So um. Sie doesn’t have a name (well sie does by the end of this post, I decided to name hir), and I’m not sure sie’s gonna have a name. I haven’t named tubes since Enid — long story.
But I swear with the way they move, these little MIC-KEY buttons can look like they’re alive.
So meet my tube. Sie’s a 14 French MIC-KEY button jejunostomy tube, 3.5 cm stoma length. I think sie wants to say hi here:
I think sie’s adorable.
And yes, sie moves. Mostly peristalsis, the natural movement of the intestines, but it makes it look like sie has a little head that peeks around. Most of the time when sie’s in hir dressing sie moves a little less, which is good (you don’t want a J-tube spinning, sie has a long tail inside of me).
Sie’s modular. Which means that the part you can see is just the part that attachments can clip onto. There are different extension kits for different types of syringes and feeding attachments and situations, and all of them are pretty cheaply replaced. Which means if one of your extension kits breaks, you don’t have to replace the entire tube inside you. You just replace the external extension. Usually when I’ve had MIC-KEY button J-tubes they have needed internal replacing only every 6 months or less, and in my case we were usually just being cautious and could’ve gone longer. For some people they last years.
Because there’s not a big giant dangling thing coming out of you, low-profile tubes like MIC-KEY buttons are a lot safer. They don’t catch on things and yank out very often. They don’t need to be taped down to prevent movement. And the ones that do need to be taped down, taping doesn’t really prevent all movement, so they move more and that can put wear and tear on your stoma. They’re also really good for young children because children are less likely to see a giant dangling thing and play with it and yank it out by accident.
Here are some of my tube’s extensions:
This one goes to an ENfit connector. ENfit connectors were designed for everything from tube feeding attachments to syringes, to make it so that it’s impossible to confuse a feeding tube with an IV, a mistake that can be fatal. So I like the idea of ENfit, although it was messed up pretty badly when they tried to make it universal for all existing feeding tubes and it wasn’t, and neither was their alternate solution.
This one goes to an ENfit connector but allows two connections. This means you could have one part connected to your feeding pump, and at the exact same time be putting meds in the other part with a syringe, without having to unplug anything.
This one allows a normal 60 mL cath-tip syringe to put things into your tube.
This one allows two sizes of syringe — cath-tip and a smaller kind that are often used for medications.
And there are others in various shapes and sizes, those are just the four I use the most often.
Here is a video showing how easy it is to put in the extensions.
My old tube was not modular. It was a 12-French MIC* J-tube, and it is one of my least favorite tubes. But it is the only one they will implant surgically, then you have to wait six weeks minimum before you can switch to the tube you want.
As you can see in the photo above, the tube is all one piece. If one part breaks or wears out or stretches beyond usability or gets clogged, you have to replace the entire thing. It’s also a constant safety hazard because no matter how well you tape it down (and taping it down creates its own safety hazards that are different) it’s gonna still be able to move and get caugh on things.
So my new tube… maybe I should give hir a name, I’m just not sure what name to give hir. I guess I’ll call hir Linden for now, and see where it goes. I’m just tired of not having a name. So Linden, Lindy for short.
So here are the official photos of the old MIC tube i had, and the new MIC-KEY tube. It’s night and day, even though they serve the same function. The following is a Halyard 12 French MIC* Jejunal feeding tube. And really sucks as feeding tubes go.
The following, on the other hand, is the kind of tube Linden is, called a low-profile feeding tube or a MIC-KEY button. This kind of tube is modular and generally wonderful. Again, the long tail you see is mostly inside of me. The tail is part of what makes J-tubes (intestinal feeding tubes) different from G-tubes (stomach feeding tubes).
So meet Linden again:
And I hope you find hir as cute as I do, even though a lot of people would find it weird to call a feeding tube cute. I kind of wish I could give hir decorations, but there’s no way that would either be safe or stay put, so no point. But I can name hir Linden and show people the way sie moves. ^_^