Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Deep Breath. Here Goes.

I certainly have a lot on my mind. I’ve been sitting here for a few minutes, trying to collect my thoughts on what I wanted to post; how to make my ideas cohesive and organized…but then I promptly gave up. I’m not sure I can completely connect my thoughts tonight. There’s a lot going on upstairs.

I’m a little upset at myself that the majority of my posts lately have been a bit depressing and centered on the irrigation in my stomach and throat and coming out of my nose. I initially wanted to pretend like this tube thing had never happened, and get on with my merry little life, but it’s proving much more difficult than I thought. So how can I blog about other things, when my mind isn’t on other things? It’s only on one thing: my tubage and recovery.

So that’s what this blog is going to be about, among other things.

I saw my dietician yesterday morning, hesitant of getting on her scale. I felt bloated, and swear I looked about six months prego. I always seem to forget the phenomena of getting a big belly when weight-gain begins, when everything else stays small. All of the weight just seems to sit there in my stomach until the weight is eventually distributed. So this was terribly distracting and alarming, as you can imagine, and I just swore to myself that I had gained a good five, six pounds, and while I knew that was a good thing, it also didn’t feel so good, you know?

So I stepped on the scale, and, and…suck.

I didn’t gain weight. Well, technically I gained a tenth of a kilogram, but my dietician said that doesn’t count. And you know what? I wasn’t happy about it, not even the sneaky eating disorder side of me. Because I have a freaking tube in, and I want it out, like, ASAP, people. I don’t want to have a giant food (er, Boost) baby and be bloated and sick for nothing, and not gain weight. So I was mad. And frustrated. And disheartened. I felt like I had done something wrong, even though I had followed my D’s Boost and food plan.

And then today. Today was pretty lame. I feel like I’ve more or less handled this tubification like a rockstar. I’ve gone out in public and endured the stares of strangers and the mocking of ugly little kids, I’ve cheerfully made many a tube joke at my expense, and I’ve willingly (I use that term loosely) allowed the Liquid Satan to nestle inside my tummy. But today, for the first real time, I lost it. I cried. And it felt good, in an awful sort of way. I think I needed to cry, to get those tears out, and to tell the universe that this sucks and this hurts and that it’s okay to cry. It’s okay.

I mean, there’s never a time, not even a teensy little minute, that I don’t not think about my tube. It’s impossible not to. Because it hurts. My throat, my sinuses, the way the tape feels sticky and abrasive against my skin. I can’t get away from it. Ever.

And then I had therapy tonight. And, I didn’t want to go. When I get really down, I tend to want to hibernate and cut off contact with everyone and just hide in my room. But my husband’s good advice prevailed, and I went (mostly because I would’ve had to pay a cancellation fee).

The highlights of my session included:

She being worried I was going to have a heart attack because I was so medically unstable.
I stared at the certificates on her wall. (Did you know she was the valedictorian of her graduating class at university?)
She wanted me to take off even more than two weeks of work because I might “have to go into the hospital at any time.”
I stared at her dumbfounded.
She stared at me, and then put her head in her hands.
I, once again, stared at her dumbfounded.
Her telling me she talked with H, my dietician yesterday, and they both thought it “extremely worrisome” I didn’t gain any weight.
I reinforced to her that I followed my meal and boost plan.
She and I talking about how recovery has to be real this time, that I can’t do this to my body and mind and marriage anymore.

After the session was up, my mom was in the waiting room, having just brought me Cade (long story). M then sneakily asked my mom to talk to her in her office, while I stressed out about what kind of crazy conversations could be happening on the inside. Basically, M wanted to make sure that I really had been following my meal plan, and that I wasn’t lying to her.
Thanks for your confidence in me, Freud.
She wanted to ask my mom what she thought about hospitalization, was she worried that I looked like a holocaust victim?

Oh, geez.

I came home, gave my baby boy kisses and loves and promised to him I would always stick around until I got old and wrinkly and my skin felt rough and paper thin and I died a natural death. I then ate a snack. Then I cheerfully allowed Brandon to Boost me up.

Why, you ask?

I want to be around. I want to be around to watch my baby grow into a boy and then a man. I want to have a baby girl, and I want to grow old with my husband.

I don’t want to be sick anymore.

And I sure as hell want to un-earn the nickname “Tube Face.”

Besides, I kinda realized it was time to gain weight, when I was so brain-dead and forgetful, I had this interesting experience/conversation with Husband yesterday:

Shuffle into the bathroom.
Me: What is that? Point to the floor by the toilet, at what looks like suspicious yellow liquid.
Brandon: Wha-? I don’t know. But it looks like pee.
Me: Oh nooooooo. No! Did I pee my pants and not remember?
Brandon: ?
FYI: Sad day, folks, when you think you might’ve peed your pants, but aren’t sure. (I didn’t, by the way.)

Deep breath.
Here goes.


Devon said...

My Brie:

I'm proud of you beyond belief...but I must say...I'm not at all surprised. Why you ask? This is the true Brie - the Brie that doesn't give matter how shitty things are. You're probably sitting there going "shh yeah right - crazy lady" but it's more than true.

It's a reason that I've ALWAYS looked up to you...even when Espra was being horrible to you that week ;)

You have a life to live...and you will do it. This detour will end (not soon enough I might add) and there will be a second birthday to celebrate, a 12th, a 22nd, etc. There will be a wedding to go to (after he breaks tons o' hearts because he's so devestatingly handsome ;) and grandchildren. You'll have your Penny. You and Brandon will sit on your porch swing (it's a cute vision - admit) and this will all be a hellish nightmare...that you've woken up from for good.

As your boost baby begins each time - dedicate it to one thing that you're looking forward to. Perhaps that will help a bit.

I love you for forever and always and am so flipping proud of you. (Although, that has never faltered)

Whit said...

I don't know what to say other than that I am so freaking proud of you....You are truly amazing and I look up to your motivation so much!

Love Always,


Laurie and Corey Kunz said...

I am glad you had a good cry...thats sometimes the most theraputic thing in the world. I almost wish I could have a good deep wailing cry every day, you always feel so much better afterwards. but then again...that would be sad because then it would mean I had something really horrible to cry about every day...?

Melanie said...

Brie, I find your blog just draws me in. I feel like a lot of things you say in relation to ED is how I feel certain things in my life, and probably most people's. The all consuming nature of the problem, the distraction, the will to want to do better.

I've struggled with some things personally that may not be as physically apparent as 'the tube' but are present (even if only to me) nonetheless. I feel that you put into words a lot of the feelings that I am not able to come up with.

So I guess, what I am trying to say is this: I appreciate you and your blog. I appreciate what you've done to help me understand what I'm feeling. And I'm thankful for that. I wish you more than the best on your way to recovery.

Emily said...


I'm glad you had a good cry. Those can be very, very helpful.

Aren't those dumbfounding therapy sessions just wonderful? *rolls eyes* Helpful, perhaps, but definetly not wonderful. They're hard. And sometimes they suck.

Why did they choose Boost to tube-feed you with instead of a more concentrated calorie liquid like Jevity or something? That really doesn't make sense to me.

Oh, I hate the bloated belly! That's the worst. :(

Hang in there, Brie. It'll be okay.

Paige said...

It was my (first) baby that made me realize I never want to be sick again, either. :hug: I'm very proud of you, hang in there.

Jodi said...


I also support the good cry. They're necessary sometimes and almost always helpful. Can I just tell you how strong I think you are? I'm sure there are moments that you don't feel like you're super strong but from the outside looking in I think you're amazing. Keep going! You can do it!

Anonymous said...

Do you ever wonder how a man can love you so much? Please don't misinterpet that--I say that not in the sense that he SHOULDN'T love you--but do you ever stop and marvel why someone sticks with you, why your eating disorder doesn't phase and disgust him to the extent that he would leave you? I have wondered that since 2006 when I left school to enter treatment and my then-boyfriend absolutely refused to break up with me. I wondered that through all of my tearful phone calls where ED talked and I stayed silent. I wondered that a few weeks ago when I publicly cried after eating a bagel, then again few nights ago when I threw part of my nightly snack (a waffle) at my fiancee (not so proud of that--at least this happened at home!) But really. We are so blessed to have men, friends, and mothers that see our beauty when we simply don't. And you are wise to harness that as your motivation for recovery. Do it for them, Brie. Stay strong. And I believe in your efforts!!!


Savannah said...

I am in complete awe of you Brie. You amaze me and I'm crazy proud of you. You are one of a kind and we are all very lucky to be able to call you our friend. Love you hun! Keep it up!!


Stacy said...

You are in my prayers and my thoughts and my heart. I am so amazed at your persistance and that you just keep going. Kissing your baby and telling him you will stick around is great medicine for the soul. Our babies eyes show us a future we want. You are a wonderfully mommy to put life and family first before any selfish self serving derires (even if they are bad we still wanted to do them)
You inspire and provoke thought and help those around you. Especially me. Take care.
I bet the pounds will come soon. it has only been a little while and you body is just getting used to it. and your "boost baby" I think you should name her Penny. I mean a baby girl is in your future and that is why you are doing this right... GO BRIE'S FUTURE!!!!

The Cheese said...

Well, I feel a bit relieved. My doctor and insurance finally figured things out, and they're delivering a pump to me this afternoon - we've had to do all my feedings "bolus style," meaning we feed the tube manually with Boost. This should help a lot, because the pump can run at night while I'm sleeping.

Emily, the reason I have Boost instead of Jevity is because Boost is what my insurance will pay for.

Also, your prayers or thoughts on my behalf would be much appreciated, seeing as my dietician just called me this morning after speaking with my therapist and doctor, and when I see my MD on Friday morning, if I haven't gained weight, I'll be admitted to the hospital. I'm scared - and I don't want hospitalization! She said they are worried about my "immediate health and even life" so if I don't start gaining, they'll put me in the hospital until I do so that they can monitor me. Yikes. Here's to praying for some poundage...

The Cheese said...

Oh, and Dev, and all you commenters...thank you, THANK YOU for your comments. I often feel in awe that you think such nice things about me. ;) But I'll take the compliments, so thanks. :) Loves you all.

KC Elaine said...

so proud of you.

Emily said...

Hey Brie!

I think you are awesome! I love that you are taking care of yourself and wanting to be better. I also want to do better and enjoy life and not let things bring me down.

it's me, t said...

holy crap brie, i love you so much. i want you to know that you inspire me so much. not just as a recovering anorexic, but as a person. whether or not you see it, you are freaking awesome. just know that the jews are all praying for you :D

Single said...

I know I don't know you, but I have read your entire blog and I am really glad that you are doing this. I actually thought about you today and told a friend about your blog:-) I really hope you can gain some weight by Friday. Hang in there...things will get better!

Brittney said...

You are definitely in my thoughts and prayers!

jana bananas said...

Hey Brie! Sorry I haven't been able to comment. Just got back tonight. Wow, this is scary. I hope the night feedings are what make the difference.

I'm wondering...are your vitals/labs really abnormal? I'm just wondering why low weight (while you ARE trying to address it) is serious to this degree. You know what I'm saying? I'm not minimizing -- I'm only curious. I have to wonder if scaring you helps or will just make it all worse.

Take care & you are in my thoughts, dearie!

heather said...

Oh Brie...there's so much I want to say, but not having a workable computer or internet at home, for the time being, I only have snippets of time here at school. I so wish I could be a better support. You are so brave. I texted that to you on Sunday while I was nervously waiting through church with Matt......did ya get it? Cuz you are. You're brave to go through all this upsetting and scary stuff. I'm so proud of the efforts your putting into your recovery...your honesty, your dedication, all of it. You should be proud of yourself too. If I was there I bet we could have some fun at Jamba Juice drinking tons of chocolate moo's....yum. Those were my fav. Anyway, I just wanted you to know, that although I haven't commented much lately, you are certainly in my thoughts and I think you're doing the greatest service to you, God, Brandon, and Cade. You won't be in this "place" will end at some point. Keep your sense of humor about it all...even when it's hard, cuz I know your humor has gotten you through so much so far! I love ya girl!
- Me

Emily said...

Oh, okay, that makes more sense now. I hadn't even thought of the insurance part. :)

I am glad you are getting a pump. That should make things a little easier on you. And I hope you do not have to go to the hospital, but if you do, I will send you lots of love through the mail, ok? Best of luck on Friday!

Jackie Hopkinson said...

You really are an inspiration Brie, not only to your family and friends, but to those of us who don't know you very well. Your commitment to health is so inspiring; it helps me in my own life. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Your strength is helping more people than you will ever know. Thank you for being willing to share the ups and downs.

The Cheese said...

Jana, I've had the same questions for my treatment team. If I feel more or less stable, why is it so emergent I have to be hospitalized, especially if I have a tube and am compliant? Well, according the them, if I'm not gaining, (they say I already should have responded to the Boost because there is SO MUCH going into me) then they're worried that something else is going on with my body that needs to be addressed and fixed. Also, even though last time my labs were taken they were more or less okay, they still say that because my weight is so low, I'm medically unstable. So. It's hard for me to accept what they say, but I'm trying to trust them. ...I see my doc tomorrow morning, and I'm so nervous - if I haven't gained, I'm off to the hospital. I'll update you all when I know.

alriggells said...

Brie I just read your post, and I am so sorry I haven't been there for you. I want you to know how proud I am of you and the decisions you are continuously making for yourself and those around you. You have a strength that will carry you on for the years you have yet to live. Brie, you can do this, and I believe in you 100000000000...% and always have and always will. Your life has yet to happen. You have many more anniversaries to celebrate with Brandon, birthdays, births, kisses, hugs, girls nights, New Years celebrations, etc. etc. Your life is not over and damn it I need you here, and yes that is me being selfish. You are amazing I just wish I had the words, and was so elegant with my writing. Please know that I love you.


Tanya said...


I just read your post, and I am really proud of you. It is hard to do this. Its hard to set up the tube when you need to. Especially out of the least it has been for me. But the fact that you are being compliant and not having a gain then what if there is something else wrong? I can understand their worry and I get a little worried too...but you are an amazing woman and a fighter. I know you can do whatever you have to do to see your little man grow up into a big man :) You can do this...I believe in you and I also believe you know what you are fighting for and thats enough to keep you going. Hugs.

Take really are awesome.