Thursday, April 30, 2009

Let’s Steal My Pathetic Thunder, Shall We?

I need to write another post for no other reason than to get the one I wrote last night not at the top of my page; less viewable, if you will.

Blargh I always end up feeling like a freaksicle when I post moaning and groaning, because the one thing in the world I truly loathe is pity. And I don’t think any of you pity me, (please no!) probably you just feel sorry for me, which is totally warranted, cuz let’s face it my life is kind of lame right now. And, if any of you are frustrated with me, I'm sorry for that too. I know I can wear on people. :/

But my life is not ALL lame. I’ve got the most amazing, patient, kind-hearted, hard-working, super cute hubby ever. I have a darlin’ little toddler that keeps me going every day. I’ve got a wicked best friend that I’m lucky enough to live with, so that we can tease Husband about our lezzy loverness. Which is only fiction, except for that one time a pic was snapped of us feeling each other’s boobies.

But only out of fun.

I should post it sometime, no kidding! (NO I’M NOT GAY. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just saying.) I’ve got five amazingly supportive sissy’s, funny as hell brothers who I’d DEFINITELY want on my side in a bar-fight, a super-human mother, a sweet pops; everything. So, despite all this, I am a lucky girl.

Okay. So, to “steal the thunder,” that rumbling, all-encompassing, POS storm of fury from my last entry, I’m going to post some pics that I yoinked from Keely’s blog (thanks Keely!) that had me ‘a cackling. Nothing like a nice fun post after a dour entry like the last to cheer the soul.

So, first: A pic of me looking happy. I look happy, right? Right? Guys, I’m trying so hard!

And now, the thunda stealing. Squeal laugh delight I love these!

Hope you got a laugh out of these, and were not traumatized by, like, the humping dogs.
(Rachel, I especially thought of you when posting these. I know you luuuuurve looking at smutty pics like this! Hahaha no really if you're traumatized I'll pay your next therapy bill.)
Have a good day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh, I Am Tired

Oh, I am tired.

I’ve been ill all weekend, but it’s more than that. It’s as if, deep in my bones, my body is just saying, enough. I’ve scarcely been able to breathe for almost a week now. I go to work every day, only four hours a day, but it feels like fourteen. I come home exhausted, and all I did was sit at a desk. I survey my house: the dishes need to be done, a few loads of laundry are begging to be washed, maybe the living room needs to be vacuumed. But then I weigh my health to energy ratio, wonder if I have enough in me to do these chores, and if I do, what will it cost me? A night lying on the couch, not being able to move afterward, for sure. In the past hour I’ve taken several steroids for my lungs, I’ve taken migraine medication. I’ve swallowed ibuprofen to help the inflammation around my PEG tube, slathered Vaseline on it to soothe the burns.

Yet I feel no better.

Tears were streaming down my face as I did the dishes. Because I hurt. All the time. And it shouldn’t be so hard to do something as ordinary as the damn dishes.

I’m sitting on my porch with the laptop, watching C on his scooter outside. I can watch him, and I can laugh with him and congratulate him on his bravery when he topples off. But I cannot play with him. So I watch, pretend like I don’t hurt, pretend like it doesn’t hurt to not be able to play with my nearly three year old son. Pretend like he doesn't know his mommy is sick.

I’m crying now, and geez, I rarely cry, now – I’m too jaded. I’m sorry to whinge on this post my friends, but I needed to get the pain and resentment out, so that it doesn’t fester inside, and make me even sicker.

For years I trained my body for deprivation. I prided myself for it, for its lack of need for anything physical. But now I need so much.
And my body refuses it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This evening, a neighbor of our’s stopped by. She was quite elderly, at least in her late seventies, maybe even older. Brandon introduced her to Cade:

“…and this is Cade.” He pushes him forward gently; I do my nervous smile, thinking please, Dear Lord, do not let my child curse or fart.

He doesn’t.

He looks up at her, through his thick, angelic lashes. He raises his right arm, an arm that’s wielding a lime-green squirt gun.

He aims.

“P E E W!”

She didn’t stay long.

An Angry Hole, Among Other Things

Eck. So glad I’m not dying anymore. This weekend was balls. On Saturday night my asthma got bad, which turned into REALLY BAD, which morphed into hives and swollen slash bruised eyes, which then transitioned into the flu, which quickly escalated into the Swine Flu after watching the news, then eased back into the flu. I think. At any rate I’ve been pretty miserable. I’ve got a pretty stellar cough though (getting even a small cold just kills the lungs) and my ribbies are all sore, and every time I cough it hurts my PEG hole, so I generally lie around choking to death on my cough so as not to make my new hole angry. It’s definitely been no bueno.

Speaking of Swine Flu: I’m sitting here at my desk, staring at a large piece of dead skin close to my left pinky. Where did this come from? Who’s nasty enough to yoink off their skin and not even throw it away? And who would leave it on my desk? I mean, I’d rather get flowers or chocolates or something. I am thoroughly disgusted, and also thoroughly convinced this icky skin is going to give me the pig flu and probably kill me seeing as, oh I don’t know, it’s a RESPIRATORY ILLNESS. I’m totally paranoid about this. I mean yeah, I don’t technically know of anyone personally that I’ve been around who was recently in Mexico, but how many swine-germy carrying humans does one run into on a given day? Too many to count, I fear. Yea verily.

Just blew the dead skin off my desk. This was not a good idea because a) the blowing gave me a asthma/coughing/angry hole attack and b) now I’m going to step on it and get the pig flu on my foot. Why do I do things without thinking? Dude, at least I’m not looking at it anymore.

Not much going on this week. I cancelled my allergist appointment today because I knew he was only going to be mad at me because my lungs aren’t functioning very well, but what can you do – I mean I’ve clearly got some hopefully NOT pig flu respiratory illness going on. He’ll tell me I’m his most high maintenance patient, ask me if I’m gaining weight, tell me my arms are looking fatter, (oh wait that was LAST TIME) ask me how I’m even functioning on a daily basis, and then jab some steroids into me via my hip, which is the least coolest place to get a shot. None of this is worth my $40 co-pay. I’d rather go get some capris because they don’t tell me my arms are fat and also I will buy a pair cheaper than $40. Whatever, don’t freak out. I’m going next week blargh.

Please have a better day than me. Run and jump and use your lungs, and cough a lot because you have no angry holes. Then tell me about it, and I can live vicariously through you.

Thank you. :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

7 Years Ago Today

April 25, 2002: I am being admitted to inpatient treatment for the first time for anorexia nervosa. I am 17.
I am absurdly naïve.

I am beyond emaciated.

But mostly I’m just pissed my parents are forcing me somewhere before I turn 18 and become an “adult.”

I’m convinced I’m going to be the fattest person there. I also think, and I quote from a journal I kept at the time, that I will be “strapped to a bed being force-fed calories to get fat like I’m in some damn nazi concentration camp.”
I had no anger issues, obviously.

It happened so fast. I come home from school one day, at lunch, because of course I’m not going to eat, and I’m exhausted, so tired; always so tired. My mom is sitting at the dining room table, crying. “What’s wrong,” I ask her? “Dad and I have decided to put you in rehab,” she says.

And it’s done, simple as that. Less than a week later I leave school, leave my friends, my classes, my A.P. tests. I miss graduation, I miss everything. I disappear. Finally, like I had always wanted to. Poof, I’m gone.

The first day there, I am a freaking deer caught in the headlights. Well, a starving and half-dead one, anyway. I am asked the same questions by about six different people. I am terrified, but pretend like I am okay. I smile a lot. I don’t eat a thing.

First group I go to is music therapy. We bang instruments like children and talk about our emotions. I don’t get it. But I thump enthusiastically at my tambourine anyway, and don’t forget to smile, oh and also suck in your fat stomach it’s showing through your shirt, but keep smiling, keep playing.

I’m in therapy now, meeting my therapist for the first time. She asks me why I think I have an eating disorder, and I tell her I don’t have one. I bitterly think that my control is taken away, and that not eating for days and abusing laxatives and ipecac is normal. I do not have a problem. There are a lot of things I am unsure of in this life, but that is one thing I am not unsure of. There is nothing wrong with me.

Twenty weeks later I leave. I think I’m supposed to be better. My parents think I should be better. (Especially for that high rehab cost!) I know now, as I leave for the first time, that I have a problem.
One that still hasn’t gone away.

Treatment saved my life, quite literally. But in so many ways, it ruined it, too.

Seven years I’ve been in and out of treatment, hospitals, outpatient therapy and dietary sessions. I’ve endured EKG’s and blood withdrawals, interventions, tear-filled fights with loved ones, feeding tubes, PEG tubes, re-feeding, pain. I’ve loved the scale; I’ve hated it. For seven years I’ve been The Anorexic One, or Briethatonegirlwiththeeatingdisorder, or Hey guys did you hear that Brie B______ went into treatment again? Yeah, I totally called it, I knew she would! Seven years wasted, while wasting away.

But finally, I’m doing something right. Slowly, but yeah, I’m getting there. Eight’s always been my lucky number, my favorite. I know why, now.

I have high hopes for year eight. It’s going to be The One.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Self-Appraisals, Self-Thoughts, Schedules – oh & Grody Words

Eck. I just had to fill out one of the self-appraisal forms at work; yep it’s that time of year again. I absolutely L O A T H E filling them out, and quite literally waited until the very last second to hand it in. What am I supposed to say?
I suck; don’t give me a raise?

Of course not!

I used lots of big and impressive phrases like ‘EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS’ and ‘FULFILLS RESPONSIBILITIES’ and ‘HAS A GREAT RACK.’ 0.19 cent raise, here we come!

I haven’t really done an update update in awhile. I don’t have a lot of words lately…probably because if I actually wrote them all out on my blog, they might would contain phrases like ‘I’M QUITE THE WINNER AT SWIMMING LAPS AROUND THE ANXIETY POOL’ and ‘BODY IMAGE BLUES + DEBILITATING ALLERGIES = NO BUENO-NESS’ oh and also maybe I don’t know ‘I HATE THE GIANT TUBE COMING OUT OF MY STOMACH, IT’S NOT TYPICALLY THE KIND OF FASHION STATEMENT I LIKE TO MAKE.’ Sometimes it’s just easier to not say all that, because when I admit how super lame and hard It all is, it makes it more real, you know?

My T gave me an assignment to make a schedule for the next few days, and to make it as structured as possible (as in don’t leave any time to think about the (sh)pit of despair my life has become).
Any ideas?
And no, I already asked, they cannot involve anything fun destructive like streaking, indecent exposure, and flashing. I guess I’ll just go to the craft store or something.

And because I'm disturbingly random today, (seriously do I need help?) wanna hear my top 5 least favorite words? …And I’m not necessarily talking about their meaning that grosses me out, but the way they sound when they roll off the tongue. Nast, dude.

1. GENITAL. (This also includes GENITALIA.)
2. TRIGGER (Peew! Peew!)
4. WEENIS. ‘Nuff said.
5. And my all time least favorite word? FERTILE. Which is why I’d never name my kid Myrtle (aside from the fact I’m not living in the 1940’s.) Besides, wasn’t she that chick that got hit by a car and killed in The Great Gatsby? (Ooh! Wait also wasn't she the whore? [Mistress, whatever?] or am I thinking of some smutty beach novel I read recently?) Someone enlighten!


I hope you all have a weekend that EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS and FULFILLS RESPONSIBILITIES. But you will only be able to do this if you have a GREAT RACK. I dunno? That’s how I get the job done.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gratitude in Crappy Times

When life sucks, it's always good to remember the blessings one has. What, at this moment, am I grateful for?

-That I have no addiction to relentless masturbation.

Thanks for the reminder, someecards. I needed me a good cackle. Today's sucked.
What are you grateful for?

What the Weight GAIN Ad?

Rachel over at the F-Word wrote a fabulous blog about old commercial ads from decades ago that were encouraging women to G A I N weight. I found this mind-blowing, and absolutely had to check it out to see if it was true – were women in our society ever actually encouraged to gain weight, and not just lose? And yes, we were. ‘Tis true, my good friends.

I was looking through the ads, and giggling, because I couldn’t believe my eyes. You won’t be popular if you’re skinny? You can’t catch a man if you’re too skinny? How much our culture has changed! (And what's ridiculous; if you look at the ads of these women who have supposedly gained weight off the product they're trying to sell; they're not big at all - in fact, they're quite thin!)

And at first, I thought that yeah, our culture’s view of women has gotten worse, because most people think that a woman is beautiful only if she is too underweight, and sick, or toned with no fat at all on them. But then I kept thinking…it’s just as unhealthy to encourage people to gain weight if they don’t need to, and what I found even more disheartening was that it seems there was NEVER a time in our culture when women were just…okay. Okay as we were, as our bodies were. We’ve always been pushed to change change change you’re not good enough as you are so do something about it so you can be popular and fat or skinny and people will like you and you can find a man to support you and love you and take care of you because apparently that’s the only thing you’re good for so get moving, get changing, you’re not good enough just as you are gogogo.

It’s actually pretty sad, isn’t it? Here are two of the ads I saw, but please check out her post to read all of them, and she also has detailed descriptions below them, telling you what the whole ad says if the print is too small to read them here. It’s really worth a look.

Which is more damaging? I’m in awe at how much our society has changed. America really sucks in this regard. Seriously.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blast From the Past

I was looking on myspace today, (I haven't logged on since Oct 2008) and realized I have so many cool pics that I've never posted on my blog because they were all taken before I started blogging. So, in no particular order, and for your random viewing pleasure, I give you Brie et al, Back in the Day:

Pearl Swimwear shoot, July 2007 (location: Orange County, CA)

I was the spokesmodel, hence the giant poster. And I guess I like touching myself? (September 2007, location San Diego, CA)

Old modeling stuff, shot December 2007

Black Chandelier Runway show, summer 2007

Me looking petrified I'm about to be married; July 2004

One of my favorite wedding pics, August 7, 2004.

Me and my mini-man poser. I seriouly wanna eat his chubby cheeks! (And aren't his eyelashes darling?)

Cliff jumping in Escalante, Utah. I was in inpatient treatment, and went on a therapeutic trip or whatever. It was a total blast, I should do a From Behind Bars post on it sometime. I'm the closest to the camera, in the yellow shorts. May 2005.

Alana snapped this with her camera phone, and it's one of my faveys of me and Whit Baby. Summer 2007, location: Ross fitting room.

Me and my beautiful sissy Tawny, before the Faith Hill concert. Summer 2007.

Cade at his first trip ever to the zoo. I have long hair...le sigh...I miss it...summer 2007.

Cade's first birthday, August 4, 2007

I love him. Spring 2007.

Brandon and I just weeks before tying the knot; July 2004.

Watching the fireworks cuddled on a skateboard, 4th of July 2007. (I'm wearing HIS shoes. My feet aren't quite that huge!)

Hope you had as much fun as I did with this 'lil blast from the past. :) Have a great night, I'm off to love watching Biggest Loser...Tuesday night TV rocks...

Practical v. Quacktical


1. The urgency to gain weight isn’t as pressing anymore, because I’m not in the hospital, so that means I’m fine.
2. If I don’t take my meds, that means I can ignore the problem, and I’m sure I’ll be able to breathe just fine without them.
3. I don’t need to gain weight.
4. I’m fat.
5. Pretending like I don’t have a problem means I don’t, in fact, have a problem.


1. I haven’t gained very much weight at all, and I need to in order to have healthy lungs and a functioning body.
2. If I don’t take my meds, I stop breathing. That actually like exponentially increases the whole lung problem thang.
3. I do need to gain weight. I can’t see that, but I need to trust my treatment team and my family, those that I trust, to tell me that I’m too thin.
4. I’m not fat. I’m getting, like, stronger. And the term “fat” is so…evasive. And there are so many different variables in determining if someone is “fat,” and, and really, who cares? NOBODY. I’m the only one who cares if I’m fat or not. But I’m not.
5. Pretending like I don’t have a problem makes the problem worse, because I’m not facing it and I’m not taking steps to get over it.

Sometimes I can be a real quack.
I just need a reality check sometimes. I think we all do.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Weekend

Hey all, hope you had a great weekend. Mine was truckloads and truckloads and truckloads of fun! (sort of) See, Saturday had totally promised me that it was going to be a good one, seeing as my mama was coming to visit for the day since my dad had meetings in downtown SLC all day, but my body was acting no bueno. We had just barely gotten to the mall when I started to feel icky. My mom found me sitting on the ground (and I did not get there easily – much staggering and oh I don’t feel good moooooaaaaans were involved) amongst the cheap jewelry and headband display. So anyway we decided at that time I was about ready for a snack, but the milkshake offered no pass-outey relief.

I felt horrible on and off all day, even when I took Cade to his best-friend/cousin Mace’s bday party (you can read about it here) but finally closer to the evening when I knew I wouldn’t be around anybody in public to make an utter fool of myself, and also Brandon was home to make sure I didn’t try (again) to go on a walk in the neighborhood at midnight in my underwear AND ASK HIS BROTHER TO GO WITH ME (hallucinations around mere acquaintances - and also brother-in-laws - isn’t a good idea) I took a Fennegren (the Hallucination Maker) to knock out the nausea. It did, quite nicely, and I felt okay yesterday (Sunday) but that was probably mainly due to the fact I didn’t use the tube feed the night before. Reflux/nausea/yuckytomytummies suck. But never fear, I used it last night, so my body’s alllllll good and nourished and stuff. I hope I don’t feel gross today, too.

Yesterday was fab, too. It got up to 72 degrees, and my body rejoiced because it was in desperate need of some Vit D. All my sissies and I and our kids traipsed to the park and we let them play all day for hours. I even fancy that I may have gotten a little tan, which is great, because I have olive skin, which means it has a yellow undertone, which makes it look like I may or may not have some liver problemos, especially when I get suuuuper sick and pasty, like I have recently. Anyway having failing livers has never been at the top of my list, so I’m totally phewing from the color. Cade got a little color on his cheeks, and Whitney, once again, looks like a lobster. Go White-Skinned Whit!

This week is also going to be better because I only have two doctors’ appointments instead of the four or five I’ve been having in the weeks prior. It makes me feel – dare I say it – normal? Nah, not normal (I wish!) but, like, not quite so freakish. Brandon reminded me the other day that he hasn’t even gone to the doctor since that one time literally like 4 years ago, and it was no big deal, and he reminds me that I was the one who made him go, blah blah blab blab. (And that’s all true.) It’s so weird living with somebody so healthy. Going to the doctor as often as you have a high school reunion? How weeeeiiiird – but super awesome - would that be? I’ll tell you what; I’ll go to the doctor next to never when fat little piggy’s sprout wings and fly. I have a faulty bod, and most of it has been my own doing, and I have to deal with that, pay the doctor enough in my co-pays to make his house payment every month, and be okay with it, you know?

Hope ya’ll have a sweet Monday, too. I’m working for a few hours then - can you guess it? - heading off to the doctor. Le sigh. ;)

Friday, April 17, 2009

On Jumping

Back when I was IP, there was an outing we did called the Ropes Course. It was active, experiential therapy that forced us to go outside our comfort zone, just as recovering from an ED requires us to do the same.

I’ve been there several times, and actually enjoy the hell out of myself every time I go – I luuurve me the thrill. But the first time I ever went, I think, made the strongest impact on me, because I was new to treatment and metaphorical niceties sat with me better, because I wasn’t so jaded, and, frankly, bored.

I remember that they strapped a helmet on me and told me to put on a harness that made me look like I had junk and I swear I was so nervous because it made me look like I had a big butt (body image issues preoccupy one’s mind with the most wasteful of thoughts). First, all I had to do was climb the tree, and really that wasn’t too hard, just don’t look down, keep going, up, up, up, until finally, I reach the platform that was just big enough for both my feet to fit on it.

Woah, this is high. What did the instructor say? Two stories high? Yeah, woah, don’t look down, I wanna throw up, crap how am I gonna get down wait you want me to jump are you insane?? Yes I see the trapeze in front of me, (you IDIOT) but it’s like, what, 6, 8 feet away? Wait let me get this straight you want me to jump off a platform that is two stories off the ground and reach for a trapeze that is entirely too far for me to reach? Okay, so yeah, this sucks.

And the instructor says, “You’re paralyzed with fear, and you’re stuck in this horrible, scary place. So get out of it. Get out of this situation you’ve put yourself in. Jump. Jump to a new life, jump from your fears, your eating disorder, the scary, small place you’ve trapped yourself in. Jump, and be free; jump to your new life.”

So then, I get a little jazzed by his impressive speech, and think yes yes YES I can do this! So I bend my legs, tense my body to spring. And then…I look down. And see how very far away from safety I am. I think that I would rather be up here, alone, miserable, but at least surviving, then potentially springing to a bloody death, right? And if not death, at least a very scary unknown, for sure. And as impossible as it sounds, that terrifying little platform starts to get comfortable, and I hate being up here but I reason that at least, for the moment, I'm safe, right?

So I falter. Wait, just kidding, sorry, I swear I’m going to go, I just need a second, give me one more second, woah this is high, yeah sorry I know I know I’m going to jump in like two seconds CAN YOU JUST GIVE ME ANOTHER SECOND? Geez!

And…on my own timeline, I could never jump. I would always wait for another second, until it reached another minute, then two, then three. It was so easy, too easy to find reasons to not jump: I’m scared, what if I can’t do it, what if what if what if.

So finally, the instructor forces his timeline upon me. He says, “Brie, I know you wanna jump, but you’re scared, so I’m going to help you. Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re NOT going to look down. You’re going to stare straight ahead, at your goal: the trapeze in front of you. You’re going to listen to me count to five, and when I finish counting, I want you to jump. I don’t want you to think about how freaking scared you are. I don’t want you to think of anything other than jumping. You’re safe. I won’t let you get hurt. You're in a harness. Remember that, and jump.”

So he counts. It is simultaneously maybe the shortest and longest five seconds of my life. I know I need to do it on his timeline, and not my own, because I need help and that’s okay so this is going to be the scariest thing I ever do but I’m going to do it I’m going to do it I’m going to do it…and…I do.

I jump. I leap through the air and grasp that trapeze…that freaking trapeze that seemed impossibly far away…I reach it. I make it. I’m filled with adrenaline AND SHEER HAPPINESS as I’m lowered to the ground. I feel powerful, a not unpleasant but entirely strange and exotic thing for me to feel. I did it. Against all odds.

I jumped.

And I’m so freaking glad I did.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I was tagged, and this one actually seemed pretty fun. Enjoysies!

10 Random Questions:

1. What is one thing you want to learn to make before you die?
Balloon animals, seriously. Like a really cool monkey or maybe a slutty rhinoceros.

2. What is one thing you avoid doing, for fear of humiliation?
Reading maps. I cringe when watching reality shows where the contestant has to read a map to get to a particular challenge or something. I know I couldn’t do it, period. Map makers are a little sketch, if you ask me. I swear that if left to my own devices, and I only had a map to get somewhere, I’d end up in the most terrifying place, like, EVER: the dressing room at Forever 21.

3. If money weren’t an issue, what is the first thing you would buy?
A nanny. Either that, or another child that doesn’t kick me off my own sofa (MOMMMMMMY GET OFF THE COOOOUUUUCH!!!!!) so he can drive his toy cars on it. (STAY ON THE FLOYOR NOW, MOMMY. STAY ON THE FLOYOR!)

4. What is one of your favorite blog posts you’ve ever written?
This one. I read it often, because it gives me hope and reminds me that there are no coincidences in the world.

5. Would you rather have a personal chef or a personal trainer?
Eh. I’d rather have a personal maid. I make a pretty wicked grilled cheese, and my lungs suck.

6. What’s a weird quirk you have?
Well shoot. I’m not quirky at all. But as a kid, I was a little. Like, I got my body part names all mixed up, and I thought the word for one’s “body” was “private” and the word for your privates was “body.” So, like, my brother would pinch my arm and I’d be like, “Mom! So-and-so was pinching my privates!” And it’s like, EASY, KID. No me molesto, you know? Haha.

7. If you could invent/breed any kind of animal, what would it be?
Ooh, I think a domestic GIANT cat, you know, like the size of a tiger or a bear or something. All the domesticated cats are little (shut up, my two thirty pounders are not fat!) and I’d love to have a huge one the size of a cougar or something curl up with me at night. Of course, pretty sure I’d drop dead from asthma before I could really enjoy the fruits of my invention, but still. It’d be pretty wild.

8. What was the first movie you ever cried in?
Beethoven. Shutup when he’s about to be killed at the evil vet’s office, I lost it!

9. What do you want right now, at this very minute?
Some Tums and a massage. Oh, and a new hairstyle.

10. What are a few of your greatest fears, and have they ever happened to you?
A shark attack. Yeah, no, not yet.
Being misunderstood. Yes.
Being gossiped about. Yes.
Being unremarkable. Yes.

Choose ten people to tag:
1. Any
2. body
3. else
4. who
5. would
6. like
7. to
8. complete
9. this
10. survey

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Holy Update of Fury

Okay I swearsies this post isn’t going to be all doom boom life sucks gloom again like it was yesterday. I definitely needed to vent and get some of that out, but I don’t want to drag all that boring stuff on and on. So I’ll try to give you all a rather impartial (read: as un-negative as possible) update on what things in my life have been doing, with or without my permission:

First, Easter was lovely. And by lovely, I of course mean that my mini-man looked like a stud in his (quite expensive, but I couldn’t help it!) Easter garb and DANCED in the aisles at church during the hymnals. Oh and also he managed to look at a picture of Jesus in nursery and yell NO I DON’T LIKE JESUS! SCARY! NO JESUS GO AWAY!” At any rate, I have a feeling He didn’t take it personally.

I tried to snap a few pics, but C wasn’t cooperating, and evidently, neither was my hair or my old-mom-gross-throw-away-immediately skirt-becauase-it-(truly)-makes-me-look-fat. Hey, we tried, though, right? My wardrobe options are severely limited when I’ve got a six inch tube as wide as my pinky making its home and hearth right on my (ever expanding) belly. My body is so beautiful.

(Please excuse my pathetic excuse of a yard. We're still landscaping.)

Tube feeds are thankfully getting easier and easier every night. I still have to run the pump quite slowly, or I get pretty nauseous, so it’s only at 60 mL/hour, which is an equivalent of 12 teaspoons an hour. Not much, but better than nothing. I’m getting around 1500 cals a day through tube feeds though when all’s said and done, which I think my lungs are quite happy to glean from. I’m taking an anti-nausea to help while I’m hooked up, (Which gives me some pretty wild hallucinations, one of which included my old therapist’s daughter getting eaten by a shark. Not cool, people, so not cool.) and during the day I take an antacid, and I seem to be okay. I’m slowly getting my strength back, though by the end of the day I’m pretty exhausted, it’s ridiculous. Not Brie’s-in-a-wheelchair-at-Walmart exhausted, but more like moderately tired. Oooor, semi-okay-to-moderately-perhaps-a-teensy-okay-let’s-be-honest-more-than-a-teensy-worn-out-but-surviving tired.

Saw the dietician yesterday. I really like her, mostly because she likes me. I’ve never really had a dietician like me before. I still haven’t gained any weight (from last week) despite the tube feeds, but she’s encouraging me to be patient and stick with it. Apparently it takes a lot longer to fix a car than it takes to break it.

Aaaaand…there’s kind of a weird sitch going on at work, but I’d rather not go into the deets until I know more. I know it’s like totally awesome to like contribute to society ‘n stuff, but if I didn’t need health insurance, I’d totally bounce this place. I like my job most of the time, but I’m just so tired. (see above paragraph) I honestly think it’d take me a long time to get bored sitting at home, jobless, sleeping in, watching the View and eating Lean Cuisines for lunch every day.

But whatever.

Also, I hate rain. I know that in Utah we’re like in a drought, but I wish it wouldn’t rain anyway, and I swear in the past 2 days we’ve literally gotten our quota for the year (Utah is the second driest state next to Nevada, I think). I am entirely aware that this makes me kind of a selfish person, but who doesn’t loathe getting the bottom of their pants soaked and getting pathetic rain stains on their glasses? I’m such a nerd when I walk into a building and the heat fogs up my glasses. When this happens, I hang my head in shame. My hope is that I’ll die before the drought really affects me. I think probably I will. At the rate I’m going, anyway, haha.

Seeing the gastroenterologist today. I look forward to him saying, “B-drie! My sweeeet gerl. How are you, sweethart?” He will also hold my hand and hug my legs and hopefully put in a “mickey” to get this hella ginormous tube out of my stomach. I will also leave with Meelk chocolaut because I am so precious. All of this is definitely worth my $40 co-pay.

So that sums it up. Well, not all of It, but this is long. Perhaps we shall continue the saga tomorrow…

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm tired.

Of cleaning a house that never seems to actually stay clean.

Of doing things for a child that never seems grateful.

Of trying to breathe. I’m tired of it being so.damn.hard.

Of trying to gain weight. The guilt I carry weighs more than what I actually gain.

Of going to the dietician.
And the therapist.
And the gastroenterologist.
And the allergist.
And the pulmonologist.
And the E.D. specialist.

I’m tired of being tired.

I’m tired of being humiliated because I have a tube, or because I’m sick, or because something, always, invariably, is wrong with me.
I’m wrong.

Of being misunderstood.

Of enduring sympathetic, probing, stares. Or worse, questions.

Of lame jokes, like, “Hey, you can have some of my weight!” or “I wish I couldn’t breathe! Maybe then I’d lose 10 lbs!” You have no freaking idea what you're talking about, Loser.

Of being pitied.

Of being the Sick One.

Of taking 9 medications at night and 2 inhalants. And of getting 14 shots a month.

Of medical bills.

Of a job where I feel expendable.

Of expectations that I always fall short of, by, like, a mile.

I’m tired of smiling. Of being SO STRONG. SO BRAVE. SO AWESOME.

I’m tired of faking it.

But, at the very least, I suppose I’m alive to even feel tired of all of these things.
That’s got to count for something.

Even when I’m really tired.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Few Things I'm Feeling Today, via Post Secret

Cooler is the New Healthy

My mom, to me: “Brie! You look…cooler.”
Me, bluntly: “You mean fatter?”
My mom: “Uh-huh.” She beams.
“Yeah, Mom, that’s awesome. …Thanks….?”

Only the Mumster could get away with saying something awkward and just really freaking weird to me like that and me not taking it the wrong way. Way to compliment me in your own way, Mama. I love being cooler.

Cooler, apparently, is the new healthy.

So that’s good I guess.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Lick Clique

Sometimes when my cats are grooming each other, I feel sad because I can't be a part of their Lick Clique.

PS My cat eats her pubes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

This Is Not an Exit

I’ve never posted song lyrics on my blog before, because in general, I think most people find them probably to be a total yawner and skip over them…I’ll admit I’ve done that a time or two (or 17 dozen times) on other’s blogs...

But I really did want to share with you the lyrics to my favorite song, because it’s literally been my lifesaver right now. Yesterday after work I put it on repeat, curled up with my kitties, and cried and cried. If you don’t want to read all the lyrics, I’ve bolded the last verse, which is the part that really rings true for me (or, at least, I desperately want it to be true for me). I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend downloading this song off iTunes, in fact, the entire album, Stay What You Are, is insane (but in the awesome way, not the bad way).

This Is Not an Exit
Saves the Day

Tonight will be the night that we begin to ease the plugs out of the dam.
And we will stand knee deep in the flow, the undertow will grab our heels and won't let go.
And while we hold, our legs quivering, the water rises now to our teeth when we just let go
and sail belly up to the clouds, the rocks scraping our backs.
To breathe in the air will be the only thing that we have
and all the wasted nights and empty moments in our lives are flushed away as we sway with the rhythm of the waves bobbing us up.
Crests fall to troughs as we feel our gills open up
and sail belly up to the clouds, the rocks scraping our backs.
To breathe in the air will be the only thing that we have.

And if the hook set in the bottom of our lungs, we'll rip it out and lick the blood off with our tongues.

Despair could ravage you if you turn your head around to look down the path
that's lead you here, cause what can you change?
You're a vessel now floating down the waterways.
You can take your rudder and aim your ship, just don't bother with the things left in your wake.
Just sail belly up to the clouds, the rocks scraping your back.
To breathe in the air will be the only thing that you have
and your love will be warm nights with pockets of moonlight spot-lighting you as you drift, the actor in this play.
You walk across the stage, take a bow, hear the applause,
and as the curtain falls,
just know you did it all
the best that you knew how
and you can hear them cheering now.
So let a smile out and show your teeth
cause you know you lived it well.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Donut Dilemma

Yesterday I ran into The Sev to grab a donut. I grabbed a chocolate, but dropped it because I’m lame. So of course I’m not going to buy a filthy gas station floor germy donut, right? But I didn’t want to leave it on the floor, because that seemed weird, so I picked it up, intending to throw it away. But then I stopped: what if the employees there saw me throwing away their chocolatey merchandise and made me pay for it? Well that’s a giant hellz to the no on that one, right?

So, in a panic, I throw it somewhere closest to me: the rack where they hold all their potato chips.
Because a chocolate donut amongst Fritos and Baked Lays is way less weird than a dropped donut on the floor.

I bag another donut (less germy, I hope, and certainly nowhere near the Cheetos) and look over my shoulder. Both cashiers are staring intently, evilly at me. I walk over to them to pay.

“How many donuts,” she asks me?
ONE,” I say.
Just one?”
Um. Yes?”

I’m such a child.
And a thief.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Gastroenterologist is Fun

I can’t believe I haven’t yet mentioned Dr K. He’s another part of my (ever growing) treatment team; he’s the gastroenterologist. Now Dr K is quite the interesting man. He’s Indian, and has like the coolest accent, kind of like Abu from The Simpsons, you know what I’m talking about? But the thing that makes him really different, really suuuuper special-borderline-creepy from any other doc I’ve ever seen, is that he’s, like, a toucher. And a feeler. And a caresser. And a murmer-sweet-nothings-in-my-ear’er.

But it’s not creepy (well, after awhile, anyway).
I swear.

It’s just him. Maybe it’s just his culture?

The first time I met him, I was freezing cold and anxious out of my mind, in pre-op. I was wearing one of those giant tents they call hospital gowns, and some nursing student was poking at my arm, fascinated, while trying to put in the IV, kinda like I did in 7th grade when I was dissecting my earth worm. So he came in, caressed my hair, and said, “’Ello. My naaame is Doctore K_____. I weell be veery gentle weeth you. Do not worry.” And with that, he was off in a blur in his knit wool sweater with reindeers on them.

I looked at Bran, freaked out. Holy fetch. I mean, right?

So now I’m in the OR. I’m lying there, feeling vulnerable with my stomach exposed, and before the surgery begins, the nurse starts spouting off what I’m here for:
“The patient is Brienne B______. She is here for a PEG tube insertion—“ but Dr K cuts her off, and says, “Yees. Bot does her chart say that sheee is a veeery sweet gerl?” And the nurse says, “Yes, it says right here that she’s VERY, very precious.” And I’m thinking, Holy suck, holy suck, put me out, knock me out, hurry hurryhurryhurry! I feel weird and uncomfy. And Dr K says, “Veery good, veery good. I’ll be veery geentle.”
And then I was out.

I didn’t see him post-op. I went home, in incredible pain, and Big B called Dr K on his cell phone after I’d been home for about 30 minutes telling him something wasn’t right. So Dr K tells him to take me right to the ER. While we’re driving, the sweet man calls Bran LITERALLY FIVE TIMES to make sure I’m okay. By the time I reach the OR, my ER doc told me that he’s already called a few time to see if I was okay. "He's certainly attentive," she says. Damn right, lady!

I see him the next day, and he told me, “I could note sleep at oll last night. I was soo worried abooout you.” (He said all this while holding my hand and sitting next to me on my bed.)

But by now, I’m kinda okay with it. He doesn’t do it in a creepy way, but in a seriously genuine I care about you and I like touching you but not in a way that could take away my medical license type way.

He actually once saw Brandon downstairs by the gift shop at the hospital with ‘Lil C. He came up to him and was talking to him about me, but when he initially came up to him, he held out his hand to shake it. Now Bran likes to give a good handshake, a real manly one with a good squeeze. But, apparently, Dr K does not share the same opinion about how handshakes should be conducted. Bran said it was like holding a limp, cold fish, and after B squeezed it, he tried to let go, you know, cuz handshakes should reaaalllly only last about 2 seconds, but sweet ‘ol Dr K just kept holdin’ and clingin’. So Bran started to squeeze again, because he didn’t know what to do, and he got so stressed out, he couldn’t even process what he was saying about me, because all he could think about was that damn handshake that was about as constant as the North Star. Needless to say, it must have been a pretty sweet sight to see them holding hands in the lobby. Because that’s exactly what B said ended up happening. Poor Husband!

He’s so attentive. He calls to make sure I’m okay, he gives 'Lil C “Meeelk chocolaut.”
And he especially, especially loves to hug my legs.
Probably because I'm so precious.

My gastroenterologist is fun.

[ADDITION:] Oooh! Oooh! I forgot to mention that the name of his practice is THE GUT WHISPERER. Isn't that the show that Jennifer Love Hewitt used to star in? haha

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good Things, People, Good Things

I’m in a bit of a chipper mood today, and I have no idea why, (although I have some ideas I shall share and let you partake of) but I’m totally just gonna take it and run – nay - sprint with it.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that today my allergist didn’t use the word “expire” in relation to my life this morning?
Or maybe
Because my dietician is a sweetheart and totally reminded me why gaining weight is good and absolutely totally positively unequivocally NECESSARY?
And maybe today’s cool because
I actually listened to her, soaked it all in baby, and was grateful for the reminder?
Or what about the fact that
I’ve only taken one painkiller today instead of, you know, er…34?
Or that
The swelling on my tum-tum’s gone down just a bit so I’m not doing the whole Buddha Thang quite so much?
Or what about
I’m sportin’ braids, and they’re, you know, totally in right now?
Or perhaps
It’s because my newest doc that just fired me, SB, pulled 150 strings and probably had to do at least two sexual favors to get me in TOMORROW to see the most sought after ED specialist in Utah? I think that means she cares, even if she had to lovingly fire me. And that gives me warm fuzzies (not to be confused with stomach acid burnies).
Although, maybe
my chipperosity could be attributed to the fact that my man, who’s hubberific, traded in his beloved XBOX games and got me a Wii, (thanks for the surprise Lover Pants!) which I fervently LOVElove, and have now deemed my new nickname to be Bwii?
And lastly, I’m thinkin’
Methinks I could be feelin’ the good stuff because I’ve gotten so many emails from all of YOU, who care and love me and are concerned for me and wanna cheer me up a wee bit. Well guess what? It worked. So thanks.

And Brie Bwii looked upon all her readers and deemed they were good. Yea verily.
Things are looking up.
Thank you, God, thank you. I needed this.
All of it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

"Sometimes You Have to Get Messed Up to Step Up"

I wish I could claim those words as my own. I truly found them deeply profound, and since I heard them, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about these simple words:

Sometimes you have to get messed up to step up.

And what’s even odder, is that these insightful words weren’t uttered by some great, inspiring leader of our time. Not Gandhi, not Mother Theresa, dude – NOT EVEN by Obama (er, or his speech writers…haha) they were said by a character on Grey’s Anatomy. Although I’m not going to give him credit, but the writer, Shonda Rhimes.


Isn’t that awesome? And so very, very true. If life were perfect, and peachy, one would never need to change, to grow, to learn. If my lungs weren’t so horrible, would I ever learn to value the treasure of a deep breath, and of a bike ride with my son? If I hadn’t had an NJ that made eating difficult because it was so hard to swallow, would I ever appreciate the yummy sticky simplicity of a PB&J?

Or what about baggy shirts? In general, I think they suck. But now they’re my best friends, cuz they help hide my tummy tubage.

…Or what about the most amazing man in the world? Would I value my rockin' husband as much if he hadn’t nursed my wounds, tended to me, nuzzled my neck and told me he was the luckiest man in the world, even as I lay sick in a hospital bed or crying in my bedroom? Would I appreciate the real, true, simple selflessness in him? If I hadn’t gone through these hardships, would I have even seen these rare and awe-inspiring traits in the man I’m lucky enough to have for me, all me, for the rest of forever? Would I appreciate him putting on our song last night, and lying by me in bed, telling me he wasn’t going to “let me sink,” and to cheer me up he danced with Cade? I’d like to think I would, no matter what.
But maybe not.
Maybe if life were perfect, I wouldn’t be able to discover how blessed I am. To have him. To have my son. To have my life.

If I didn’t have my precious baby boy, would I have stepped up to motherhood? Would I have decided in the hospital, the first time I held that perfect child in my arms, that NOTHING, absolutely and unequivocally NOTHING would stop me from loving him more than anything in the universe – not even my ED? Who knows? All I know is that Cade tells me every day, with his blue eyes and dimples and chubby little thighs and dazzling smile, to step up. “Step up, Mommy,” he says. “I need you. Do it for me, do it for you.”

Damn it hurts when bad things happen. Trauma, whether it be a horrible boss at work, a scary experience, loneliness, hearthache…you name it, and it totally blows. But you can learn from it. You don’t have to stay messed up forever. I think it’s awesome we can change, that we have the opportunity to better ourselves and those around us.

Would a good friend of mine bust her ass to re-open her amazing store rather than let the economy shut her down? HELL NO. She fought back, she stepped up, and it’s people like her that make the changes in this world.

So this is now my motto: SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO GET MESSED UP TO STEP UP. It’s time to step up my game, and I challenge you all to do the same. Don’t wallow in apathy, thinking everything’s great grand wonderful - or the opposite - that everything seems too hard and overwhelming to change. Things can always be better. Take a stand, make a change.

So step up, peeps. What’re you waiting for?