Carter -- Tube Guy

My name is Carter. I'm 13 years old, and I'm in grade 8. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when I was twelve.

I like to play my guitar and piano. I snowboard with my friends and family, and this year I plan to be an assistant snowboard instructor.

In the summer, I play baseball on a house league and a rep team. I also play tennis and lacrosse.

When I was diagnosed with IBD, I didn't know what to feel. I didn't know much about it, so I just carried on.

Photo: Smiling young teen boy with NG tube and T-shirt that reads 'Yes I know I have a tube up my nose

After talking with my doctor, I decided to go on tube feedings, using a nasogastric (NG) tube, for three months. This would put my Crohn's into remission and help me gain some weight without the possible side effects of some of the other treatments.

For the first two weeks, I craved food. Like Indian and Chinese food! When this happened I would eat some jello or drink a pop. I also started a list of foods that I would eat when I got off the feeds.

I tried to put my tube in and out every day. Although that didn't work out for me, I suggest you try it even because it works for lots of other people.

So, I went everywhere with the tube. To my guitar lessons, over to friends, and to school. People treated me normally, or would ask basic questions like “Why do you have a tube, and what does it do?”

I carried on with my life normally, like playing sports and sleeping regularly.

My advice would be: don't over react. I know this seems hard, but the more you over react the harder it is on you and your family. Like my doctor says, “Take your stupid pills and live your life.”