Posted 11/1/2007 8:33 AM (GMT -7)
Hello! Well...there's a lot of good and bad about a g-tube. I got one in 4th grade, I'm 19 now. I didn't want one, but my parents and doctors convinced me to get one, I don't remember my weight...wasn't very good though. I drove 4 hours away to get surgery, and I was terrified. I'm not going to lie the surgery was pretty painful. I woke up and had to cough a lot, I found that holding a pillow to your stomach while you cough helps. Walking to the bathroom hurt too. I went home after a day or two, I probably wasn't ready...but I was ready for some real food. It feels a lot better after awhile. Your skin tries to still grow around it though, so for awhile I had to take this q-tip with medicine on it that burned the skin to stop it from growing.
After I got used to all this I gained a lot of weight. I took 3-4 cans of Nutren per night. It took awhile in the morning for me to be able to eat because I was so full, sometimes I would get sick. I finally got up to 99 pounds around 8th or 9th grade, then I stopped gaining weight. I never could reach my goal of 100 pounds. Then, "lucky" me got strep throat and I lost 10 pounds. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't get in the 90's. again.
At that age, I was starting to look at my body, and I was trying to fit in. The g-tube made me self conscious, because it looked like I had a big lump in my stomach. I started taping it down to my stomach to make it less noticeable. When one would go bad it would leak, and it was embarrassing in the middle of the class when this happened. Sometimes it would leak for no reason, ruining my shirts. I would make excuses saying that I spilled something on myself. It was also not doing any good by this time, because my weight had stayed the same for a couple years. I stopped taking it as much because it made me sick in the morning, and I started eating more. In 10th or 11th grade I quit taking it for several months and saw the same results as when I had it in, I wasn't losing weight.
I finally convinced the doctor to let me remove it, much to his disaproval. I told him if I had to get a transplant in the future, I could always get a new one. Maybe I shouldn't of done this, but I'm so much more confident and happier now, and I haven't lost any weight since. I still weigh in the mid 80's and I'm 5' and 19 years old. I may be scrawny, but I'm happy and I eat more than anyone I know. If it had continued to help me gain weight, I might still have it, but after awhile, on me, I noticed that it stopped helping.
I'm not trying to scare you with all my talk about how much I hated the thing, I'm just trying to get you to see the whole picture. Doctors don't always let you in on the grim details. If it will help you any, and they can get money from it, then they see it as a good thing. I've noticed that a lot of doctors look at ways to heal you physically, but they don't really look into how it will affect you mentally.
Perhaps you should try it for a few years, at least until you get a healthier weight. If you have any questions my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.