Sunday, May 29, 2011

Instant Stomach Flattening Technique

Saturday morning I went to the Kamloops Farmer's Market. When I got home Alexandra met me at the front door and said, "Read the text I sent you."

This made no sense to me. Why would I read the text when I was now home and she could just tell me in person? I said as much. Her response was, "Just read the text."

So I did.

I would just like to say there are some things they forgot to put in The Parenting Manual. I have no idea what the proper reaction is to such an event, but I was pretty sure it involved a cup of tea. As I went over to plug the electric kettle in she asked me what she should do. I decided the first thing was to figure out if this was a Level 1 event or a Level 2 event. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this emergency rating scale here is a rough definition:

Level 1 -  anything that requires an immediate trip to emergency, including but not limited to cuts that need stitches, broken bones, fevers over 105F, and anaphylactic reactions

Level 2 - everything else

"Is there anything leaking?" I asked.


I breathed a sigh of relief and reached for my tea mug. Clearly this was a Level 2 event. However, this didn't mean there wasn't a problem. For those of you who don't know, Alexandra has a rare autoimmune GI disease. She has had a stomach tube since she was ten years old. She is now twenty. For many years she was not able to eat food and relied on a special formula delivered through her stomach tube. But the great news is she has slowly improved and can now eat most foods. This has made her stomach tube redundant and plans were underway to get it permanently removed.

Taking the tube out is not a big deal as long as it is replaced with another one right away. The thing was she didn't have another tube. Was it a problem to have an unplugged hole in her stomach? The Parenting Manual was oddly silent about this issue as well. While my tea brewed we discussed the options. It was a short conversation. In the end I decided this warranted a call to my favourite medical resource: Dial-the-Doctors (my oldest son and his wife).

Things were quickly sorted out. Karsten asked someone in GI and was told it was fine to just leave it, that it should heal over on its own. Kind of like a piercing gone bad. (That last bit was my take on it, not the doctor's.) Clearly my call of a Level 2 event was appropriate, and it was all good. Well, except for that cup of tea. When I went to sit down with my cuppa I was greeted by this. Please note this photo shows the outside of the tube. Unfortunately my field of vision captured the inside as well.

After giving it a lot of thought I have come to a conclusion, one that is too late to act upon since my kid are now all in their twenties. Clearly I have been using the wrong parenting manual.


  1. Amazing!...That's the best thing about parenting - you never know what's around the corner and you go places you could never have imagined...character forming stuff.

    I think your kids sound great and that you wrote the parenting manual :)

  2. LOL, you did an amazing job of parenting--you must not have needed a manual. The recommendation to "just leave it" sounds like the easiest course of action. But it's probably the hardest. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the opening heals swiftly. I can't imagine what a great feeling it must be for A to no longer need the tube. =)

    Hope your weekend went well!

  3. Good thing you have a strong stomach for these sorts of parenting experiences!

  4. @Luvvie - You are exactly right about going places one could never have imagined! Ha! And you are right about the character forming too!

    @Ric - She is happy to not have the tube any more, but I think she is still a bit concerned about the hole healing properly. The weekend was productive, and tomorrow Alexandra and I head South of 49 for a few days to visit my parents. I hope all is well with you!

    @Aneta - Great play on words. Speaking of which, it is your turn in Scrabble....