In the picture preceding this, do you see something funny? Poor Riley now has a tube in his right nostril. After the events of the day (see here), I walked into Rye's room at 5:00 and saw him standing there with a little yellow tube snaking out of his nose. I just about broke down when I saw how broke down he appeared. All the spirit he had yesterday seemed to be gone.
I was bummed to see that as I hadn't seen him all day. Marci said he was a champ all day, until 3 doctors decided he needed to have the tube (officially called an NG [nasogastric] tube) inserted. Apparently it took 3 people to hold him down in order to put the tube in.
What the NG tube does is allow fluid to be poured directly into his stomach. The liquid bypasses his trachea and, in doing so, allows Rye to stay hydrated. This lack of hydration is why we wouldn't be able to leave.
So what's happening is that when Rye eats or drinks certain things, a small amount is going into his airway, instead of all into his stomach. When that happens, he aspirates and has to cough to clear his throat. If he doesn't clear, then it can pool in there and bad things can happen (pneumonia, infection, etc). This tube is supposed to bypass all that and, within the next few weeks, we'll have him checked out again to make sure he's able do drink properly.
We have a nurse in the room now showing Marci how to use a 2oz syringe to give Rye a drink of water. She has to hook it up to the NG tube and slowly depress the plunger to get the water in his tummy. So far, Riley doesn't like it. It's a weird sensation, with the coolness of the water in the tube going against the skin in his nose. When it's not happening, he's fine. When the water is flowing, he protests, but we're told he'll get used to it. If there's one thing we know, is that Riley will adapt.
It's really hard to see Rye like this, especially after how happy and peppy he was the past few days. He's kind of back to how he was on the first day, attitude-wise. I don't know how Marci's been able to hold it together the past few days. It's been a wild few days and I cannot wait to be out of here. As great as Children's has been, it's time for us to go.
In the meantime, there are two delicious smelling pizzas waiting for us from Pagliacci's (oh yeah. I forgot to eat lunch today!), and as soon as Marci's done, it's dinner time.
Feel free to come visit tomorrow, I'm sure we could use the company. Call me or Marci for details.