Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Feeding Tube Frustrations

Hello friends and devoted readers and stalkers—



Today I am not going to cry and wail and and hiss and rent my clothes over the fact that I have the tube and am gaining weight. Today I am going to cry and wail and hiss and rent my clothes over the fact that I hate hate LOATHE with a fiery passion other people’s reactions to it. Now, I can understand that seeing someone with a white tube coming out of their nose arouses curiosity and intrigue. However, I’d hope that your average human being that has the IQ above that of a toaster would have the sense to not gawk and ask the most idiotic questions about it one will ever hear.

Today I have heard:

So is that to give you oxygen? Do you see an oxygen tank, you morononic tube goggler?  No, (nervous laugh) this is a feeding tube. (Avert eyes, politely make an exit.)

Wow, you look just about as miserable as the last time I saw you. How long do you have to have that thing stuck up your nose? Just because I am absorbed in my work and think you are a mean fleshy douche monster does not mean I am miserable. Oh, I don’t know, a few months I think.

So did you get jaw surgery? Cuz when I did, I had to have a feeding tube and it sucked. Do you see my jaw wired shut? I’m talking to you aren’t I, as much as I loathe this very uncomfy moment with you. Wish I could wire your jaw shut again so I don’t have to endure another convo with you, loser man.

So it looks like you’re not feeling good again. Why the tube? I’m feeling fine. Why do I have to be physically ill 24/7 to have a feeding tube? And also I’m not entirely sure why I have it. Ask my therapist.

I have also been asked if I have cancer. And Chrone’s Disease. Who would ask someone if they literally shit in a bag? I mean really? REALLY?
Holy moly guacamole.

I guess I just don’t understand how people have the gall to ask about it - with not even a note of concern in their voice - it's more just like some sort of sick awe or something.  I literally feel on display, like some smelly tiger at the zoo or a clown at the circus. If I saw someone with a feeding tube, I’d have the decency to just leave it alone. I mean isn’t it just common sense, common courtesy?

Next time someone asks me something idiotic about it, I’m going to yoink out my tube and STRANGLE THEM WITH IT.

23 comments:

standing in the rain said...

aww man, i hear ya! i hated those comments. i hated the way it made me not look people in the eye, simply for fear that people would ask. i get kids asking or staring, but adults? c'mon peeps. grow up!

ugggh. getting annoyed now with you. seriously we need to think of something for you to say that will shut people up and make them feel really bad. i just don't know what that is.

ideas anyone?....

Eating Alone said...

Ok now I feel about asking. But at least I was truely concerned.

Now never having had one I don't know if this is practical but "Decorate it!" Stick it through a hoop type earing in your ear and hang some bangles on it. Say your trying to start a new fashion trend. Then ask them if they want one too? They will leave you alone after that.

takeupyourbedandwalk said...

Eating Alone just made me LOL. Seriously. That was hilarious. :)

I have been known to field those sorts of uncomfortable questions by making the OTHER person uncomfortable. I look really taken aback and flustered, and then I stammer out something like, "Oh. Um. No. It's just . . . Well . . . I'd just really rather not talk about it, if you don't mind." Bonus points if you can get that last part out with big, shiny, tear-filled eyes.

Either that, or you can say the same thing frostily. But the frosty delivery makes people call you a b*tch, whereas the uncomfy one makes THEM uncomfy for ASKING STUPID, INTRUSIVE QUESTIONS. Jerks.

Is it bad that I take a perverse sort of glee in making insensitive, mannerless people uncomfortable about their insensitive mannerlessness? BECAUSE I DO. ;)

Marste

bananas said...

My poor Brie, but you've gone through this before. It's weird because you don't go up to someone in a wheelchair and say, "why are you in a wheelchair?"

Now are these strangers are co-workers that are asking you these dumb questions?

I'll be honest and be CURIOUS like anyone else but would I ever go and approach someone and ask or say something? Hellz to the no!!!

t. said...

i really don't know which made me laugh harder - moronic tube goggler or fleshy douche monster.

sorry you are dealing with insensitive nosey peeps. :(

Kerri said...

You need a t-shirt that says "Do not ask me about my tube!" It must really suck to have to hear that all the time.
I am a bit confused over the 'asking someone if they shit in a bag" bit- my cousin has horrible crohn's, but she has a had a tube because the crohn's doesn't allow her to get any nutrition from her food at times and she can get very thin very fast when it is acting up. So that one is actually a normal response if that person had a relative with the disease. Most people DON'T actually assume "ED!" but a lot will believe that you must be *really* sick to need that and wonder why you are working, you know? But then, I guess you can only put up with the questions and staring for so long before you just want to be left alone...

Brandon said...

I love it!!! I want to see you and Jillian Micheals do kickbox training while you are this mad. You come up with some good stuff when you are angry by the way. I will put off all of the questions I was planning on asking you tongight about that tube, cause I have really been wondering about your choice of accessory. It all makes much more sense now. Feeding tube, who'da known?!

ghost girl said...

Well from my p.o.v. it is a really rude to stare or ask so bluntly - about almost ANYTHING. It obviously does not look like you are having a blast with the tube, so why would they want to press you about it? It may be a little more reasonable if someone approached you out of concern and asked to speak with you in a totally friendly/i-care-about-you way...but a casual "hey so's your lifes in danger or what?" is waaaay outta line. I say Just try to let it go, they really don't deserve much of your energy and you really do not owe them an explanation. They most likely don't mean any harm...
This makes me cringe, though bc i am painfully shy and would totally want to hide under a rock just to avoid communication. BUT! you have no reason to hide! keep on, keepin' on and forget about the gawkers! Do your thing, girl! that recovery thing!
best wishes
s

lisalisa said...

some people suck. I think JB has a good point about people not going up to someone in a wheelchair and asking them personal questions. Seriously, I am offended on your behalf. I think you are handling it really well, though.

Keely said...

I remember getting in the cab after I got one and the driver said "Is that to help you breathe?" and I just said yes. I was in no mood to enlighten anyone...

I like what bananas said. Nobody asks "Why are you in a wheelchair?" Seriously.

At least you have long hair. :) You can style it over the tube. I had a "pixie cut" and looked like an ugly boy with a tube that was non-coverable.

Em said...

Brie- see comment from previous post about how fabulous I think you look. Remember the whole "brave spot" thing with Claire last summer? Maybe you could just tell people it's a "brave tube." Then just move on like they should of course know what a brave tube is. Anyone who's pea-brained enough to ask you such a personal question deserves a preschool-level answer. And it is a brave tube. You're one plucky, courageous girl for sticking with this.

Samantha Kay said...

I'm a great fighter...
I can break some faces for you.
If you want.
It sure would help me relieve some of my own anger issues over ridiculously stupid people.

Erin said...

Ack! Brie, please don't talk about pulling out the tube anymore. I have seen too many of those things yoinked out and nothing gets my gag reflex going more than seing that. I'm getting dry heaves just thinking about it.
PS You are hilarious and awesome and I am glad you've turned turned a corner with ED recovery.
PPS I hope it doesn't secretly bug you that I read your blog, but you crack me up and make me laugh and make me cry and I can't stop reading. :)

Lindsay said...

I vote yes for the "tube bangles." :)

allegri said...

This is just hilarious! People can be so rude! I agree with strangling them with it... I am proud of you for sticking with it, I know you can do it!!!

Devon said...

I like the view Marste took - coy, confused, and conniving...in a fabulous way. ;)

brie said...

Haha - thanks for all the empathy and ideas everyone. I shall put them to use!

Steph said...

I'm a big fan of answering uncomfortable and inappropriate questions with an equally uncomfortable and inappropriate response. For example if you are inconsiderate enough to ask such questions you might get one of the following responses.
1. I had an abortion AGAIN and they make me have this tube to help me refrain from sex.
2. I have a brain tumor and this tube helps with the tourette’s (followed by many, many inappropriate words).
3. I've been arrested numerous times and this is the tracking device they make me wear. It sends shocks of pain to my brain if I go outside of my approved area.

Just a few suggestions that might help. Enjoy!

brie said...

holy schmoly steph you just had me roaring!!

Steph said...

Try it next time. I bet they will never ask again! :)

allegri said...

Steph those are the BEST responses ever!! I am going to use them somehow in my life! haha

Just That ZombieGrrl said...

I'm ridiculously blunt and inappropriate, so if I didn't know anyone with a tube and saw one for the first time, I'd probably blurt out "Does it hurt?" (from a concerned perspective, not a shaming one).

Here's an idea -- next time someone asks you something you don't like, tell them, "Actually, I'm slowly turning into a zombie and this prevents me from eating people's brains. But, if you're really curious, I could remove it and eat your brain to show you what happens."

*hugs*

nurse122705 said...

I think it's normal for anybody to be curious about it. If I were not a nurse, I would be. I mean your a beautiful young woman with a tube in your nose... so thats not an ordinary occurrence.

Im surprised people are brazen enough to outright guess what it is. I guess since it's on your face in plain view they assume it's fair game. Take it as a compliment that people find you so personable they are comfortable guessing your serious medical condition. People aren't afraid they will offend you because I'm sure you come off as having a wonderful sense of humor, like your blog radiates.

People really only know medical equipment that's on T.V. I have seen very few feeding tubes on Grey's & House.

Anyway my response is kinda Debbie Downer compared to all the funny things everybody else said
<3 Jess