Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Feed Me, Seymour

Sometimes, when I am really hungry, this line from Little Shop of Horrors comes to mind. "Feed me, Seymour!"

Here's the relevant portion of the little tune that the plant, Audrey II is singing to his care giver.

Feed me, Seymour / Feed me all night long - That's right, boy! - You can do it! Feed me, Seymour / Feed me all night long / Ha ha ha ha ha! / Cause if you feed me, Seymour / I can grow up big and strong.

It's a little creepy, to tell you the truth, but it as a jingle it sure stuck in my mind.

When I worked at the animal hospital in Oregon, there was a word that they used for feeding small animals that were unable to do so themselves, gavage. It's used here at this human hospital, too, and not on just small humans.

Yesterday, I walked into the room to visit with a mid-30's man who had a head injury (from an un-helmeted motorcycle accident - but that is another blog for another time). "Mind if I visit?" I asked the nurse. "Sure, I'm just feeding him. "

He has been "out of it" for two weeks and was recently extubated (his down-the-throat breathing tube removed) and a trach installed (direct-connect to the little "hole" in the throat). With his breathing okay, he's pretty stable, medically. Only thing is, his brain is still not working.

So they are gavaging him directly into his stomach.

As the nurse filled the tube, she chatted with me about how it worked. She poured something that looked like "ensure" into a tube that connected to his stomach. Often, patients in this situate might receive tube feeding through a long tube that goes down the nose and into the throat to get into the stomach. But today, this patient went direct.

I reflect on how this seemed like a really fast way to get food and nutrition into a patient. She plunged away and *poof* in five minutes he was done with a pretty high calorie meal.

I wonder if God has a way of gavaging me with spiritual nourishment sometimes. It goes directly to my heart - this over dose of compassionate interactions with patients, families, and staff. I'm filled up, *poof*, with gratitude for this high potency experience of God's presence in every corner of the hospital.

After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Master, you know I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." John 21:15

What's in your gavage in this moment?

1 comment:

  1. Robin has sure gavaged us this year with an emotional high calorie meal!