After a few days of being baffled as to the inconsistent water levels in Raya's G tube balloon, I'm pretty sure I figured out what's going on. I thought the balloon may have had a leak in it that was only leaking occasionally because it was probably on the upper part of the balloon where the stoma was keeping it from leaking. Pretty sure I was wrong though.
Okay, so I'll admit I'm a little on the lazy side about flushing the tube as often as I should and we used to ALWAYS leave the extension tubes on. That was because she was on continuous feeds and/or drainage for upwards of 18 hours a day, and it really bothered her skin to have tape put on and then taken off multiple times a week, let alone every day. It was easier on all of us to just leave the extension tubes taped on. Fast forward to now, she's only needing to be fed about 15 hours a day and it's less than that when we do bolus feeds, so I've been really good about flushing the extension & unhooking it so the backflow valve doesn't get stuck or worn out (which leads to leakage). Most of the time, when I unhook the extension from the G tube, I leave it taped to her stomach so we don't irritate her skin. Here's the fun part.
Yesterday when she pulled out her tube, I noticed that there was no water left in the balloon, which I thought was odd. Then suddenly last night it dawned on me that Raya had been trying to plug the extension tube in to her G tube and I realized that what had most likely been happening was that she had jammed the tip of the extension tube into the balloon port on the G tube and let all the water out. What a little stinker! And a smart one at that. :) Once again, I have learned my lesson and won't be leaving any extension tubes taped on without having them plugged in unless she's wearing a onesie.
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