Monday, August 20, 2012

No Other Choice

Somehow, this morning, Jack got into an old box of medical supplies. When I found him, he was playing with an unopened nasograstric tube (NG tube) and a stethoscope. You know the kind of tube that is stuck down the nose (or throat)? I'm not sure why I kept one of those. Maybe to remind myself of what life used to be like.

Jack at 5 months old.

There were two times in Jack's life (besides the NICU) where he stopped eating and we had to insert an NG tube in order to get food into him. We were trained in sticking that little tube down Jack's nose, throat, and into his belly. We knew how to use the stethoscope to check for the right placement. Listening for that little "pop" noise when pushing some air through the tube to the belly. We had to make sure that the tube was in the right spot and not his lungs.

Holding your child down, restraining them, and sticking a tube down their nose and throat is probably the worst thing I have ever had to do. It's one of the reasons I was so relieved to get a permanent g-tube. No more torturing Jack, just being able to get food in his belly.

When I saw Jack playing this morning, with items that used to bring so much stress into our lives, I was again reminded of how far we've come.

I remember some of those hard, hard days the first year of Jack's life. Of wondering if it would always be so difficult, so grueling. What would our life even be like? We didn't know and some days, we still don't. But we have to daily make the choice to be strong with whatever circumstances come our way. We just have to keep going.

Many people have said to me since Jack was born "I just don't know how you do it." Well, I just tell them that there is really no other choice.

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Brandi said...

So true. I love that quote.

Heather L said...

Yep, I had terrible, terrible anxiety when our Jack had his NG tube. He came home from the NICU with it when he was four months old & had it until around 7 months. We had to insert a new one EVERY Friday (or whenever he pulled it out on his own) and I dreaded those days. I hated looking in his face, while torturing him with that tube...I hated being a part of anything that made him uncomfortable or gave him pain. I still don't think the anxiety about his nutritional needs have subsided, but we at least no longer have the NG (he's 2 now). But, you are right...we do what we other choice.

Rachel Beer said...

So humbling and so true. I actually have a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff of Claire's so your not the only one who hangs on to items such as though.

Twintrospectives said...

I also had to do the NG tube thing. Talk about a scary time. We didn't have to do it for long, as it was mainly there fore back up, "just in case," following our one guy's NICU discharge (we celebrate NICU Graduation 2nd Anniversary today.) I also kept some of the medical supplies to show him one day. And I also get asked, "How do you do it?" or "I don't know how you do it!" and my response is always, "What else would I do? There is no choice. You just do it." I don't mind when people say such things, because I know what they really mean! :) Preemie Power!

Aimee said...

I wrote something about our NICU stay using the same quote! It was originally on my personal blog but I moved it recently for all to read:

We were also trained to put in a NG tube, and thankfully, we have never needed to do it. I hated the day I was trained... bad memories.

Anyway, I think all parents survive the NICU because they have to! We just don't have a choice in it!