juicy

\’so is the hospital food as bad as people say?\’ asked my friend innocently. i felt my heart stop for half a second. i was speechless (ok even if i wanted to say something, i couldnt. but i didnt know whether to look up for yes or down for no). i realized i hadnt eaten or drank anything for weeks! how was i stilll alive? and then i remembered , my PEG tube. i hated the idea that i had one, but right now, it was keeping me alive. it was basically a tube connected from my stomach to the outside world through which i would get my medications, water, and these milkshake like drinks that served as my meals. a few weeks later when i could open my mouth a little, i started practicing swallowing, which sounds easy, but it was pretty hard for me. my speech therapist, emily, started me with lemon swabs. they just tasted like lemon and stimulated random swallows. and then we tried lollipops! strawberry-flavored, simply delicious. then, to increase my swallowing coordination and swallowing strength, i started getting electrical stimulation on my throat muscles. uncomfortable? definitely. but i got used to it because i had to do it everyday for an hour for 14 days. but with the e-stim on, i could actually try swallowing liquids! so we moved onto big things – diet coke! we had to add this starch like powder to thicken it a bit which ruined the taste a bit, but it was still DIET COKE! (because thick liquids are easier to swallow than thin liquids, like water). i remember that first sip that teased my palate and glazed my throat, was the first drop of liquid to tickle my throat in weeks. it was unreal. after i completed the 14 days, it was time for my \’swallow study\’ which was basically a test to see whether i could swallow different things without \’aspirating\’ – letting any food/liquid go down the wrong way. i didnt realize how big a deal it was, but i will probably remember that day, january 20, forever. first, i tried swallowing \’honey thick\’ liquids, and repeatedly, i swallowed it fine! then we tried \’nectar thick\’ liquids, and to everyones surprise, i swallowed that fine too! we got carried away and decided to try \’thin liquids\’, but i completely aspirated that. finally, we tried a solid (a puree FOOD!), and i handled that fine too!! so i had been approved for \’nectar thick\’ liquids and puree solids! basically i could eat and drink again!! my nurse said, \’wow, that made my day!\’, then my doctor said, \’that made my month!\’, and then emily excitedly yelled, \’that made my career!!!\’ i was ecstatic. but i didnt realize the significance of what just happened until dinnertime that night – i actually received a meal tray! my doctor said if i could finish 75% of my meal, i wouldnt have to have my tube feed. i decided that day would be the LAST day i would ever have a tube feed. though the trays were massive, i had absolutely no appetite, i could only handle tiny bites so each meal would take an hour, eating was exhausting, and i was vegetarian on a puree foods diet (EWWW!), i wanted to do everything in my power to not be fed through a tube again. though my tastes arent normal yet (like i dont have a taste for alcohol yet), i was one step closer to singing with biggie, \’birthdays were the worst days, now we sip champagne when we thirstay!\’

42 thoughts on “juicy

  1. wow this really made my day!! this story is amazing especially when you say, you started from lemon swabs to lollipops to diet cokes to ended up with actual foods!!! for me, I just can't imagine how all of those foods and drinks tasted like!! but I really want to know how your very first meal tasted like, and the very first food that you just fell in loved with!!

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  2. After not eating for weeks, being able to eat again (even if it is pureed) must have been heavenly ! Food is such a big part of life and to be without that for so long had to be hard. After reading your story I am inspired and I wish you the best of luck on your road to recovery. πŸ™‚

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  3. It must have been heart warming to see the joy on the faces of your nurse and doctor while you took that first bite. Knowing that you are not alone during difficult times will always give you a boost of confidence. Stay strong and take care.

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  4. Eating solid food must have been the greatest thing since your accident. As your progress , it is little things like these which make your day and raise your self esteem. You must have been ecstatic the moment you went from lemon swabs to lollipops to thick liquids. After reading your story, I urge you to move on to bigger things and I hope for the best.

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  5. It's always a challenge to recover from such a major incident in your life! I think you are very brave and strong and its inspiring to know that you are confronting your problem with such determination to get better. It's great to know that your treatment is progressing and I am praying for your speedy recovery! πŸ™‚

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  6. All I can say is, wow. you are one amazing person for the way you handled that situation. I actually also had a friend who suffered with your condition and who also lived to tell her story. It is incredible how strong you both are. I can never see myself not being able to taste all these amazing foods the way you did. You are truly inspiring with the strength you had to move on from the tube to real food. I wish you the best of luck.

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  7. This is very inspirational. That first taste of 'real' food must have been extraordinary as well as emotional. Congradulations on your recovery as well as being one of the 15% of people to survive this. Continue to be strong on your road of a full recovery. Take care and hope for the best.

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  8. wow. You were so strong through your hard times and succeeded in eating real food again. I'm sure eating real food and drinking allowed you to be even more determined to be fully recovered. If I were you I don't really know how I would have handled it but after reading what you wrote you inspired me to work really hard in anything I want. Thanks for the very inspirational story & I wish you all the best !

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  9. It's really great to read about how determined you were to recover from something that a majority of the people in your situation aren't able to. When you accomplished the consumption of puree food, you didn't only satisfy yourself, but everyone around you. Some people in your situation could have been bitter and not progressed at all, but it shows how strong of a person you are to have been able to overcome this obstacle. It makes me think if the 15% recovery rate consists of optimistic people like yourself, and the 85% was just made up of sad, less-determined people. Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story. Kudos!

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  10. Wow, while reading this, I could not help but realize how hard it must have been not being able to taste foods over a long period of time. I used to work in the hospital and I witnessed a nurse putting in a PEG tube and it was not easy to watch, so I can only imagine how that must have felt. If I were you I do not think I would have even let them put that it even though you needed it to get your liquids and medications. You are a very strong person and this story is truly inspirational to others to make them never give up in something they want accomplished. Your story also made me appreciate my taste buds too! Take care. πŸ™‚

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  11. How good it must feel to have some taste back in your mouth. I woud like to wish you the best of luck on yor recovery. I will keep you in my prayers and I'm looking forward to reading your blog about your road to recovery.

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  12. Your story is very inspirational because most people if handed your situation would just lose it.It is great that you were finally able to eat solid food again and that was your motivation.People like you make strive harder to become a nurse and dedicate my life to help others.Wish you all the best

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  13. Wow, going through all these must be tough, but it will make you stronger and value what you have and the people around you more.I enjoy reading your posts. In the post \”if these eyes could talk\”, you mentioned how you wish you can trade position with the janitor or the nurse, I can totally understand you. Back in 8th grade, my ankle got fractured from ice skating and I had a long and heavy cast on my right ankle, so I had to get home schooling and go to check-ups regularly. While I was laying in my bed, waiting for my friend to come to my house after school, I was thinking the whole time what they would be doing at this time and what class they should have at that time. Laying in bed with not much to do, I stared at the empty wall and wish I can trade position with someone and let me be the one in class suffering with lectures and waiting for school to be over so I can 'walk' home with my friends. But what I went through is nothing compare to your 'stroke of luck'. Glad to see that you are on your recovering road! Stay Strong!!

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  14. It is great to see how determined you were at such a difficult time. You are truly an inspiration for all people. When you consumed puree food for the first time, you proved to not only yourself, but to those with you that anything is possible. With a positive outlook and detemined mind-set, you can overcome any obstacle. Your courage is inspiring! I am glad to see that you are on the road to recovery and wish you the best of luck. Praying for a speedy recovery! Stay strong!- Jenniffer

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  15. Wow, being able to eat on your own after so long must have felt like the greatest accomplishment. I hate soda but i can only imagine how happy i would be to taste some after not being able to taste anything for so long. I can't even go a whole day without eating, let alone weeks. Some people would have felt defeated by this ordeal but you didn't. I wish you the best of luck on your road to full recovery.-Farah Fanfan

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  16. I think it is very admirable how determined you were to have the feeding tube removed!I can only imagine the feelings you experienced after tasting food/drink after so long!Your story is truly inspirational and I wish you all the best and speed recovery!-Robin

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  17. I love how you were so strong minded about the whole situation. Most would crumble and give up, i respect you for that! During this terrible experience how did it feel, not being able to maneuver around as you once did like what was going through your mind??

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  18. Everything you went through must have been hard. If it were me, I don't know how I would have handled it. I'm a strong person but all that you went through it might have been too much for me. I respect you for not giving up and you give people encouragement that they can overcome their problems as well no matter how big they are.

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  19. I like how strong and determined you were to make it through the eating process. Your story reminded me of a show a watched about 2 girls being kidnapped and how they didn’t want to be those girls they seen missing on the news. You didn’t want to eat from a tube the rest of your life so you were determined to basically win. I never heard of a story like your until Professer Punjabi told us about it in class. How exactly did they give you food through the tube? Like was it blended up in a blender, or just liquid?Also do you eat like McDonalds or Red Lobster now? I dont think I could live without Red Lobster. πŸ™‚

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  20. Wow your story is truly amazing. Food is my life i dont know what i would do without being able to taste it for months. I love how upbeat you are even though this must be a very difficult time in your life. Way to stay positive and I hope your good fortunes continue!!! πŸ˜€

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  21. Your pure will to believe that you would not remain in that state, is inspiring…people live most of their lives without their will power ever being tested. Im glad to hear that you made it to the other side; triumphant and stronger than ever before. Now you can truly say your \”Livin life without fear\” (Biggie)

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  22. Hi I thought this blog was awesome, i glad you got over your stoke and didn't give up your a survivor. I can't imagine what you even you though you written it in your beautiful words.God Bless you hope things are better for you in the future.Your Truly Cory Williams

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  23. There is always a great feeling of accomplishment and happiness when you are finally able to do something again. Your story is really inspiring, and your detail makes me feel almost as if I am living through the same thing. It is truly wonderful that you've managed to get better! Best wishes,Daniel Najib

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  24. Hi, It is unbelievable to realize all the things you have been through. I really admire you for all the positive attitude and determination you have had through all these process. I can imagine how you felt when taking a big step on finally swallowing food.I know you are very proud of yourself. You are an inspiration to many people. Hope you get better each day. God bless you and keep doing a great job. Wish you the best.Sincerely, Jeannette Hanon.

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  25. Thanks to people like you who decide to tell their story \”we\” (the healthy-wealthy people) are going trough a real moment of truth. Thank you for sharing your story. You became one of those people who take me out of the routine of living and remind me about the beauty of life.

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  26. You are truly an inspirational person. I love your sense of humor and personality already!!!!! In your article you are sending out a message to many health people. You are showing us to value the small things in life such as DIET COKE. To us diet coke is something we see and drink everyday but to you its a high commodity. Thanks for the realization. I LOVE THIS ARTICLE!!! You’re so determined and strong keep it up.

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  27. Thank you for posting this. This shows how we are truly bless with what we have. It helps remind people to not take advantage of their taste buds. Stay strong.

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  28. Reading this made me realize that even the simplest things in life shouldn't be taken for granted. I can tell you're a very strong person. Thank you for sharing your amazing story. I wish you all the best!

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  29. Wow. Thank you for sharing your story with me. It made me realize how i take such \”simple\” things like swallowing for granted and how i should be truly thankful for my health. Keep up the good work and make everyone proud πŸ™‚

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  30. Nahida said…Wow I give props to you because you were being feed by a tube for so long and you did not give up. I am really happy to read that you can eat normally again and wish you all the best.

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  31. This was truly and inspirational and touching story! It has opened my eyes to how we take for granted every single thing that we have, down to the most simplest of things, such as our sense of taste and the simple act of swallowing. The sad truth is that it takes only one major tragedy in order for us to realize how life is a blessing. I have always believed in cherishing every moment and aspect of my life because, lets face it, life is ephemeral. Your story has not only strengthened my belief but has shown me how one person can will themselves to do the impossible! I thank you for inspiring me to become a stronger person and to not be afraid to tackle and conquer my daily struggles. There will be many more hardships in your life but I know deep down that you are the kind of person who will not give up and will do what it takes to pull through! God Bless,Ellen C.

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  32. its amazing to have gone what you have gone through and still have a wonderful sense of humor. i find myself reading your blog over and over to find those little lines of humor. it puts things in perpective that things arent as bad as they seem even when they are.

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  33. Outstanding. Your determination moved me. Not much I know would try and continue their lives, knowing there's a problem. But you changed that for anyone with a similar problem or any different. I'm really proud of you. Keep that determination going! Naomi D.

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