I have a gastric-jejunal
feeding tube and every month the silicone balloon holding it in my body
month I go
through a process of it breaking and having to get it switched out to a new one. Come and follow me on this
It’s late at night and I’m getting ready for bed. I notice that my tube is dangling out of me more than it should be. I decide to check the water level in the balloon crossing my fingers in hopes that maybe this time I am just losing my mind.
What is supposed to have 8mls of water in it turns out to only have 1ml.
Maybe if I just put some more water in it I can magically make it last? Maybe the water will last at least a few hours and I can keep doing this? I don’t want to have go to the hospital again. I don’t want to go through the trauma of being allergic to just one. More. Thing.
I fill it with water and go to bed. It’s a few hours later and I roll over in my sleep. Something is off. Please be dreaming…Can this just be a nightmare, please? In the morning I get up with my tube hanging a few inches out of me when it is supposed to be snug against my body. I sigh and grab the Tegaderm tape.
Now begins the 1-2 day course of getting the replacement scheduled and another couple of days to wait for my appointment. First I call my specialist’s office and put in a request for my GI (gastrointestinal) nurse to call me.
Now I sit and wait. Could be an hour or it could be 24 until I get a call back.
Once I do
get a call back, I explain that the balloon on my tube has broken (again) and I need a referral to my hospital’s interventional radiology department for a gastric jejunal tube replacement. My nurse then forms the order and sends it over to my hospital.
Now I wait for the scheduling department at the hospital to call me. They ask some questions to confirm my address, date of birth, insurance, etc. and then they send that over to my insurance company for it to be approved.
And so begins the few days of waiting for my insurance to approve this request...