Kip has a nasogastric (NG) tube, a thin, flexible pipe that has a screw-fit connector on one end, is taped to his face and goes up his nose, down the back of his throat and directly into his stomach.
The NG tube is used to get nutrition and medicine into him without the bother of eating or swallowing. Sarah and I are both trained in testing and using the tube.
It looks as uncomfortable as it sounds, and doubtless feels worse. For the most part Kip doesn’t notice unless someone tries to inject something a bit cold or they pass it through quickly; in this latter case the motion of the liquid flowing fast through the tube makes it move about in the back of his throat and I gag a bit just typing that…
The trick is to pass room-temperature fluids through it very slowly. That’s easy when we’re just giving the nutritional milkshakes (see previous post), which trickles anonymously through at approximately one millilitre every two minutes.
The photo above shows Kip’s cornucopia of medicines which arrive at 6pm. If I put the through at the rate of one millimetre every to minutes, I’d still be doing yesterday’s doses right now!
We can either give them when he’s asleep or, and this is more likely, distract him with a binge session of Octonauts on iPlayer. Gently, gently, slowly and gently we put the medication down the tube, avoiding tugging or twisting or rattling or tapping it as we do, because each of those generates a scream of protest from the poor boy.
We are getting quite good at it now!
More encouraging news about Kip’s stem cells, as his neutrophil level is up to 0.4 from 0.1 yesterday. This has manifested in a slightly more animated, chatty and cuddly boy who I think actually had some fun today.
Fevers are a bit less, his sinuses seem a bit clearer so all in all this counts as one of The Good Days.
Here’s to a few more of them.