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Riding with a feeding tube through the abdominal wall? (PEG, PEJ, J-tube, etc)

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  • Riding with a feeding tube through the abdominal wall? (PEG, PEJ, J-tube, etc)

    I scrolled through and most of the feeding tube posts were in regards to "wear your helmet or live your life in diapers and with a feeding tube." Well, I am getting a feeding tube without having had an accident and I always mind my melon by wearing a helmet. Okay, now that that is out of the way...
    I have severe gastroparesis, it is being managed by an NJ tube right now, so there is no impact on my riding. I'm calling out to anyone who can help me out with this, if I get a surgical tube, can I still ride dressage competitively? What should I expect as far as pain might go? Precautions I should take before/during/after riding? My doctor (does hunters) thinks I won't be able to ride with it anymore because horses are dirty, but she hasn't ever had one so I'm praying that some people have successfully done it. I figure there are riders who are disabled everywhere, so there has to be a way.

    Thank you!!!

  • #2
    I've never had a PEG but I've taken care of plenty of them. It's not as though you'll be opening it up in the barn. It's been a while but from what I can recall there isn't a great deal of length protruding. I'm wondering if you could coil it, use surgical tape to secure it to your body, then cover the whole thing with a sheet of Tegaderm? There are all sorts of G-tube belts available as well. I know they make a "turtle shell" belt for kids. There may be a similar product for adults or someone who is handy with a sewing machine might be able to make one.

    Adults with feeding tubes do all sorts of activities. I can't see why riding would be different with a few added precautions. It's not like we tend to lift our shirts and rub dirt all over our abdomens. Well I don't anyway.
    "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer


    • #3
      Hi Neon Horse. I have idiopathic gastroparesis. Not as bad as yours though. Is yours idiopathic or diabetes related? Have you seen Dr Moshiree? She is one of the best doctors for gastroparesis. I must have tried 6 different doctors and Mayo clinic before finding her. If you have to fly to see her, she truly is worth the money. Before you consider anything that invasive, go see her first. Really, she is great. If you are on Team Inspire, many people are familiar with her and give her good reviews.

      Have you tried Prucalopride yet? Remeron/Mirtazapine?

      I can't comment on the J tube- mine was manageable with medication. It still made for a couple miserable years while I bounced from doctor to doctor and tried a bunch of different treatments. My entire GI tract was affected. I was on octreotide injections which helped somewhat.

      I'm doing very well at this point and off most of those medications except the prucalopride.

      I wish you the very best and please keep me updated. FYI magnolia bark extract and licorice were helpful for me. Ginger made my stomach burn, peppermint caused acid reflux so that didn't help.

      Be careful about antibiotics. I picked up C. Difficle and that took me over a year to recover from, as i would do better, then relapse. It was community acquired. If you are taking any antibiotics you are at risk, and it can kill you. Nasty disease and the antibiotics to treat it weren't effective for long. Hospitals are commonly infested with it. You have to bleach everything. I highly recommend not getting that infection.

      I haven't touched antibiotics since. I'm not convinced it won't come back as it can persist in a carrier state for some time. Unless I'm about to die, I can't risk taking antibiotics again.

      I'm not trying to scare you, as it is likely you will need antibiotics... But do be aware. Bleach is your friend... Ask the hospital if they have high rates of C Diff. Many hospitals have outbreaks of it. The spores spread everywhere. I really think they need to curtail antibiotic use, as now the disease is spreading outside of hospital settings - through the community. I'm guessing i picked up the disease from the dentist office, but it could have been at the grocery store, or anywhere really.

      I'm certain you will find a way to ride, despite all obstacles. When I was really sick, my friend would bring me a horse to ride and saddle up for me. That way i could just ride and go home afterwards.