Painting has a therapeutic effect. I don't know if it's the fumes or the muscle involved in rolling the paint onto the walls, but after painting for a bit I was feeling good. Then my cell phone rang. I looked at who was calling and saw Lili's name. What in the world? I knew instantly something was wrong. She never calls me, she hardly ever uses her phone other than to text her best friend on occasion. I took a deep breath and answered.
Sure enough, Lili, doing her best to keep herself composed, informed me that Jacob's tube had come out. It what? It came out? #@$&! and many other expletives! And of course it happens when I'm not home. To explain. Jacob has a g-tube in his stomach. The surgeon cut a hole into his stomach. Then a plastic tube is put into the hole with one end emptying into his stomach and the other exits out of his body. The outside end has a port that we can open and close and we "hook" him up to his feeding tube extension when he needs a feed. This tube that is in him is called a Mic-Key button. What's keeping this button from falling out? At the end of the tube that is inside his stomach is a small "balloon". It's filled with about 3-5cc of water forming it into a small marble shape. This marble shaped balloon prevents the button from coming out. Yes, you read that right. A small piece of plastic keeps this thing from coming out of his stomach. So Jacob was on a feed and was playing. Somehow he stepped on the feeding tube extension pulling the button out!
I got Gary on the phone, told him where to find the catheter so that he can put it in the hole in Jacob's stomach. Why? Because if you don't put something in the hole where the button once was then it will start to close. Then I jumped in the car and made a mad dash home.
Another explanation: California is huge. There are huge cities like San Francisco and LA to small no name farming towns in the middle of nowhere. Morgan Hill is a pretty small place. Too big to be called a town but is not a big city. You can get from one end of town to the other in about 10 minutes if you hit the lights the right way. Going from my friends place back home is all small back country roads. So here I am in shear panic, driving like a lunatic hoping that there isn't some random sheriff hiding in wait. I made it home in 5 minutes.
I raced into the house, yelled at Lili and her friend to get into the car, and ran into the kitchen. And there's poor Jacob, shirt off, trying to stay calm. We got him into the car with Gary sitting next to him. I took the wheel, because as I said before I can drive like a lunatic when needed, and drove the 20 something miles to the ER in San Jose.
Back to my big city versus small town explanation. The closest ER is in Gilroy, about 10 minutes from our house. Gilroy is famous for the garlic which can be smelled from miles around. Beginning as a small farming town, it hasn't evolved into too much more than that. However, San Jose is a huge city, bigger than San Francisco, the heart of Silicon Valley. You see my desire to speed my way to San Jose with Jacob who has a hole in his stomach.
Once at the ER the intake nurse did her thing and registered Jacob. She complimented me on how organized I am, having had the foresight to grab the spare Mic-Key button that we had for just this type of incident. Unfortunately, I wasn't in the right frame of mind to bask in the accolades.
We were ushered to a bed. We went through the retelling of why Jacob has a g tube. Answering the, he has what disease question? Why his doctor is in San Diego. So on and so forth. First to the nurse, then to the resident, then to the ER doctor. Meanwhile, Jacob is trying his hardest to not lose his mind. Finally, we got down to business. After talking through Jacob's stalling tactics and his command to "help me calm down", the new button was put back in. We left the ER in record time.
While I had hoped this would never happen I'm glad it did. At least now we know how to put a new button back in provided we can keep Jacob calm enough for us to do it. We keep hoping he won't have to have his g tube for long but after about 15 weeks we only have 2 safe foods and have had to pull pork. Somehow I think the g tube is going to stick around.