We’ve had the gastro for a while now, and I was surprised at how some things have changed. The biggest being Mikaere doesn’t have the NG tube anymore, which means there is nothing on his face. Spelling it out – when he’s in the buggy you can’t tell that he has a metabolic disorder. He looks neuro-typical.
This means that the attention he gets has dramatically increased when we’re out and about
The scared ‘there is something wrong with this baby’ looks and side comments and fear when people peer into the depths of the buggy has gone. Other parents give me knowing smiles (what is it they know? I feel like there’s a shared secret I don’t get) and people now want to ask about how old he is and how tall he is and tell me how precious he looks. That annoys me, because Mikaere hasn’t changed, just people’s perception of him. Initially I wanted to explain about his disorder, tell them in detail about NKH but I soon realised that one, they don’t want to hear it, and two it takes up waaay too much time and all I really want to do is finish shopping and get Mikaere home away from possible-germ-carrying strangers.
It’s not all bad though, Mikaere still goes for his nose when he’s upset, but we don’t stop his hands anymore. Which means he’s got full access to touching his face. We don’t have to pass tubes anymore and I’m delighted we’re not dealing with the screams from that. Not trying to get an aspirate has been liberating. We’ve started a pseudo-blended diet, which has been good for Mikaere, I think.
The wound is healing nicely, slowly but surely. I’m positive it would have healed even faster has Mikaere not pulled out his stitches yesterday. We’re a few weeks past the gastro now and the button is at the right spot for him to reach without having to support his elbow or move his shoulder in a big sweeping movement. It’s in the sweet spot of reaching. So reach he did and with one big yank had pulled the stitches off the top of the button and almost pulled the whole thing out of his stomach. I had a heart attack and my poor sweet boy screamed. Good thing we were already in hospital for another appointment. And rushed upstairs to the ward to find the on-call surgical reg, who pushed the button back in and restitched what he could.
So cheeky. Mikaere’s clearly been a bit more sore than usual and on top of that he’s not tolerating his feeds/meds as well as he usually would. Which means we’re in the world of all the vomiting. Like, projectile out the nose vomiting. All the time. Everywhere.
We’ve slowed down the rate at which we feed him, the volume and what we’re feeding him (no advice needed, is what I’m saying). Everything is gentle gentle. We vent frequently, the feed goes across three hours (previously took half an hour). He will eat a tiny amount orally, but no where near where he used to. So we spend a large portion of our days feeding.
I’m getting really good at getting baby food vomit stains out of things, too.
Hey ho. Give us a few weeks of healing time and I’m positive things will be better.
I can’t believe we’re on the other side. Mikaere has a gastrostomy. Hallelujah!