After Josiah came home from the hospital we fed him with the bottle – from May thru to early December all of his feeds were oral – In November we were even starting to feed him some solid foods, however it all came to an abrupt end towards the end of November. His spitting up was getting progressively worse and he would only take the bottle while asleep. By early December even taking the bottle asleep was a significant task. Which is when we were told to get an NG tube – henceforward we would feed Josiah exclusively through a tube. There really was no plan of action as to how we would feed Josiah other than the tube – months/years of therapy. The next stage in the process was to get a G-tube – straight into the stomach. It surprises me that they even bother with the NG route – because every baby I have known to have had an NG tube eventually has a G-Tube.
Ben Zimmerman, who heads up the clinic here in Los Altos hates tubes – G or NG and one of his passions is to get kids eating normally and orally even going as far to imply that the NG/G tube business is a money making business that the medical industry does not want to give up and therefore the almighty dollar takes precedent over the good of the child. Looking at the invoices for the little pieces of rubber tubing – which came to over $70 a piece and seeing Ben’s approach to feeding I tend to agree. Why would our medical insurance cover a G-Tube surgery which would cost the same as a treatment at a feeding clinic and yet not cover the treatment at the feeing clinic? So much of our medical system is governed by profit and not by the best care for the patient.
Shari was told today that if someone has an NG tube for a prolonged period of time it can take up to 6 months for the eating process not to be painful. Josiah only had the tube for 3 months so hopefully this will not be the case with him – so how did he do today? He took in around 3000g of food or 1300 calories – which is a good intake. Ben’s behavioral approach seems to be working.
This approach to me is so compelling – yet so totally foreign to the main philosophical thrust of much childhood care in the US – which is based upon what the child wants – we should surely base our approaches to childcare upon what is best for long term growth and development of the child and not what the child wants… this seems to be a much more biblically sound.
Tomorrow is the Weekend and we will have to look after Josiah’s feeding for the whole weekend – we are praying that we will not have to use the tube.