Choosing or Not ChoosingTube Feeding
Your love one has gotten old and has stopped eating. You cannot stand the though of him or her laying there starving to death. The doctor suggest putting a nasal gastric tube through the nose into the stomach to furnish nourishment.
I ask you to think about several things and to discuss them with the doctor. Will the feeding tube be a permanent thing? Is this person still alert and able to discuss options or will you be making the decision? What other illnesses does this person have? Is this person terminally ill? Is the person in pain? Is this person mentally alert? Why did this person stop eating?
There are two ways to tube feed a person. The nasal gastric tube is put through the nose into the stomach. This is a painful process because the nurse has to make sure the tube goes into the stomach and not the lung. It sometimes takes many painful tries to get it right. The nasal gastric tube causes irritation in and around the nose and causes the throat to be sore.
A patient can pull the nasal gastric tube out easy, causing an even more painful reinsertion because the membranes of the noise and throat is already irritated.
The gastric tube is inserted by surgery. The doctor makes a hole in the stomach insert the tube which has a balloon at the end of it. The balloon is inflated to hold it in place. This leaves a stoma outside the body so you have to monitor it for infection. This is the best way to tube feed if it’s going to be in permanently.
Some people actually improve in help and go back to eating on there own if there is no blockage or anything. I must be honest with you, most people never come off the tubes. They lay in a state where the have very little interaction with the world. Their muscles become useless and the tube keeps them hanging on long after they should be allowed to pass on.
I know it’s hard to watch someone starve, but you need to think of all the facts. Would you want a feeding tube if you were in their place?
The best thing for everyone is to make your wishes clear with a Living Will. Most people don’t do this because they don’t like to think about death. The best thing for your children is to make your wishes know.