Sitting in a hospital room, watching James sleep, tracking his vitals on a monitor. An all too familiar situation. We’ve been here a few times before, but this time there’s one very big difference. This time he’s not just recovering, he’s getting ready for a new beginning. One that starts with a well-nourished, healthy little boy. That makes my heart happy. There’s no telling where that can lead us!
The night before surgery didn’t feel like a new beginning though. I cried as I watched my happy little boy taking a bath, wondering if we were doing the right thing. We have agonized over this decision and spent so much time doing research, questioning, waiting, talking with doctors, and getting second and third opinions. We’ve literally taken years to come to a place of acceptance. We first discussed a g-tube before James left the NICU. And even after all of that, there’s still doubt. If only I could find a roadmap, laying out exactly what we’re supposed to do in great detail, leaving nothing to chance. I guess until we find that elusive map we’ll continue to take careful steps down this path, doing our best to make the right decisions for James.
After reading a few pages of posts in a ‘tubie’ Facebook group, I was beginning to reconsider what the right decision is. It’s overwhelming and down right scary to read about some of the issues that come up with g-tubes. I was sucked in at first, reading every post and comment, looking at photos, crying as I thought about all the what-ifs and things that could go wrong. I hate the possibility of causing James more pain. Finally I had to stop. I’m thankful there are places to go with questions if/when they arise, but I can’t prepare for all of the worst case scenarios. I don’t know what problems we will have. I don’t know how James’ body is going to react, or what our worst case scenario will be. There are lots of unknowns. I certainly want to be aware and know what to look for, but my focus can’t be on everything that can go wrong. That’s not the way to begin this journey.
Good things are going to happen as a result of James having a g-tube, and I have to focus on those. I know I will need to remind myself often, especially at first, but I want the benefits of this journey foremost in my thoughts. This is what it’s all about.
- Mealtime stress is gone.
- The pressure to eat is gone.
Just those two are huge!
- James will gain weight.
- His health will improve.
- His development will improve.
And those are just as huge. Everything we’ve wanted and worked so hard at achieving over the past couple of years is now within reach. I keep reading each one of those statements over. I’m not sure you can fully understand the weight that’s been lifted unless you’ve experienced the stress and heartbreak of a child who struggles to eat. To be certain of those five statements is truly incredible. To know that James will be stronger and healthier, that brings tears to my eyes. That’s what lets me know we’re doing the right thing. The scary stuff may or may not show up, too. If it does we’ll deal with it and move on. But every one of these positive outcomes will occur. It doesn’t get any better than that!
So with that in mind, I’m excited about this journey and anxious to start seeing results. I know James will be feeling better soon. The discomfort of surgery will pass and he’ll be back to his sweet, busy little self. We’ll figure out new routines and learn more about what having a ‘tubie’ really means. And soon we’ll start to see a healthy, strong little boy emerge, and we’ll know it was all worth it.