Before Mikaere had his surgery, I spoke to anyone and everyone whose child has had a gastrostomy. They all said the same thing – it was game changing for their child. And while there was a lot of positives, I was unprepared for the epic amounts of vomit.
Before the gastro Mikaere never vomited. If he did, it was very very rarely and only ever when he was ill. Now? Now I have vomit in my hair most days. I have buckets of things soaking in my bathtub to get out the vomit stains. My carpet smells of vomit. My washing machine is on an endless cycle of things that are covered in vomit. My clothes. Mikaere’s clothes. Sheets, muslins, blankets, couch covers. Today Mikaere even managed to vomit over the recycling bag, getting (and I kid you not because I had to sort it) every single piece of recycling we had covered in vomit.
Vomit rules our lives right now. Please hold off on the advice giving – we’ve done everything. Reduced the feeds, slowed the feeds, spread them out over the day. It doesn’t matter whether it’s blended food or formula or dieralyte or even just plain water. Gaviscon can suck it. He’s already on omprezole. He’s always upright when we feed him, either reclined or in supported seating. It’s not directly after a feed, it’s about 2-3 hours after. I’m not going to consider a fundo (like I said – I’m not looking for all the advice here. I’m just telling you where we are right now. Yes, we’ve talked to the surgeon, our paediatrician, our gp and all our nurses know).
We think it’s because of the gastrostomy. With the way his stomach has been hitched to the abdominal wall, which means food goes in, and is forced (because of the way the stomach is slanted) straight into the top of his intestines. This has changed the way he feels when he has food in his belly and because of how his stomach is pulled (unnaturally up towards his abdomen) it’s put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, which is that the nice bit at the bottom of your esophagus that keeps your food in.
There is research that says a lesser curvature gastrostomy reduces the incidence of postoperative gastroesophical reflux (aka, vomiting because of the gastro – source) so for everyone due to get a gastro – you’ve been warned. Asked for a hitch with a low curvature and make your surgeon agree.
In the meantime, I’m at a loss. I don’t know if this is going to be a forever thing (I desperately hope it’s not) or whether as his body acclimatises to the new stomach position and the stress on his oesophagus he’ll be able to hold food down.
Blah is how I feel about this. Blah and heartbroken for Kai who hates vomiting. With a passion and cries his little heart out when it happens. It’s heartbreaking.
Stupid vomit. We’re over it.