In my younger days, I remember loving the Cherry Ames book series. She was this very cool nurse who also solved mysteries. Sweet, a detective and a nurse! To this day, a good mystery will hold my attention, but medical stuff doesn’t. Sitting at a lunch table full of nurses talking about how good it is to feel the vein and finally get the needle in there made me a little sick to my stomach. So who in a million years would ever think that I would be so proud of my new nursing skills……certainly not me or anyone who knew me in high school or college.
But life throws things at you and you deal, right? When my brother was on hospice care for A.I.D.S. at our house, my mom and I divided up the nursing duties. She cooked him delicious meals that he would eat when nothing else tempted his appetite. I was in charge of dispensing meds. It was pretty easy, I just had to count them out and make sure he took the right ones at the right time. And then I would hook him up to his port and give him his heavy duty antibiotics for the M.R.S.A. he had contracted post appendectomy surgery. He was such an easy patient, always so nice, even when he was in pain. So, I had a little home nursing skill before Darling Boy came to town.
And now I can do all these things with a g-tube. Today I cleaned a clog with some soda because my nurse friends told me that was a cheat that they used in the hospital. Thanks, ladies!! And I can give him feeds with the pump or the syringe.
The only thing I was really freaking out about was what would happen if the tube got pulled on. Darling Boy loves to pull on things: strings on his sweatpants, his shirt or pants, and you guessed it, the tube that now hangs out of his stomach. Actually, he pulled it enough that he dislodged the bar that is flush to his stomach to the point that the doctor had to fix it. I learned how to unsnap the doohickey and place it flush against his stomach if it happened again.
And it did. ON.THE. RIDE.HOME.FROM.THE. HOSPITAL! D.B. is like a ninja that way, whatever you don’t want him to pull on or knock over, that he will. He is very quick and very strong. Just because he doesn’t walk, doesn’t mean he doesn’t move. And the boy has some skills. Especially the skill of pulling on things on or near his body.
So, I get home that night and felt too tired and edgy to deal with it. So was D.B., neither of us really slept after 4 hours of doctors’ appointments ending in an x-ray. The next day, I attempted to disconnect the doohickey and slide the tube back into his stomach. Yeah, in a couple hours it was out again. That night, as I was tossing and turning ( did I mention my anxiety?) I figured I would call the hospital and see what they had to say. Either I would have to go to the e.r. (it was the weekend) or I would go in for a visit on Monday.
The g.i. doctor called me back and explained in very specific detail how to feel the tube tug inside his stomach and then inch the doohickey down to his tummy, not to pull the tube as I had been doing. We agreed that if I wasn’t able to do this, I could get an appointment on Monday. Now, to be fair, the doctor who showed me how to do this had no time to explain because Darling Boy was thrashing around the table and screaming loudly while he was showing me how to do this wondrous thing. Well, Lovely Husband came back from errands and I tried to fix the doohickey just as the weekend doctor explained. I felt the little tug and I slowly moved the white piece back towards his belly. Voila, everything was back in place.
So, if anyone could find a mystery for me to solve, maybe I could change my name to Cherry Ames. Ack, no, I still can’t handle the blood and veins thing.