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g tube

heschie's picture
heschie
Posts: 38
Joined: Jun 2009

just wondering when you get the tube if you are in a great deal of painthe day it is done doc told hubby it would be tender for a couple of days and he is in alot of pain says he has to push next to where the tube is to ease the pain they didnt send him home with a script for pain meds not eating and they wonder why they loose weight

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Hi heschie, I just had my tube put in last week and never experienced any pain. A little tenderness is to be expected but not pain. I was told if I experienced any severe abdominal discomfort to contact the doctor. Before I was released from the hospital I was given a sheet with Instructions after Endoscopy Procedures. Did your husband receive this? This sheet listed several symptoms which you should report to your doctor if you are experiencing any of them. I'm not a doctor but I think you should call yours with any concerns you might have. I was apprehensive about this procedure and called my doctor because I had developed a severe rash on my stomach, he was so great about it - he had me come in the next day to look at it to address any of my fears. There was nothing wrong with mine but it was a relief to have him look at it and tell me all was well.

Please post again to let us know how he is doing.
Glenna

Fireman
Posts: 28
Joined: Feb 2009

Talk to your doctor about your concerns. As your husband has noted, applying pressure helps relieve the pain a little. He can hold a pillow on his stomach, which is called splinting to help support the area and relieve some pain. Also he can either lay down or sit with his knees bent up towards his stomach. This to can take some of the pressure off. Though we all have different pain tolerances,remenber, your husband was just stabbed in the stomach,although stratigic and to provide benefit to him. Your doctor needs to know what's going on even if only to address your concerns. The facility where he had the procedure should have provided you with written home care instructions. Call them and request these instructions and notify the Administrator or Director of the facility if those written instructions are not given to you immediately. They must do this to meet accrediation standards. Empower yourself right now and do not be concerned with what people may think of your persistance in getting answers. That's what as professionals, they get paid to do and why they got into this feild in the first place. You and your husband are going through this together so make sure you understand and are satified with the treatment regime your doctor has set up and please, voice your concerns to his team. Get phone numbers, and back up phone numbers so that there is someone there to address your concerns. Keep bringing your concerns to this site. While we do not pretend to know enough about what is actually going on with your husbands care to give medical advise, we do have experience and knowledge that can empower you, give you hope, support, and the belief that you will get through this.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

heschie:

First, I would not develop an 'us versus them' mentality. They are trying to help. I am fairly certain of that.

Second, I have been trying for some time to determine with absolute certainty the difference between a G tube and J tube (which I have) and I can only gather that the former is inserted in the intestine, while the latter is inserted into the stomach.

If there is more difference than that, then ignore the following.

I have found that there can be some pain issues involved with the tube, although they develop later in time.

The most obvious has to do with the wound itself, which must be cared for religiously. It IS a wound, and it IS prone to infection, and you WILL see pus coming up around and turning into gnarly balls of dried up pus if you do not care for the site on a daily basis. (I don't know that personally...I, um, I saw it on late night cartoons, yeah, that's it :)).

Hydrogen peroxide is a good start, but as someone else indicated, do not hesitate to ask doctors, or, in particular, a good ET nurse, what is the best treatment for this wound.

Less obvious, but the real reason for almost all pain I've ever experienced with the tube, is that the stomach, and probably the intestine as well, has a natural proclivity for sucking in the tube. Without a 'bumper' in place to keep the stomach, for example, from sucking it in, it really isn't long before a large degree of the tube, more than is required or good for the survivor, is inside of the stomach.

This causes severe cramping for reasons that should be obvious. And I mean SEVERE.

It also inhibits the ability to ingest nutrition through the tube, although you might not notice this at first.

If your husband's tube has a 'bumper' be sure that it is always taut against whatever protective bandaging you are using for the wound (and you ARE protecting the wound I hope?), and have him pull on the tube until it feels snug (but not enough to yank it out...he must be delicate, and I would advise that he do it rather than you, since he will feel it).

If you find that something else is the problem, please let us know.

In the meantime, I hope that this helps.

Take care,

Joe

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Hi soccerfreaks, Now I'm confused again. I was told I have a g tube and when I asked whether it goes into the intestine or directly into the stomach I was told it went into the stomach. I guess to me it really doesn't matter as long as it works if I find myself needing to use it. I'm hoping I will still be able to get most of my nourishment by mouth but only time will tell.

A few people I know that have tubes said theirs is directly above the belly button, mine is about 2 1/2 inches up and to the left. Maybe my stomach is not in the usual location :)

I'm going to try to find out more info on the difference between g and j and I will keep you posted if I find any definitive answers. The main reason I'm curious is I have read that some people have to have their g tube changed to a j tube.

I start my treatments on the 23rd so I'm sure it will only be a matter of a few weeks before I know whether I will need to use the tube. The only problem I am having with mine now is because of the length of the tube. I have 18 1/2 inches of tube and no matter how hard I try to coil it up and tape it to my stomach it still seems to be in the way - LOL. Boy am I glad I'm way past the bikini age :)

As usual, thanks for your informative postings.

Glenna

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Glenna,

To begin with, if that is a picture of your husband, let me say frankly that he is a handsome man and I sense from the photo that he is the type that will do anything in the world for you, including wagging his tail on numerous oocasions. He is a keeper!

As for the tube, yours is much longer than mine to start with. I would say that my wound is about six inches above my navel and about two inches to the left (should I invent a GPS for tube insertion points?).

It is just a bit more than a foot long. There is a bumper, a hard plastic round disc that abuts the skins and is designed, as I indicate in the previous response, to keep my stomach from swallowing the tube. I have a fixture at the end of it, for want of a better word. The end of it is a sheath of rubber fitted over device that actually sticks into the tube... this is where I insert the syringe-looking tube for feeding. I have a switch on it, so that I can turn the juice off and on. For example, if I have to sneeze or cough, I can flip the switch and off goes the feed.

Incidentally, this tube has an added benefit: if you feel nausea, enough, say, that you think you are going to vomit, you can go to the sink of your choice and turn on the valve and let the nasty stuff go out through the end of the tube rather than up through your mouth and nose. You do have to be quick about it, but that is a helpful hint my friend :).

Otherwise, Glenna, I think the 'rules' apply in any case: you should have received some training about how to treat the wound area. As someone else has posted, their doctor was apparently amazed that they did not get such instruction. It SHOULD be provided routinely. It IS a wound.

In addition, if you are on the tube for any length of time, provisions should be made for new beakers and tubes from time to time. The stuff does gum up as I mentioned in one post or another, and it tends eventually to make the bottom of your 'serving' beaker rather nasty.

And, if you do end up using the tube (and let's hope you don't need to), be sure to continue eating orally if you can and when you can. If you find you are in a place where you simply can't eat by mouth, at least do some exercises for the mouth and jaw so that the mouth does not begin to close up on you.

Have fun, Glenna. You just got what is probably the worst-case scenario. You will do much better, I am sure.

Hope and Humor!

Take care,

Joe

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

First,the picture is of the "other love of my life". He is a 7 yr old yellow lab but my vet told me he will forever be a puppy, it's just his personality, he thinks the world is his plaything and goes through life without worrying about anything. They say that animals can sense when something is wrong and I believe it. My dog never leaves my side now, if I nap on the couch he lays on the floor beside me, if I go into the bathroom he lays right in front of the door until I come out. Dogs give their love unconditionally and I recommend them to anyone - sick or healthy - as they are the best companions in the world. Enough about my dog, I could tell amusing stories about him for days :)

Our tubes sound similar, I also have a "bumber" to keep the tube from sliding further into my stomach, it also has a "clamp" half way up the tube to close it off. The end of the tube has 2 openings (both have push in tabs to close them), one opening is for the "food" and flushing and the other is for any medications I may need to inject in the future.

As for the cleaning, training and supplies, it sure seems like everyone was saying the other person was the one responsible for this. In the end I went a week trying to do the best I could by reading the little pamphlet I was given when I left the hospital. Finally went to the GI doctor who performed the procedure and he was great about everything and understood my concerns. He said the visiting nurse should have done all of this for me on her visit (needless to say she said he was the one responsible to show me) I couldn't get an answer from either one of them as to who would supply me with the food if I need it and show me how to use the tube. My concerns somehow got back to my oncologist and his dietician called me and told me not to worry, when the time comes she will be the one to show me everything I need to know. One more hurdle crossed :)

I think it's rather funny (I do have a warped sense of humor) because I was concerned that my tube had become clogged with the stuff that was coming out of my stomach. It was clogged so when the GI doc went to flush it he got a shower and was all apologies for not having made sure I was better educated on the care of my tube. He also told me they could shorten the tubing in the future if I wanted them to - this thing literally hangs down to my knees. I'll wait and see when (if) the time comes that I need to use it before I have him shorten it.

I clean it faithfully everyday and put fresh gauze on each side of the plug, I also spread a little bacitraycin around the wound as a precaution. I'm trying so hard to make sure there are no complications that will delay the start of my treatments. Were you told to rotate the plug each day while you were cleaning the wound? I was scared to death the first time I did this as I was sure it would hurt like crazy. I was pleasantly surprised as I really didn't feel it, I guess I worry about every little thing until I actually have to do it. Human nature I guess :)

I think the end of your tube must be different than mine, you mentioned a valve on yours. The end of mine has one larger opening with a "tab" that fits inside to close it off. It also has a smaller opening with a "tab" that is for medications. When I flush mine I insert a syringe into the larger opening (I always remember to open the clamp first) and hold the tube up in the air while I press on the syringe. Mine must be gravity fed. It would be nice if mine worked like yours in regards to nausea and vomiting. It sure sounds like a less stressful and less disgusting way to vomit. Who knows - I may be one of the lucky ones and not get sick from the chemo. I know they have me on 3 different meds to control the nausea, one they inject by IV while I'm having the chemo and the other 2 are pills that I take as prescribed.

I know I'm rattling on but it's because I'm starting to get a little nervous. It's easier to be brave and act like this is nothing when you have several days before you start treatment. I start my chemo/radiation the day after tomorrow and I find that I have to tell myself over and over again that "I can do it"

Thanks for your encouragement and advice, I really love your "signature" Hope and Humor. It's very fitting as you always give me hope and I love the way you manage to inject the right amount of humor in your responses.

I will post later this week to let you know whether I turned into a total wimp or if I can really talk myself through all of this. I'm sure I will get better at it after a few treatments as I will know what to expect each day.

Take care and keep smiling,
Glenna

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