Monday, May 21, 2012

K-E Diet - These are NOT Super Tubies

Fads come and go, and by and large we try to teach our children to ignore them.  "Be yourself!"  "You're perfect just the way you are!"  Nothing to get riled up over - given enough time, kids will stop tattooing mustaches on their fingers and planking, just as they stopped keeping pet rocks and collecting Furbies.   These things tend to work themselves out.

Occasionally, however, we cannot stay silent.  We all seem to recognize many of the inherently dangerous fads - The Choking game, Car Surfing, Vodka Eyeballing.  These fads belong almost exclusively to idiotic teens with too little parental supervision and no instincts for self-preservation.  But what about trends that belong to assumably otherwise-intelligent adults?  Fads that are allowed (and even encouraged!) by actual doctors?

I'm referring, of course, to the K-E Diet.  I learned about this fad in a New York Times article cleverly titled Bridal Hunger GamesBrides who lack the time and/or desire to exercise and eat right pay a doctor to "supervise" a 10 day plan during which an NG tube is inserted and 800 calories worth of nutrition are pumped in per day.  The article then goes on to compare this "diet" to other diets like South Beach, Atkins, and Juice Cleanses.  The appeal?  K-E dieters are told that they can lose up to 20lbs in 10 days.

Whoa.  From the diet side of things, this is dangerous.  20 pounds!?  The human body is absolutely not made to SAFELY lose that much weight that quickly.  But this isn't even what bothers me.

As you know, I am the mother of a Tubie.  A Super Tubie, to be specific.  His tube nourishes him, helps him grow, and helps keep him alive.  It's a *struggle* every single day.  It can be exhausting and stressful and depressing - but it's 1000% necessary, so we do it.  To see someone CHOOSE this simply to look prettier without working for it sickens me.

Do you know what a day in the life of a Tubie is like?  Let me tell you...

You wake up, not having had a great night's sleep, because your pump alarm went off over and over last night for no apparent reason.  Your mom probably woke you up once or twice to unwind your tube from around your neck - and it doesn't look like she's slept lately either.  You'd like to get out of bed, but you can't, because there's an elaborate procedure that must be done first.  Unhook the pump, flush the tube, tape, re-tape, tape some more.  You're headed to school, with 3 or 4 extra outfits in your bag, because your tube has a habit of leaking your stomach contents everywhere you go.  You watch your friends eat waffles and bananas and bagels while you choke down prescription medical liquid nutrition.  When you just can't handle the taste anymore, the rest is pumped into your stomach through your tube, requiring you to sit for an extra half hour after everyone else has gotten up to play.  You'd like to eat, but you're not sure you even remember how.

Everyone stares and wonders what's wrong with you.  People might even ask your parents why they won't let you eat, since you look so healthy.  What they don't know is that your parents and your doctors and YOU work tirelessly so that you can look, feel, and behave as normally as possible.

After school, you're brought home and prepared again for your nighttime feeding.  Every time you're fed, someone has to withdraw stomach contents and test them to make sure your tube is still in your stomach.  It's not fun for you, and it doesn't appear to be fun for mom or dad, either.  You're exhausted, and you fall asleep entangled within your tube, only to be awoken by the ever-present pump alarm and/or the mama who wakes you to free you from your tubie noose.

This was a good day.  You didn't decide to pull out your tube.  You didn't vomit it up.  Curious playmates didn't pull it out for you.  All of these scenarios end with you being bound tightly in blankets, held down, and having a new tube forced into your nose, down your esophagus, and into your stomach.  You gag, you choke, you cry, and you plead for it to stop.  It doesn't stop, because this is life with a tube.

Please explain to me how this is worth shedding a few pre-wedding pounds...


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I was furious to hear about this...

  2. That is absolutely disgusting! The things people will do for superficiality is sad, especially when guys like Aidan need it for a REAL reason!

    1. There are a number of possible complications associated with tube feeding. I hope these lazy wenches experience each and every one!

  3. People are nuts! By the way, my students think Aidan is the cutest kid. I was reading your blog one day at school and they loved the top picture.

    1. Awww, thanks! We think he's pretty cute too, although I may be a liiiiittle bit biased...