Thursday, June 19, 2008

Feeding Tube & Weight Gain Woes

I'm getting tired, overwhelmed, impatient, et al. When I initially had the feeding tube placed, my treatment team told me I'd have it in for only a month. Just a month, they say, and I think, hey, I can totally do that. No big deal. Well, the month mark came around, and they hypothesized that in just a few weeks I'd be done. Not the case. And now it's been two months, and there is no forseeable end in sight. I know that I can't blame my treatment team, and I don't. Begrudgingly, I don't.

So. Who do I blame? Initially, I was a rockstar with the whole tubage situation. I braved my humiliation at having it on my face, on display where friends and family and strangers alike could all point and whisper and see it. But now I'm getting tired. Worn down. I'm so relieved I don't have to wear it around all the time during the day, but I hate hate hate putting it in every night. I look down at my body and see hip bones that hardly show anymore, jiggly thighs, an extra roll or two on my tummy, flabby why must I keep this awful nightly ritual up? Do I blame my damn metabolism, that's much too fast for a recovering anorectic? Do I blame my mind? Did I somehow intuitively wish the weight gain away? Why is it taking so long? What is wrong with me?

Because my hormones have come out of hibernation, I look like an acned, awkward adolescent. I've developed an allergy to the tegaderm tape, so now I have a lovely rash to go along with the pimplage that dots my face. So now not only am I gaining poundage, I'm re-entering puberty. AGAIN. And me no likey.

And this world is so big. And I'm so big. And I'm not sure how to fit in it, or where I belong. Being small was so much more simpler. I liked being small and in control in this crazy, hectic world.

A new me that's bigger, but the same big world. I don't get it. How do I survive now? I feel so lost. And it totally sucks.


kristin said...

I am feeling impatient with things in my life, too, right now. It's really difficult to wait, especially when it seems like you've been waiting for sooo long. I wish I had some words of wisdom on how to distract yourself or make the time go faster, but I don't. All I can think of is to look on the positive side and keep remembering the good. And to, of course, hang in there.

Take care, Brie. You're a rockstar!

Courtney said...

Oh Brie, I hear you and I feel for you so much. I wish I had the answers and I'd do anything to take the pain away if I could, but as much as I HATE hearing this myself, the only way out is through. It's so ironic that in every other way we think of "gaining" as good (i.e. gaining knowledge, wealth, friends, etc) but when it comes to "gaining" weight it actually feels like we're losing ourselves. I think it's okay to be sad and morn the parts of ED that actually served you well, because even though it's not the best way of getting our needs met there's no denying that it was effective in many ways. Yes, there was safety and familiarity in being wrapped up in ED, but just remember all the things it kept you from- like enjoying family vacations! You are so courageous for hanging in there with the tube and I can promise that you're doing the right thing even though it doesn't feel like it. Sorry I haven't called, my family decided to head up to our cabin since my brother and his fam are in town, and then my husband wants to go camping this weekend so my open week suddenly became crazy. But we will hang out!

Tanya said...


I understand how you feel. I have done the tubage crap and the weight gain. Recently...still am really. I hate it just like you do...but we have to move forward. We have to try and find some sort of good in this as much as our minds try to fight this. I am not really sure that there is any blame needing to be laid. The truth is our bodies are doing what they know how to do. We have to find another definition besides being small for who we are in this this world. I would venture to say you are Brie. You are a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and then some. You are an amazing writer and you have enough humor about the world around you that I have hope that it helps you through the hard times like now. I know its a lot of pain that you don't deserve...I wish I knew who did deserve this kind of pain and then we could you know...just throw it at them. But alas that person just doesn't seem to exist. Hugs...I can only offer you some small comfort in the shape of a hug and an ear willing to listen to the bitching and moaning...all that you want to do of it. Please just hang in there...there will be an end in sight I am sure. Hugs.

Laurie and Corey Kunz said...
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Krista said...

Brie, I am always so amazed at your strength. To feel this way but not give up shows true courage and the fact that you are sharing your feelings with the world shows even more. I think it is so awsome how many people you inspire and truly care about. You always take the time to respond to others comments and blogs and ask genuine questions about their lives. If more people cared for others as much as you do, we would live in a much better place. I wish you could be as kind to yourself as you are with all of us. You are amazing!

Jackie said...

I am sorry Brie - you have been a rockstar for so long when it comes to the tube so I think it is natural to feel this way! Ugh and I feel for you with the weight gain, you know I do. But that just means the feeding tube is working and that despite the negatives, you will be around for your family because of the awful tube.
And you are BEAUTIFUL - there are pictures, recent ones, to prove it! You seeing the "bigness" is ED talking. You are gorgeous.
Hang in there, I know it is tough but you are doing amazingly. Trust your treatment team. I know you can do it, one day at a time sweetie :)

xo Jackie

Devon said...

You can do this my dear.

Breathe deep, smile big, and look around Brandon, your Man-Child, family, friends, cheerleaders from afar, etc.

Hang in there my'll be worth it and you know that deep down - I know you do.

Emily said...

Brie, I understand your impatience. For me, it's with the weight loss that is currently nonexistant. I am just plain fed up. I know you want that tube gone. I am glad you are still willing to put it in every night even though it majorly sucks and you hate it. Sorry your team is dragging their heels on this issue. And sorry about the acne. It will go away, but for now it is no fun at all. Hang in there, brie. I am sending you extra strength!

Stacy said...
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Stacy said...

when your body changes, especially when you have had a past like ours, always takes some adjustment... well alot of adjustment, and well you are going through changes quickly I assume because of your nutrition regimine... I don't think it will every be easy to gain weight (even when you are pregnant again someday... it isn't for me but I do it) BUT you too are feeding a new life and that kind of change is hard too and being happy and not having an "issue" after having one for SO LONG also takes major adjustments.
I am sorry it is hard, I wish it were easy, we all would have quit with no problem.
Thank you for sharing your fears and frustrations and being real, and thank you for saving YOU. I have grown quite fond of my blog friend Brie and would selfishly like to keep ya around.
PLUS you make a really cute kid and the world always needs cute kids and great mamma's to raise them.
You are an AMAZING and beautiful Daughter of our Heavenly Father.
Just fake that you believe all the wonderful things we say to you and we will keep reminding you until you can believe it for yourself.

luv ya Girl.

Arielle said...

::hugs you:: I know it's rough. More than rough.

It's only natural to feel impatient and lost. Just as well-behaved women rarely make history, in this same fashion the right path is never the easiest one.

Hang in there. Keep using your writing to build yourself so you don't fall. I know what it's like...and writing sure helps. :)

From one writer to another, you can do this. You can.

Thanks for visiting my blog earlier. And thanks for writing in yours.

Much love,

KC Elaine said...

I went shopping today, and weight gain still sucks, after all this time. I'm so sorry Brie. You are not fat even slightly, but I'm sorry you're hurting hon. In some ways it may be easier being small, but in a big world you can't afford the strength it loses you...if that makes sense.

Laura said...

I remember still, the feeling I had, sitting in my therapists office. It was my last visit, as I was graduating from college, and leaving Boston. I remember feeling BIG. Not fat big, but big, as in ALIVE big. Silly me, I thought I was "cured" and was off to live my life and have all of my dreams come true...but none the less, at that moment, feeling BIG actually felt good. I felt present; like I had a spot in the world.

Much has happened since then. I have had my "good big" days, and my "bad big, wish I were small again" days. One marriage, and four kids later, these feelings STILL come and go. It's like giving birth, gotta push though that pain. I remember, with my first child, wanting to literally pull the baby back inside of me, because it hurt too much to follow through. And with my fourth, I still can hear the nurse saying, "just one more push, mama, and you have yourself a baby". One more push. There will always be one more push. And it hurts. But the outcome IS beautiful. Be it a newborn baby in your arms, who depends on YOU, or simply an enjoyable vacation with family and friends. Just one more push, Brie. You can do it.

by the way, I am Kathy's (The Fringe) sister. I could not breathe without her...and after all she has gone through, I am so thankful she is here...

you stay here, too.

Sarah said...

oh darlin, I know it's hard . . . it feels like it will be like this forever. But it won't. I promise it won't. Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It's just that the middle of this is turning out to be longer than you expected . . . but there will be an end. There will be.

And just as your body will be stronger at the end of it, because of the nutrition and the good stuff it's getting -- your mind and soul will be stronger too, because you're persevereing. It's like your soul is doing push-ups, right now, babe.

Keep breathing. Hold on. You can do this. You ARE doing this.

I have faith in you and I admire you so much for what you're doing.


b said...

Everyone, thank you so much for your comments. I honestly feel uplifted. I had an awful night last night, and I was up for most of it, feeling entirely sorry for myself, and I begrudgingly got up and came to work, and I re-read all of what you wrote. And you know what? You are amazing people and friends. Thank you.

Sarah, thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your words. :)

And Laura, wow. You took my breath away with your comment. Thank you for taking the time to comment and help some poor soul you don't even know. ;) And, btw, I LOVE your blog - I have a major blog-crush going on right now...I may not have 150 children, and I certainly wouldn't even know how to cook a cake from a mix you buy from the store, let alone the amazing creations you whip up, but I found myself being able to relate to all your crazy, funny, life stories. Thanks again.

Cammy said...

Ack, I made it over here slightly late, but I just wanted to drop a note anyway. I know that gaining weight sucks, but hang in there and remember that part of the disorder is not seeing a) that you are indeed gorgeous, and will get more beautiful the healthier you become, and b) that even if you weren't the knockout that you are, there are plenty of other things about you that would still make you incredible.
Hang in there, remember that your schema has to synchronize ;).
I have so much respect for the way you have handled everything, you really are an inspiration. Keep hanging in there, sometimes taking it a day at a time is all we can do, but it WILL get better in the long run if you treat yourself like the treasure you are!
take care,

jana bananas said...

Well, I am super late to the party (fashionably late?) but wanted to chime in with a dorky "yeah, what everyone else said!" I can't possibly add anything to what these smart & wise ladies have said. I know you're going to get through this. And you are beautiful and I heart my Brie Bee.

zubeldia said...

I'll be back with a proper comment and an email.. (battery is giving up).

Hold on, sweet Brie.

Morgan said...

I hear the whole going through puberty thing. Jeez I am not thirteen but since plenty of feeding tubes and ensure plus, hormones have come out of post-menopausal and now I am freaking breaking out, massive mood swinging, and the normal things a 13 year old goes
Keep being a rockstar... even rockstars hit a wrong note sometimes so don't get too upset or discouraged.

Heather said...

Oh brie-bee....your words broke my heart. I could almost feel your agony and confusion and discomfort. I've been gone for a couple days visiting a friend up north, and so just read this. This is definitely going to be the hardest challenge of your life, but I liked what Devon said.....look around all those who love and adore you. You're doing all this hard work for not just YOU, but for their lives as well. Brandon needs you as his wife. Cade needs you as his mama. Like you've heard over and over again......don't always trust what YOU see in the mirror or how you feel. Sometimes those things get all botched up with the Ed. You're doing your very best, we all know that, and we all support you.....I believe in you and always have. You're a fighter with spirit..someone who is so loveable, yet will fight for someone or something she believes in, and I KNOW you believe in life, that you believe in family, and RECOVERY. It will and can happen to you. Gradually your thoughts will change, trust me, Brie. I'm so sorry you're feeling so dang overwhelmed...I remember being at that place many times and it sucks BIG TIME. Throw some china gets out a lot!! Trust what your family, friends, and team are're fighting an incredibly difficult battle, and you're doing it with such grace and gusto. You truly are an inspiration. And I also want to add....thanks for being so honest. Writing about both the good days and the bad days. You can do this, you can do this, you can do this, you can do this. You will do this. You CAN....and, you WILL. You'll succeed and win, and will be such an amazing witness to all those out there who also are trying to recover with grace and dignity.

Keely said...

I am a little late as well, but I also wanted to give you a hug (well, more of a metaphorical hug.) I can completely relate with the frustrations of tubes, weight gain, et al. I was in a cab and this guy was like "what's in your nose?" and I was so completely fed up and just said. It helps me breathe. Ha ha! then about 15 (I kid you not) minutes later another person asked, and I just kept making up even more implausable answers to what it was. It did help me get through the day though.

But aside from all this rubbish (see above story if you were skimming), I just want you to know that I truely care about you and am with you in spirit. You can call me anytime if you want to talk or just want someone to hang out with or help watch Cade. 556-4925.

brydelle said...

I don't know if hearing this would make you feel better or worse, but I think that a lot of people feel that way, they just don't have the courage to talk about it, or try to make sense of it. Know that there are so many people who care about you and who are willing this to work out. I can't understand how hard this must be, but I get that you're suffering. I think about you all the time--you are a wonderful example of strength to me. Hang in there--you know that it has to get less sucky over time.

Penny said...

Wow Thanks to all.
You are all so super spectacular. For Brie, this is like a therapist every day, many times a day and you are all cheap too. I'm so glad that Brie has these friends in her life who truly care about her. Thanks from a Mom who cares so much too.