April 30, 2012

Post 7

It was now the month of May. I had celebrated my first Mother’s Day with my son. Things were going smoothly. Gabriel was home, I adapted to the new schedule and managing the NG tube. Gabriel still had a very persistent cough, but the cause was a mystery to everyone. Even during all his hospital stays no one could figure out why he coughed so much. Every time he coughed it sounded like a barking dog or the cough of a heavy long time smoker. Harsh and raspy. He did not have a cold or a virus of any kind.

On Memorial Day weekend, Gabriel, my mom and I were hanging out in the family room. Gabriel was sitting in a bounce seat. Out of nowhere he started to cough a little, then the coughing stopped and his face began to turn blue.  His eyes rolled into the back of his head and he seemed to lose consciousness.

The next few minutes were the scariest of my life.

 I realized he wasn’t breathing. I leaped and grabbed the phone and called 911.

My mom lay Gabriel in front of her quickly and started the steps prior to CPR…..skills I thought we would never have to use. I called his name repeatedly and smacked his feet just as we had been taught. Then all of a sudden, he simply came out of it. Thank God!

The paramedics arrived only a minute after I had called. They came in, but his color had already returned and he was smiling at them. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I was shaking. I had never seen that before. I had never seen anyone turn that color, much less my own baby. I had never seen anyone’s eyes roll into the back of his or her head. Seeing that happen to Gabriel was heart wrenching for me. The paramedics stayed awhile to assure he was ok then said we could drive Gabriel to the hospital and they would be prepared to follow us if needed.

We drove him to the ER. When we arrived they took him back right away. I notified Gabriel’s father and by then Gabriel was hooked to monitors.The nurses asked me what position Gabriel had been in at the time of the blue spell. I explained he was just sitting in his bounce chair.

They had thought that maybe Gabriel had been sitting in an awkward position that could render him unable to breathe. I insisted I did not in any way have him in any awkward position. I was taken back by the questions and truly offended.
At that moment, the heart monitor showed his heart rate going up to 300 beats per minute.The staff acted quickly to stabilize him. It was then staff believed his heart was responsible for the blue spell. That night, was a long and worrisome night. The next day the doctors came in to discuss their plan. They told me an
from Austin would be doing another  cardioversion. They had already tried the cardioversion two times since Gabriel was born, and it did not work. But they wanted to try it one more time. They also went to work trying different recipes of medications until they found one that seemed to be working. The subject of Gabriel’s NG tube came up. Doctors decided to go ahead and schedule the G button (mickey button)  surgery. The doctors felt we should just do it and have it done while all the specialists were there and Gabriel was stable. So the G-tube was implanted during this hospital stay. I had been dreading this for a long time. But we had come to the end of the road.
In retrospect, having the G-button put in was not the end of the world and was certainly necessary.
I realized that much like everything else, we would adapt.
The surgeon came in to talk to me. He told me that in addition to the G-button procedure They also wanted to have another surgeon perform a
nissen fundoplication. I learned that this procedure is typically done along with the G-button procedure. The fundoplication would keep him from being able to vomit, burp or even spit up, but the consensus of all the doctors was that Gabriel needed it. There was no time to even think about it. It was done.

The surgery was risky, given his heart problems, but it was a success. All went smoothly and I was relieved. When I saw the button for the first time in his little tummy, it looked so strange to me; it had black stitches over it to help keep it in place while the incision healed. A long tube came out and extended from the button. I didn’t realize at the time, but the long tube that came out from the button was only an extension tube that hooked into the G-button and could be taken on and off as needed. This tube was used to connect him to the feeding line, which was attached to the bag on his feeding pump.

The next few days Gabriel continued to heal from the surgery, his heart was stable and the staff taught me how to care for the G-button and feed him through it. The medical supply rep came out and set up the pump so I felt comfortable with this new situation. I was on information overload, but hey, what’s new.

For a couple months we kept trying to feed Gabriel a little from the bottle, but after the fudoplication procedure, Gabriel would never take the bottle. Prior to the surgery he had loved the pacifier and he still acted like he wanted it, but would gag and spit it out…. so he never took the pacifier again either. From then on, everything that went into his body would enter by way of the button. He started to gain weight immediately and that was awesome. It assured me that the time was right and I had done my best.