feeding tube at home - what to expect
Anyone advise me on what to expect and the care needed to maintain a feeding tube for my maybe 100 - 110 pound dad? I know nothing about feeding tubes nor how they will affect my dad.
Kinda long but ..Background /// excuse spelling...
For ten yrs or so I've been living with and doing full time home care for my now 92 yr old 120 pound dad after he had a heart attack... instant tripple bypass.. which caused strokes while in the cardiac surgery recovery room. One quadrant of his heart pools blood so he;s on blood thinners.
His problem really has been Strokes - Left him with swallowing/balance problems, just general sitting down orientation/balance seems way off,, and limited mobility in all limbs except for one good leg.
Had a cross stroke, one arm and the oppisite side leg.. then it crossed to other side, visa versa. All before he woke up from heart surgery recovery. Plus the swalling problem lots of stroked people seem to have.
Anyhow following that hospital stay they sent him to, and he did about a three month stint in, a nursing home .. this is ten yrs ago - Nursing home was for heart surgery recovery more or less and physical therapy including how to swallow for his strokes ... He absolutly did not get along there, did not like the life there , hates nursing homes now. He'd die before going back into one or shortly after arriving in one.
Actually his visiting doc from nursing home said his life was nearing the end, 'anytime, weeks or very few months now'
- I brought him to his home for his last christmas & to live out the final months left he did have left. I became instant caregiver for a previously fully healthy normal guy that had just reroofed his house with more physical ease than anyone half his age could have, unless of course they were a roofer.
He once home from the nursing home learned to use a walker for a short trip to the bathroom & can remove and put on his pants. (whew, was fulltime in diapers for quite a while, now only part time) He can handle his food utensils. I fix his meals and he eats them unassisted from his wheelchair - shakey, everything cut up small. He can move from wheelchair to bed and back... shaves himself.. about it.
For Ten yrs things go along pretty much ok. Few falls and ER room stitches, one contagious old people pneuoma he had picked up from nursing home they guessed, is about it.
About 5 or 6 months ago he started having swallowing problems. Couldn't get the food down.. a couple of endoscopes determined his esphoficus has quit doing the normal contractions that squish the food down into his stomach.
So he's cut back on food intake and fluid intakes too. He's always teetered on dehydration. Doenst like to drink because it'll make him need to pee more often.
Now its slowing getting serious. Weight loss. Probably lost about 20 pounds past six months.
Fast forward to 4 days ago - lunchtime last Friday. He's constipated, had a couple xlax things & a suppository over a few days.. not working. He wants to go to hospital. Constipation killing him, please call 911 , over and over, he suddenly thinks he's too weak to even get into car for the drive to hospital.
Fecal Impaction.. hard stool blockage.. nurse removed.. pooped up a storm. Kept him for observation & swalling tests. Think they observed a lot of his eating abilities. For some reason the tests got delayed. Until today.
Doc called an hour ago,,, he needs a feeding tube inserted before comming home tomorrow, or he needs to call in hospice. He cant swallow well enough to eat well enough to substain life for much longer,,, is what doc has implied. Period - thats the options.
Anyhow I'm headed for hospital to see what dad has to say.. he really is afraid of dying and really is a pretty healthy body.. excpt for this now somewhat sudden swalling deal and his mobility.
I'll have to decide feeding tube or not,, they're make it my call. My wonder is - Can I keep him home with a feeding tube.. I've no feeding tube experience nor know anything about them.. not yet anyhow. Tell me about it please ?