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10 Basics of Gaining Weight With Cystic Fibrosis

Do you have any tips for me to help me gain weight?

Porking outThis question keeps popping up via my contact form, so I guess it’s time to put my best tips that are spread out in various articles into one place to make it easy. Keep in mind that these are general tips for CFers that are approved for me by my doctors and nutritionist, so please check with your team if there’s anything here contrary to what you’re doing or what you’ve been advised of in the past. Shoot, check with them no matter what, okay?

Having a healthy BMI is crucial to having a healthy lung function. Check out this study summary for a fresh look at how you can turn your life around by gaining weight.

I don’t have CFRD, but I do my very best to keep my sugars as low as I can while still getting enough carbs to help boost my caloric intake some. The overall rule to gaining weight is: bring in more calories than you burn – exactly the opposite rule of losing weight. It’s really more of a second full-time job if you already have one or a first full-time job if you’re in school or on disability – make it a priority.

  1. The first step to to try to find out over the course of a week how many calories it takes to add some weight, any weight, without losing any. You absolutely must be consistent with your liquid intake or you will significantly throw off your calculations with water weight, especially if you’re on a high sodium diet like many of us are. We are probably NOT talking about 2,000-3,000 Calories here. For me to gain weight, I need to pack away 4,000-6,000 Calories per day. You’ll want to use a phone app or spreadsheet to track your intake for accurate numbers.
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I Like Bacon and Peanuts, But Not Together!

Bacon and the BibleKnowing some are allergic to peanuts, everyone likes bacon, right? In my effort to become Fatboy 2.0, I’ve upped the ante on my calorie density, both in the amount of food and the ratio of calories per dollar. Given the amount of money we spent the first time around, I have no interest in that kind of “investment” to reach my new weight goal. Obviously, it’s easier to gain while not fighting an infection, or multiple infections as the case likely was. I’m gaining just about 1 pound per day now, so it’s time to tell you how I’m doing it this time and leave it up to you whether that tickles your taste buds or not. I know Beautiful has no interest to eat what I’m eating now – I remind myself of a pregnant woman with cravings now.

Cravings include: nachos and queso with jalapeño slices, Cajun boiled peanuts by the bowl, fatty bacon, and various frozen entrees.

I can tell you with certainty a couple of things that absolutely pack on weight more efficiently than other things. It’s a very basic cheat sheet for me, so it’s worth trying it yourself if you need to pack on weight and don’t have fat and cholesterol concerns, as we CFers don’t absorb cholesterol the same way as the rest of the population (teeny tiny blessings, eh?).
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Fatboy Does His First Sinus Rinse

For a rundown of my stay at the hospital for my surgery, please visit Beautiful’s site because I won’t be writing about it for another day or so.

Sunday – Checked In
Monday – Recovery
Tuesday – Home at Last

I HATE wet things on my face. What do I hate more than that? Saltwater UP my nose! However, I was so uncomfortable last night, it was time to use my new NeilMedi sinus rinse bottle with Dr. Seper’s recipe for hypertonic saline: 1qt water, 2tsp kosher salt, 1tsp baking soda.

We heated the entire thing for 30 seconds to warm it and put it into the bottle. Now… I didn’t follow the instructions exactly because, well, I just got out of surgery and have stuff in my nose that doesn’t belong to my anatomy that will be removed tomorrow. I didn’t want to waterjet it up or anything, so I squirted gently until I wanted to stop.

A TON of stuff came out, so this video embedded below is censored with back boxes for those of a weak stomach. This is also a site for education, so the full, uncensored version is also available if you click here, but I didn’t want anyone to unexpectedly be exposed to it.

I will be posting more about my weekend, surgery, and recovery over the next few days. Enjoy the video, taken with my iPhone 4. (sorry, but I had the bathroom fan on in case I started screaming, lest I tick off the neighbor)

Sorry, the video had a censored box in the wrong spot… going to re-upload and then it needs to process… AGAIN.

Cystic Fibrosis and Donating Blood

Blood SampleIt appears that I didn’t quite explain the process that I went through to determine if I could donate blood or not. For one, I never used to weigh enough, so I’d only entertain the idea during those times where I’d hit 118 for a day or so and then lose it again.

I called the blood bank first and asked if it was okay if a CFer gave blood and their main concern related to me having CF was whether or not I was on antibiotics. I explained that I go months without IVs and I nebulize an antibiotic every day. She didn’t care about that sort of antibiotic. I followed that up by saying that I was on Zithromax on M/W/F, but I could give blood on Sunday mornings at church. She said it’d be out of my system, so that was fine.

She did advise me to answer “no” to the question about taking antibiotics because it would lead to one of two things:

  • two or three questions that would result in them marking a “no” so the blood is accepted into the system or
  • a denial to give blood that day because the tech is overly cautious.

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