Re: Millie

From: Kate Murphy (
Tue Feb 27 07:04:40 2001

On 26 Feb 2001, at 20:20, Millie wrote:

> Kate,
> Iam afraid of that tube because I hear they don't give you anything so you
> don't feel it. Just the idea of a long tube passing through your insides.
> I've had the flexible sigmoids ( oh, how they hurt!!!) I serenaded the whole
> waiting room, I'm sure. That was bad enough, let alone tubes from the top
> end. Yuck!!!


The NG tube only goes as far as the stomach. I've had them for about six surgeries, put in in the OR when I was asleep. They are annoying and make your throat either tickle or be sore, but certainly nothing to be panicked over.

Last summer, one was inserted while I was awake. It hurt, but the alternative -- continuing to vomit explosively -- was worse. Two nurses did it as gently as possible and providing me with lots of support.

Your fear of this tube is very real. Nothing I can say will change that. I think that it is one of the issues that you need to discuss with a therapist.

I had a very dear friend in my cancer support group who helped me to chase away frightening and bothersome thoughts -- he told them "Go away!" when they came into his life to disturb him. He helped me not to obsess about things I could not change.

I enjoy planning fancy dinner parties (even though my physical disabilities have limited my really big ones) and when I find myself unable to get away from frightening thoughts, I think about what I'd like to have for Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving or an engagement party for my son. I think about all the different dishes, what the table settings should be like etc. This helps me not to focus on scary things.

Having had an NG tube put in without any sort of anesthesia, I would do it again if I had to. The reality is that I may well have to, but I sure am not going to worry about it and ruin today!


Kate Murphy

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