Monthly Archives: April 2012

Facing Reality

My nonexistant readers… at least I consistently neglect you… right? That counts for something I think.

Since last post, I managed to get myself another line infection. I knew I was in trouble after my week of exams… I spread myself way too thin trying to get everything made up, and then worked a comp. I had hoped the weekend would let me recoup and get on with my life, but its not always that easy. I felt pretty crappy that whole weekend, and was not feeling right at the beginning of the week either. Wednesday I started to feel more off than usual, and thats when my temp started rising. Conveniently, the next afternoon was my Ornithology lab final. I watched my temp but kept studying. Thursday morning was bad. I got myself together enough to go to my test though, running a temp in the 99.9-100.3 range… high for me. Happy to report I still got a pretty good grade :). Anyway. That night my temp got up to 101.5, which is about a full degree above the range I am supposed to get admitted for. Made the trek down to Fort Collins and spent a few hours in the ER. Becuase my temp wasnt too bad once I got down there (that always happens), they discussed letting me go home and watching my cultures. My heart rate was being annoying though… chilled in the 130 range while I was laying down with a low BP, and they couldnt get it to drop. One of the initial signs of bacteremia, apparently. So they carted me up to my room and I settled in. Lo and behold, the cultures grew. The next night I spiked a fever. Good thing I went in. Went through the whole process and was finally relseased late Tuesday night. I was very lucky this trip though… I had two eos friends visit! It was pretty great to be able to talk to people besides my nurses… and it was great to meet some of my ‘online friends’ in real life.

Hmm… other health stuff… They decided to let me keep my line for now, but we will have a serious discussion if the vanco doesnt clear it on repeat cultures next week. I also got to add some foods back recently… that backfired. Im reacting to something, but I dont know what. Dr. P decided I should go back to no food til my symptoms clear. Lame. So after taking the end of last week to recover, I finally made it back to classes this morning… where I had a few realizations. First, if I dont make it to class, no matter how much I love the material and know it, I cannot get as good of grades as I want… even if its just a exam based class. This is pretty frustrating. Youd think after high school, I would be used to it. I guess I had hoped college would be my fresh start… that Id finally have grades to match my ability. This is where the second one comes in. I need to be okay with the fact that it may never happen. I wont stop challenging myself, and you bet Ill learn the material, but it wont always be by the time I have to take the exam. I might not ever have good class attendance. Thats just how it is. I will try my best, but my willpower can only push me so far. I cant beat myself up over that. Thats what gets me sometimes. When I start brewing big ideas like I all too often tend to do, its pretty frustrating to have to stop and think: but can I actually do that?

The reality of the situation is that I still want more from my days than I am physically able to do. The question becomes: do I accept it or fight it? I want to go to school everyday with a large class load, climb after, and still have the energy to wake up the next morning. Even just make it through a full day of classes without getting more sick. Is that really too much to ask?
I mean, I guess I should know thats just how it is. Its not like it was much better in high school, ask the administration… my attendance was less than stellar. I wasnt so dead though. Or at least it didnt feel that way.

——–

Stepping back. Most of you, nonexistant people, are probably familiar with the feeding tube diet craziness. For those of you who dont, Ill give a quick recap. Theres a doctor in Florida who is helping women drop 10-20 pounds by inserting an NG (nasogatric) feeding tube and keeping them on a continuous feed of minimal calories for 10 days. There has been some outrage in the feeding tube community, for a number of reasons. As a 19 year old girl with a tube, I thought I would share the reasons this frustrates me, as people have asked me many times.
I dont have a problem with this story being reported. It was ridiculous and that seems to be most of what the news is now a days. What does bother me is that there is no mention of the real uses for feeding tubes, really. Having feeding tubes, especially nasal feeding tubes, nationally publicized as a crazy weight loss fad only helps perpetuate a negative stigma of feeding tubes… especially in young adult women like myself. I had a difficult enough time walking around a college campus with my NG tube, and that was a year ago. I cant imagine how many more stares, snickers, and comments I would have gotten if my peers had seen a video on those tubes being used for weight loss.
Another major part of it is that there are many families I know who have had to fight their doctors to get their child, or themselves, a tube… and thats when its medically necessary! Now that this ridiculous option  has been aired, I can only imagine that people are going to wind up having to fight their doctors even more.
Then there is the flip side… the outrage within the tube community has possibly swung too far in the other direction. Yes its important for people to know that feeding tubes are a medically necessary, less than desirable intervention, but all the tube horror stories do not help our case either. Yes, I wish I didnt have to have a feeding tube, but really? I love that I have it. Given my situation, it is something that helps me, not something that I am forced to suffer through having. I have had a few people message me, freaked out at the possibility of having to get a tube placed, given all the traumatic experiences that have been shared. I dont think we should be trying to scare people away from tubes… its important to use this opportunity to get positive attention for their use, when necessary, and the very positive impact they have for so many people. And hey, I think I looked pretty good with my NG tube.

Ill end my rantings there for today. Tomorrow, Im going down with my new eos friend to meet up with the Colorado Eos group. Its always nice to spend time with people who just get it. There are two weeks of school left. Im ready for summer. Im ready for rest, for warm weather, the APFED conference, climbing, being with my family, visiting friends… I hope this is a good one.

————-

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” -Kierkegaard

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized