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Learning to Eat: G-tube Update

Learning to Eat with a g-tube

Once upon a time there was a boy who struggled to eat. He was hungry and tired but couldn’t quite make eating work for him. Eventually through surgeries and therapy and endless tears, he learned to eat, but  by four a half years old, he was behind on the curve…Learning to eat with a g-tube

Apollo is learning to eat, but it is a painfully slow process. He had his first sandwich ever after his tonsillectomy last summer. Apollo had never been able any type of bread product (cookies, toast, muffins/cupcake) before.

Learning to eat with a g-tube

Apollo now requests sandwiches to eat, but often with weird (and unfortunately fat-free) options. A favorite? Ketchup, mustard and lettuce. Sometimes, if he’s feeling adventurous, he will want a tomato in there too…Learning to eat with a g-tube

One of Apollo’s favorite snacks is still a “lettuce end”, which is the end of a Romaine heart that he holds like a popsicle and munches on…

Learning to eat with a g-tube

At this point we consider any new food progress…and any food he asks for as a step in the right direction. Way back when I was told Apollo was just “afraid to eat” I knew in my heart that was wrong. There was more to it than that…Apollo would go on to suffer for nearly six more months before he had his g-tube placed and could finally know the feeling of a full stomach…

Learning to eat with a g-tube

Apollo views his g-tube as a natural extension of himself…just another part of his body. He recently told me he wants to keep his tube forever…after watching Hezekiah down an antibiotic for strep throat! Just yesterday I mentioned he was the only one in our house with an “upgrade” (a common theme in his Ninjago LEGO sets). He asked if he was a cyborg, and I said yes…”not only do you have an upgraded fuel pack, but you also have a metal clamp in your chest!

It’s the small things.

His doctor commented recently that he was surprised Apollo didn’t experience the kind of catch-up growth you usually see when a child who has been failing to thrive (for whatever reason) finally receives adequate nutrition. He is slowly and (kind of) steadily working his way up on the growth chart and, more importantly, maintaining that gain.

So we plod on. Looking forward to the day he no longer needs his g-tube and at the same time, being so very thankful that he has it.

2 Comments

  1. nancy from mass

    One of my sons favorite (gross-sounding) sandwiches he enjoys making for himself…..pickles, cheese, mustard and ketchup. he eats every bite. (I gag while he does it). He’s almost 16 now and yes, he still makes it.

    But, whatever makes Apollo want to eat a sandwich I think is a step in the right direction!

  2. Melpub

    Hey! (1) He’s eating and (2) he’s eating bread. Two out of three ain’t bad. It’s astonishing how much he’s grown and progressed. I have a very skinny daughter who also eats almost no fat–loves her raw carrots and apples and cucumbers. You would think I’d put the kid on a diet. Spreads her butter as if it were being rationed. When I put more on, it’s “Ick, Mommy!” But she will eat ice cream . . .

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