Saturday, February 15, 2014

Can't Keep Me Down

     This Monday is going to be a big day for me as I'm scheduled to have a new long-term feeding tube placed. It's called a GJ (Gastrostomy-Jejunostomy) Tube. For those who don't know, I currently have a NJ (Nasal Jejunal) feeding tube that goes through my nose, down my throat, past my stomach and into a portion of my intestines to deliver a special formula that gives me the nutrition I need to live but can't take in orally. This new tube will have the same function, but will be placed directly through my abdomen wall with a portion of the tube in my stomach and the rest continuing into my intestines.


      I'm not going to lie, this is all a bit scary and overwhelming. I went for a consult with my surgeon earlier this week and when he pulled the tube out to show me what it would look like I couldn't help crying because at that moment it became so REAL. "I'm going to have that TUBE in MY belly." It's hard to acknowledge some days that this is really my life. Growing up I had so many plans for my life, and this was never one of them. I've realized though that sometimes it's ok to allow myself to just be sad, it's staying there that causes a problem so here's my list of positives about my situation to help put all those fears and sadness on the shelf for now:
1) No more sore throat and nose bleeds.
2) While I'm in the hospital I can order all the free Schweppes ginger ale and applesauce as my tummy can handle! I mean come on, who doesn't like free stuff.
3) I'll get to spend my recovery watching movies and being waited on hand and foot. Just call me Princess Simon'e =)
4) While surfing the internet yesterday I saw a list of positive things about feeding tubes and one of them was that after this surgery I will have two "belly buttons" because some of the tubes are called buttons. Not many people can say that hahaha.
5) I have a surgeon that I love and who has taken every step he can to put me at ease and keep me comfortable during my hospital stay. Finding doctors who have my best interest at heart and go out of their way to give the best treatment hasn't been quick or easy, but each disappointing doctor has shown me what I don't want and lead me to a better replacement.
6) This tube will help keep me alive. I think this alone makes getting my new tube totally worth it. My life may not be all that I planned yet, but it's still worth living for and every day I get to spend with my family and friends is a blessing.

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