How to work an IV pole into a child’s room re-do.

We have been in our house for 5 months now and with the arrival of our dining room set (and recent addition of a sectional for the den) all of the rooms are finally filled with furniture!  Connor’s room was the first to be completely finished-new carpet, fresh paint, four piece vintage, rummage sale, “deal ‘o the century” bedroom furniture and new bedding and curtains.  I had been slowly collecting Cars (Disney) items for Corrigan’s room and I finally can put a stamp on his room and call it finished.

I found his Cars valance at an indoor flea market for $1.99 a panel and with the recent release of Cars2 it was easy to find coordinating bedding in just about any store.  We had been using just a mattress on the floor, rather than a mattress, frame and box spring because we were concerned that Cor might pull a Buzz Lightyear and break his neck, but he’s matured a lot in the last few months and we decided to put it all together and see how he did.  So far, so good!

Okay so here’s the thing.  I love that the g-tube has been such a blessing for Corrigan but I will admit that sometimes, mostly when I see him shirtless, it still smacks me in the face that my baby needs a feeding tube.  I rarely think about the medi-port because his bump is so small and hardly noticeable, but when they access it (and leave it accessed while they wait for labs in case we need a repeat) it makes my heart hurt then as well.  I know that it doesn’t hurt him but to see his little chest bandaged, with a tube hanging from the port, I am again made aware that Corrigan has needed medical intervention, that he has devices implanted to help him live a vibrant life.  It gets easier, and the Lord knows how thankful I am, but it can still sometimes be painful if I really think about it.

When they sent us home with the fresh PEG tube and called the medical supply company to bring us our home feeding pump and supplies, I was not expecting the industrial IV pole.  In fact, it nearly repulsed me at first and I took it apart and hid it on top of Connor’s bunk bed. Yes, I am silly.  I’m also human.  The IV pole made it all too real. Too cold and clinical.   Since we had Cor’s mattress on the floor, with a bed rail, I was able to simply clip his feeding bag to the bed rail and set his pump on the floor. I had found a bright red coat rack at a yard sale to use as an IV pole if the need arose, but found that it was hollow and not stable at all.

Once we set up his full bed though it was clear that I needed the IV pole.  Ugh. I tried to avoid it by packing his night feed in his Infinity backpack, squeezing out all of the air so that it would flow well, and placing it beside him in his bed, but the new Zevex bags are miserable for use in a backpack.  The pump always beeps NO FLOW when it gets down to the last few ounces and it was waking him. The way that the tubing exits the bag now is great for preventing kinks, but I have a heck of a time with them any other way than hanging.  Plus, the loose backpack made him think he could get out of bed, while hooked up, and then he would be dragging this heavy little bag around the room.  I feared he would pull out his Mic-Key button one day.

There was no way around it, I needed the IV pole. I brought it out of storage and put it together next to his bed and frowned.  I hated it.  So much so that I used the flat sheet that came with his bed set and would drape it over the pole every day so that I didn’t have to look at it.  I thought about spray painting the pole, which might work as long as you own the pole and are not renting it from the medical supply company, but was tickled to find new colored duct tape at Walmart when I was there picking up painter’s tape for another project.

Check it out…

I thought that the black and white tape might look like a checkered flag and would go great with his Cars room theme.  It only took about 35 minutes to do and would probably take even less time if one were using a pattern that didn’t need to be matched up.  There are a few spots that I am going to re-do, especially on the curvy parts where the bag hangs, but overall I think that it looks much better and I am not compelled to cover it with a sheet anymore.  You can find patterned Duck Brand duct tape here or at your local retailer!

I am on the hunt for a sturdy, old dresser for his pants and jammies and maybe a low, long coffee table to use as a tv stand (and stack his books) but we have had to ask to borrow a truck too often lately so we will wait to hit more rummage sales and flea markets!

I hope that you have a blessed week!

7 thoughts on “How to work an IV pole into a child’s room re-do.

  1. Oh I LOVE this!! I’ve never really thought about decorating ours. Actually I’m not even sure it is ours or the medical supply company? Anyways, it’s never really bothered me though, maybe because we’ve had it since the 1st day we came home with her? Who knows! Know I’m totally jealous though.. Love the whole room! Very Cool!

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    • Don’t be jealous! just run to Walmart and buy the cutest, pinkest, girliest tape and wrap up that pole! It’ll come right off when you need to send it back (’cause our kids are gonna be cured and not need those IV poles one day! Right?!?!?!) and if there is any residual tape gunk just use some Goo Gone and it’ll be good as new!

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  2. Everything looks really cute Mindy! Good job! Abbey has a yucky IV pole also, but I don’t have plans to decorate it any time soon. I am working soooo hard at weaning her off her night feedings because I am so scared to leave her on the pump in a big bed that she could get out of and walk around. Right now she is still in her crib with a crib tent over it. But anyway, she would really like Corrigan’s room because although she is a very feminine and beautiful little girl, she LOVES trucks and cars of all kinds! Maybe it is because she has all those brothers.

    Good luck finding a dresser!

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    • I am less worried with Corrigan pulling out his tube when it is hooked to something stationary. He has always been really protective of it and when he gives a gentle tug and realizes he is hooked up “solid” he will just whine or yell until I come unhook him. If he is hooked to something that moves easier, like the backpack with the pump, he tends to pull more- maybe thinking he can get away from it? – and that is why I think the pole is better for Corrigan. Like you, I would like the night feeds to be done too, but most days (with the amount he has to take in every 4 hours and since his last gastro-illness he cannot handle a bolus of more than 4 ounces) he ends up going to bed with a surplus that I won’t have time to make up if he should happen to sleep through the night. Now that he sleeps more soundly, he never gets up through the night or moves much, so I let him wake on his own and let me know he wants unhooked. Once we start potty training though, I NEED him to be totally night-weaned or it will never work. Not even close. The only way I can change things though is either slowly work back up his volume that he can take all at once by tube, in the day, or something really magical has to change with his eating because right now (if not for enteral nutrition) he is living soley on french fries.

      I hope that Abbey is weaned easily. I know I worry about strangling but since Corrigan is pretty hyper-aware of his body in relation to the tubing, I’ve relaxed over the last year.

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  3. Love the decorations in the room, but what you did with the IV pole is just awesome! May there come a day when hopefully it is not needed. Until that day, you found a way to take something painful and turn it into a beautiful work of art. If you are on Pinterest, (not sure if I spelled it right since I have only been on for one day) you might want to consider sharing this, for other parents who are going through a similar situation. ~ Wendy

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