In this news this week…and pissing me off on so many different levels… is the K-E Diet for the blushing bride-to-be who desperately wants to lose 5, 10 or even 20 pounds in just 10 days…no exercise necessary. All you have to do is have a doctor insert a NG tube (naso-gastric tube) into your nose, down your throat, through your esophagus and into your stomach. The tube will be taped securely to your face and attached to a feeding pump that will slowly drip a unique 800 calories/day formula of protein, fats and water.
“It is a hunger-free, effective way of dieting,” Di Pietro said. “Within a few hours and your hunger and appetite go away completely, so patients are actually not hungry at all for the whole 10 days. That’s what is so amazing about this diet.”
Slipping into a wedding gown for a dream wedding is a moment of truth for most brides, but as many say that there is a real fear that it will not quite fit. That’s how Jessica Schnaider says she felt with a June wedding approaching and 10 pounds she says she couldn’t lose. She was desperate for a quick fix.
“I don’t have all of the time on the planet just to focus an hour and a half a day to exercise so I came to the doctor, I saw the diet, and I said, ‘You know what? Why not? Let me try it. So I decided to go ahead and give it a shot,” she said.
I watched this news report sitting next to my son, Daniel…you know, the kid who was fed by feeding tubes the first four years of his life. The kid who could not, would not take food by mouth for those years for so many different reasons…medical and otherwise. The kid who had to learn how to safely chew and swallow food protecting his airway because his left vocal cord is paralyzed. Yeah, THAT KID! He shook his head, while watching this report, and asked why would anyone do that to themselves on purpose…if they didn’t have to. “That is so dumb!”, he declared. And bad mommy that I am, I didn’t chide him for judging someone so harshly…because he is right. He is so very right. Yeah, Jessica Schnaider, my ten year old son thinks you are dumb.
I get the pressure some women put on themselves to achieve an impossible ideal…sort of…kind of. I get the desire for a quick fix that does not involve sensible dieting and exercising…god forbid a bride-to-be actually WORK AND SWEAT to be physically something she really isn’t…something that her fiance did not fall in love with. I do. Or at least I try to imagine what would drive a woman to do this for no other reason than to be skinnier. Okay, fine! I DON’T get it. Not. At. All.
My precious child was fed by an ng tube for most of the 132 days he spent in the NICU. It was only the last three weeks of his NICU stay that he was able, with great difficulty, to take infant formula by a bottle to satisfy his neonatologists who directed his care. But just two months after discharge he abruptly stopped and refused the bottle…completely. There was no other choice but to resume ng feedings…even if his pediatrician thought he was right: that in spite of his extreme premature birth, his chronic lung disease, his reflux and his paralyzed vocal cord there was no reason why an infant would not eat…would starve himself.
This was our reality.
Our life with our beautiful baby boy was all about feeding him by a tube that was placed in his nose that led down to his stomach and was taped securely to his soft cheek.
Strangers would stare, ask what was wrong with our baby and offer all kinds of unsolicited advice and solutions…because it couldn’t be possible that a baby simply would not eat, would starve himself.
Everything I ever believed, learned or did as a mother regarding nutrition and feeding my children I had to let go of with this experience with my child. I had to accept the scrutiny (and sometimes judgments) of professionals and lay-people alike. I had to be the one to re-insert his feeding tube if it was accidentally or purposely dislodged by my baby boy…sometimes daily…and I had to listen to him cry as I did it. Daniel was fed by ng tube until he was 9 months old when his pediatrician and GI specialist reluctantly agreed to our request for a gastrostomy feeding tube. They would only agree because I refused to give continuous 24 hour feedings by ng tube because of the potential for dislodging of the tube and aspiration of feeding into his lungs. It wasn’t until 4 years later that he was finally able to be tube feeding free. Feeding this child still remains a struggle and I imagine it will always be so for him. I hated the feeding tubes…I despised them…but I remain grateful for them because at one point in his life it was the only way to feed him. Having cared for, cried for, prayed for and supported Daniel on this journey I have to wonder like he did…Why? Why would anyone do this to themselves on purpose…just to be skinnier and prettier in a dress that they will wear for but one day?