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The Joys of Tube Feeding
Adapted with permission from an entry on the Oley-Inspire Forum)
We all have difficulties and complications with our G- and J-tubes, but I thought it would be neat to create a list of why it’s totally cool to have a G-tube and all the ways it is a bonus in my life. So here goes:
1. I never have to worry about having food in my teeth! No fear of the embarrassing comment, “By the way, you’ve had a piece of spinach on your tooth for the last half hour.”
2. When on a canned diet, there’s no grocery shopping, food preparation, refrigeration, microwaves, or ovens involved! No mess, no dishes. I just pop a can lid.
3. More time! My day is not spent eating, buying food, or waiting in line.
4. Although I believe I will be better off on real food, there’s no worry about balanced nutrition, hidden calories, excess sodium or sugar, or unhealthy fat. It’s all balanced right there in my can. Just syringe and go.
5. It doesn’t matter what the food tastes like. I can completely bypass the taste buds and gag reflex.
6. I can keep hydrated without a fuss if I’m diligent. Eight to ten glasses of water a day? No prob! I just squirt it through my tube.
7. I have the most unique body piercing ever. Others may have rings, studs, or spikes. I’ve got a piercing that looks like a beach ball valve. Besides, regular piercing is for wimps. I’ve got a piercing as thick as a pencil right through muscle and an organ wall. So I win the toughness contest.
8. If the tube is ever removed, I will have two belly buttons. How adorable is that? Not to mention unique. Marilyn Monroe had six toes, and I’m pretty sure two belly buttons is more rare than that. I’m special. As a kid, I was always distressed that I didn’t have freckles. But I think two belly buttons makes up for that.
9. Carrying the boxes of formula is good exercise, and especially great for the biceps. Tell me you get a calorie-burning workout lifting a hamburger.
10. I am a dog’s best friend. The formula smells like gourmet canned dog food apparently, and dogs sit in an adoring circle waiting for me to throw my cans into the recycling bin so they can dash over and lick off any stray drops. Feels nice to be such a source of happiness.
11. I have the perfect defense against intruders. If any robber stands in my doorway with a pistol, I will aim the end of my tube at him, uncap it, and vent! He will immediately leave and I will be a hero. It’s my superpower.
12. Packing for lunch is incredibly easy. What should you bring for lunch? Can, can, and can. Mission accomplished.
13. When empty, the boxes the cans come in are perfect for sorting files into.
14. Never again will I have to suffer through anyone’s burnt, bland, or bad cooking.
15. No worry about overpriced food at restaurants, airports, or tourist destinations.
16. If I could just attach a squeaker or flashing light to my button, I could entertain little kids for hours.
17. And finally, and seriously, it keeps me alive. Best bonus of all, I would say.
—Christine, aka “Jackrabbit”
LifelineLetter, May/June 2010