Friday, March 13, 2009

Pike Place and Surgery News

This morning we took off bright and early for Pike Place Market. We arrived around 10:30 or so, and wandered around for a few hours just taking everything in. My sister enjoyed the neat little kitschy shops, Connor enjoyed the ramps and going up the stairs, and Jer enjoyed scaring the crap out of me by taking Connor up and down said stairs and letting go of Connor's wheelchair at key points on the ramps. I enjoyed gasping in horror at the boys' antics and getting us lost in downtown Seattle while pretending I knew where I was going. Overall it was a successful trip, especially since I got to take a picture of Connor with a yeti. I would like to point out that Connor and the yeti have identical facial expressions, and both of them look like they are not exactly having a good time. I figure this is on Connor's part because I have just forbidden Jeremy from pushing Connor up any more ramps, and on the yeti's part because he doesn't have anyone to push HIM up ramps and it sure looks like a lot of fun.

Every time we come to Pike Place Market we always swear we're going to eat somewhere new and different for lunch, and then we always go immediately to Post Alley and east at Pike Place Chowder. We've been to Pike Place probably 30 times now since we moved to the Puget Sound, and every time we end up munching on delectable Market Chowder, sourdough bread, and those tasty little oyster crackers. There are probably many, many other fantastic restaurants in Seattle, and I'm sure we'll try something new next time. Or...someday. Right.

After lunch we took off for the hospital and Connor's appointment with the general surgeon. He told us that due to Connor's prior abdominal surgeries they wouldn't do the surgery endoscopically. However, they shouldn't have to make a huge incision either, which is good. Here's basically how things will go:

The surgeons will make a small incision in Connor's abdomen and find his stomach. They'll make a small hole in his stomach and thread his initial tube through-- a tube called a malecot tube. This is a long, flexible tube with a mushroom-shaped end that prevents it from falling out of the stomach. Here's some more information and a picture of it, if you'd like to see it. They'll then sew his stomach to the abdominal wall to keep it from moving around, and they'll sew up the incision around the tube. This will then allow us to put food directly into his stomach at night while he is sleeping. We can then assure that he's getting enough nutrition and we can also start working him down off the bottle and get him to use cups instead.

After about six weeks, they will replace Connor's malecot tube with a Mic-Key Button. The Mic-Key button is very low-profile-- the port sits right up next to the skin instead of having a long tube like the malecot. It has a balloon inside that you inflate with water to keep the button in the stomach. Here's more info about it if you want it.

He'll probably stay a night or two in the hospital, but no longer than that. It's a very common procedure and it's also temporary-- if he gets to the point where he can get enough nutrition by mouth in the future, then we can take the g-tube out. In the meantime we'll have to replace it every four to six months, but he won't need any more surgeries for that-- we can just take the old one out and immediately put a new one in. If you leave it out for more than an hour, the hole closes up. Crazy how quickly the body heals itself, isn't it?

The crazy thing is when they scheduled the surgery for-- March 23rd. That's only ten days away! I had no idea that they would be able to do it so soon. Looks like Connor will have his g-tube before school starts after all. Who would have thought?

We're going to have a busy couple of weeks ahead of us!



Ellen said...

Hi! I think it's probably not a bad thing that the surgery is coming up so soon, less time to think about it, right?

I am glad you had a fun day at Pike's Place. LOVE it there, I've been only two times but both were so memorable. We stayed at the adorable hotel that's right there whose name I can't remember. We've had that yummy chowder! There are generally so many amazing places to eat in that area. Darn, now I'm hungry.


iceehot said...

I hope the surgery goes well! My daughter had her tube placed back in October and all in all, the surgery went well. We now have the mini-one (same as the mic-key) and love it!

Michelle said...

First of all, I'm glad you mentioned the likeness of facial expressions. I didn't want to be rude, but it is truly funny.

Secondly, don't ever deny yourself a good bowl of chowder.

Last but not least, I met loads of kids in the hospital with G-tubes and it really does seem like a routine surgery and fairly straight forward to use. Maybe easy to say when I'm not involved? Glad for your super short wait time and hope to hear news of Connor's quick recovery!

Connor's Mom said...

Ellen: That's probably true. At the same time, it came as a bit of a shocker. I'm so used to having to wait for everything that to have something scheduled that fast was a big surprise.

Pike Place Market is fantastic, isn't it? If you're ever in the area again, feel free to drop us a note and we'll meet you for lunch or something. Chowder's on me!

iceehot: I'm glad your daughter's surgery went well! I've read plenty of g-tube horror stories, so it's nice to know there are people out there who haven't had huge problems with granulation tissue, leakage, etc.

Michelle: We figure if we doused the Yeti in Nair and found him some sweat pants and a blue jean jacket that it would be almost impossible to tell them apart. Other than the whole being seven feet tall thing. I'm sure no one would notice.

Thanks for the good wishes!

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