Monday, June 11, 2012

Our First Button Change

We've been wildly busy over the last few days, and it doesn't look like it will ease us any time soon!  I started school today, which went very well.  Scarlett is enjoying her time with Daddy and Grandma, though getting her to nap has become challenging; she's suddenly become pretty picky about being at home and in her own bed to sleep, and only certain pacifiers are acceptable.  And the move is on:  the real estate agent suggested we have the condo on the market as soon as possible, which means Chris, Scarlett and I need to get out of the way!  We've already started to pack some things up and taken down all the pictures from the walls.  I'll be making a call to a local cat rescue, too.

Last night, we decided to enjoy the summer weather with the family and go swimming.  Scarlett had a fantastic time!  She LOVES water, and had a great time kicking around in her new floaty seat.
She even let her cousin Caleb borrow it for a few minutes!

When we got back home, it was dinner time, but for some reason we could not get her blended meal to go through the "button" (external portion of her g-tube).  We tried everything we could think of, but it was jammed.  This meant we had to change it.

You'd think we were used to this stuff by now, but I was not happy about this.  It was a nearly new button, changed by the doctor just a few weeks ago, and it should have lasted at least a few months.  However, I have been told that the buttons don't last as long when you are using real food.  It didn't seem like it could possibly have been damaged so quickly, but we had to do it.

As my dad took over the BBQ, Chris and I set out all our supplies and talked ourselves through it a few times.  We tested and retested the new button.  Then we counted down, held our breath, and went for it.  Changing the button requires deflating the small water-filled internal balloon, pulling the button out, inserting the new button through the hole in her abdomen into her stomach, and finally inflating the balloon to hold it in place.  All the while, stomach juices are oozing...yuck!

Well, we got it done with very little ado.  And the culprit of the malfunction?  A strawberry seed!  Something so tiny, but it somehow survived it's journey through the monster blender and caused enough of a blockage to prevent any further fluid from passing through.  Since berries are in season and a favorite in our house, we will make sure to strain berry blends from now on!


Unknown said...

Brandi, I did the same thing this last week, so here's what I do, first I always keep an old g tube button in our first aid kit as a back up to the extra one our insurance gives us. So I grabbed the old button, took out the blocked one, putting in the old one to keep the stoma from closing, grabbed the blocked tube and a 5ml syring with some warm water in it, and stuck it directly into the port and flushed the blockage through. Then I cleaned everything up, and put the unblocked button back in. Good as new! Also, what sometimes clears the block is simply a little push/pull action with the extension and syringe, and I've heard that warm water or even coke works great for dissolving blockages. Also some brands of buttons come with a tool for unblocking the button! Hope this helps! Oh and be careful of sprouted bread, I definitely have to strain those blends! Happy blending :)

Brandi Wecks said...

@Erin - thanks! We tried to salvage the clogged button, but we had busted a seal on it when we tried to force water through. Pushing and pulling didn't work this time, and we even tried very gently using a toothpick to dislodge the offending seed. This was was just meant to challenge us! Thanks for the tips,a nd glad to know there's someone else doing this fun stuff at home, too!