Maintaining weight, proper hydration, and medicine intake through the feeding tube is a recurring event each day. I take up my rightful spot at the feeding station and go through the same routine each time. There is not a lot of guess work any longer. Finding and implementing the right system was the biggest challenge. So here is are the details of what is working when it comes to the Notorious P E G.
- 8.45 Ounces of Isosource “Calorically Dense Complete Nutrition with Fiber” (nutrition)
- 3 Ounces Prune Juice (natural laxative)
- 20 Ounces Water (proper hydration)
- Medicines as needed
About 32 ounces of fluids during each of the six to eight sessions per day. I am down to six sessions as I supplement the nutrition and hydration by mouth as well throughout the day. This makes for approximately 192 ounces of fluid intake per day, not including the additional intake via mouth.
Most medicines are in pill or capsule form and must be dissolved in water. Each pill takes 10 - 15 minutes to dissolve.
Beyond that, prep is making sure you have everything open and ready to go before cracking open the clamp on the tube.
The syringe/funnel holds 60 CCs (2 ounces) of fluid at a time. This is the sequence I follow until all is done
- 60 CC of water to get things going
- 40 CC of Isosource and let it drain to the 20 CC mark
- 30 CC of Prune Juice (serviced from 20 CC to 50 CC mark)
- Add water to dilute down the Isosurce/Prune Juice mix. It takes a little to thin out the mix enough to get the flow from the tube going
- Repeat this sequence two more time to finish off the prune juice.
- Swirl the water around in the cup as it nears the bottom. The dissolved meds sit at the bottom, and will blend with the water as the cup’s quantity goes down and the swirling continues.
- Continue to take Isosource at 40 CC each time and dilute with water.
- Finish it off a couple of tubes of clear water to purge the tube and line before closing off the clamp.
- The only use of the plunger is to push all the fluid into the stomach at the very end. Set the clamp when the tube is empty and fluids usually do not backfeed into the tube very much.
- Disconnect the syringe from the tube and run hot tap water through the syringe. It is enough to clean things up.
Coughing when the clamp is open and the syringe is empty will let the stomach’s contents to squirt up and out of the tube like a small geyser.
- Holding the syringe as high as possible improves the gravity feed. This is a big help when the fluids are a little dense (thick).
There it is. My average feeding session. I do them six times a day and follow the same routine. I'd guess it take about 15 minutes each time. It certainly is not eating, but it is keeping the nutrition, hydration, and medicines going which is a big part of the recovery process. Eventually I will be back to eating and drinking like the other humans. Till then, me and the Notorious P E G will maintain our love hate relationship.