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Can you swim with a PEG?

Kimba1505's picture
Kimba1505
Posts: 557
Joined: Apr 2010

Can you swim with a PEG? What are some things the doctors don't tell you? Do's and Don'ts?

miccmill's picture
miccmill
Posts: 247
Joined: May 2010

Glenn's doctors told him no swimming and no tub baths.

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1231
Joined: Aug 2009

Sure you can swim with a peg. It's physically possible and your not going to take in water and drown.
But it's kind of a stupid thing to do. Your body during treatment is in a very vulnerable state because of decreased red blood cells counts but more importantly your white blood cells won't be able to fight off a wet noodle. You probably don't want to leave the house unless necessary. Going to hospitals puts you at risk for germs and viruses. Eating at a deli could be deadly. Why on earth would you risk all the possible bacterial threats associated with swimming pools and hot tubs. This is a time to guard against any threat no matter how remote.

Kimba1505's picture
Kimba1505
Posts: 557
Joined: Apr 2010

I never felt stupid for asking a question before.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1518
Joined: Jan 2010

There are NO stupid questions. There are only questions which will elicit an emphatic answer. Take care. And take care of the man...

Deb

Landranger25's picture
Landranger25
Posts: 207
Joined: Nov 2009

Kimba, please don't feel bad for asking that question. My wife is a Masters level RN with over 20 years experience. When our train left the track last year even with her by my side there were tons of things we didn't know. Although she had some familiarity with the PEG and port the rest was new territory. You keep right on asking those questions and like Deb says, you take care of you and take care of the guy going through this. As for me and my PEG, for the first couple weeks, until the hole surrounding the PEG took on a uniform shape and seemed to "seal" around the tube I even covered it with a 3 sided plastic cover when I took a shower. (taped a ziploc bag on the top and both sides so the water and soap/shampoo and whatever else ran off like a shingle) It is important to stay as healthy as you can through this. I know I felt bad enough without having to deal with something else at the same time. (lots of hand washing, no touching the eyes, nose and mouth and if someone else is sick just talk to them on the phone) Good luck and keep asking about the things you're not sure of.

Mike

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

Kimba, NEVER feel stupid when you ask a question!!! If I had the energy to swim during my treatment I would probably have asked the same question ;-) and truthfully I would not have known what the right answer to your question was.

Please continue to post any questions you may have - there are no stupid questions, you might get a few stupid answers from me but then again I'm not an expert ;-)

Take care, Glenna

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2225
Joined: Jan 2010

kim, that is NOT a stupid question. I asked my doc if I could take a bath w/it. Please don't feel stupid, I've always believed that the ONLY stupid question is the one we DON'T ask. Have a wonderful day and KEEP asking questions, I do.
God Bless you friend,
debbie

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8052
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Kimba, I don't see where Ratface actually said you were stupid or the question you asked was stupid. I'm sure he didn't mean it to be taken that way. I'm sure his intend was just out of concern for your partners health, and not take unecessary risks..

His thoughts and feelings are dead on though as for the possibilities of exposure to sickness and infection fighting abilities in a very vulnerable state.

Even though it's great to feel up to doing things that you like and keep your mind off of treatment and being sick. The reality is that he is sick and in state of health that makes it very hard to fight off any illness that he might normally encounter and easily fight off.

When I was going through all of this, I limited myself a lot. We rarely went anywhere that exposed me to a lot of people. No fast food or cafiteria style eateries, malls, large crowds, etc.... Unfortunately also like Ratface said, I did have to go to the medical facilities. But always worried because of the people there (Obviously already sick), and coughing and hacking of people with the flu. During my time was the big scare of swine flu and being exposed to those people at the hospitals and clinics.

Anyways, please don't take it personally, I'm sure that Ratface was just trying to express the importance of protecting your partners health and not exposing himself carelessly (or unknowingly) to health risks that he can control.

God Bless,
John

miccmill's picture
miccmill
Posts: 247
Joined: May 2010

Glenn's GI Nurse Practitioner told him no, for Infection Control purposes. Just not wanting him to get bath or lake/pond/pool water in the tube cause he'll be immune compromised during Chemo.

So yeah, the less exposure to bugs the better.

stevenl's picture
stevenl
Posts: 587
Joined: Jan 2010

Hey Kim,

The dumbest question is the one you don't ask.

Steve

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

Showering is generally OK but one of the most important things is make sure you clean around the entry point every day with iodine or hydrogen peroxide. The wound doesn't heal because there is a 'foreign body' (the tube) going inot his body. As such, his body will produce a bit of pus around the wound. You just carefully wipe around the wound to and clean it away with a swab. Alway use sterile tweezers and even surgical gloves when you do it to avoid infection.

The hospital should provide you with the right stuff and train you how to care for it. You generally cover the entry point with a 'Key hole' bandage. It's a specially cut small bandage 2x3" pre-cut to fit around the tube and you just tape the edges down. Piece of cake.

Best to avoid the swimming. There will be plenty of time for that later.

You will find you need 4-6 feeds a day depending what you use but he will need 2000 calories a day to maintain weight. Most feed have about 400 Cals so that 5 a day. Some days are easier and you get 5 or 6 in, other less.

It's all quite easy once you start so don't worry too much about the PEG.

Regds
Scam

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1231
Joined: Aug 2009

Kimba

Please acceapt my apology for a very poor choice of wording. I simply wanted to make the point that it could kill your husband. It's a dangerous situation. Unfortunately in writing we lose the body language aspect of communication. Believe me no animosity was intended. Once again my apologies to the rest of the community if any offense was taken.

Kimba1505's picture
Kimba1505
Posts: 557
Joined: Apr 2010

I can understand what communication can be lost through the written word. I appreciate your kind words and apology.
Kim

MarineE5
Posts: 744
Joined: Dec 2005

Hi Everyone,

What great answers to Kim's question. Yes, the Doctors and Nurses don't always give us all the information on the Do's and Don'ts. I was instructed to not use a Hot Tub or go swimming. The Nurse said that what can escape, can also invade. Meaning the if you have oozing from the Peg site, we can have a reversed effect and have harmful germs in water get into or on the incision site.

As mentioned, we need to clean the site several times a day. I generally took 2 showers a day as the clean warm water rinsed the Peg area for me and I didn't have to fuss with the Peg much other then to dab dry the area.

How is Mark holding up ?

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

Kimba1505's picture
Kimba1505
Posts: 557
Joined: Apr 2010

Sometimes I am very strong and determined. Sometimes I am very fragile and scared. I use these message boards as a source of strength and information. It helps me keep the fragile and scared Kim away from Mark so he gets primarily the strong and determined Kim. Like everyone here, I have been on a very short and fast learning curve. I know what I know because I have been able to ask questions knowing I will get an abundance of wisdom and care.
I asked about the swimming because it is something that Mark takes great pleasure in, especially during the summer. I have read many posts regarding the PEG with words like, "not a problem", "more like a nuisance", "easy to use"; but not the details that you all have shared here. Mark and I are in a process of figuring out what plans we can make and which ones we cannot. There are layers of information and we take in what we are ready to hear. I am often careful about post topics that I pick to read.
We will be certain to clear anything with the doctors and not take any unnecessary risks.
Marine, to answer your question about how Mark is doing...he looks great and puts himself at about 75% physically. Unfortunately he likes his present weight (still 10 lbs. lighter than before surgery) and it has been very difficult to convince him to add pounds prior to treatment. He has agree to do what he has to do to maintain that weight once treatment has begun. I don't think I have read that anyone has been able to do that.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1518
Joined: Jan 2010

Still haven't figured out how one keeps the PEG "hidden discreetly beneath your normal clothes." This little puppy has to be at least 15 inches long, and it sticks out no matter how I drape it, tape it or tuck it. Form-fitting shirts are a thing of the past, and baggy shirts poof out in the front.

I'm not doing the night-time feedings any more so perhaps my gastro-entero doc can make it shorter now?

D

SASH's picture
SASH
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2006

Oh, just hand the end out of the shirt collar. Makes a great conversation starter. :D

friend of Bill
Posts: 87
Joined: Mar 2010

I actually went "swimming" and even "hot tubbing" two and one half months after finishing all treatment with PEG. I had to get back into water. It was in Destin, FL, call me desperate. Don't know if it was dangerous nor can I remember if I checked it out with docs, but I did it, looked forward to it and it made this water dog feel very good. I'm still here. Check with docs about risks. It's probably safer than being in a hospital! Re tube: wore a thick tee shirt generally, but sometimes not. People looked, I explained and they were congratulatory and very understanding. Re feedback you receive from the Board: take what you can use, leave the rest including this. Tell Mark it and many other good things WILL happen.

Vince

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

I asked my person that changes my mickey button if I could swim and go in the hot tub because my friends who just got a hot tub were bugging me to try it out. She said I could. I didn't tho because since I am on my Fentanyl patch I cannot get overheated. I have to even watch how hot I make my showers. During treatment when I was on 75mcgs I almost passed out in the shower when I got too hot in there. After that I had to ask my gram or step mom to just sit in there and make sure I was okay.

I might go to a lake in a couple of weeks may go in water but doubt I will swim. Never been much of a swimmer. Up to thighs or so to cool off.

For those who still have the hose maybe ask about whether u can get one like I have no hose and great under clothes. So much more comfy. If you want to see what I have there is a picture of it in my expressions pages somewhere. I have pics of the first and third ones I had.

rozaroo
Posts: 667
Joined: Apr 2010

I went to your expression's page to take a look at what a Mickey Button look's like. Gee I wish I had that instead of this garden hose! It is so difficult to hide this contraption under my clothes especially on hot day's. Very cool!

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Went swimming last weekend. I was weird about shopping for a swimsuit (none of my old stuff fits), but it wasn't as awkward as I feared. The pool felt great. Plan to swim and hot tub on vacation starting Sunday. Also plan to call doc for the official OK (yeah, I know - I should've checked before I got in the pool).

Kimba1505's picture
Kimba1505
Posts: 557
Joined: Apr 2010

Mark's doctor gave him to okay to swim...whether he will feel up to it or not remains to be seen. But at least we know the option is there.
Thanks for all your posts of support. :)
Kim

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Dupe

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Dupe

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