Thursday, September 24, 2009

Joshua's Journeys #14 G-tube

September 21st was the anniversary of Joshua's gastrostomy tube surgery, g-tube. HE also had a nissen fundoplication (Bethany loves that word!). In a sense it is a procedure to tighten the top part of the stomach so that Josh won't be able to regurgitate or aspirate any food. (So no throwing up!) Every surgery is a big deal, but to me this one wasn't as scary as the trach partly because I was already very used to seeing and working with people with g-tubes as a dietitian. An n-g (naso-gastic) tube is a short term solution, but for people that will need tube feedings longer term like Josh they require a more permanent placement like a g-tube. It is not only more comfortable, but also a whole lot more convenient. When Josh wasn't having a feeding he could be free of lines, and while getting a feeding it would go directly to his tummy and the only tubing in the way was the milk that was going directly to his tummy instead of annoying him by putting tubes up his nose and taping his face.

The surgery went well, and was rather quick (a few hours). We went through our same morning pre-op procedures of prayer and holding Josh as long as we could until it was time for the OR and time for us to camp out with Joey in our corner of the world in Peds. Josh came back from surgery with that same bloated, stoned looking face that we learned quite well and called "Post-op Josh". He was hooked up to the ventilator again just to allow him to breath without working, and he was weaned off of it within hours. We saw his g-tube site right away, and it wasn't long before he was warmed up and moving around. Surgery days were always very taxing, long, nervous waits, calling friends and family with updates, and being with Josh as much as we could. We learned quickly how to start, stop, connect, disconnect, clean, flush, and vent all of Josh's feedings. Between our assertiveness and want to care for Joshua in every aspect we could we were getting good at suctioning, changing trachs, and now in charge of his tube feedings. The nurses often commented on how they didn't have much of a job anymore!


Christy said...

That doesn't even look like Josh. And weren't you guys teaching the nurses things?!

Crystal M. said...

Sweetness!! I remember when Eva got hers as well, it was her 1st of many surgeries.

oleyfriends said...


I found your blog and wondered if you had heard of the Oley Foundation yet.

We offer free information and peer support for families with a member on home tube or IV feeding. Check out our website at

In particular you might be interested in the

• Tube Feeding Tips page

• Meet Patients Section (try all three links)

• Tube Feeding Complication Chart

If you have any questions or would like to be introduced to another family, feel free to contact me.

Warm regards,
Roslyn Dahl
Oley Foundation Staff Member
(800) 776-OLEY

Karen Rock said...

We fought the gtube because we couldn't bear to see her through another surgery, but in the end it's been great. Only some issues with venting. Beats the ng withTegaderm and Duoderm she had a reaction too. And before I went to bed and after setting up the continuous overnight feed for the umpteenth time I thought "regular moms will be up at all hours feeding their babies while we get to sleep!" So I guess it's got it's perks:). I know she's wearing the same Christmas dress for the secong year in a row! Yay!