03 August 2010

No more stinky stoma

Liam received his g-tube back on January 23rd. Ever since he got it he has always leaked a bit of stomach acid from the stoma (fancy medical word for the hole in his abdomen that the tube is inserted through).

Many times the leakage was so bad that it would crust over and the tube would stick to his skin. A simple cleaning of the site with equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide would get it clean. After talking to some of my g-tube mommy friends, I was told to put gauze underneath the g-tube and on top of his skin in order to keep the tube raised a bit and allow the gauze to absorb the leaks. I would usually have to exchange the gauze out twice a day.

After a few months I was able to only use one gauze per day but would still have to clean the crusty gunk out.

Last week Liam had one of his regularly scheduled PT appointments with Janelle, who does cranial sacral therapy. Now, a lot of people don't believe in CST, and I can understand that. It does sound all hokey, but let me tell you what happened at this session:

Janelle decided to do a thorough myofacial release on Liam throughout his abdomen. She worked at his chest, his ribs, his belly and all around his g-tube. Liam loves the releases, they relax him, and sometimes it makes him poop (not that he has a problem with doing that, it just goes to show how the releases work for him). This was the first time his belly had been worked on since the tube. When she was done, we moved on to therapy and that was that. I didn't think about the releases after the session was over.

After a few days I noticed I didn't have to clean his stoma like usual. It wasn't leaking like before. I was still using gauze once a day but it was staying noticeably whiter.

Then yesterday I noticed I hadn't had to put any gauze under it in a week! And I realized that not only were we not using gauze, I wasn't have to clean it like before either. It was no longer getting crusty. Liam's tube site is staying dry, clean, and granulation tissue free. For the first time, the bottom side of the stoma is not pink and irritated looking.

I was thinking about how good his stoma looked and wondering how come it had all of a sudden healed so well when I remembered Janelle recently doing all of the myofacial work around it. I believe all the work she did on his abdomen has healed up the area finally and allowed Liam's stoma to stay healthy and dry. We've gone 6 months of having to have gauze on it at all times to having to need nothing now following the CST!

It would be an awfully strange coincidence otherwise.

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