I got my feeding tube inserted last Thursday. The procedure was nothing at all like what I described in my previous post. It was much more traumatic and painful.
Of course it was – this is me we’re talking about here.
So on Thursday I checked into the hospital for my PEG tub insertion. I was taken to the radiology department, prepped, and wheeled back into the room. I asked if I was to be sedated and they said “it will be conscious sedation – you won’t really feel or remember anything.”
Ha. I remember everything. I felt everything.
They pumped me full of versid – a drug that supposedly causes amnesia and relaxation. I suppose it relaxed me but it did not cause me to forget anything. No – my lot this time was to be fully aware!
Next they took a long hose and inserted it through my nose into the back of my throat. I needed to swallow it so they could use the tube to blow air into my belly and inflate my stomach. That was a nightmare. I gagged, spit, threw up – you name it. They had the hardest time getting that tube into my belly. I don’t know how sword swallowers do it.
Eventually they got it into me and blew my belly full of air. I immediately belched it out. Of all the burps in all the world – that was easily among the top 10. It was so loud and long, had so many subtle melodies to it, that I swear children in Portugal were crying in awe. It was the mother of all burps. Monks in Tibet flung themselves into fire because there was nothing left to live for – a perfect moment had just occurred.
There was a respectful silence from the doctor and staff after that, but they had to pump me up again. And I had to hold it in. Yuck.
They then used a CT scan to determine where to place the tube. I felt an immediate sharp PAIN in my gut as the shoved a needle into my abdominal wall and into my belly. They followed with a wire that pulled my abdominal wall and stomach lining together – the purpose being to prevent leakage between the two that might cause me to go septic in the future.
Then came another PAIN as they stapled them together – my abdomen and stomach. Since I don’t tolerate narcotics well – they used light doses of morphine on me.
Two more sharp pains and my stomach was well and truly stapled to my abdomen. What followed is indescribable. The doctor pulled out a huge awl – or punch – and poked a hole in my belly for the tube. Yeah – that hurt like a summbich. The tube was inserted, the bladder inflated to lock it in place, and I was told to sit up.
They said I wouldn’t remember – but I do. All of it. It was quite an experience – and now I have a feeding tube in my belly. You think that would be the end of it.
I ate through the tube just fine that evening. And Friday was a walk in the park. They feed me a special formula called Jeviy 1.2 through the tube.
This stuff is CHOCK full of nutrients. It is 100% nutritionally complete and looks just like baby formula. I pour that into my tube. I pretend, since I can’t taste it, that it’s different things. The first day I had Lobster and crab legs.
The only problem – insurance doesn’t cover the cost of this. These are considered “supplies” and not “medications” so I had to fork out $500.00 for a month supply. Very frustrating when you’re on disability and every penny counts. But it is what it is I suppose.
So on Friday I got through 5 cans. No problem.
On Saturday – I started my 10:00am feeding and immediately threw up! I figured it was a random thing – so I waited a few hours and tried again. Same response.
So I waited and tried again. Threw up again. I was getting nervous so Carey called the doctors. They forced me to go to the emergency room.
I have been in the hospital ever since. I am writing this blog from my hospital bed – with Carey beside me working on her laptop.
Apparently, my guts stopped working. Not sure why – a combination of the narcotics I was on, the trauma of the tube insertion, or something else stopped peristalsis in my body. My body stopped moving food out of my stomach and through my lower and upper intestines. I was just pouring food into my gut and it had nowhere to go.
On top of that – I was dehydrated and my kidney function was abnormal. They needed to make me poop – and but good. Hold the jokes and applause please.
So a day of laxatives and poop-inducing drugs are on my regimine. I am so tired of being here – but I suppose it’s the right thing. If I am lucky I will go home tomorrow – I will be completely devastated if I have to spend Christmas here.
Carey has been my angel – she is perfect. She doesn’t leave my side. With my grandfather in ORMC because of his recent heart attack, my family hasn’t really been able to be here and I do need someone here at all times. My throat is so sore that I can’t really communicate with the staff. Carey is handling everything for me. She is simply amazing – the perfect woman and my perfect love.
Anyway – here I am in the hospital, trying to get better so I can spend Christmas at home with my family. I feel sorry for the monks who killed themselves after the perfect belch – but some things just can’t be avoided.
Wish me luck!