Thursday, April 10, 2014

All You Can Eat

"Please slide your shoes off and step over here."

No, we are not going through the security checkpoint at the airport.  We are in the doctors office getting ready to step on the scale.  

As I step on the scale I hold my breath, hoping that the number is at least the same as last time if not higher.  I know what you're thinking, "she's crazy." 

While the last comment is debatable, the constant battle to gain weight is endless. Cystic Fibrosis causes thick mucus to block the ducts of the pancreas, preventing digestive enzymes to assist in digestion.  What does this mean? It means my body can't process or absorb nutrients properly, especially fats. 

Pancreatic Enzymes
Number of Enzymes I take in a day.
Thank God for these little pills that work to digest my food: I would be so miserable without them.  Enzymes need to be taken anytime I eat.  


Because the most basic of daily tasks such as breathing take more energy, and because nutrients are not well absorbed, a high calorie diet is an essential part of life for someone with CF. Or as I like to call it, the "All You Can Eat" diet.   A higher body weight is linked to better lung function, and the ability to fight infection. The signs of a lung infection are decreased appetite and weight loss.

Buffet Anyone?
You're thinking, "that sounds awesome. All you can eat? Sign me up."  Sadly, it's not that simple.  At times the last thing I want to do is eat.  Why? Because having a full stomach makes breathing difficult: it pushes against the lungs limiting the amount of room the lungs have to expand for inhalation. Also, because of the complications with the digestive system and because of chronic coughing, CF causes severe acid reflux.  Affected Breathing? Acid reflux? Digestive complications? Bring it on. I'll take fries with that, please. Wait, make that cheese balls [they're higher in calorie content].

I am constantly aware of how I can simply add a few calories here and there, knowing I have to keep eating to stay as healthy as possible.  In the last year and half I have lost about 15 lbs.  I have gained just a couple pounds back, but it is a constant battle between losing and gaining.  In the world of CF a single pound in either direction can mean a lot.  

Those extra pounds you wish you could rid yourself of when you look in the mirror? Embrace them and be thankful for every one of them. They're beautiful.  Love to you all. 

Treat yourself today.  

Want to order those cheese balls? Do it and eat one for me. 


  1. Ashley currently holds the record for most sno-cone intake in a day at the O'Brien Co Fair. Love you, Ash!

  2. "All you can eat" diet plan. I'm stealing that phrase for our household! Thank you for the reminder of embracing every pound. Now, if I can just remember that the "all you can eat" diet is for my girls, and not necessarily for me. :)

    1. I hope it works in your house! It's such a hard balance in a CF household between making sure there are lots of rich foods for your girls, and foods that are good for your husband and you! What I need to be eating and what my husband needs to be eating sometimes are two different things! ha!