I had a feeding tube for almost a year, well three different feeding tubes actually. Mine was called a J-Tube which is a feeding tube inserted directly into the small intestine to bypass the stomach completely. The first tube clogged, the second tube clogged and I was so malnourished and tiny that the doctors couldn’t get another one in. Finally another was placed, and the third (which I was sent home with) malfunctioned in a way that the doctors had never seen before. It was scary but now I’m feeding tube free.
J-Tube Nightmare! This actually happened to me, but it is rare. I threw up so forcefully that my J-Tube was pushed up my throat and into the back of my mouth. Having something touching the back of my throat made me throw up and gag relentlessly. I thought I was going to choke to death. It was one in the morning and I was alone with my children. Instead of waking them, I swallowed the J-Tube ending, which hurt and texted my mother to come and get me. Every few minutes, I would throw up and have to swallow the end again.
When I got to the hospital and told the nurse and doctor, they didn’t believe me because they had never heard of this happening. A CT scan showed that the tubing was indeed in my throat. They removed the tube and I was sent home without one. I’ve never had one since. (Removal is done by deflating the balloon at the end and gentle pulling. It feels weird but doesn’t hurt. Especially if you’ve had your tube for awhile. A tract has been created and it’s no big deal. Just relax).
I Cheated: I still threw up, but my stomach was beginning to work again. I had malabsorption issues and constantly vomited. After having almost all of my colon removed and suffering from radiation enteritis, which destroyed much of my small intestine, I wondered if I would ever lead a normal life. Even when I had a J-Tube, I still attempted to eat, even though I threw up almost everything. To be honest, I tried to eat even when the doctors told me not to. I was determined to make my stomach and intestines adjust to the changes.
The Power of Positivity: I can’t say if that was a good idea, but it made me happy to eat. Sometimes, happiness can carry a sick person a long way. That stubbornness and determination saw me through to where I am today. From hospice care to gaining 50 pounds and eating! I do my own shopping, travel, work from home, and we are even building a cabin! Never give up, even when others give up on you. What you believe is your reality. Believe your body will adapt! Take it slow and keep trying.