Digestion Problems

You didn't actually think everything was going perfect, did ya?

Yeah, Max has been having some digestive problems over the past 3-4 weeks. To preface this topic I'll remind you that he started his nightly g-tube feedings about 8-9 weeks ago and put on almost 7 lbs... he was up to 17.7kg! The feedings consist of a special formula similar to Ensure that is specifically for tube feeding. About 3-4 weeks ago he started getting diarrhea everyday that wasn't necessarily connected to chemo. Shortly thereafter he began throwing-up. He'd wake at midnight, throw-up all the formula he had just been giving over the past 5 hours - with none of it even looking curdled or digested. Or he'd do the same thing first thing in the morning. It was inconsistent timing and, again, not really connected to chemo.

So we switched his formula to an elemental type (meaning it's completely broken down so your body doesn't have to actually work to digest it). The vomiting continued for a few more days, then stopped, but the diarrhea has continued. His weight is back down to 16.9kg telling us that his body is not digesting the formula. It's flushing right through his system.

In an effort to figure out what's going on we've suspended his feedings (per his doc) and all of his supplements for this week. We're also going to see if we can have his g-tube button changed out. This is an easy thing to do: the nurse deflates the balloon on the inside of his stomach via a hole located on the outside of the button Photo. Pulls the whole button out and replaces it with a clean, new one, inflating the balloon through the same hole. The nurses told me these buttons get quite gross in there and I'm seriously wondering if this isn't the cause of his problem. Apparently, they will last from 1 to 8 months before needing a change. I'd say we're ready and I'm bringing one to clinic tomorrow. This ought to prove fun as Max still hasn't let anyone touch it!


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