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Custom Enteral Backpack
Portable enteral and infusion pumps are a blessing for home parenteral and enteral nutrition (HPEN) patients. They allow us to participate in normal activities while infusing. But as an active twenty-three year old on continuous J-tube feedings, I was frustrated with the lack of options and high cost of backpacks from the pump manufacturers. I wanted to find something more fashionable for daily use.
I went on the popular Web site www.etsy.com and contacted the seller “Retrofied,” who makes cloth bags. Though she was previously unaware of portable pumps and tube feedings, she and I worked together to design a small backpack that is both stylish and functional.
There is a hook sewn in the top of the backpack to hang the bag of formula and loop of excess tubing, the pump rests on the bottom of the bag, and there are two additional pockets sewn inside that I use for other supplies, as well as personal items like my wallet, keys, etc. A small opening was also sewn into the lower side of the bag for the tubing to exit. I can then connect it discreetly under my shirt to my J-tube.
I ultimately purchased two bags in different fabrics of my choice. I receive complements on them daily from people unaware they are bags used for tube feeding.
LifelineLetter, November/December 2010