(...quick background for those that are new here...Colleen came to us at the age of 2 in August of 2009 as a foster/pushing for adoptive placement. It wasn't her first time in foster care. Her biological parents had taken her to the hospital this time b/c she was vomiting a lot. She had been labeled failure to thrive in the past. Due to an unfortunate incident in the hospital, it was decided that she would no longer be able to be in her bio parents' care. An nG tube for feeding was placed in her nose and we were given all sorts of instructions about the tube and how to feed her through it.
|'Back in the day...'|
Later they placed a G tube in her belly and shortly after that a MicKey button. In January of 2012, our adoption became final! We've been seeing the feeding team/GI doc on and off all this time and in August of 2012 we were admitted to the children's hospital for 2 weeks of intensive feeding therapy...and we haven't used the tube since. When we had a follow up in November of 2012, she weighed 33 pounds and some odd ounces. Things have been going really well, even at school, so we were hoping that they would set a date for the removal of the tube at this appointment. We tried not to get our hopes up to high, but we'd be lying if we said we hadn't thought and prayed about it! Back to yesterday...)
...she weighed in at 36 pounds 2 ounces! We chatted w/the feeding team nurse, the dietician and the psych doctor. I rattled off Colleen's daily schedule and what she usually eats. They seemed very pleased w/her weight gain (almost 3 pounds in 6 months?!) and then casually asked, "How would you feel about taking the tube out today?"
How would we feel?
WE FEEL LIKE JUMPING OUT OF OUR CHAIRS AND GETTING RIGHT TO IT!!!
We quickly called some family members and took pictures!
(Colleen makes sure to count them out as she recounts the story - tape is a big deal in our house. When she had an nG tube, we had to put all kinds of tape on her sweet little face to hold it in place and keep it from coming out. She would get these big sores, we would need to switch sides and there would be taping, wailing and shaking, re-taping and some serious reassuring cuddle sessions for a girl who had a whole lot of emotional hurt not to mention the sting of yards of tape being peeled off! So, yeah, medical tape of any kind gets a big mention in the story.) The funny thing is, Colleen didn't cry, she barely shook and she only let out a little yelp when it was actually pulled out. She goofed around w/the tape and I marveled at how far she's come! There were no tears, no huge hugging sessions and very little anxiety at all...bittersweet...for sure...
After it was all over, the nurse tucked the button into a glove and told Colleen she could throw it away and say goodbye. Before you could say 'button' (and before I could say, "Let me take a picture...") that thing was slammed into the trash and a quick 'GuhBYE' was yelled! She turned around like we do this every day, like it was no big thing and like she was ready for the next thing! I just shook my head, hardly able to comment for the huge lump in my throat =) Then the nurse came in w/some huge prizes to pick from - I love that another family had donated some big things for kids like her who 'graduate' from a tube or button! W/a little hesitation, she chose the princess laptop...and we were outta there!
|Playing with the tape|
I know so many of you have prayed and been praying for us! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! We are so very blessed to have this miracle known as Colleen in our lives! She has worked so hard for this and we didn't expect to be it to be over so fast. I wore my 'I love a tubie' sweatshirt to the appointment and little did I know that it would be the last day I would have a tubie living in my house!