New to tubie life? Have a friend, family member, or loved one of any kind who is getting/has a tube? Or maybe you aren’t new to life with feeding tubes, but you want to see what some of the other tubies have to say?
No matter what role tubes play in your life, I can almost guarantee that you will learn something from my “Tips for Tubies” series. This section of the list is all about self image and acceptance of both your changing body and your new tube(s).
1. It can be hard adjusting to tube feeding and not feeling in control of your own body, but you should never feel ashamed of the tubes or the changes they can bring to your body. These tubes keep us alive every day. It may take time to come to accepting this addition to your body, but remember that health comes first!
2. You get a feeding tube to restore your body and energy, they are meant to give you your life back, not take it away. You can do almost anything with a tube that you could do without one! Don’t give up on your dreams or your goals.
3. Trying to eat while you’re a tubie is not anything to be ashamed of; many people have a couple “safe foods” or still drink liquids! If you can tolerate oral intake and your doctor is okay with it, attempting to keep your system “awake” even with an occasional, tiny snack can be good and in no way invalidates your need for a tube.
4. Try to stay social! Being so sick and having surgery like this often leaves us feeling exhausted and sometimes unmotivated. Getting dressed and going out takes a ton of energy, but it’s too easy to become isolated! Friends will only take rejection so many times before they stop asking to hang out; even just suggesting a movie night or spa night at home is a good option to see friends but not use as much energy.
5. Feeling down in the dumps? Try creating a vision board! Think of all of your goals and dreams, even the totally unrealistic ones (being a mermaid, traveling the world in 30 days, learning to fly, etc.), and cut out pictures and words and quotes in bright, bold photos and lettering and then put it one a board or a collage and hang it in your room to help encourage happy thoughts and positive thinking 🙂
6. I don’t think anyone would say that life with feeding tubes is easy, there are many challenges that come along with it, both physical and mental; although these illnesses often leave us feeling isolated and lost, no one has to do it alone. There is such a strong online support community, and though it is not the same as having real-life, in person friends, the support you get and friendships you can make with people going through the same things that you are is life changing when you’re going through something that so few people understand.