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Tips for Fellow Tube Feeders
Oley member Sanford Schimel recently posted these tips on the Oley-Inspire Forum. For those of you who may have missed them there, we are reprinting them here. We encourage you to join any of the ongoing dialogues, or begin a new discussion, in the Oley-Inspire Forum.
1. As I learned this year when they were the free gift [at the 2008 Oley annual conference in San Diego], rolling backpacks are FABULOUS! The bag and pump stay in the backpack with the tube snaking out the top. My shoulder doesn’t get sore from carrying it over my shoulder, and I carry all sorts of stuff in the backpack, right on top of the pump.
2. Always make sure that you have an extra J-tube on hand. The company that makes the tube I use recommends that their tubes be replaced every four months, so as soon as I have the new one put in, I call my supplier and order the next one. Not every hospital has the brand I use, so I bring my own. (I’ve seen jaws drop when I come in for the swap and hand them my own tube.)
3. Always carry bandages, scissors, and tape with you. My stomas leak (I have separate J- and G-tubes), and the acid burns, so I always have supplies with me. (Well, not always. I have been known to make emergency stops at the local pharmacy.)
4. Keep awareness up of where excess tubing from the bag is. I have caught it on doorknobs, chair arms, chair legs (especially rolling office chairs), and other people.
5. It takes time, but after a while, you realize that anything you can do without the tube, you can do with the tube. Just more carefully.—Sanford Schimel