OK, my medical history is long and convoluted and I would prefer not to recapitulate it here because I just have a fairly simple question. Suffice it to say that I was hospitalized for pneumonia a couple years ago and doctors installed a gastric feeding tube because they were convinced that my swallowing mechanisms were permanently ruined by radiation treatment in the mid-’70s and I would never be able to eat like a “normal person” again.
I have gradually been able to train myself to chew and swallow soft food over the past year or so, and the feeding tube kept getting infected or falling out or being dislodged and causing problems, so I have been trying to get an appointment to have it taken out, but the combination of my hearing loss (which the medical industry will not accommodate) and the COVID-19 outbreak have made it impossible to get in to see a doctor.
Finally, today, the tube just fell out. I assume the balloon must have drained. Also, the stoma area was infected and I’ve been treating it with oral and topical antibiotics as prescribed and directed by a physician’s assistant.
So I am hoping that I can just let the stoma heal itself and get on with my life, but I wanted to make certain that there are no potential complications if an unwanted tube just falls out by itself and is not replaced. The tube fell out about an hour ago and I am feeling OK so far, just a little odd discomfort around the stoma site. Due to the virus lockdown, I was not planning on doing any travel or work today anyway, so I will probably just spend my time on the couch regardless.