Feeding tube

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Bob Harrison 11 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #55799 Reply


    My dad has a feeding tube. With his end-stage cancer, he can’t keep anything down and it isn’t safe to give him foods anymore. He keeps asking for food and saying we’re starving him. His tongue is swollen. They keep having to drain the fluids from his belly. It’s terrible. He seems very uncomfortable and there isn’t anything we can do, other than give him more morphine. He’s very with it, which is awful, because he’s growing distrustful of us. He’s convinced we want him to die.

    I feel so terrible about it, I don’t know what to do.

  • #55862 Reply


    I’m so sorry to hear this Rodrigo.

    Some people can accept that they can’t eat any longer. Others fight it.

    I was lucky enough that my dad had a sense of humor about it. He’d suck on flavored ice cubes and watch the food network. He said not eating was much better than vomiting non-stop and I’m inclined to agree with him.

    You have to know that you’re already doing all you can for him. It’s not you that’s not letting him eat — his body won’t let him eat. It’s really hard, but you know you’re doing the right thing. It’s not your choice that this is happening to him.

  • #55917 Reply

    Anna D

    My aunt had a feeding tube. It was awful. Luckily, she only had to have it for a short time. The hospital staff should be helping you keep him comfortable! Ask for a social worker ASAP. They’re a great help.

  • #56872 Reply

    Bob Harrison

    So Sorry Rodrigo,

    You’re in a lose, lose situation at the moment. I want to try to help you with that. The morphine will cause delusions, hence, your dad thinks you want him to die. I had the same problem with my wife Annie. She told the doctor I was trying to kill her, when all I was doing was making the best I could out of a very bad situation. She died with cancer too. I know your dads thought process is hurting you, it hurt me too. But, always remember,

    “There is no greater love, than sharing the dying process with the dying. Nothing Harder.” “Henri Nouwen.”

    So, do the best you can, Love him. He means you no harm. We the living have no concept of what’s going on in the mind of a terminally ill loved one. Try to be patient, compassionate, and understanding–your dad is in a place that no one wants to go.

    When the day comes and your dad passes, at some point you’ll ask yourself this one question, I know I did–“Did I love him enough.” Do the best you can, and when that question comes around, you can say, I loved him enough. And that’s so important. Grief is painful, and will set events in motion that will have you asking questions of yourself and how you cared for him.

    The only regret I have is that I can’t bring her back. Yes, I loved her enough.

    If you need to chat, email me at bob@thecaregiverspace.org I had 6 months experience with the feeding tube and learned a couple of tricks that made Annie more comfortable. I wish you the best.

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