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Feeding Tube - Check - Done!

kimmygarland's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Aug 2009

PEG Tube done today, and Bob is spending night in hospital for observation and nutritional consult in the morning. We just got home, and he was resting comfortably when we left, on some good pain meds. He did have some pain from it - I guess from going through the stomach wall, blah blah... but he's ok.

They showed me how to flush the thing and briefly gave us an overview of how to use it. Will get the "offical" direction tomorrow. He won't need to use it until after his surgery on 9/15 but we have to flush it every day between now and then. That seems pretty simple. I guess my biggest concern is the crushing of the meds and sending them down the tube. But I am going to cross that bridge when i come to it.

Take care everyone, and thanks for the prayers.

Posts: 190
Joined: Feb 2010

you will get use to the tube quickly.. the maint. is easy. As for the meds...capsules, open them up. Some you will have to disolve. A lot of meds will come in liquid form. The feeding tube is a life saver... your job will be much easier with it. Take care!...one step at a time.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jan 2010

My oncologist offered me the option of taking several of my meds in liquid form, for ease of use through the tube. With regard to the capsules, it got to be easier for me to take them apart and pour the contents directly into the tube, then follow it with a syringe of water. You will find your own best way to do it.

Good luck! I'd say "have fun with it..." but at best, it just becomes routine. NONE of this is fun.


Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Kimmy,

I found a very small ceramic Mortar and Pestle and used that to crush my pills. I then had a small plastic jar (I actually think it was Urine sample jar) and I mixed the crushed pills in with warm water and shook it till they disolved, then sucked them up into the big syringe they should give you, and then just squirt into the PEG tube. Easy.

Just watch the first few days as sometimes you get very sharp pain in the belly. I did. It turned out to be trapped gas so if it happens, have him stand near the bathroon basin and open the tube so any trapped gas can be released. It doesn't feel like gas at the time and the pain was very sharp and severe, so if that happens, try purging. if other issues come up,call your Doctors.


miccmill's picture
Posts: 248
Joined: May 2010

I can say we did it exactly the same way Scam describes. Easy.

We had to have two of his meds changed from extended release to non-extended release but his Primary Care physician just wrote the Rxs over again and we went from there.

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

It is like anything after a few times using it you will not think twice about it. Keep you both in prayer all the through 9/15.

All the best to you both

SASH's picture
Posts: 399
Joined: Apr 2006

Ask doctor/pharmacist if you can melt the meds in hot water. Some melt better than others then you can let the water cool and send it down the tube. This even works with things like Tylenol. But for pain, there are liquid version that go down the tube easily. Just watch out for any that contain alcohol and see if those might have interactions with other meds.

delnative's picture
Posts: 450
Joined: Aug 2009

Sash is absolutely correct that you have to check with the doc or pharmacist before crushing a med and putting it through the tube. Some meds are meant to be time-release, and if you crush them you get the full Monty all at once.
I used to take Singulair for asthma, and it's a teeny-tiny little pill about the size of a peppercorn. When I was well into treatment and my throat was all screwed up I couldn't even get that little thing down, no matter how much water I drank. But grinding it into a powder and putting it through the tube worked fine.
Having the PEG was a blessing -- even though I hated it.

--Jim in Delaware

kimmygarland's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Aug 2009

I have flushed Bob's tube the last two days, as instructed, even though he is not using it. You all are right - very simple.

I ordered a mortar & pestel off Amazon today, so will be prepared for the pill crushing after the surgery.

My main "obstacle" at the moment is the PATIENT. I told him this evening that tomorrow he is going to do the flushing, as he must learn to use this. After his recovery from surgery and I return to work, he'll need to "feed" himself. He will do it when he has to I know, but I want him to do it now - so that after surgery he is comfortable. Maybe I shouldn't push him, but it just seems like good planning to me.

Thank you for all the suggestions. I also found out that his "food" will be covered by our insurance and that is a huge relief.

JUDYV5's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: Jun 2010

My husband went back to work. I had rides every morning to the radiation treatments. However, I fed myself. I usually filled the bag and fell asleep, woke up and did it again.

Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009

I fed myself all the way through. I got one of those Suction hooks that sticks to glass and either put it on the window to hang my cup of grits or on a glass cabinet next to my desk so i could surf the net while the feed went in. Obviously, you hang it high enough to get the gravity to do the work. Sometimes the exit from the cup going onto the tube would get blocked depending on how thick the feed was so on such occasions, I empty out the cup, clear it and maybe dilute the mix a bit with more rice milk (or whatever) and start again.

Finished off after the feed with a half syringe of room temp water to flush, then clip it it up, tuck into jocks or tape to belly and away you go.


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