Lizzie has had a g-tube (gastrostomy feeding tube) for many years.  It’s been pretty easy to use, and we haven’t had much issues with it, until recently.  Within the last 3 months, she has had repeat infections in her g-tube area.  The stoma, which it the circular opening that surrounds the plastic tube, has been getting a bubble on it, which then fills with pus and drains.  We have done multiple courses of antibiotics, and had it opened up by a surgeon more than once. It just keeps coming back.

The last time it cropped up, back in June, we visited a surgeon, who cauterised the infection.  This is the worst experience I have ever been through with Lizzie.  They gave her a shot of lidocaine first, which I’m not sure did anything really.   Then after a few minutes, the surgeon used a pair of scissors to cut off the top of the bubble.  That wasn’t really the bad part, Lizzie was mad about being held down, but not about the procedure.  They cleaned out the pus, and looked around inside the wound (the theory being they would find a surgical stitch or some other foreign body in the wound that was causing it to fester).  When they didn’t find anything, they took out the silver nitrate sticks.  I thought they were going to just burn off the edges of the wound.  I was caught off guard when the doctor stuck the stick into her wound.  She let out a scream, like I’ve never heard.  And a few thoughts went through my head: 1: Thank, God, her brother wasn’t with to watch this., 2: why would they make me help hold her down for this, 3: (and most importantly) poor Lizzie.  It was horrible, and seemed to take forever.  She screamed through the entire procedure, as I tearfully apologized over and over again.  I was shaky afterward, and my heart took a while to return to its regular beat.  Lizzie slept afterward, obviously because she was exhausted from the ordeal.  The ironic part was, Lizzie has been to the hospital for much lesser events, and given stuffed animals and toys, this time, after her horrible ordeal, she didn’t get as much as a sticker.  It seemed wrong somehow, like adding insult to injury.  I mean not that they should give her something every time she goes, but with something that awful it seemed she should have something to make it up.

The scar looked black and burnt for a couple of days, and then slowly healed.  At first it didn’t come back, and I began to think that at least the trauma had been worth it.  Until this week, when the bubble returned.  I took Lizzie to the pediatrician on Friday to have it looked at.  She didn’t even give us an antibiotic this time, just a referral back to the surgeon.  I couldn’t even bring myself to make that call on Friday.  I’m not ready to put her through that again.  Don’t get me wrong, I will call first thing on Monday morning.  In the mean time, I’ll be praying it resolves on its own again.