Thursday, July 21, 2011


I know, I know. It's been eight days since Caleb had surgery. I used to be so good about blogging a few times a week. And for that matter, I used to be somewhat witty. Now it's all medical and milestones, and I can hardly find the time/energy to keep up. Sorry.


Caleb's surgery went well, which was to be expected. It was simple and pretty quick. They gave him versed to calm him down and keep him from having any recollection of the event, so he willingly went to the anesthesiologist and left us for the OR. I didn't even cry. Later, the anesthesiologist said that he reeeeeally fought having the mask with the anesthesia put on, and to never let anyone do anything like that without first giving him versed! I can't imagine how bad it would have been without being drugged first! Poor babe.

After knocking him out, they went in laproscopically through his belly button to the side of his stomach. Then they made the hole and popped a "button" in it. Then they covered his belly button with steri-strips, and the surgery was done!

He spent about 24 hours in the hospital, only needing pain meds once, which was a good thing. Why? Because Primary Children's Medical Center, one of the nation's leading pediatric hospitals, doesn't have dye-free children's Tylenol! RIDICULOUS! You can get it at Target!! Next time I'm bringing my own dye-free tylenol.

Anyway, he was a tiny bit tender for a few days, and by four days post-op he was 100 percent himself again!

This is exactly what his "button" looks like:

AMT Mini ONE®  Button

The round bottom part is inflated with water and is what goes into the stomach. Yes, Caleb literally has a water balloon in his stomach. You deflate it when putting the button in or taking it out. It's there to keep the button from coming out of place. The top part opens up so I can attach an extension tube to feed him through.

I'll show you a picture of what it looks like from the top (what you see when you look at Caleb's belly) when Caleb doesn't have to have it all taped down to keep it in place any more. Right now there's just too much going on on his little belly. It's hard to make sense of it all. And I have to get around to taking pictures, which is much harder than it should be.

We're all adjusting well to the new "norm." I'm still a little intimidated by the tube (will I know if something is wrong with it, like an infection, irritation, or unhealthy skin growth? Will I know what to do if it comes out within the first eight weeks after surgery--I'm supposed to take him immediately to the hospital after putting a special tube in the hole!). But overall, it's easier than the NG tube.

And I'm pretty sure Caleb LOVES it! Not that he loves being fed through it, he loves the tube itself! He now knows how to say "button," while pointing to his new button. The extension that attaches to the button that we feed him through we call his "tube." Whenever he sees it he says, "tube!" He chews on it or plays with it and when the tube comes open he says, "uh-oh!" When the feeding is done and we put the tube away he says, "bye-bye, tube." And other than his night-time feeds where we hook him up to the feeding pump, we "gravity feed" him using a 2-oz syringe. You take the plunger out of the syringe, attach the syringe to his tube, put the formula in the syringe, and hold it higher than the button and the formula just flows right in! Well, Little Cal loves to play with the syringe plunger. I "bop" him in the belly with it, and it is now known as the "bopper." He says "bop bop!" every time he sees it, and loves to "bop" himself in the tummy with it. Too cute, too cute. It might be weird that one of my son's favorite toys is a syringe, but I don't mind.

So, everything is going pretty smoothly at the Purser household. Caleb was weighed the day before his surgery and weighed 18 lbs exactly. I can't wait to see what he weighs next! Our feeding therapist wants him to be weighed twice a month...I think mostly because she's curious. :) I'm curious, too. He seems hungrier than ever before! He LOVES the seven solid foods that he's allowed to eat, and he can ask for most of them by name! It's so nice to know that, for the first time in his life, he can eat without being in pain. It makes the pain of the surgery entirely worth it.

And we just love seeing him without a tube taped to his face!
And we love seeing him loving food!


Katie B said...

This makes me so happy. I'm glad it's going so well!

Ellie said...

So glad to hear this plan is working! It's about time!
Thanks for the update; you are a very good writer!

*Alice Anne* said...

I'm curious about his weight too...! Once he starts adding on the pounds, it would be cool to see a chart of his growth. I'm excited! Go Anna and goooooo Caleb!

Chris and Linnea Lindstrom said...

You described everything so well! I'm pretty sure I totally neglected to explain the mechanics of the button itself on Calla's caringbridge! So glad everything has gone smoothly!