Through KR’s NGTUbe journey, we got to know Baby N. & his lovely family.
I have always (frequent enough) said that I would snip his last piece of NGTUbe to a thousand pieces, wait! or was it a million pieces, oh well! It doesn’t matter now cos I did not, in the end. I actually left the final piece on the table and contemplated for a good 2 days regarding how I should bid farewell to this 13 month friendship. I decided to just give this tube a good punch oops! I meant a good pose and shoot it with my iphone7.
I twisted its arms to form the greek symbol Ichthys, or sometimes known as the fish.
According to one ancient story, when a Christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company.
Through the NGtube, we became friends with Baby N and his family. Two christian families drew strength from each other’s faith as we journey with our special little ones. I think the tube has connected us in more than one way. For this, I am grateful.
Back to why I did not snip away the tube… I had mixed feelings because without this tube, KR would not have been able to gain good weight for his previous surgeries. Neither would he have enough nutrition to help him recover and grow. Much as it’s an ally, it was also a foe. There were many times after I had inserted the tube for KR, I would notice some beads of perspiration formed on the tip of his nose. No matter how skilled I was or how swift my actions were, I believe the insertions were never comfortable.
As I write this entry, these were some quick flashbacks that went through my mind…
… my first encounter with the tube
I remembered the night before I was taught how to insert an NGtube for KR, I went to Dr Google. I wanted to have an idea what I was expecting and how I should go about doing it before I meet the nurses the next day. Importantly, I wanted to make sure the insert was swift and accurate so that I can save KR from any unnecessary pain. The pressure was great cos I desperately wanted to bring KR Home and I had to pass the ‘test’ besides the other criteria of learning to change his colostomy bag in order for them to consider his discharge. I did not want to fail and I had very high expectations of myself.
The hours passed by quickly and before I knew it, I was meeting the fangless ‘snake’ face to face. After the Homecare Nurses went through the steps verbally, they said, “…give it a try, mummy.” Confidently, I held the tube about 5 cm away from the gastric openings, applied some lubricant, took a deep breath and made my first insertion.
I made the second attempt, KR cringed and cried. I failed again.
Aunty C. (one of the Homecare nurses) immediately, took over the tube and inserted it for him.
I returned home dejected and immediately sent out a watsapp message to my prayer team to pray about it. The next day, 4th Oct 2016. I made the first successful insertion. This time, I prayed.
… why no aspirations?
Before administering any feeds, we need to first aspirate to ensure that the tube is in the right place. We would first clamp the tube by folding it and then insert a 3ml syringe to the feeding port and try to pull out some stomach juice to test on a litmus paper. If it turns red, orange, yellow sort of colour, we know for sure its acid and the tube is in the right place. In the beginning, I freaked out whenever I made no aspirations ie. nothing for me to test on the litmus paper!! I have learnt to
- Use a stethoscope to test for the whoosh sound
- Insert 3 ml of air through the feeding port into the stomach to ‘uncoil’ the tube and then aspirate again.
- Move the baby a little so as to move the tube and then aspirate again (cos the gastric openings could be blocked)
- …remain calm
… the Season of NG Ng NG tube
Looking back now, I am just thankful at how the Lord had seen us through with respect to just the NGtube. He provided a dedicated Homecare Nurse (Aunty C) to walk us through those fretful times, kept KR safe from all the possible accidents that could take place throughout the 13 months and the deliverance from a possible G-Tube insertion. Thank you, Jesus.