Every night after the bath, I do Rory’s tracheostomy cares. This involves taking the stoma pad away, being careful not to pull the trachy tube out too far whilst doing it (luckily I have small fingers) and then cleaning around the stoma site with a cotton bud and sterile water, cleaning from the stoma site outwards and making sure everything is clean and then dry. I then put a new stoma pad under before cutting two length of tape and threading them through the trachy tube flange and tying it perfectly around his neck with just enough room for a finger, not too tight it causes soreness, nor too loose that the trachy tube isnt secure. Then, we carefully cut the old tape off, suction rory until he is clear, using saline injection water if needed to clean the inside of the tube.
I have done this every night in over two years aside from the odd occasion when Ash has done it. It has always been part of our routine for me to do it.
Tonight, for no reason at all, whilst I was doing Rory’s cares and Daddy still in the bath with Austin, I had a flashback moment to that very first day I was allowed to help change Rory’s tapes and do his cares, something I was so eager to get involved with because his tube was here, it saved him and as much as I didn’t choose this path, I wasn’t going to let it get in our way and so I just faced it head on, whereas the nurses said it is often best to watch at first until parents feel ready as it can be quite overwhelming. What was overwhelming for me was not being able to look after my son by myself.
So the throwback moment took me right back to that moment of doing Rory’s first cares, walking the full length of the Intensive Care Unit at Sheffield Children’s Hospital to the nurses station to cut two lengths of tape, measuring them so carefully as I had been shown, from hand to elbow, twice and then walking back whilst all the other patients and parents watched me, afterall, they are really long days in there and every bit of people watching helps. With the upmost of respect obviously. I felt proud, proud that I was able to have a go, a bit like when you are chosen to take the register back to the office in primary school. This was a big deal.
I told Rory about this day, of course he won’t remember it, but it just made me feel grateful all over again for this blog, because absolutely everything, every step of the way is documented, most of it published, but all of it documented, right here to read back when the time comes.