Going Places

What about those days when you  leave the house, or want to take a trip?

One thing about having liquid meals, is they exit the stomach faster than solids.  They don’t  digest more quickly once out of the stomach, but that still means you may feel hunger sooner than you would when still eating solid food.

I don’t think its a good idea to teach yourself to put off eating, because losing a hunger for food can make it more difficult for you to stay motivated to consume enough nutrition on a daily basis.

Be prepared when you will be away from home.  If you’re a parent, or ever cared for a baby, use this as a reference as to what you should have with you (minus the diapers).

I’ve recently discovered squeeze pouch baby food.  These don’t contain nearly enough calories to substitute for a meal, but, they are great for a snack to tide me over until I can have a real meal. I believe they will work for both the long dangler type tube, and those who have button peg tubes, and use extension sets. Tossing a few of these into your go bag will not add much weight, does not require having a syringe with you, however it is a good idea to keep one prefilled with water to flush with.  If you have a low profile tube, you’d still  need an extension set. I posted about these pouches recently, you can read about it here:

http://tubechic.com/a-ready-to-use-snack-idea/

There will be mishaps at  mealtime.  If you’re not home, just expect it will happen, sooner or later.  If you have a feeding tube, or feeding extension set that has the Y port adapter, double check to make sure the medicine port part of the adapter is completely closed. Really, just do it.  Every time.

Bring some sort of lap cloth along to protect your clothing.

Bring washcloths to mop up.

Bring wipes.

Bring extra water to flush with.

If you have a low profile button type of tube,  bring an extension feeding set.

Don’t forget syringes.

Take a peek in the bag I carry with me when out and about. (Lots of time just the wallet makes it with me into a store, but I have what I could need, if held up longer than expected.)

inside-tote-bag-blog

To warm your meals when away from home, the quickest option is to  place the container into hot water for a few minutes.  Tommee Tippee brand makes a baby bottle warmer that is basically a thermos that has a lid which doubles as  container to set a bottle into.  Rather than purchasing this, I searched around my house and came up with a wide mouth plastic container that had a wide enough circumference for my blend bottles to set down into. (Suggestions for what you might have on hand include  larger sized “wipes” canisters, protein powder jars, etc)  I keep this  in  my “to go” bag when on longer excursions, and overnight travel.    I pack a thermos  of hot water, and when its time to eat,  set the (closed) container of my food  into   the hot water.  I also have, but rarely use,  a travel baby bottle warmer that plugs into the outlet of my vehicle.  It works okay, it just takes a very long time compared to the hot water method.

If you’re at a restaurant, you can always ask for a pot of hot water. I’ve never had a server treat me badly when having a meal.  I’ve had quite the opposite reaction;  one kind server even insisted on taking my used bottles into the kitchen  and washing them for me, so they would nicer for the rest of my trip.  That really touched me.

TAKING A TRIP

If you are traveling by air, you can bring your liquids on board with you.  They do not need to be placed into checked baggage.   Although you can request a letter of medical necessity from your doctor, it is not required by any law, although it might help the security screener understand a bit faster.

When you reach the security checkpoint, tell them you have liquids due to medical necessity, as you have a feeding tube. Separate your liquids out from your other belongings before you put them on the conveyor belt.  Know  that they will want to inspect your containers, whether they be sealed formula containers, or home made blends, and will  test for any trace of explosives, etc.  However, youabsolutely may take food as well as water through security into the airport, just expect that it will  add significant time to the process of getting through to the secure side of the airport terminal, and plan accordingly.

During flight, if you customarily warm your food, you can ask a flight attendant for hot water to set your meal down into.   If you didn’t bring something along that your (sealed up) meal can set into while it warms, you can always use the folded airsickness bag found in the seat pocket in front of you.   Flight attendants do not think this an odd request (unless they are new on the job) as parents of babies needing fed, frequently  use this method to warm bottles.

Changes in pressure during flight will not be a problem for your feeding tube.  Many of the population (tube or not) experience bloating, especially during long flights.  If you feel the pressure building up, you are at an advantage over someone who doesn’t have a tube! Attach an  open syringe to your long tube and open the clamp to vent, or, if you have a button style tube, attach an open syringe to an extension set to vent.

For travel, if you are blending your food, consider freezing it ahead into individual servings.

If you’re taking a road trip, the frozen meals can replace the need for ice in your travel cooler, as they can stand in as “blue ice” packs. Here’s a quick look in my (fairly disorganized) freezer drawer with several frozen blend bottles, ready to pack and go.

image

Another   option is to purchase some ready to use meals from Real Food Blends, or Functional Formularies.   I have an standing monthly delivery from RFB, and would estimate that about half of my meals are Real Food Blends, rather than home blended.  However, if you are a formula user, or anyone else who only gravity feeds, be aware that these blends are thick!  They have to be plunged, or diluted with about one cup of water, or another thin liquid.  To gravity feed,  I add moderately warm (verging on hot)  water  to a container, cut the corner off of a  Real Food Blends pouch and squeeze the contents into the container, cap up, and shake shake shake.  It gravity feeds like a dream.

Here is a link to this company: http://www.realfoodblends.com/ and here is a link to Functional Formularies who make Liquid Hope: http://functionalformularies.com/

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