The daily quest to gain weight

The Coolest Medical Procedure I’ve Ever Had

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series The History of Fatboy

Surgical TrayWe, as CFers, are no strangers to uncomfortable, if not horrible, medical procedures. Enemas, enteroclysis, PICC lines, central ports, and a slew of sinus surgeries. Today, I get to share with you the coolest procedure I’ve ever had done to me.

I can remember having issues with my meconium ileus scar getting infected since the 7th grade or so. Over on the left side was a dot of a hole on each side of the scar, as if I’d had my belly pierced. I often wondered if I could thread a paperclip from one side to the other. Every month or two, I’d notice it start to turn red, puff out, and then become a pussy mess that I could squeeze clean over the course of a few days. It happened without fail.

After this had gone on for years (I think I was 18 or 19), I finally decided I’d had enough of this and decided it warranted going to my primary care doctor to look at it. I was still going to a pediatric doctor since I hadn’t transitioned both my CF and non-CF care to adult services, so this may have been one of the coolest thing she had ever done.

[Read more…]

The History of Fatboy – The Beautiful Years

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series The History of Fatboy

The CoupleThere she is. The woman who saved me from myself. Words cannot express how she has changed my life, however, as a degree-bearing professional writer, I will give it a shot.

I’d known of Beautiful for a couple of years. Their family started going to our church when she was 16. The oldest of their children, she moved from one end of the country (California) to Tampa at the same age as I did. She didn’t have eyes for me, though.  To shorten the weirdness portion of our history, I was laid off in February, 2002 and got a great new job working outside in May. I had money again, and over the summer, she decided to hitch her trailer to mine. To this day, I’m still amazed.

So were her parents. She was just 18 and the whole dating thing hadn’t been discussed and came as a surprise. Eight years later, we can look back and make fun of some of it, and others we let be water under the bridge. All is good now. Gooder than fine, actually. Holidays, no problem. Family vacations, easy. We all like each other like family – like family should.

But, you can see why there were some problems when you look back at the Unfortunate Years. I was not well. I knew my potential, but that wasn’t what I was showing the world. I was showing the world: loser. Loser of epic proportions. Putting oneself in her dad’s shoes, I must have been a creep. She was lots of fun to hang out with, but we all know that can’t last forever. It goes somewhere or it goes away. It went somewhere. To this day, I’m still amazed.

[Read more…]

The History of Fatboy – The Unfortunate Years

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series The History of Fatboy

No, I didn't smoke, but this was my attitude.

Thankfully, it’s not just me. It happens to a lot of CFers. High school is done. Some go on to college, others don’t. Now what? Without a full-time job with benefits, you’re basically a medical insurance dependent of your parents, but that is supposed to run out at 22 or 25, depending on your state’s laws.

I lived at home and commuted to USF 5 days a week for my first semester. I failed one class because I missed the final exam because I didn’t read the exam matrix right. The next semester was a recovery semester to make up that grade and take easier classes. I did much better, but got a D in Chemistry II, leading to a change in majors. I realized I was not going to cut it as a pre-medical student if I couldn’t handle Chem 2. My scholarship got knocked down to 75% tuition, no books, and I was booted from the Honors Program.

Now in Management Information Sciences, I started the third semester out with renewed vigor, but ended with an F in Accounting and a D in Macro-economics. What the heck! I’d NEVER had this much trouble in school before. Maybe I wasn’t the genius I thought I was. We will find out in Part 3 what the problem was, but not yet. It was time to move on and get a job if I wasn’t going to cut it in college.

[Read more…]

The History of Fatboy – The Formative Years

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series The History of Fatboy

I’ve been “meeting” so many new CFers on Twitter since starting this site and coming to terms after 31 years that I am different. Enough occasions have popped up where 140 characters just doesn’t cut it, nor would 6 tweets strung together into a micro-story. This series is for you, my new readers, new friends, and those who haven’t been around me my whole life. Sit back, relax, and take a walk. This segment isn’t the happiest ever written, nor will the next, but you’ll love the last one – as this one is a great trilogy.

Fatbaby in the incubator after surgeryAny time I’m asked, “do you have any brothers or sisters?” I always take the easy road with a negative answer. While it’s quite true, as you can’t call them up or hang out, it wasn’t always the case. You see, I am the second-born. I was the one with meconium ileus, immediately indicating that something was wrong with me… “better check the first one now” I can only imagine was the thinking of the doctors as it all started to dawn on them around Christmas week 1978 that CF came in a pair.

My sister, Rachel, was born 18 months prior, and was always a thin girl from all accounts and photos. Despite my very, very rough start with my digestion issues, but ended up being quite the porker of a toddler. Not much is said about the end, though I know I spent a LOT of time at my grandparents’ house while she was in and out of the hospital dozens of times in the end, sometimes only being out for a few days at a time. It’s not discussed frankly for several reasons:

  • They say the hardest thing you can do in your life is bury your child. I don’t like making them remember one more time than they have to, so I don’t ask – I only know what I’ve overheard over the years, and that’s how I’ve coped for 31 years. I really can’t afford to go back to my therapist at the moment, so let’s keep it like that.
  • I have only known being an only child in every perceivable aspect of my life other than family photos and a sad mom on St. Patrick’s Day (Rachel’s birthday).
  • I don’t want to think about “the end.” I’ve heard how much suffering she had in her last months, let alone last weeks and days. I simply don’t want to think about that because the way my willpower works over these negative things that can creep into our lives is to deny their existence. Yes, it can happen, but it won’t. It must not happen now.

[Read more…]