Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) is a rare and serious condition that results from congenital birth defects of or trauma to the bowel, which is no longer able to absorb the fluids and or nutritients needed to thrive — putting one at risk for chronic malnutrition, poor weight gain, and dehydration.
Mother and blogger Meagan Glover knows first hand of the challenges of parenting a child with SBS — or “short gut,” as she calls it. She and her husband didn’t realize that their son, Camden, had an intestinal malrotation until he began vomiting blood and green bile less than 24 hours after he was born. X-rays and surgical diagnosis revealed that he had suffered a volvulous (a complete twisting of his small bowel) and as a result 85% of his small bowel had died. He subsequently required three surgeries in each of the three days following his birth — to remove the necrotized bowel, place a g-tube and a broviac catheter (which delivers his IV nutrition through a central vein in his heart). And that was just the beginning of their journey.
There is currently no cure for SBS. So many SBS patients rely on parenteral nutrition (TPN or IV nutrition) to supply the core nutrients and hydration to sustain life. The Glovers routine involves daily regular feeding and hydrating via TPN, monitoring of weight and hydration, connecting and disconnecting his TPN, and weekly changing of his catheter dressing — all under strictly sterilized conditions. Each evening they prepare for his 12-hour IV infusion, a process that takes an hour and forty five minutes. Common childhood illnesses can prove potentially fatal; a fever of 100.4 or higher means an automatic ER visit.
“Camden is a 15-month old active toddler and tubes and mobility aren’t a great mix,” Meagan says. “I want other parents to know that it is our absolute pleasure to care for our son. SBS makes us ‘different’ parents with ‘different’ priorities and daily routines but that doesn’t make our parenting any less meaningful.”
Like normal children his age, Camden enjoys playtime, story time, outdoor time, snacks, bottles, and naps — combined with occupation, feeding, and physical therapy appointments, blood draws and doctor’s visits.
Due to his high volume overnight feeds, Camden outputs an exceptional amount of urine and stool. The Glovers change roughly three times the number of diapers of an average child Camden’s age. This is where for their family, Bambo Nature has been a life-saver. “In my opinion, the absorbency of Bambo Nature diapers are untouched in the market,” she says. “If you ever question it, just ask a short gut mom.”
As happy as we are by the satisfaction of the many people who appreciate Bambo Nature diapers and our commitment to quality and sustainability, it is stories like Meagan’s that move us the most — where our product has made a significant difference in the quality of life of a child and family dealing physical challenges like Camden’s.
“Our son came home from the hospital for the first time ever at 10 months of age,” says Meagan. “And it still to this day is one of our proudest moments — our fight, advocacy and persistence paid off. Love will find a way.”
Learn more about SBS at Meagan’s blog, gutsandgumption.com.