Thursday, May 3, 2012


Nate can't and/or doesn't want to eat with his mouth.  No, not even ice cream (That is always the first thing people ask when I tell them Nate doesn't eat.  Tastiness of the food is not a factor).  His aversion to food is most likely a product of 1) having very low muscle tone in his facial muscles, making it difficult to chew and swallow 2) having some sensory-processing issues related to his condition, and 3) being in the hospital for four months last year, not eating at all during that time, and being intubated for much of it.  That kind of "oral trauma" as they call it nearly always makes a kid not want to eat.  Also, after you don't eat at all for such a long stretch, it's not instinct anymore.  If we ever do manage to get a cracker in Nate's mouth, he doesn't know what to do with it. 

Nate is safe to eat and does drink water from a bottle when he feels like it.  But he knows right away if you even try to sneak a little juice into his water, and he won't touch anything he suspects might be food.  So, all of his nutrition goes through his g-tube.  This is a tube that was surgically placed directly into his stomach.  
Not actual Nate
Liquids can either be given with an automatic pump or manually with a large syringe.  I like to use the automatic pump because all you have to do is plug it in and let the machine do the work.  And look at all the fun Nate can have while he is being fed!

In the beginning, we were extremely paranoid about the g-tube coming out because we didn't know how to put it back in again.  It was also blistering hot in our apartment.  Hence, the ace bandage!

Nate's diet consists of every healthy, whole, organic food you can think of, mixed all together in a Vitamix.  It looks and smells really good.

I would love for Nate to learn to eat eventually but he has made it clear that he's on his own timetable, and that's okay.  We have made some minor progress from seeing a feeding therapist.  For now I am satisfied that we have a way to feed him and he is getting excellent nutrition.  Seriously, I wish I had Nate's diet. 

1 comment:

  1. A girl I teach on Sundays had g-tube. That's pretty amazing that you can put in any food? just blended by a vitamix. I mean...that's some healthy eating he has! Probably better than most kids! So way to go Nate! I'm sure he'll come around.
    And my son doesn't eat ice cream either. (Fro-yo yes, but ice cream no.)