Thanks to the amazing Michaela Shelley for yet another great Feeding Tube Awareness Week video this year!
Haha, oh my. Throwback to September of 2015! This is just me being ridiculous. But watching this video today, all I can think is wow, I’ve gained so much weight! Definitely look a lot healthier now. Thank you, feeding tube!
I am scheduled to take my Medical Terminology final exam today, so doing the procedure without any sedation! Definitely not excited for the procedure (last time was really painful), but l am certainly looking forward to leaving here with a brand new, clean, fully-functioning tube! Trying to study prefixes and suffixes for the exam and not let my nerves get the best of me. Hoping all goes smoothly!
Guess who now weighs 119 lbs?? This girl!! Wow. I haven’t weighed this much in years. None of my pants fit anymore!! But hey, I’m not complaining…that is a great problem to have. I’ve been working so hard to get to this point. I’ve had this feeding tube for 9 months now, and it has slowly but surely given me my life back. So thankful!
A sweet spoonie sister, Michaela, made this awesome video for Feeding Tube Awareness Week! This is my fight song.. 🙂
When someone sees or hears about my feeding tube for the first time, I tend to get a lot of questions like,
“What is that?”
“Are you okay?”
Sometimes I also get the question, “Are you recovering from an eating disorder?”
When I answer no, I get reactions such as:
“Phew! I was afraid you were one of those girls trying to starve themselves!”
“Oh, so you actually have a problem. You have a real illness.”
I know they are probably well-meaning, but I cannot help but cringe a bit at their response.
I myself have never suffered from an eating disorder. However, I have had my struggles with major depression, and let me assure you: mental illness is a big deal. To constantly battle your own mind is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It’s isolating, painful, and absolutely exhausting.
I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it must be to respond to the questions I’ve gotten while actually having a mental illness like an eating disorder. People have gone as far as apologizing for making an assumption about my tube, as if the very idea of having a mental illness should disgust me. No wonder people are so afraid to seek help…
The mental illness stigma in our society needs to change. An eating disorder isn’t simply a girl or boy who wants to look like a model. Depression is so much more than being sad. I have watched mental illness destroy the lives of dear friends and tear apart my own family, physically and emotionally. It’s very real, very serious, and much more common than some like to think…
No, I do not and have never had an eating disorder. My feeding tube was placed because of severe autonomic dysfunction and a paralyzed GI tract, and while my tube can drive me crazy at times, I am not one bit ashamed of the thing helping to keep me alive. But those in treatment for mental illness should not be ashamed either. As a matter of fact, they should be proud of the courage it took to seek out that help! The only people who need to be ashamed are the ones who have the audacity to belittle someone else’s fight.
Oh, my dangling companion
Precious link to my jejunum
Once enemies, now my closest confidant
How I appreciate your friendship
Your quirks, clogs, spills and drips–
I’ve grown to love them all
Tube that makes me normal,
Tube that sets me apart.
Sustainer of life, my ticket to the future
Proudly protruding from my abdomen
Durable through the constant tug-of-war
Between inside and outside
Illness and wellness
Life and death
Warrior, bypassing paralyzed organs
Knight in plastic armour
Surpassing the traitors within
Reminder of a winding journey of ups and downs
Pain and triumph
Sign of strength yet revealer of weakness
Thank you for your service, you beautiful little paradox
(Written for ENG 289…lol)