Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ryan's New Mic-Key Button

On the 28th of December, Ryan got his Mic-key button. (Seriously, I can't say or type "Mic-Key" without thinking of that one song: "Oh, mickey you're so fine. You're so fine, you blow my mind, Hey, Mickey. Hey, Mickey." I'm not even sure that's how the song goes. My family will tell you I have a real talent ... okay, they wouldn't use the word talent ... for changing the words of songs and making them whatever I want them to be. And, do you know what that song is about? I just learned recently. I had no idea. I thought it was a clean wholesome song. Who knew? ... Oh, and the other song that I think of is of course: "M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E. Mickey Mouse. Donald Duck. Mickey Mouse. Donald Duck....)

Oh, yeah ... I was telling you about his new button.

A Mic-Key Donald Duck button is another form of a feeding "tube". When they first did Ryan's surgery, they used a traditional feeding tube because there are some known problems with the MIC-key tubes balloon deflating. I'll explain ... On the inside attached to the other end of the "tube" is a little balloon that is filled with saline solution. This balloon keeps the feeding tube/button in place in the stomach. If it deflates, it will come out. When they first do the surgery, if the button/tube becomes dislodged, it is a very serious event. Now, after 6 weeks, if the balloon deflates the doctor tells me I just need to put it back in and reinflate the balloon. I hear it's fairly common and fairly easy, but I keep hoping it just doesn't ever happen.

So, here's a picture of his new button. (If you scroll down to the end of November, you can see a picture of the first feeding tube.)The big advantage to this button is that it doesn't have a long tube that is always moving around. I was always nervous that we'd accidentally snag the tube and thus pull it out. However, the disadvantage to this button, is that you have to hook up a tube to attach a syringe to release gas from his belly, and it only accepts a particular type of syringe. Unfortunately, I only have one of those syringes. I should probably figure out how I can get more of them.

The other really big advantage is it doesn't seem to create as much hypergranulation tissue. If you're curious to see what granulation tissue looks like, click here. (If you have a weak stomach, then just don't look.) Hypergranulation tissue is a fairly normal process. It's just the body's way of fighting the g-tube because it doesn't think it belongs in the body. Most kids stop creating it after about the first 3 months.

I'm pretty comfortable with medical procedures. I don't have a weak stomach. I don't usually feel bothered by watching medically necessary procedures on myself or my children. In fact, I wish I could watch each surgery, etc. I would feel more comfortable with that. HOWEVER, watching the hypergranulation tissue being cut off and subsequently treated with silver nitrate was heart wrenching. I felt so sad for Ryan. I hope to never have to see that again. We now treat the first sign of hypergranulation tissue with a little silver nitrate and it seems to be keeping it to a minimum.

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