There has been trial and error in the process. I have been taking pictures every night to try to look over the progress. Which gives anyone who looks at my phone pictures a bit of a double take.
We used an antacid, Milk of Magnesia, in a liquid that I put a small layer on with a Q-tip. I also tried to soak the Milk of Magnesia in a gauze square. After about 3 or 4 days I found that it wasn't making any difference.So I thought I'd try my other plan. The Tea tree oil.
I mixed 1 1/2 tsp of water with 3 drops of tea tree oil, soak a gauze pad and taping the pad in place for a couple of hours. The first couple of times the skin around the belly button turned red, so I added vaseline around the belly button, so that only the granulation tissue would get 'treated'.
After doing it for a couple of days I started to have some difficulty putting the catheter in. Because the tea tree oil helps wounds to heal, I was afraid that it was helping too much and starting to close the stoma.
I looked up a bit more online and found that the sites that discussed the tea tree oil had a catheter left inside the stoma. So After our nightly routine I cut a line into a gauze soaked with the tea tree oil and wrapped it around the catheter. Then the taped the whole thing down and left it in over night. Kind of like how the catheter was left as the MACE started healing originally.
That worked pretty well.
Except for the skin issues.
Regular hospital tape left red marks, Clear tagaderm (the IV covering clear tape) actually left blisters. Paper tape and the white dressing tape were the only ones that Nick's belly did not react to. Except that it leaves his belly all sticky, but in the long run using some Remove pads helps.
I've left the belly button open to air some days and covered it with a bandaid other days. I think that the bandaid helps to protect it when/if Nick scratches at it. It will look like it is healing well, and then the next time I turn around it is right back to where it was. Any irritation no matter how small makes the granulation tissue grow. The progress we see is measured in mm. It is very frustrating.
The only thing that keeps me from really freaking out is that it doesn't actually both Nick. It is all just cosmetic.
One night the catheter came out and sat against the tissue and irritated it. Back to square one
Another day the gauze that is on the inside of the bandaid came undone and was resting against the tissue and irritated it.
One little scratch and we are back to square one
I am continuing to treat it with the tea tree oil and the Milk of Magnesia, but in the end I think that we are not doing anything to prevent the use of the silver nitrate. Maybe keeping the granulation tissue from getting worse?
I only hope that the silver nitrate will actually be a solution.
Because in a month between these pictures, I'm not sure how much progress we actually made