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Joined: Apr 2020
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Joined: Apr 2020
Posts: 2
Likes: 1
I am a 68 year old scc survivor with no tongue and no ability to swallow. All my nutrition is through bolus feedings with a syringe into my g-tube. I use Nestle Isosource 1.5 liquid formula. In my travel in the US, I have always carried all of my tube feeding supplies with me. I can pack 8 days worth (2 cases) into one checked bag (35 lbs). This gets to be more of a hassle if the stay will be over a week, and I am not sure about getting through customs in Europe.

Does anyone have any experience with foreign travel with a feeding tube, especially to Europe? My wife and I would like to travel to Spain in the next year, and I am trying to see what my options are. I have not been able to locate any suppliers of tube feeding formula or supplies in Spain, though I am sure that they exist.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Earl Johnson

squamous cell carcinoma first diagnosed in 2004
more than a dozen procedures over the years
radiation treatments in 2006
partial glossectomy/resection in 2009 - able to speak, eat and drink normally afterward
complete glossectomy/resection in September 2019
radiation + chemo in Nov/Dec 2019
all nutrition through gastric tube (bolus feedings with syringe)
1 member likes this: Brian Hill
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,864
Likes: 27
OCF Founder
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)
OCF Founder
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,864
Likes: 27
Most of the people that I have communicated with that travel extensively only take pre made foods for the air travel days. It’s a matter of convenience. But like me they bolus feed blended normal food with a syringe in their daily routines. We all think that with a little time spent understanding good nutrition, it’s a superior long term solution with the right blender to getting good nutrition, and maintaining healthy weight and digestive system.

Finding peg supplements in a foreign country without a local doctor to prescribe them is problematic, and blending real foods that you can find and buy in any market far simpler. If you had to take with you enough cans or packages of food for a vacation, it is a lot of stuff to manage and haul around from place to place. I can take my blender in a small overhead roll on suitcase, and a supply of disposable syringes, usually a couple for each the days of trip. They are also used from taking my crushed pills and meds. All that in one small roll on. I take some real food blend meals in foil packets for use in airports and the first night at a hotel if we are getting in too late to shop.

Any hotel room that has a mini bar can be emptied out and used for the perishable foods. But I blend lots of things like different nuts and some veggies and fruits that do not require refrigeration. I do take sone zip lock bags of whey protein to supplement that, if I haven’t found suitable protein sources in the city. Since this is what I’ve been pegging for years, there’s really no change in my diet, my weight gain is stable, and I eat healthier than anything out of a can, or how I used to eat before the PEG.

With some 20oz paper cups, I can blend a batch big enough to get me through two days. Often the hotel will allow me to keep it in their kitchen refrigerators, so blending is not an every day thing. If I don’t feel like doing it, I can always blend up a meal from a restaurant just thinking it with a little water or milk.

If you want to learn more about eating this way, I would be happy to help you navigate this transition. B

Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

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