G-Tube or Bust. No Food, Please

Oakley - Yogurt FaceOakley Buttons

First picture: I wish I could tell you he’s happy because he’s got a full tummy and just devoured some yogurt.  But…

Second picture: You can see the G-tube that Oakley gets all his meals through. For most of his life, those “meals” were all a special mix of formulas and medications – no food like you and I would eat. Now, though, Oak’s parents/caregivers have been successful with occasionally smashing up soft foods and pushing them through the lines – so we’re taking that as a win!

 “Why the g-tube only? He’s almost two – shouldn’t he be eating solids by now?” Well first of all, all kids are different, and goodness knows there are some super picky toddlers out there. But with Oak, the explanation is as simple as two words: “oral aversion”. And guys, I can’t blame him. No doubt I’d feel the same way.

 See, here’s the thing – when you come out of your mom’s womb and get poked, prodded, hooked up to several machines, get tubes in your nose and mouth and have those stuck to your face… and then 14 hours after birth get put on ECMO (more on ECMO in a later post) and you have those tubes sticking outta your neck for a few days… you learn real quick that you really want nothing to do with something like eating. A pacifier was fine because it didn’t have an intense or unfamiliar scent and didn’t actually go down his throat. He also did well with nursing. But to chew and swallow… to handle foreign tastes, smells and textures in a now-very-sensitive area that you just want to protect… big strong “NOPE”.

 Oakley does have an oral therapist, and he was making great progress before his transplant. Post-transplant there have been some setbacks, but with patience and consistency, he’ll get back to where he was, and beyond. In no time, he’ll be your average toddler, sticking everything in his mouth and we’ll look back at his stage of oral aversion and shake our heads in disbelief ????.

 Oral aversion is just one of the many battles Oakley is fighting. But today, it’s the one highlighted – so if you want something specific in his care plan to pray for today, oral aversion it is ?????????.

 #OakMan #Oakley #StrongLikeBull #OralAversion #ECMO #KidneyRecipient #TransplantLife #Food #Gtube #Fighter #Battles #OralTherapy #PowerOfPrayer

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