Yesterday, I had a patient right after "lunch". Lunch for me means that I have some clear broth or maybe some very watered down and blended vegetable soup, while at the same time continuing with my j-feeds.
Before I had my j-tubes I was either feeling really run down and not able to concentrate as I was hardly able to eat lunch (or any other meals for that matter) and on the occasions I did have lunch I was feeling so sick afterwards that dealing with patients right after lunch became next to impossible.
What a difference a j-tube makes. I have enough energy to get up every day at 6.20, leave for work at 7.00 and don't return until 4.45. Yes, I am really tired when I come home and usually spend the rest of the evening resting on the couch, but I can do it.
I can deal with patients without feeling sick (at least on most days), and I can focus better on my work. When I was not well nourished I quite often felt that I wasn't able to give my patients the attention they deserved.
I am also starting to be more secure in my tube feeding at work. I have two different waist packs that I use and it works really well. So far only two people have asked about what I carry around in that waist pack and I told them :-). When I started tube-feeding at work and I was walking around the ward, picking up my patients, participating at morning rounds, and team meetings, I always thought that everyone was looking at my waist pack and I was always waiting for people to ask me about it. This is my 5th week as a fulltime working fulltime tube feeder :-), and I am visibly relaxing. I no longer think that everyone will want to know all about the secret of my waist pack. At the team meeting yesterday they talked about one of our dysphagia patients refusing a PEG tube to be put in. I turned to the charge nurse sitting right beside me and quietly said to her that she probably doesn't know that I am a J-feeder, but I am and I am doing quite well with it and if she thinks that there are patients who would benefit of talking with me (me as a psychologist and tube feeder), I am happy to be able to help.