Confidence Boost

Today was one of those days.  Anyone who has read any part of our story knows that feeding has always been – and continues to be – the hardest challenge of our entire heart journey.  And today, I had a particularly emotional and overwhelming day around feeding.

Kiran has been in feeding therapy at Childserve for a few months now.  He is making some progress – slow and steady – but today, he didn’t have a good session.  He coughed and gagged pretty badly, on a Cheerio, which is a food he normally does really well with.  On the drive home, he started coughing and gagging really badly in the backseat … badly enough that it scared me and I pulled over to check on him.  He was okay, but I was shaken…so I spent his lunchtime literally sitting in the backseat of the car (with the car on – it is stupid hot this week) in the Target parking lot tube-feeding him.  I just needed to have my eyes on him for awhile, to be near him.

I just wish his eating skills were improving at a much quicker pace.  I wish he could figure this whole thing out.  I get so tired of the tube sometimes.  It is a lot of work – the poor kid spends at least four hours every day just eating (1/2 hour of oral followed by 1/2 hour of tube meal, 4x a day).  I hate how much time he spends in a high chair.  I hate how messy syringe-feeding blended food can be.  And today, it all just felt like so much.  I was so overwhelmed, to the point where I was questioning where I was going to find my next hidden pocket of strength to continue with the day-in, day-out care Kiran requires.

I found it.  Today was the day I needed to change out the g-tube.  This is the first time I have had to do it when I have not had a nurse in the room talking me through it.  I have never felt particularly successful or confident in putting the new button in, and the whole process freaks me out a little.  When you pull the tube out, you are (of course) looking at a hole in your child’s stomach.  It’s all a bit too…medical…for me.  Needless to say, I was incredibly nervous about this afternoon.  Arif came down and supported me and one of my best friends – who has been trained on g-tubes and put plenty in – came over as well.

And it went flawlessly.  I did the entire thing by myself, and it just went incredibly smoothly.  It took all of 20 seconds.  I did it!  Finally, I felt confident and comfortable with the entire process.  It is what I needed today, to feel like “Hey, I’ve got this”  I’m so relieved.  Bring it on, life.  (Just kidding, life.  Lay off.  We don’t need anything else; we are good here.)




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