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Monday, December 10, 2007

Plight of the Tube

.(Home Health Depot image)

If you feel like being a little weird, continue reading this narrative of Courtey's feeding tube. If you don't feel like being weird, quite frankly I'm sorry for you and that you've had to put up with my nonsense. Skip ahead to paragraph eight and then secretly go back and read the story after.

Plight of the G-Tube

It was an otherwise peaceful afternoon in Tummytopia, I had spent the better part of an hour listening to the young girl's gurgling. Her stomach was making noises after lunch that I'd never heard before, sort of a "brub bub brub" mixed with some swishy swashiness. She must be excited for some reason, as if she's received some good news.

I, on the other hand, have been battling a bout of the doldrums. You see, she's been eating like a horse for weeks now and I'm barely getting any use. I've even been relieved of my medicine delivery duties, apparently the princess feels well enough to eat her pills with applesauce. What a foolish decision.

I am clearly the most direct route to the stomach. Chewing, swallowing, digesting, why even bother when you've got me? She says she craves chocolate. Why not mash up some cake and shove it down me with a pipe cleaner? There's no mess and no hillbilly-looking chocolate teeth thanks to the G-Tube, which happens to be short for Greatness-Tube (not gastrostomy, I get that all the time).

I remember the good old days when I'd be brimming with Jevity, the best liquefied chalk beverage since Yoo-Hoo. I'd be flushed with water three times a day, get my meds and snuggle up to a nice warm tummy, chat with her belly button now and again. Sure, she'd pick at me, curse my existence and threaten to get rid of me. I'd fit in some payback, slithering out of the nurses hands or spitting stomach juice in her boyfriend's face.

I never she would have the moxy to make good on her threats. But sure enough, today, the doc grabs me by the neck and yanks me right out of her like I was an ostrich with my head in the sand. Can you believe that? We spend months together, I nourish her everyday and now I'm suddenly expendable because she would rather eat her pork chops than drink them.

Adding insult to injury, then they throw me away as if I were common medical waste. At the very least I figured she'd have me bronzed to display on her mantle or trophy case (right next to her baby booties). But no, it was just "pluck" and "good riddance," she even had a smile on her face afterward, the nerve! I hope she has fun with her fancy hamburgers, pasta, fruit salad ... French fries ... apple pie ... boy, I sure am hungry ... and lonely.

The End

So, the point of our story is that Courtney had her feeding tube removed today and she's elated. It was a rather simply procedure, a quick yank from the doctor, a mild "ouch" from Courtney followed by her uncontrollable giggling because we had to put pressure on her stomach, the motherland of all ticklishness.

This was one of the milestones we had been looking forward to for months, it means that Courtney is able to take in all her food and medicine by mouth. Aside from the three scars (trachea tube, defibrillator implant and feeding tube) she looks no different than she had three months ago.

We also had an impromptu meeting with Crotched Mountain's vision therapist and an optometrist
that happened to be visiting today. The optometrist used a small light to examine her eyes and said her retinas are damaged, but it's not an issue of retinal detachment. We'll see about having an ERG, retina exam, performed when she visits the neuro-optometrist in Windham, Maine come January.

As for now her vision is showing signs of improvement. Julie mentioned Courtney finally saw her own legs while taking a bath the other day (it must be like when a big man loses a lot of weight and can finally look down and see his feet, and whatnot). The bathtub, by the way, is like something out of the Hyatt — jacuzzi jets, bubbles — I'm considering packing my own bathrobe for the next visit.

A few other notes:

Court's defibrillator implant is scheduled to be removed back at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The lead wire and device will be taken out, she has no plans right now to have a new (preferably functional) defibrillator implanted.

Her weight is coming back up, I know the ladies are sensitive about numbers involving size, but it's another sign she is eating well.

Her walking has progressed monumentally, she's walking much faster with only one person to guide her by holding her left or right hand.

Seeing Courtney this morning, she looked refreshed and very pretty. It was nice to see her after being gone last week.



Anonymous said...

Go Courtney! You are wonder woman!

Nancy J said...

Hey Jewels,
Still planning to head out that way on Thursday afternoon. I will need directions and a phone # once I land in merry old Greenfield. I am bringing cheesecake!!!!!!xoxoxoxo Nancy J

Meltron said...

what an awesome report!
Can't wait to see you again Courtballz!

Elizabeth said...

oh my goodness, hooray Courtney! I'm SO happy for you!

Julie/Mom said...

Today, 12/11/07, Court and her therapy group(including Sean and myself)went Christmas shopping! Yes, it was truly"therapy", tough duty this therapy thing! Anyway we were very successful and Courtney didn't even use her wheelchair! She managed to get most of her Christmas shopping done at none other than Ocean States Job Lots. It was heaven...they have everything from clothes,bedding,toys,rugs, to all sorts of gourmet food! Who cares if it's slightly outdated... it's the thought that counts, right? Then we all proceeded to dine out for lunch at the Bagel Mill, all these places are in Peterborough, N.H. So great fun was had by all
Court is feeling fine after having her stomach tube "ripped out" yesterday afternoon. No more itching at the sight. The next big acoutrement to rid herself of will be the wheelchair.....and that's coming along soon so stay tuned everyone!
Much love, Julie/mom

Anonymous said...

Wow! Courtney, you must be sooooooo happy to be free of that annoyance!

Marti said...


I really don't know how you got the G-tube to talk. You're amazing. I'm sure it wasn't easy. Most G-tubes refuse to speak.

Keep chugging along Court! Now that you're G-tube free, you're really on your way to complete health.

Valerie said...

uh sean, you just made me guffaw loudly and suddenly in a very quiet, public place (the library) least it was for a good cause! such awesome news, i can't wait to see you, most lovely courtney, again soon! love, val