Audrey’s in Business

Having a coffee

Over Christmas I got a chest infection along with many people. After the antibiotics were over I felt much better, energy had returned but the cough remained.  We saw the breathing physio at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford and she gave me some techniques to help make the most of my cough – this included training Julia to help by pushing on my chest at the right moment.

Julia wondered whether my swallow had deteriorated to a stage where small amounts of food or drink were getting into my lungs so on Monday we decided to try all food and drink via my PEG feeding tube – affectionately known as Audrey.  If this improved the cough then we would know.

We got in lots of Ensure – the dieticians said I would need 2 bottles 4 times a day plus 1 litre of fluid on top of that.

12 days supply of food

12 days supply of food


So breakfast now looks like this

Actually all meals look like that now – and I have to fit in 4 meals a day.

What have we learnt in the last 5 days of PEG feeding:

  1. Mealtimes are quite boring – you don’t realise the pleasure you get from tasting food.
  2. I used to have too many coffees a day – that has now stopped – though I do make a tepid coffee with caffeine for Audrey every so often to stop caffeine withdrawals.

    Having a coffee

    Having a coffee

  3. If you deliver the food down the tube too quickly two things happen – you burp and taste the Ensure and you get hiccups. With the first set of Ensure I was supplied with strawberry flavour which tastes horrible. For the next batch I asked for vanilla and cafe late favours; much better.
  4. If you put cold water down the tube then you get a funny feeling at the top of your chest – must be some sort of nerve thing going on as the water shouldn’t reach that high surely?
  5. The boys making toasted muffins late at night smells so tempting.
  6. So much social life revolves around food and drink – meals with friends, the odd coffee down the cafe or a pint. We will have to find alternatives.
  7. We are at Center Parcs at the moment, celebrating Julia’s 50th. Julia has said she will join me and has bought a load of Slim Fast shakes. I think she was feeling sorry for me.

    Saved a fortune not going to restaurants and cafes! Though when she wants to go for walks on her own – I suspect she’s popping into Bella Pasta for some real food.
  8. Julia says Bob Fleming (from the Fast Show) has moved in especially mornings and evenings. (Want to know who Bob Fleming is? Click the picture below)
Bob Fleming - Cough syrup

Bob Fleming – Cough syrup

If you’re into praying, please pray that my chest would remain clear and my cough would be effective.

I’m still feeling pretty positive – the chest infection was a bit of a downer but now that’s gone it’s back to normal – and we’re having a few laughs as always…

4 thoughts on “Audrey’s in Business

  1. Sue

    Yes Mike we don’t realise how much of our life does revolve around food every day. That’s so hard! I know one of the ensures used to be hated! If I remember there was a lemon and lime one that everyone said was nice – not too sweet. You might find that one quite nice.
    Glad Audrey is having her fix of coffee☕. Praying for your cough to clear . Julia you are fantastic so supportive of each other


  2. Derek Ford

    Mike, you are such a star. I hope Julia and you are having a fun time at Centre Parcs. I will continue praying, especially for your chest. See you later. Much love. Derek


  3. Karen

    Mike sorry to hear about the chest trouble, I pray that it remains clear. I remember the first time I prepared Ashley’s syringes of ensure for him and whilst trying to get the air bubble out I squirted it all over the kitchen ceiling. Horrid smell of strawberry everywhere.
    One tip. Ashley was walking around the house shirtless and caught his peg tube on one of the kitchen chairs pulling off the plug end. It was like his own little fire hose- squirting his lunchtime ensure all over the kitchen floor. Bit comical as neither of us thought to pinch the tube shut, he just flopped it in the sink! We managed to get a new plug on and after that episode he used micropore tape to strap it to his tummy.
    Hope you are all enjoying CP, the lovely scenery walks and train ride are so relaxing great for some mindfulness time.
    Julia you are amazing to join Mike on his liquid diet. Thank goodness wine is a liquid so you don’t need to give up that. XXX


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