Not that it's worse than other pains per se. It's just agonizing in a different way.
All week I could sense agony as Trish fought to get more food in to Dominic, to no avail. He simply wasn't interested.
When he did eat, it wasn't enough. A chicken wing here. A few spoonfuls of oatmeal there. A popsicle. Some juice. But at the end of the day, a 15-month-old should be growing, not losing weight.
First the weight dipped below 10 kilograms. Then 9.7. Today, 9.5. It was finally time for the one thing we'd avoided since he got here.
The NG tube.
NG stands for nasogastric, which if you break it down makes sense. In through the nose, down into the stomach. He had one the first week he was here at the Alberta Children's Hospital, but it was only used to remove excess gas and fluid from his bloated stomach.
To think, back then he was 11.5 kilograms. He looked like a water balloon. Now the tube will serve the opposite purpose, giving him the nutrition and calories he's not putting into his mouth on his own.
The first feeding started as he went to sleep. A little bag of milky-white goo. A little pump turning on every few minutes to send some more through the line.
On the positive side there's a high likelihood he was going to need this during the bone marrow transplant phase anyhow, so maybe it's good experience to deal with it now.
On the other hand, imagine being held down by three well-meaning nurses and having a giant tube shoved up your nose. You'd scream too.
Most of the time Dom's macking on the nurses like a playboy. He walks by their station, smiles, waves, pretty much demands attention. One time when he got his way he wound up hitting a combination of keys that turned the nurse station's computer screen image sideways.
After tonight's bout of torture, he walked by and gave them pure, babyfaced stink-eye. And that was before he pooped.
He'll like them again tomorrow, and we'll like the tube once we see his weight start to recover. But getting it started is no fun for anybody.