As many of you will know if you follow my social media platforms, on Wednesday, 13th Of February I was meant to have my PEG Feeding Tube placed.
At the end November of 2018, I had an appointment with my Gastroenterologist who mentioned that I urgently needed a feeding tube surgically placed into my stomach due to malnourishment and decrease in weight over the year. Now, she actually offered me to have it done within the following two weeks but due to it being Christmas time, I didn’t want to not be able to enjoy the festive period and possibly be in hospital. Therefore, I opted for it to be done at the beginning of January 2019.
After receiving no letter with a date, my mum ended up on the phone to the Gastro department daily. Baring in mind, this was classed as urgent, they just couldn’t fit me in on the dates my consultant had asked for. Then, towards the end of that month, we received a text asking me to go in for a pre-op, which obviously I attended.
During the Pre-op we spoke about how the procedure would go, the pain scale, the aftercare and the team that’ll be working alongside me. Thankfully, whilst we was there we mentioned that I hadn’t had a date through, so she booked me in almost straight away to have my operation done on the 13th Of Feb.
As I mentioned, there’s a whole team behind this surgery. Before, during and after having it done. Two of which include my dietitian and a Nutrition nurse, both of which met with me before having the surgery done. Yet again, we spoke to both of these ladies who helped me to completely understand what was going to happen and how the healing process was to go. It’s a very overwhelming surgery to have, as it may only seem small to people on the outside, but it’s a lot for your body to go through, so admittedly I was anxious. Especially, when it came to having it done on the day.
How The Morning Started:
We were told during the Pre-Op that we had to arrive at the hospital for 8am, which was a very early start for us but we made it there in record timing. Once we arrived, that’s when it became apparent that many of the staff weren’t informed that we had arrived, therefore I didn’t get taken back to the operating ward until 9.30am.
Once we finally got taken back, we started the morning by trying to place a cannula (it’s then I should have known that day wasn’t going to go to plan). it took three different nurses and multiple attempts to finally get a cannula placed into my arm. Unfortunately, due to having multiple blood tests over the years, my veins have either collapsed or they like to hide. Once it was placed, the bowel nurse connected me to IV Antibiotics which ran for around 30-40 minutes to help prevent any infections after the surgery.
Due to back up of patients on the day, I didn’t go down to surgery until around 1pm’ish. it was a very long wait, but I knew that I had the best team working beside me and I trusted them regardless of the time we spent waiting ahah.
What Happened In Theatre:
Once I was taken back to theatre, I was attached to multiple machines and given a high dose of sedation (which didn’t knock me out, just calmed me down). Then, I was given a throat numbing spray so I wouldn’t feel the pain of having the Endoscopy awake. Obviously, once that had kicked in the camera went down into my stomach.
On the end of the camera, was a flashing light which they were hoping to see through my stomach, so they knew where to cut to allow my feeding tube to be placed. Unfortunately, after multiple attempts at trying to find the light, they couldn’t see it at all. This isn’t something which happens often so it was a shock to everyone. Due to this, they couldn’t place the feeding tube.
My consultant/surgeon wasn’t going to take the risk, as it’s believed that either my stomach was in an awkward position OR my bowel has moved in front of my stomach (this is the option they believe has happened). If they had taken the risk, they could have perforated my bowel and I’d be in ICU right now.
This is what a PEG feeding tube looks like.
Due to not being able to place the feeding tube which everyone had hoped would be placed, we are now onto option two.
The option two is placing a RIG Feeding Tube which is a much more invasive surgery and the aftercare of having this placed is a very long and difficult one. Usually, the placement of this feeding tube is a last resort (according to my consultant anyway) and it means learning about this feeding tube before having it placed.
We are hoping that this will be placed within the next 2-4 weeks. Unfortunately, this is a placement that has to be done via a specialist, and the specialist closest to were we live is in London. Therefore, I have to wait until this consultant comes down. Thankfully, I am classed as ‘urgent’ so we’re hoping I won’t have to wait to long…
And… this is why I didn’t have my feeding tube placed on the 13th!
I felt like so many of you wished me good luck etc, that it was only right that I explained to you in detail why I couldn’t have it done and what’s happening next. Your support hasn’t gone unnoticed and I appreciate it more than I could ever describe. Despite the 13th being the most awful day, when reading your lovely messages, it always makes me smile again. So, thank you for that.
I’ll be sure to update you all with further information when I have it myself. As of right now, it’s just a waiting game. Hopefully we’ll know more soon!
Sending tons of love & hugs to you all as always,