Andi not only knocked it out of the ballpark, she skipped her way around those bases. Andi passed her swallow study with flying colors. They said they couldn't see any problems of any kind. Usually, when I leave an appointment or anywhere on the campus, I walk out with a heavy heart. I often feel beat up by all the appointments, and all the many things we're supposed to work on. I wonder how to juggle all the many things, and divide my time so no one feels left out. It's been taxing me with almost a sense of dread these past few years. Yesterday, leaving the radiology clinic, I walked out with the biggest smile on my face. I strolled Andi to the car basking in the bright, cold sunshine with an air of lightness - as I felt for the first time in years, free!
Getting Andi medically cleared to eventually get her g-tube out is probably the biggest obstacle we have had to face. While her balance issues and walking are a problem, her g-tube has been the biggest hurdle for our sense of normalcy. Only two people, other than me, would willingly feed Andi via g-tube, and one of those two lives clear across the continent. No one wanted to deal with it out of fear, and some even thought the blenderized food we'd send down was a big gross. Maybe it was, but, that sustained and improved Andi's quality of life immensely. So, us getting away from using the g-tube has opened us up to a whole new realm of normalcy. Andi could go to daycare, preschool, stay the night at a friends house, without anyone having to tackle her feeding. Here she is at 31 months, almost 32, and we no longer dependent on the g-tube. This is a massive victory!
The plan now is for Andi to show she can consistently gain weight on oral feeds, and possibly get the g-tube removed in April. I can't think of a better gift, than for that thing to be gone by her 3rd birthday. What a treat! I am anxious for it to be gone. I believe it will take a surgery to take out the g-tube, and sew up the two holes (stomach, abdomen). I'm not positive about that, but I kind of hope they do. The other method of just taking it out and covering it up sounds a bit nasty, and the risk of infection is greater. If they do a surgery though, maybe by then we'll know if her left ear tube needs to be replaced or not. They seem to think it's slipping out, and they aren't sure if she still needs it.
So, even this morning as I sit here, I still feel a sense of accomplishment and relief. I'm so excited to have good news to report for a change. I feel it has been a long time coming. There has been much sadness, frustration, fear, and anger over the past two and half years of life on a g-tube. I'm so thankful to finally be on the other side of it. I just want to throw a party and celebrate. I guess we'll combine the g-tube removal party with Andi's 3rd birthday party and make it even more spectacular than the previous two. Yeah, we definitely need to celebrate! We are grateful.