Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Monthly Supplies: What I Get An Why

(There are going to be several pictures and they are all going to be on the bottom, since I am posting this from my phone. They may appear out of order. So just try to match the description with the picture below. Sorry!)

The first picture is just an overall of all my monthly supplies.

The photos are small :( sorry about that! I don't get as many supplies as some people, but I get enough that it takes up a fair amount of space in my small apartment. Luckily it is just me here! My next post will show where, as a friend of mine almost titled a post on her blog "where to put all the medical crap"

The next picture: 35 pks split gauze, 2 rolls Medipore hypoallergenic tape, 4 MIC-KEY button extensions.

Gauze and tape: I usually use G (or in my case G/J) tube pads under my MIC-KEY button to absorb leakage and stabilize the button to prevent granulation tissue. However, laundry doesn't always happen when it should :/ so enter in the old fashioned gauze and tape! Amazingly I will go through all of this in one month. Creates a lot of medical waste, which is why I prefer to use the G tube pads since they are washable, reusable, and really cute.

MIC-KEY button extensions: my insurance just recently started covering these! Which is absurd, since they approved the feeding button (a port-like device, I showed a picture in a previous post without any extensions plugged in). The problem is my insurance only covers 4/month and my device has two ports: a "G" (gastric or stomach) port to drain excess fluid to avoid vomiting and for venting (which is plugging in an extension and letting stomach contents drain for a period of time -- in my case, this is overnight, but it used to be 24/7), and a "J" (jejunal, part of the small intestine) for feeding. I request 4 feeding extensions per month. I could ask for two feeding and two draining extensions (they look different), but the feeding extensions get gunked up, stiff, and basically worthless after a week. So instead of tossing them right away, I use them in my G port to drain into a modified feeding bag. Not ideal, but it's the best use of my resources I could think of.

Then there are the feeding bags themselves. I get 30/month, one per day. However, again, the used bag from the day before I convert to a drain bag (similar to a Farrell bag, but...free lol). I can show you how this is done in another post. I use the 1200cc bags now since my feeding schedule has changed and I figured the larger bags mean I have to refill it fewer times a day (twice compared to three times/day)

Next picture: 16 slip tip syringes. These slip easily into the med port of my MIC-KEY button extension. This means that while I am hooked up I can give meds without breaking the connection between my extension and the adapter to the bag. This is crucial since my immune system is not good and I have had two cases of C.diff (Google it) this year. So any chance to prevent infection I go for it. I am technically only supposed to get 8 syringes a month but my enteral pharmacist is AWESOME and when I told her my liquid meds were ruining my syringes within a day or two she just started sending more on the sly :)

Last picture: six cases of Peptamen Junior 1.5 (I will start getting eight once my order for the formula increase "officially" goes through). This is my sole source of nutrition. They used to come in cans, but now they come in Tetra Prisma Paks, which I love for storage purposes, but they are not recyclable in my area and that drives me nuts! I go through so much medical waste (gauze, tape, feeding bags, MIC-KEY button extensions, the plastic the bags come in, the plastic the extensions come in, there's more I'm sure...) a week that I hate to add 35 Tetra Paks to the mix (soon to be 42).

Oy! So there's my monthly supply post!

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