the feeding problems began for gavin about 4 weeks ago when he began to teethe. as exciting and "typical" as teething is, it presented some problems for gavin. all children develop excess saliva in their mouths as a result of teething; however, for gavin, the saliva caused him to gag a lot. because he was intubated for so long (2 and a half months), he has a condition called esophogeal dismotility. this means that he doesn't always feel the sensation that there is stuff pooling in the back of his throat or slightly down his throat and he won't swallow as often as he should like other children do as an every day reaction to that sensation. so he would gag. the problem with the gagging was that his ng feeding tube goes down his nose and into his stomach and each time he would gag on that excess saliva, he would throw up his ng tube and any food that was in his stomach whether it was a partial or even whole feed. it was so discouraging to us because feeding gavin is already a huge challenge in our household and it is a time that is stressful on us and on gavin. in an instant, 30 minutes of feeding could be wiped clean. so.....gavin wasn't getting the volume that he needed. i had to keep reinserting his ng tube and my poor baby just hates that (do you blame him??). we tried for a period of time to just feed him without the tube in and hoped that he would just take enough volume by bottle (since he is on high calorie formula-30 calorie). but, his lungs can't do that much work. it is too hard for him to eat that much and we see drastic increases in his work of breathing and his oxygen requirements.
after talking with doctors throughout the past week, we have collectively come to the conclusion that the answer to solving this problem is to have a gastric tube (which is also called a g-tube) surgically inserted into his stomach. the surgery will take about an hour to an hour and a half. now, i am well aware that kiddos have surgery every day. i understand that. but kids with lung disease don't. putting gavin on a ventilator seriously compomises him. the process of intubating a kid like gavin is difficult because gavin's lungs will LOVE the break and as "typical" kids are extubated right off a ventilator after surgery, gavin might not be as easy. as many of you, who keep up with our blog have read, it has been a challenge to get gavin to the place we are today. we don't want any setbacks.
jeramy and i are both ready for the g-tube. we know that it is what gavin needs. we know that it will give him the best opportunity to grow and develop without the stress of having to eat. we will still be able to give him bottles which is great for his development. we are looking at it as a short term solution to our problem and we hope and pray that this will not be a long process for him. hopefully, this is exactly what his little lungs need. that way, we can continue to play with him and do more developmental things with him. right now, feedings consume our days and make him so tired that he doesn't have strength for much else.
we are trying to make it until next monday when we have our consult with the surgeon. that means the surgery will likely take place tuesday or wednesday of next week. please pray that between now and then gavin's ng tube can stay in (that is how we are doing all of his feeds to give him a break). pray for skilled hands from the surgeon. pray that the anesthesiologist (who i hear is the best) can possibly do a partial intubation-just to the vocal cords and avoid the ventilator. pray for a fast recovery for our little sweet pea. and please please please pray for me and pray for jeramy. we are struggling. the battle seems never ending. we feel like we are wandering in the desert and we have no idea how long we are called to be out here. it is so easy to lose hope when there appears to be no end in sight. it is easy to lose hope when you can't feel His peace. i pray everyday for the Holy Spirit to intercede on my behalf. i am weak. i know God's Word reminds me that when i am weak, He is strong.
i'm sure glad someone is...