By Tammy Goodwin
Feeding Tube Awareness week is 4 to 10 Feb, 2024.
With Feeding Tube Awareness week in a few days, I wanted to bring awareness to all of the different ways people can be fed thanks to the development of all of the methods which keep people alive who may not be able to nourish their bodies in the usual way of orally eating food.
Fed is best…..no matter how it needs to be done.
My son Cruz has tried the lot!
Bottle with breast milk, then with all different formulas.
Nasal Gastric Tube (Tube in nose down to stomach) being gravity fed with syringes and/or feeding machine.
Transpolyric Tube (Tube in nose that’s inserted via xray bypassing stomach and down to small intestine) meaning continuous slow feeding constantly throughout the day and night.
Jejunal Tube (Tube inserted through skin on stomach area into small intestines) meaning continuous slow feeds all day.
Gastrostomy Mic-key button into stomach fed via feed pump machine.
Gastrostomy Jejunal button into both stomach and small intestines via feed pump machine.
TPN (total parenteral nutrition) being fed via a line into your veins being one of the main arteries , the line being called a “Central Line” .
Cruz has had these inserted into his neck, chest and groin over the years; and you cannot get these dressings wet due to infection risk so no bathing or swimming….mainly bed baths as area needs to stay as sterile as possible due to infection and sepsis risk.
Port – line in his chest for TPN to run (meaning he could finally go for baths and swims whilst being on TPN way of being nourished).
At one point in time he would reluctantly eat a tiny bit of yoghurt or puree and gets food therapy to try and encourage oral feeding…but he’s really really not a fan of food…not interested one bit in it really and he doesn’t know how to bite properly, to chew, or swallow correctly unless it’s water he drinks or pureed food/yoghurt.
Blended food regime made up of real food high in calories into his button manually by large syringes full of pureed food I’d made…and what works best for his body and system is formula through his GJ Tube situated on the outside of his stomach via a feed pump having 3 -4 feeds in one port (stomach) during the day, then a slow continuous overnight feed through the other port (small intestine).
That’s 10 years and 5 months of feeding journey for Cruz…never a dull moment and a lot of time, sleepless nights, research, love and support poured into it.
Who knows what the future holds on his feeding journey, but for now he is thriving and growing on what he’s doing so we shall stick to that until the next hurdle!
Reposted with permission https://www.facebook.com/causeforcruz