|Ga Ga, Christopher in his Halloween sheep dog costume, and LeAnne|
As I started the car I was already wondering if this really was a good idea. By the time I loaded the diaper bag, the double stroller, and the feeding tube equipment into the car, I was already tired. Not to mention the fact, that I still needed to load the three kids in their car seats while making sure to remember their special blankets, stuffed animals, pacifiers, and on and on. I was really beginning to second guess the wisdom of this idea, but I was meeting my mom at the mall. It was too late to cancel now. Besides, I was really looking forward to the shopping and lunch out.
We arrived at the mall and met my mom. The kids call her "Ga Ga" instead of Grandma. Ga Ga helped me unload the kids and the car. We arranged the kids in the stroller along with all their gear. Loading, unloading, kids crying, way too much stuff to carry...are we having fun yet? But...there it stood, directly in front of us. We were at the mall. We were going to shop, eat lunch, and have a GOOD TIME (whether we liked it or not!).
It all started out just like you might imagine. We did some window shopping, made a few purchases, and did a little "people watching." All good clean fun. Lunch was next on the list. We made our way to the food court to dine on the "fine" cuisine offered there. Burgers, fries, and milkshakes were on the menu. Not exactly health food, but this was a special occasion. It was our first outing to the mall since Christopher had been born. It was a reason to celebrate, so burgers and fries all around!
Unfortunately, the party pretty much ended with lunch. As we were gathering up the trash, wiping dirty hands and faces clean, and rearranging all the kid gear, I saw it. While we were eating our lunch, Christopher had been sleeping in the stroller. He had been hooked up to his feeding tube (I guess he was eating his lunch too in his own special way), but as I tucked his blanket around him I noticed that it was wet!? My first thought...diaper issue, but no, that wasn't the problem. Then I noticed that his clothes were all wet too... with formula. This was NOT a good sign! I unsnapped his T-shirt, and there it was. His J-tube had come lose, and the formula that was SUPPOSED to be dripping into his intestine was leaking out all over the inside of the stroller!
All I can say is that it was a very good thing that I had been keeping those packed suitcases in the back of my car. I was staring at an emergency right there in front of me in the double stroller. Ga Ga noticed the shock and horror on my face. One look into the stroller, and she knew why. Game over!The fun day at the mall ended before it had hardly even gotten started.
In a panic we loaded the kids and their gear into the car in what I'm sure was record time. On the way to the hospital I dropped Ga Ga, Michael, and Ryan off at her house along with their emergency suitcases. Then I raced to the emergency room with Christopher.
It was extremely important that we get another tube in quickly. The hole they had fashioned into his intestine was very new, and there was a dangerous likelihood that it would close back up quickly. If it did, that meant more surgical intervention for Christopher. It meant another long hospital stay. Knowing all this I got to the emergency room as fast as I could.
Since this was the first time the feeding tube had come out (it would definitely not be the last), there wasn't exactly a solid plan as to what to do about it. This kind of caught me by surprise. I guess I just assumed that there was a protocol for this, but apparently there wasn't. Instead, there was a lot of scrambling. Both the surgeons and the GI doctor were called. They consulted with each other and came up with a plan.
Instead of taking him to surgery, they decided to attempt to replace it in the "Cath lab". The Cath lab is an examination room in the hospital that is equipped with specialized diagnostic imaging machines used to place catheters usually to treat or diagnose heart disease. So...why were they going to do it there? There was nothing wrong with his heart, or was there something they weren't telling me? I was DEFINITELY NOT having fun now! I knew I should have never left the house. Well, at least we had a yummy lunch.
As it turned out, Christopher's heart was just fine (thank you, God!), but they were going to use the imaging equipment to help them place the tube underneath the skin of his abdomen while guiding it back down into the hole in his intestine. That is, if the hole was still open! They wouldn't really know if this was going to work until they got in there. If it didn't, he would have to go back into surgery.
God must have definitely been smiling down on Christopher and guiding the hands of the doctors that day because the plan worked. The hole was still open. They went in underneath the skin of his abdomen and placed a new tube. A couple stitches later and lots of tape, and he was as good as new. No surgery needed. Tragedy had been averted.
I felt nothing but total relief. I thanked the doctors and loaded Christopher back into the car. I called Ga Ga to let her know that all was well. Since the boys already thought they were going to get to stay the night at Ga Ga's house, she decided to keep them overnight and bring them home the next day. I was grateful because it had been a long day. A simple trip to the mall had turned into a long ordeal at the emergency room. What I didn't know then was that this was just one visit in what would be a long series of visits that we would have to make to the emergency room.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this: