A couple of weeks before I went home, my dietician asked me if I would consider being fed through a tube down my nose into my stomach as I was too thin and still not eating very well, this was keeping the healing process slow. I said I would think about it, and didn’t. She kept mentioning it over a few days, then one day my stoma nurse was with me when a lovely consultant whom I got on really well with was on the ward. I told my stoma nurse about the tube feeding and how scared of it being put down I was, and she said it would really be the best thing for me and to just have a go. My mum turned up too , and I made the decision to try.
We called the lovely consultant over, and I asked her if she would be willing to put it in that moment ( I was feeling brave, but knew if I left it any longer I would chicken out). She said yes and got it all together. She told me to drink some water as she was doing it, so I took the glass and drank, I just drank and drank as she pushed it down. It was horrible but manageable with liquid, but I ran out and panicked by grabbing the tube and pulling it out again. “I was nearly there” she laughed, “why did you pull it out ?”I laughed too and said I ran out of water. So, we got more water and tried again, this time with success. I was so pleased with myself, but also it was uncomfortable to start with.
My mum was upset when the tube was going in , she went out the cubicle and chatted with another patient friend of mine. My husband was proud of me when he got there, because he knew it would do me good. The dietician was also very pleased as I think she thought I didn’t have the guts ( no pun intended).
That night they connected me up to my liquid food, to have overnight. When they flushed it with water first it was a stranger cold sensation down my throat, then I watched the food following the tube until it vanished into my nose. Very bizarre. I kept it in for a few weeks, then disaster struck.One morning I was sick, not sure why, but when I puked, I puked the tube up, it was awful, the nurse was nearby and she said “pull it out, calm down” I was waving and flailing around, and tried to pull it from my mouth but it wouldn’t budge because it was stuck to my nose with plaster, so I tore off the plaster and pulled and out it came, the relief was lovely. I was then worried it would have to go back in, but they agreed to let me try to eat again and see. Luckily it worked and I didn’t need to go home with it.
It wasn’t long before I was allowed home……