Today is the last day of Tube Feeding Awareness Week! What a fantastic week it has been. It seems fitting that we wound up our local hospital on Thursday…and it appears as though Esmé is a bit of a celebrity. There were several people who had seen Esmé’s Feeding Tube Awareness Week video thanks to a repost from one of our PICU nurses! She kept getting recognized!
On the last day of FTAW the topic is “Sometimes you just have to laugh: Tubie Humor.” You should check out FTA on facebook (don’t forget to “like” us, if you haven’t already!) to see some of the funny stories parents and tubies are sharing!
I shared one of my embarrassing and funny stories about feeding Esmé in public on this month’s Complex Child. You can check my article out as well as some other great articles here.
Most of my funny stories with the feeding tube have to do with spilling, squirting, and launching stomach contents in one way or another. The one I will share today has to do with the kind of thinking on your feet and making do that our children seem to constantly require of us.
Several months into my life as a tubie maman I had gotten pretty confident about going out and about with Ez. This particular day she and I were headed out on a brief expedition to Target to grab some baby food. She was just starting to have real improvement in her tone and I sat her in one of Target’s big red plastic carts in the kiddie seat for the first time. She was sort of slumped, but liking it!
Since it was to be a quick trip I made the very unusual decision to leave her full diaper bag in the car and just place an open syringe for venting her in my purse. Ez needed to be vented so frequently then that we always left her extension attached. There she was sitting when I made a new friend in the baby food aisle. I hadn’t been out a lot, so I was really happy to be being social again.
We were chatting away when Ez started fussing a bit. I turned to her and, keeping my conversation going, lifted her out of the cart. Turning back to my new friend, I notice a funny look on her face. Ezzy was in my arms, but her extention, g-tube pad, and g-tube were dangling from the cart. The extension had caught in the seat of the cart and pulled out her tube entirely.
Turns out, my new friend was a nurse. She helped me empty everything from the basket of my cart and lay Ez down in there. Since I had left the diaper bag in the car, I didn’t have Ezzy’s emergency kit…but I did have a single unopened 10mL syringe and hand sanitizer in the bottom of my purse (much like other moms have tissues and lifesavers)…and we were able to set up a tubie triage in the Target shopping cart. I quickly switched out her button and completed my shopping…no one was the wiser!
I felt like such a super maman…well, as super as you can feel when you stupidly yank out your child’s g-tube and are completely unprepared to deal with it.