Proactive thinking….

June 10, 2010

During both of my last two visits at the Duke ALS Clinic I was told to consider having a PEG tube surgically placed in my upper stomach.  Even though I am still capable of eating and swallowing my food and drink, they felt it would be precautionary measure for the future, if I got to the point that I could not swallow which lets pray that never happens.

Also, due to the fact that my oxygen/blood level is currently at 94 and my lungs/diaphragm are at 53% predicted, they felt I only had a window to get this procedure done.  If I dropped too much lower they would not be able to perform this surgery.  Also, they do not want me to lose much more weight.

After giving this much consideration I decided to have this done and I did so today.  The placement of the PEG was fairly quick.  I have a very sore throat and a little discomfort at the incision site, but am told that both will be healed in about 3-4 day’s. 

Because they do not want me to lose much more weight, I am now able to supplement my meals with a can of the formula to make sure I am getting all of my nutrients and calories that I need to sustain my weight.

If the time comes that I will not be able to swallow and need the feeding tube for nourishment, I will have it in place.  It will not increase the length of my life, but will continue to nourish my body and especially my brain.  Candace Boyette from Duke ALS Clinic gave me a good example of this.  She said, “Getting glucose or sugar to the brain is essential to prevent cell death.  Like when Ghandi fasted to get his message across he had hallucinations, delusions, and change in personality (irritability and agitation).  It takes oxygen and glucose for the brain to function correctly.”

Hey, I’m all for clear thinking, so I can keep all of you in line, if I need to.  Ha!…and you all know I will…..


5 Responses to “Proactive thinking….”

  1. steffen5 Says:

    So glad you did this DAD… I am proud of you!

  2. Dick Yahnke Says:


    Appreciate the update and another dose of your spirit and sense of humor. You jack me up and make my day every time I hear from you. All the best!!
    Dick Yahnke

  3. Jim Geiger Says:

    Hi Don,
    I’ve been praying for you daily. Keep the Lord close to your heart. He is still in control and will be with you always.
    Many good times we had while you were in Iowa.
    In Christ’s Love, Jim

    • steffen5 Says:


      Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers that means a lot to me. So nice to hear from you. I remember all the good times we had playing ball together. Many good times to come. I appreciate you keeping up with my website. The power of prayer and postive thinking along with God goes a long way.

      All the best to you and your family,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: