Macy

Macy

Monday, January 16, 2012

What's a "Button"

So next month for the first time; Adam and I have to change out Macy's G tube button by ourselves.  Eeeek!  Before I talk about my apprehension I wanted to post a couple pictures on what a "button" is.  We have had it for 6 months now, and it has become so "normal" for us that sometimes I forget that every kid doesn't have one...do they? (jk)!  :)  
Macy's "button".  To feed through the tube you unplug the rubber piece, and attach a feed set.  It plugs into the opening and locks when you turn it 3/4 of a turn.  It is connected to a tube and at the end has a place for a syringe.  You put the food/formula in the syringe and either let gravity pull it down the tube and into the belly, or use the plunger. (or a machine).

Macy's button with her Button Buddy around it.  This little pad keeps her G tube site nice and clean.  We change it every day or two.


So basically, there is a stem that sticks down into her belly, and at the end there is an apple-shaped balloon.  It looks like it is clear silicone or something similar.  When inflated the balloon is what keeps it in her stomach.  On the end (blue part) there is a special-sized syringe you stick in there to deflate or inflate the balloon with distilled water; depending whether you are taking it out or putting it in.


Different parents and Doctors have differing opinions on when you should change it.  Some say every 3 months, some every 4 or 6.  And some leave it in until the balloon breaks (if they have that kind).  We decided to change it every 4-5 months.  Her first time getting it changed was in October, and we had to bring her in to the Dr. and they changed it for us while we watched.  This time, and from now on (unless there are problems) we are on our own.  I thought taking an NG (nasogastric) tube in and out was hard; but this is a little more difficult because you see the hole in her stomach when you take it out, and you have to push (kinda hard) to put the new one in.  I hope I don't get too faint; but am thinking of maybe making Adam do it the first time.  We'll see.


Anywho, things have been going very well with Macy's reflux and eating.  She has been off Zantac since 12/21/11 and is doing great.  We are working on chunks and finger foods.  This week she did a really good job eating pears and mandarin oranges.  Let's hope this continues!


Macy has been progressing really well with her walking too.  She LOVES walking her dinosaur around the house.  That is all she wants to do these days.  It is so cute because she'll stop and hit his spikes until she gets the song she likes the best; then she'll continue walking.  




Macy is officially 16 months old today!!!  I can't believe how much she has grown, and she is definitely showing her little personality more and more.  She is such a great kiddo!  Couldn't ask for better!  We are so blessed in many ways!


take care,
Jenn

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Anti-Cancer Diet

For the past several months I have been researching foods that help prevent/prolong-onset of cancer.  For our family anything in our power to do this helps in a real way.  I have never thought more about what we put into our bodies than I have since May 4th 2011; which is when Macy was diagnosed.  


Cancer is almost inevitable to most in their future or will atleast affect them in some way in their life; whether it is themselves or someone they love.  And for Macy, even if all goes to plan and she receives a successful matched sibling-donor transplant; cancer is still more than likely in her near future.


I have read many studies; and have been compiling lots if information.  So I have decided to share my list that I have made, and have been using for Macy's nutrition.  This, by all means is not an all inclusive list, and of course I am not a Doctor; just a parent that is trying to get as educated as possible.  There are other cancer fighters out there that are not on this list because they are things we don't readily have access to; or are things we don't eat (like I am not a fan of fish).  This is our list; Macy's list.  


Currently Macy still does not eat a ton of "finger" foods.  We are working with her on squishy finger foods because she only likes crunchy things.  So I buy fresh foods and puree them in our blender then put them in individual containers and freeze them for her.  Also during the week I puree any leftovers after dinner and freeze them as well.  The most important things I have learned is to fill yourself with "antioxidants" and "anti-inflammatory's".  I keep key fresh ingredients at all times to do this.  If I can't buy fresh I buy frozen or canned without added sugars or preservatives, etc.  They are as follows:


Fruits and Veggies:  Blueberries (any fresh berry, but we like blueberry and raspberry the best).  Also this is where if you can you want to buy organic.  Many types of insects tend to love berries as well so ALOT of pesticides are used on them. Pineapple, Oranges, Mango, tomato, spinach or endives, red onion (has to be red), broccoli or cauliflower, and avocado.  


I also give her other fruits and veggies that are very good for you like banana, pears, peaches, carrot, squash, bell peppers, green beans, and mushroom; but I ALWAYS make sure the first one's are in her daily intake first as those are the most important.  FYI: Only red onions have been found to help fight cancer so we only buy red.  And I added the avocado because tomato is best when added to a healthy fat and heated (could also use a little EVOO).  Some other good for you fats are almonds, and flaxseed.  I add those to purees as well.


Endives are found by bulk lettuce at the store.  They kinda look like a yellow-green closed tulip.  Those cannot be heated though or they lose their cancer-fighting capabilities so it is best to chop up and add to a salad. In Macy's case right now we puree it with some other veggies.  One trick I have learned is that if you add a frozen banana to a puree it helps take out some of the veggie taste.  It has to be frozen though.  If we have bananas left toward the end of the week I break them each into about 3 pieces, put them in a freezer bag, and use them for fruit/veggie smoothies and Macy's purees. 


One of the biggest, and most recent studies that came out has shown that the spice Turmeric has been known to help prevent/delay onset of head and neck cancer as well as others.  (this is the spice that makes mustard yellow).  Some of the best cancer fighting spices are:
Turmeric
Ginger
Sage
Rosemary


and garlic and cinnamon are also very good.  I usually sprinkle cinnamon on Macy's breakfast, and I add about a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric, Ginger, and Sage to her bottles everyday (those are tube fed to her so taste doesn't matter at this point.  But you can also make a pretty good meat "rub" with those 3 as well.  And who doesn't love garlic?


Of course it is hard to just eat fruit, veggies,and spices, so the rest isn't necessarily "cancer-fighting", but healthy choices that in the end are better anyways.


In the grains dept. anything whole wheat or whole grain is best, and since Macy doesn't eat chunks of meat really I buy different types of beans and puree them right now.  There is no meat that is cancer fighting but it is really hard to cut meat out of our diet so we try to keep it to boneless skinless chicken breast, and pork.  We eat very little red meat.  Beans are better so we are trying to up our bean intake.  


My intention when I first started isn't to "go nuts", and have only a super healthy diet that is hard to maintain.  Some people do and kudos to them!  But we, and Macy still eat our regular foods for the most part; I just try to make sure the fruit and veggies she eats are the one's that count.  And it doesn't take too much time to add spices that count to stuff either.  I don't freak out if she eats a tortilla chip, has some chocolate pudding, or something else once in a while.  We just try our best to get the healthiest, most cancer-fighting foods in her each day, and hopefully when she starts picking what she wants to eat she will continue with these foods.


It is hard to know how much this will actually help prevent the onset of cancer; but we figure if there is atleast a chance it will help; that is a good enough reason for us.  Adam and I have been in the works of changing the foods we eat, and exercising.  The best thing we can do for Macy in hoping she will make the best food choices in the future is by being good role models for her starting now.  


take care,
Jenn