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What happens when a G tube balloon pops

It's funny how every time I have a paranoia about something with Raya, eventually it happens and usually turns out to be not as big of a deal as I expected it to be. (Add that to the list of lessons I've learned from having Raya. :) The day I brought her home from the hospital with the NG tube in her nose, I was SO afraid she would pull it out and I'd have to put it back in. I knew it was inevitable that I would have to put one in her nose at some point, but I dreaded it. Then it happened. I think she caught it on her little pinky finger and pulled it out. I wrapped her up like a little burrito, got my tape and stethoscope ready, and went for it. It really wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. Which is good since I ended up doing it SOOOOOOOO many times.
Then she got her G tube and I was given the "what to do if it gets pulled out" speech before we left the hospital, which left me feeling paranoid. Thank heavens the non-balloon button she had first never got pulled out. The balloon button did once though. It got my adrenaline pumping a little but we got it back in and cleaned up the giant smelly mess and everything was fine.
Then she got the GJ tube and I was given an even scarier "what to do if the tube gets pulled out" speech since a GJ tube can only be placed in Interventional Radiology (IR) and they work normal business hours and probably don't enjoy being called in for emergencies on nights & weekends. I was extremely (and possibly overly) careful with her GJ tube. That little sucker was taped firmly in place so there was no chance of it twisting and we kept her under pretty tight supervision. Then I broke it. That time, it WAS as giant of a pain in the butt as I had expected it to be since we had to be squeezed in to IR's packed schedule for the day but it still wasn't anything to panic over. Just threw a wrench into my day and the radiologist's day and our nurse's day who had to call & get us in to have it replaced.

I don't remember when it occurred to me that it is possible for a G tube balloon to just spontaneously pop, but for a while now I have been slightly paranoid that it would pop at night, come out of her stomach, and her stoma would close before we discovered it in the morning. Luckily our first (and hopefully ONLY) balloon popping incident didn't happen that way though. :)
I put her in bed for a nap today and a couple hours later when I got her out, there was a big wet spot in her bed. I sniffed her breath to see if it smelled like formula puke/spit-up and it kind of did but not really. Then I smelled the sheet to see if it smelled like formula puke or just her sweaty little head. It smelled like neither but it definitely had a funky smell. Then I laid her down to change her diaper and what should flop out from under her little t-shirt but her entire G tube still hooked to the extension that was taped to her belly. Awesome. The balloon has a big huge hole in it. Not really even a hole, it just looks like the whole bottom half of it blew apart from the top half:
Once I saw it, the little voice in my head told me I should be panicking, but it takes a lot more than a popped G tube to make me panic these days so instead I told Raya to hold still and not move while I went to get the replacement tube that we just happened to have, thanks to our wonderful nurse. :) When I came back, I did start to worry a little because I realized that I had no idea how long her tube had been out. (For those of you who aren't familiar with G tubes & stomas, having a tube come out and not knowing about it is a bad thing because the stoma (hole) can start to close within 15-20 minutes kind of like if you leave your earrings out for too long. If the tube doesn't fit when you go to put it back in, it can require surgical intervention.)
Anyway, I crossed my fingers and started poking the tube into the hole. It didn't fit. Oh dear. I poked harder. Still didn't go in. I almost called the nurse (who hasn't gone into labor yet so she's still working, thank goodness) but then I decided to try one more time. I told Raya to hold still and pushed harder, and luckily on the third try it went in. I said, "Whew! There you go." Raya said, "Dee-dyoo, Mommy." I said, "You're welcome," inflated the new balloon, flushed water through it, and sent her off on her merry way. I think once the replacement tube comes, I'll use the popped one to make her a stuffed animal with a G tube. :)


  1. Yay Brandis!
    And maybe an awesome new home business? They have teddys with broken could sew them with g-tubes. (I know, like you have the time, but sleep is sooo overrated). :)


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