As it turns out, it is Feeding Tube Awareness Week . Now, I'm not quite sure why we need a Feeding Tube Awareness Week except that everyone loves to have a cause these days. So why not!? We all know that I am the biggest g-tube fan out there - so I say, let's give it a week of its own!
Elisabeth had her G-tube placed in May of 2010. In the months prior to that she was struggling to swallow as a result of seizures. We watched as she lost weight and knew it was time. For our family it wasn't a difficult decision. Nor was it scary. I've encountered many parents who struggle with the choice; many who feel it is a sign of giving up, even failure. But I don't see why. G-tubes are a gift! What a blessing it is to have a way to feed Elisabeth even though she cannot feed herself. And what comfort it brings to have an easy way to give her the medications she needs to help control seizures. There is nothing to be sad or scared of. G-tubes are the best!!
Here is a diagram showing where a g-tube is placed on the abdomen:
It is quite simple, really. A button is placed that goes directly into the stomach. Just open the cap, attach the tube, and pour the food right in. Easy peasy!
Now, as for Elisabeth's diet. I spent two and a half years feeding her pediasure. Then one day I finally got the courage to try making her food myself. I followed a recipe and made a weeks worth at once. It was - shall I say - a big production. One day shortly thereafter, the light bulb went on: when my other girls were five I didn't sit and count every calorie they took in, I simply made them well balanced meals. I suddenly realized that I could do the same for Elisabeth. It didn't have to be a calculated recipe where I counted calories and made a weeks worth at a time. I could just take what I had on hand, throw it in the blender, and feed her!
Best decision I ever made.
Typically, I will do something like this: throw in a banana, some spinach, maybe some chicken, a hard boiled egg, peanut butter, applesauce and water. Then I hit liquify and voila - a few servings worth of food. Elisabeth eats healthier than anyone else in this house, I tell you! And the sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing that I am giving her whole foods and not something out of a can is incomparable. Elisabeth is my everything and she deserves the best.
I love g-tubes!