We all kind of paused, I said flippantly, and half joking, “Well, I guess we’re going to be done with that now.” I then quickly had anxiety start creeping in. Over the next minute or so, quick conversations happened, and M agreed that we were probably ready to just let it stay out. We were 45 minutes from home, had no supplies with us to reduce the balloon (which was still intact, weird as that always seems to me) and put the button back in, so we had to make some decision pronto. Break the balloon in order to get it back in and hold the stoma open---but we don’t have a back-up button at home---OR just call it done and move on.
I called our nutritionist right then, not realizing until it was ringing that it was 9:45pm. After a quick chat with her, and her assurances that she felt Braska was also ready to let the button go (we have discussed this recently, possibly planning to take it out in the next month or so), I agreed that this was our pivotal moment.
This is the moment we have been working toward for 5 1/2 years. 4 1/2 years with the g-button.
So we put a makeshift bandage over the stoma, which was not leaking one drop, even though she had just had a late meal, and gave hugs and goodbyes.
As we were leaving in the van, I said a quick prayer that it would be all good. That she will continue to do as well as she’s done. That the stoma would heal quickly and without complication. And that I could adjust to this new strange life.
Because it seems like it is a new strange life, and it’s only 90 minutes old. I suppose when everything has been about feeding, and getting off the tube “someday,” and being a mom of a tube-fed kid, it just feels really odd to have a sudden change in identity and shift of goals.
But it’s a good strange. A positive odd-ness. I’m excited…
So celebrate with us, pray for her continue progress, and if you’re on this journey, know that it CAN happen… I am realizing that I never really visualized that this day would come. But it’s here. And I’m going to have to adjust to this new button-free “normal.”