Thursday, December 13, 2012

Broken Mic-Key Buttons

I called Kimberly Clark about Nolan's (two!!) broken Mic-Key buttons. Their customer service was wonderful, and they sent me replacements via FedEx by the next day. They also sent a box so I can send in the two broken buttons for testing.

For those unfamiliar with g-tube buttons, the stem is inserted into the stomach and a small balloon is inflated with 5 ml of distilled water or saline solution. The balloon keeps the button from falling out of the stomach, and usually lasts about three months. These buttons had the balloon burst wide open, which causes the button to fall out.

Both of these buttons are from the same lot, and the button placed in September broke on the same day we inserted it - it lasted about 6 hours in Nolan's belly. We replaced it with another button (also of the same lot), and that one lasted from September to December - the typical "three months" one would expect from a Mic-Key button. It became clogged and the balloon had a slow leak, so we replaced it in early December.

A week later, Matt comes running and yelling that Nolan's button was gone. This isn't a good situation, because the stoma (hole in his belly) can begin to close and then we have to drive three hours to Rochester for surgery to dilate the hole again. Our local hospital can't help him, and this is when I don't like living in a rural area. After having a mini panic attack, I managed to get him onto the floor and put another button in - it was a very tight fit and caused some pain, but it went in.

Matt found the other button on the living room floor - judging by the amount of stomach acid leaking out of the stoma, the button had fallen out a while before anyone noticed. Nolan had no idea it had come out of his tummy, which is scary because we can't rely on him to report "button problems." Ugh.

In any case, a new button is now in (though it is the same lot as the "broken" buttons). We have back-ups from a different lot, graciously supplied by KC's customer service.

Hopefully we won't have another bursting balloon!


TheSweetOne said...

so customer service isn't COMPLETELY dead! fingers crossed the buttons and balloons will hold.

Oh the irony. These are totally NOT the types of buttons and balloons we expect our kids to be "playing" with or have in their tummies. Buttons are supposed to go up noses and balloons are supposed to burst and scare the crap out of everyone around... hmmm. guess that sort of happened... the bursting and scaring part... ;)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh my gosh, Leah, you should have an (honorary?) medical degree! Hope they get you some more reliable buttons!


Kyla said...

It is great that they sent you extras so promptly! Almost makes up for the defective product in the first place. ;)

dlefler said...

Their customer service was great. It is a real bummer that the mickeys were defective in the first place, but KC was great about sending out replacements. I'm going to have Dennis take the bad ones to FedEx tomorrow so they can be shipped out and tested. The plastic is obviously weak in the balloons.

He has that same "bad" lot in his tummy right now, so hopefully it will be OK for a while longer.

It certainly did scare the bejeebies out of me - I can't say I handled it with grace!