Liquid Nutrition question

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Liquid Nutrition question

Postby Renecarol25 » Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:12 pm

Okay some background. My dad's had several strokes a few years ago that left his throat partially paralyzed. This means he can't eat or drink. He is currently fed through a tube that goes down his nasal passage. They put something in it like Ensure. He had about eight to ten months where he couldn't eat or drink at all after he had the strokes and then after a lot speech therapy he got where he could eat again. And had been able to eat for a little over a year when he had heart surgery a few weeks. Now his throat is paralyzed again - the same paralysis as before but he has lost the months of thearpy that had got him where he could eat again. I guess I could go into more detail about my dad's eating situation if anybody wanted me to. But being around him makes me wonder - "What if that happened to me?" I think I'd rather die than not ever be able to eat again or taste food. I can't even imagine what he goes through. But I suppose it does happen to vegans. Is there a vegan alternative to that stuff they put down those tubes? What would they give me? I'd want some say over what went in my body in that situation. I know my dad doesn't get any say at all. If it were up to him they'd put some coffee in it.
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Postby tylerm » Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:42 pm

My grandfather just got off of TPN, which is basically a liquid food that is fed through a catheter that runs through his arm directly to his heart. He had this problem a few years ago where he had colon cancer, they had to remove part of his intestines, and he couldn't eat for 9 months. So he was fed through this bag.

Then, about 3 months ago, he broke his hip, and through complications he got a fistula, which is a hole that works from the inside of you outward, due to pressure. So he now has a hole from his intestine to his belly. It has mostly healed now, but he was on TPN again for maybe 2 months, or 2.5. This stuff costs $9000 US per month to feed him. He couldn't eat solid foods, because as they would digest, they would leak out of this hole into his body, causing an infection.

I asked him him at the time if he still got hungry, and he said no, but he missed eating. But when he was able to start eating again about a month ago, he was so happy. It must be hard to sit with other people eating and just be allowed to eat ice chips. I don't know what the TPN consists of, looks like Silk to me :)
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Postby JO » Mon Aug 09, 2004 1:15 am

Some nutrition is better than no nutrition at all. Usually they have the ingredients listed on the bag of fluid, and the nutritional breakdown (macro & micronutrients). From what I remember, it's 1200 or 1500 calories or so -- which may be enough if one is confined to a hospital.

How is your Dad doing?
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Postby Strix » Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:25 pm

Sorry about your dad, renecarol25 :(. I'm close with my dad and sympathize.
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Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
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-Dylan Thomas
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Postby Cuguacuarana » Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:08 pm

That sucks about your dad. I know that there is stuff like ensure that is soy based, though I don't know if its used for that purpose. I would Imagine that there are people who need to eat that way and are allergic to dairy though, so there must be a vegan (or more vegan) alternative.
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Postby Renecarol25 » Tue Aug 10, 2004 12:41 am

I guess you are right.. I hadn't thought about people being allergic to dairy. I hope I never have to go thru what my dad is going thru its tough watching him.
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Postby Renecarol25 » Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:38 pm

Just an update.. figured this is a good of place to put it as any. My dad passed a swallow test yesterday.
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Postby Kristi » Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:40 pm

I'm glad to hear your dad is on the road to eating solid food again Renecarol25! How long do you think it will be before he gets there?
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Postby Renecarol25 » Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:55 pm

He passed a swallow test last night.. When do a swallow test they give him just a little bit of food / liquid and see how it goes down. That means he gets to eat today. Probably just like a little oatmeal or grits this morning... then maybe some purreed foods like beans and stuff. He'll probably still be drinking a lot of that ensure like crap. But at least he will be able to eat a little bit now.
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Postby Kristi » Fri Aug 13, 2004 2:16 pm

He must be very happy about that. I know I would really miss the act of eating if I was forced to give it up. How long do you think it'll be before he can progress to more solid foods?
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