Skip to main content

Never mind, balloon's not leaking

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.


Popular Posts

Adhesives Part 1: Adhesives & Taping Techniques for NG tubes

This series has been a long time in the making. Back when Raya got her NG tube, I had no idea there were so many different adhesives on the market. At the hospital, they had used some kind of fabric tape in a box that had to be cut with scissors and that was the ONLY thing we accidentally left at the hospital. Raya caught her little pinky finger on the tube a couple days after we got home and the only medical tape I had ended up bringing home was Durapore. This tape is VERY sticky, very strong, and definitely not the best option for the tender little cheek of a 2 month old baby. A couple days later, we went to the GI doctor and the nurse saw the tape and told me that Duoderm would be much gentler on her skin and she gave me a couple of 6x6 sheets to try out.
That was the beginning of our trial-and-error process of figuring out which types of adhesives were better for all of the different things we used them for. This will of course NOT be an exhaustive review of every adhesive out the…

Sensory Processing Disorder: How to Make a Weighted Blanket

Lately I've been toying with the idea of making Raya a weighted blanket. She loves heavy things and has a lot of sensory seeking behaviors in regards to proprioception. Translation: she craves sensory input that helps her to gain awareness of where her body is in space, and it takes stronger than average input for her to get the feedback that her body is craving. (or at least that's how I understand it :) She seeks out "heavy work" activities, like carrying heavy things, pushing heavy things around on the floor (chairs, full laundry baskets, etc), and anything that gives heavy resistance to her muscles and joints. Lucky for us, carrying her backpack is a good heavy work activity because the poor kid gets to do that for a few hours a day. :)
The idea behind a weighted blanket and other heavy work activities is that when the child gains greater body awareness through proprioceptive input, the nervous system can be calmed and the need for constant fidgiting, moving, jump…

Feeding Tube Terminology: G tube words

One of the many things I didn't have a clue about before Raya got her G tube was the fact that there are LOTS of different kinds of G tubes, all with similar but different features & functions. Some of the terminology that was tossed around in the beginning was very confusing. When I met with the surgeon to pick out a button for when Raya's initial tube was ready to be changed, they pulled a bunch of tubes out of a cupboard, put them down on the table in front of me and said, "What kind do you want?" I had NO idea what to pick, all I knew was that anything would be better than what we had at that point.

Here are a few things I wish someone could have explained to me before Raya got a G tube:

1. What the heck does PEG mean?
PEG stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. In other words, a gastrostomy tube is placed through the abdominal wall using an endoscope to visually guide the surgeon to the best location to place the tube. The term PEG is used to refer to …