Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My g-tube and I

I often think about how the only reason I'm surviving now is because of all the advancements of medical technology. It's beyond the normal "I would have died if I had caught the flu! Thanks modern medicine!"
1534906_1376935339290368_2216797908410761634_oI think of all the medical procedures I get each year to keep by body functioning and healthy. I get sinus surgery done every year to remove my sinus polyps and bronchoscopy one to twice a year to keep my lungs somewhat clear of mucus. Even without these two procedures alone, I would lead a
miserable, painful life. But I always think about my feeding tube. Which hasn't become a medical necessity for me until recently.
I can't consume the amount of calories I need to keep my body functioning. Not even close. Not even close when I try my hardest. Not even close when I eat until I'm completely nauseated, take some anti-nausea medication and eat more. So I have a feeding tube, specifically a g-tube.
I love my g-tube. It has benefited me in so many ways and has taken off a huge amount of stress about eating. I'll be honest, my stomach was originally not happy being forced down food in the middle of the night. But month by month, it tolerated it more until it no longer bothered my stomach.
You would think I would gain all this weight being feed 1500 calories at night. And initially did. I went from 95 pounds to 110 pounds in a few months. But soon I hit a road block in my weight, and started to very gradually lose weight. All my doctors could say was, "you need more calories."
I was tracking what I ate; I tried to make sure I was eating at least three meals a day, no matter how small. But no matter what creative solution I thought of to eat more, to eat more calories, it wasn't enough.
I had a doctor recommend to me doing another feed during the day. While I wasn't opposed to the idea (okay I was a little opposed), it wasn't realistic. I don't have 4 hours to waste sitting on my bed being fed. We agreed on drinking an additional high calorie supplement during the day for the extra 375 calories.
I quickly realized with the amount I'm eating, that extra 375 wasn't going to be enough. My goal is too consume 3000 calories a day. 1500 through my night feed and 1500 through eating food.  Even though I've worked on consuming high calorie food, I just eat too little to hit the 1500 mark. It's beyond frustrating.
I came with a plan to do a small feed in the late morning, early afternoon time frame. 500ml of formula at a rate of 400 means I'm getting 750 calories in a span of a hour and 15 minutes. Which is highly doable. That is very rapid speed to be given formula at; again, my stomach will not be happy. But hopefully it adjusts because I cannot consume my calories  any other way than with the assistance of my g-tube.
I'll be honest, it slightly dehumanizes me. The fact that I cannot consume enough food for my body to function and need the assistance of a machine. But it is also very humbling. I can live my life as a "normal" person in society because of this simple little machine. So rather than loathing my body and g-tube for putting me in such a predicament, I embrace it. I do have a have a life threatening medical disease, but with these (very cool) medical advancements, it is not so life threatening. More like... life inconvenient.
At the end of the day, I can still eat and enjoy my normal foods throughout the day and just have my old pal, g-tube, assist me along the way.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Instagram Detox

Any one of my friends will say that I'm obsessed with taking photos. While I use to carry my DSLR with me almost at all times, I have grown more fond of the camera on my iPhone.

With the Instagram being all about photos, this grew into being my favorite app.

Everyone who is on Instagram seems to be obsessed with becoming "Instafamous" and how many likes on photos they would receive. People would think of countless ways of how to gain followers (my little brother included) and do almost anything to get those follows; which included annoying amounts of unnecessary hashtags that I used to "do" as a joke.

But these reasons above weren't and never were the reason I had my Instagram.

I saw Instagram as a way to scrapbook my life (and stop spamming people on my Facebook with photos). I would put a few hashtags relevant to my picture, but that was it. The hashtags were more for me to find people with similar interests, not to gain followers. I could honestly care less about followers. My Instagram consisted of mostly people I knew and I only followed people I knew in person. It was just another was to document my life and keep in touch with fellow friends.

But, I've recently deleted my Instagram.

And this was more multiple reasons. But biggest one might be shocking to a lot of people.

I deleted it because seeing everyone else Instagram made me feel self conscious about myself. I've always had a bad habit of comparing myself to other. And I see these beautiful pictures of other girls and it wears on my self esteem. Even though in my head I understand that most of these pictures are probably edited, taken in perfect lighting, and hundreds of photos previously were taken, my brain still doesn't see that. It wore on my self esteem that I was trying to bring up.

Other minor things that contributed to the deletion of my Instagram was that none of my friends actually use Instagram. All of them are rather introverted, so posting pictures...rarely happens. So I actually only see a few pictures of the same few people on my feed.

Another thing was, do I really care anymore? I'm still gonna post my pictures on Facebook and the people that I care about will see them. My Instagram posting was already dwindling to once a week because I simply didn't care for posting about my life constantly. I actually liked that my life was private. I actually didn't want people always knowing what I was doing. Because that really wasn't important to me anymore.

So I deleted my account. I've honestly haven't had any "withdrawal" symptoms. I'm growing as a person and I'm getting over the whole "post my whole life on social media" phase. And maybe it's not a phase for others and that is totally cool. But for me, I'm enjoying having my life set on private mode.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

School Stress

This semester has been crazy with school.

Managing stress, being sick, and a sinus surgery all in a mere semester is making me pull out my hair. My biggest worry at the moment is passing all my classes. Two of my classes I could possibly get a B, but to be honest, I just need to pass.

I've missed a lot of school this semester and my grades are suffering big time. I had two exams this week and studied my butt off. One of them didn't go so well, but hopefully my essay brings up my grade. I'm still waiting for a score on my other exam. But my professor in one of my anthropology classes has offered to let me make up my missed quiz and one of my missed assignments, which is going to be a life savor for me.

I can't wait for summer and a break from school. Next semester is going to be more intense so I'm trying to transfer.

For now, a well deserved break from school. Gonna play the Sims 4 until I pass out on my bed!