Friday, November 21, 2014

The Way Weight Works

Phantom Limb, I Mean Phantom Tube:

Well, you heard right... I'm back to having trouble gaining weight. It's because the amount I need to gain is 8 lbs. Which can take me a couple months. It's a slow process, but as long as Doc. B sees progress he will be happy. And happy Doc is what I'm aiming for, considering I promised him I'd put a tube down my nose/throat into my stomach every night if I have weight troubles again in the future.

I'm at a really funny & ironic point in my life with weight. The truth is I finally figured out how to keep my weight up without using the G-tube (stomach tube) I had. I didn't use the tube for over a year to prove I didn't need it. I had many reasons I wanted it out.

Here is my list I gave the doc:
1. It leaks around the tube & Surgeon said I'd have to just put a bigger tube in.
2. The leaking causes the stomach acid to eat my skin, leaving in sore and raw.
3. I have to wear gauze and bandaids everyday & it hurts to have them on my raw skin
4. It's expensive to keep replacing medical tape, bandaids, gauze & I have a limited salary
5. The amount of stomach aches has increased due to air gettting in through the gap around the tube
6. I don't use it & I don't want to have to deal with it EVERYDAY just to have it as a back up.
7. I have Andrew now, who makes me high cal meals, drinks, and keeps me on track weight wise
8. I don't want it when I'm married and have kids, it's hard to pick kids up, etc.

Here was Doc's Response:
1. If Andrew signs a paper stating he'll stay with me for forever & do his part.. (he was kidding though)
2. He understood I already had it for 15 years and wanted to have one less thing to deal with
3. I don't use it and have kept me weight up, proved my point
4. I had to promise to put a tube down my nose in if I need to get weight up
5. I agreed to his conditions.

With the Tube (ready for Feeding)                                  Post Tube- look & my scar looks great!

    I'll discuss my scars you see here in a future post!

So the ironic part is I got it out because it was really leaking, making my skin very raw, was stinging constantly, and I couldn't deal with it. The surgeon said there was no way to fix it, due to scar tissue. So Doc & I both were pleased with the agreement I made & thought it would be this amazing "Happy Ending" to my life with a G-tube!

However... that wasn't how it turned out. Read my post about my Stomach Tube removal/ Journey to fully understand what happened. Overall, I find it a lil ironic and funny that because of all the complications after having it removed I am back down in weight and working really hard to get it back up to 108 lbs. But 8 lbs is a way to go & will take time. I was high in weight when it first came out and was hoping it would heal how it should & I'd get to enjoy my high weight, without the stress of gaining weight.

But now, I just want my weight back. Part of me is like "dang it, I wish I had my tube". I could put this weight on in no time at all with it. But, I realize it was causing too many issues  & I would be miserable with it. But I can't help but sort of miss it. It is EXCITING to feel (for lack of a better word) "more normal" though.

And I completely stand behind my decision & understand why I needed to take it out. However, I can't help but sometimes wonder if what I did was right? I mean, I'm under weight again. Sure, I'd have raw, bleeding, stinging skin around the tube... But I could suck it up, right?  I mean I did for little over a year. I had those issues the whole year I was proving to Doc I didn't need it. He was right to make sure & test me, but even now I still wonder if I should have waited, or gained even more. But, I can't go back in the past & I don't really want to change my decision.

It's weird not having it too sometimes. Have you ever heard of Phantom Limb? Well, I have Phantom Tube. That's right when getting dressed sometimes I still reach for gauze or band-aids. I still sit with my hand resting over my "tube" spot (Sarah noticed that the other day). But the worst is when I'm eating and I feel the food leaking out of my tube hole, freak out and put a napkin under my shirt. Then I realize it was all in my mind. So yep, even though the hole is sewn shut & looks beautiful (for a 2 inch scar)! Thanks Doc. C (my surgeon) you rock! However, even though I still can feel it and forget it is gone, it makes sense. My G-tube has been a part of me since I was 13 years old. That's 16 years!!!!! It's been part of my life more than not and honestly I can't remember what it was like not having it. I guess my brain sort of thinks it was a part of me, like a limb. It makes sense my brain needs time to figure out its gone, I mean its a huge change. Everything changes, from what I eat, to how much I eat, to what I can wear, to how I get ready in the morning, to how I sit, or sleep, or dance, work-out, hug, anything & everything. It's just weird and I need time to adjust.

That all being said, I'm so proud that I accomplished this! I never truely believed I would ever get my tube out. As my friend, Dan said " I kinda thought that was a for life thing" and I honestly always thought so too! But as I got older, didn't have as much to worry about. After my undergrad years were done my schooling got easier, etc. Plus, add in that I have amazing partner here to help, I did it! I can't wait to wear a bikini next year! Or not worry about my tube leaking on my clothes and ruinning them! I love hugging people without fear, I love being able to pick up and rest my babysitting kids on my hips/stomach area!!! It's sooo amazing! The small things in life really make a difference.

I have a plan to gain weight. I'm eating a certain amount of calories (3,000) everyday & trying to drink high cal coffees & hot chocolates (with ensure powder, protein powder, etc). One trick I do in the mornings if I'm not hungry enough for a breakfast is that I'll make a high cal Orange smoothie (that reminds me of an Orange Julius). I use Whole milk, Ice cream, Orange juice, Vanilla Ensure powder, and a lil Heavy Cream usually. If you want some other tips or recipes check out this post: Weight Gain Tips & Recipies. I'm also lifting weights (a lil), just to add a lil muscle too! I'm not going to be able to get all 8 lbs back by Monday (which is my next doc appt). But my goal is New Years!

Wish me Luck & if you don't know what to get me for Christmas? How about a High Calories snacks, brownies or my favorite cookies  (chewy Scotchies) ;-)

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