Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gaining with TPN and Finding Purpose

It's actually happening...the numbers are going up, slowly but surely.  The last few days I have held a steady 95 lbs, up 2 lbs from when I started the TPN at 93.  What a strange and unusual feeling to have this happen without pushing myself to eat all day.  Before the flare with the tube troubles last fall, it was no problem to maintain the weight but once it drops, especially this low, it became an impossible and exhausting feat to get it back up.

The first couple of weeks took a lot of getting used to, learning to care and set everything up, with not much change because of the slow start up of calories (only 400 first week).  On Friday, my dietitian started me on 1450 calories/night, completely mind-blowing that this is all by-passing the digestive tract.  The idea that all of those calories and nutrients are being absorbed by the time I wake up, without the bloating and pain of GP and tube feeding, has me in awe.

There is a voice in my head that wants to tell me this isn't right, that it's not real food and how healthy can this possibly be.  It sends me feelings of guilt after completing school to become a health coach, continuing to write about tips for living with GP, sharing recipes and promoting a positive and healthy lifestyle.  But, the truth is, I still LOVE food, I love writing, and I love sharing any knowledge I have gained through the years of struggling and learning.  Despite this crazy weight that I'm at and walking around with a tube in my belly and IV in my upper arm, I wake up with the same drive to find happiness and purpose in my day.  For some of you it might be your children and family, maybe it is a job you are passionate about, a dog wagging it's tail awaiting his/her daily walk.  Maybe you have a garden to start prepping for, a delicious smoothie or comforting cup of morning joe to start the day, a good book to dive into or something special you want to create for yourself or another.  Then again, me included, somedays it could be just waking up and being able to take a few deep breaths, and saying to yourself, "I CAN and WILL get through this."

I'm currently reading an inspiring book by Viktor E. Frankl, A Man's Search for Meaning.  It is about his survival of the concentration camps and how he came to find meaning and purpose in his life, the thread that held him together during the most horrendous times.  His insights have really stuck with me, especially the following quote that I think we can all relate to and hopefully take to heart.

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.  You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you."

Not always an easy task, to control how we respond, especially when living with a chronic illness.  However, I can, without a doubt, say finding purpose has helped me get through it and continue moving forward on this journey.  It is the fuel to my fire, even when the flame is small and barely lit.

What keeps you going and how have you learned to respond to your illness?  Help inspire others by sharing your thoughts below and continue to find that special place in your day to wake up to.

Remember you are not alone on this journey.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful and motivating post, Steph! I am glad to see that you are responding well to the TPN. Take care and find strength in those who love you and wish you well. You are in our hearts and thoughts.