous-feeding machine we were currently using in the hospital.)

Just before we checked out of the hospital, Dr. E called with esophageal biopsy result. He confirmed that the inflammations are indeed allergic reactions. Because of this, he wants to put Bambino on a strict hypoallergenic formula diet for at least two weeks. That means he can only take Neocate, EleCare, Splash and Nutra. That means he will not be allowed at the dinner table during meal time.

wagon ride around the pediatric unit

After another lecture and actual feeding demo from the nurse, and after exploiting the hospital nursing pump one last time to relieve the tightening of my breasts due to lactation, we were all set to go home. Bambino didn't seem to be in any kind of pain at all. There was no need to give him Tylenol. He was happily prancing around the house and played with the dog as soon as we got home.

day after coming home from the hospital, riding on his own "wagon"

He is such a super trouper!

1 comment:

Erika Is A Panda said...

Hey K!

I know it's been a rough few days (maybe even more). He looks sooo adorable in the pictures.
Big hugs to you! Hope to see you soon!