G-Tube Surgery Complete

Thursday Day 0 Post-op: G-tube surgery went well. However…
  • Max woke up ready for a popcycle in post-op, as is his routine, just to discover that he would be unable to eat anything for 24 hours post surgery (add to that: he hadn’t eaten for 18 hours already)! Mommy learned this info at the same time and was immediately horrified at the prospect of being in a room with Max over the next 24 hours. It turned out to be just as exciting as I ever could’ve imagined. Not only was he hungry but very sore from surgery.
  • For some unknown reason the anesthesiologist decided to give Max an arm IV instead of utilizing his port-a-cathe while he was under, which meant we had to access his port when he was awake, hungry, tired, and sore later that evening. It was a joy, I tell you. Mommy had to hold his arms down so the nurse could pull the tape off his chest. While we did this he screamed and screamed and cried at us, “I CAN DO IT! I CAN DO IT!” which then changed over to “BAD MOMMY! BAD MOMMY!” looking me straight in the eye while I tried my damnedest not to cry. It was over in a minute that seemed like forever. It sucked.

Friday Day 1 Post-op: This morning he woke bright and early already asking for food.

  • His orders to ahead with g-tube nutrition starting with pedialite were in by 8:00am but, of course, it took until 11:30 to make that happen. What a pain in the ass. My friggin’ kid is starving and in pain… hello?
  • Meanwhile back at the ranch… I find out that we will not go home today because they have to make sure his stomach is going to tolerate food okay following the surgery on his stomach (makes sense, but no one ever mentioned that to me. I think I heard “one night stay”.) In fact, we’re probably going to be here until Sunday, because we also have to learn how to use the g-tube properly and care for it and the surgical site.
  • At 1:00pm Dr. Roberts came in and told Max he could start eating food by mouth. My sister, Randee, was here with Max and got to be the food-hero. He ate several bites of: Pirates Bootie, cheerio’s, bagel, sourdough bread, blueberry muffin, pretzels, choc-chip cookie and ½ a banana. Then he ate some chicken noodle soup and half a cup o’ mashed potatoes for dinner.
  • Can we talk about a food-induced attitude adjustment? Even better than his pain-meds and morphine. He was smiling and humming all afternoon!
  • Tonight they started running the kids’ formula at a low rate through his g-tube. We’ll increase the rate at 6 hour intervals to make sure he’s digesting it okay. I learned how to set the pump up this evening for the all-night feeding. At midnight I learned how to check his stomach for ‘residual’ before pumping more nutrients in using a giant syringe, although I'm not sure when I would actually utilize this knowledge. It’s a little gross but I imagine I’ll be over it midweek. The prospect of Max putting on some pounds outweighs any and all ickiness.

Saturday Day 2 Post-op: Ahhh, finally some good news.

  • We had a great, on-the-ball nurse today, Sarah, who answered many a’ question and helped Max get all his ducks lined up for check out today! Yes, as of 2:30pm he was home eating kraft mac & cheese while building his new lego ambulance that Hannah & Daddy picked out for him.
  • HomeCare came by this evening and helped us set up an IV pole in Max's room and went over with me again how to set the pump for nighttime feedings. Wow, we have durable medical equipment in our home...!
  • He's going to get about 300ml of a kid protein drink while he sleeps tonight. We'll boost the dose as he adjusts up to 750ml per night probably by the end of next week.

Sunday will be a day off for our whole family. What a relief. Monday finds us back on schedule with Max's next round of chemo (this would be a good week to leave some soup at our front door!). The action never stops here at the Mikulak household. Sheesh.

In a nutshell: the g-tube surgery and recovery was far more laborious than we had expected. Now that I see the thing on/in Max (photos posted soon for your viewing pleasure) I see why and I am disappointed that we weren't given better info to then prepare Max for what lay ahead.


Post a Comment