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|Newsletters: Our First Oley Meeting|
Our First Oley Meeting
Last June me and my wife, Irene, and granddaughter, Angelique, attended the annual Oley Conference in Cape Cod for the first time. I found the sessions very interesting. The session I enjoyed most was the feeding tube jam session led by Rick Davis. I learned that many people have been on feeding tubes for years and how they coped with the problem of not swallowing.
Another session I found interesting was led by Dr. Stanley Dudrick, one of the pioneers in parenteral nutrition. The workshop on caregivers was informative and allowed us to hear about the emotional drain many caregivers go through. The last session we attended was on dehydration. This stressed the importance of obtaining water and liquids in the body.
This was a well-planned conference with plenty of entertainment and lots of food for the guest. We were able to network with people from around the world. I look forward to attending the 29th annual conference in Orlando, Florida, this June.
Words cannot express how alone, scared, and helpless my husband and I felt the day we were sent home from the hospital with our seventeen-month-old daughter Natalie and her brand new feeding tube….When Natalie was just shy of four years old, someone asked if asked if we had ever heard of the Oley Foundation... I found Oley’s site on the Internet [and] it was like finding a home we didn’t know we had. There really were other kids and adults with feeding tubes?! Other parents were having the same doubts, troubles, and fears that we were having?!
Natalie was so excited to go to the conference in Cape Cod and meet other children with “tubies.” Our first night there, Natalie proudly walked through the halls with her backpack. Our five-year-old daughter finally felt like she belonged! She could play with kids and not have to feel self-conscious or have to explain what her tube was for. We loved talking to all the vendors and learning about new supplies to make life with a tube so much easier for Natalie, and us as her caregivers.
LifelineLetter, March/April 2014