Post Stroke Nutrition


8/8/20232 min read

When Diana had her stroke, her doctor's could not be certain of the overall damage right away. They were able to determine that she had actually had had multiple strokes as well as a brain bleed. We knew that she had left side weakness but had no idea of what other areas of her body might be affected. They put her in ICU so they could monitor her and gave her IV's to keep her hydrated.

There was no way to know, early on, if she would be able to swallow. They inserted a feeding tube through her nose and into her stomach so they could give her medications as well as nutrition. She was in the ICU for about two weeks before they elected to send her to a rehabilitation center.

The doctors decided that it would be best to install a G-tube before discharging her. She was complaining that the tube in her nose was bothersome and uncomfortable. A G-tube is a surgically placed device used to give direct access to the stomach for supplemental feeding, hydration or medicine. This would provide a much better way for the rehabilitation center to feed and hydrate her as well as give her medications.

They started testing her ability to swallow at the rehab center not long after she arrived. They started slowly by giving her ice chips. Once they were sure she could swallow that okay they moved to small sips of water, then moved to other liquids. After awhile they slowly moved to semi-liquid foods and some pureed food.

Diana slowly moved up from the liquids and soft foods and worked her way through the tests until she was able to tolerate regular whole foods. after a month or so they stopped using the G-tube completely.

The doctor at the rehabilitation center decided that she was ready to have the G-tube removed just before they would send her home. This allowed them time to be sure that hole in her stomach from the tube was healing well before her discharge.

The incision where the G-tube was inserted is now completely healed and you can barely see it at all. Diana can now eat what ever she wants and usually does.

This post isn't so much about how and what to eat. I wanted to present the process that we went through going from the feed tube to getting back to eating normally. Diana is blessed that she is able to eat normal again.