Monday, May 26, 2014

Reality Bites: The Seven Stages of Grief and Life On TPN

For those who are unfamiliar, the seven stages of grief are:

* Shock/Denial
* Pain/Guilt
* Anger/Bargaining
* Depression, Reflection, Loneliness
* The Upward Turn
* Reconstruction & Working Through
* Acceptance and Hope

I want to take the next couple of days and  go into more depth about how the seven stages of grief correlate to me -- personally -- on this road to realizing that...this really is it. Barring some major barriers that if I am able to sidestep that would bare a different outcome, total parenteral nutrition is really the way I currently receive all my nutrition and hydration...

...and that is how my life will be lived out.

Even as I type this, there is a sort of shock. Partially because, as obvious as it may have been to friends who have walked before me on similar paths and had been encouraging for up to six months to just submit to suggestions being offered before me...I honestly never believed that I would end up on TPN. Not after how hellish my experience last spring was, resulting in septic shock.

But as the list evolves at the top, and as I discovered last year to be true, shock is sort of a clumsy catalyst for change. Many people may not observe the shock factor and recognize anger as what drove them to come to terms with and accept their circumstances, and yet more only remember grueling depression and the dramatic upward turn that fueling their success in returning to the land of the living.

For me, I feel as though I started at the top of the latter and fell face first down each of the seven rungs, beating my dopey head again and again to pull my prideful self together and commit to doing some real work in the acceptance department. I don't want to accept unpleasant things. There are times where I live in an alter universe with a population of one: Me. And in this literal universe, I can solve any and all problems by changing my mind or just denying what's going on that I don't particularly care for.

What's the definition of insanity again?

This is another post where I was searching for ways of coping with this lifestyle by other individuals, hoping to draw from their perspective. I couldn't find any, so I'm writing my own in hopes others may do the same for those who are feeling lost in this very different lifestyle compared to those who live outside in the real world. IV therapies are hardly anything novel in hospital, but when you are at home or out and about and you are toting IV supplies about, you are bound to feel a twinge of some unwelcome's one I don't know the name of.

This is a continuation of how I am choosing to cope with something I am having a hard time accepting: hoping by sharing experience that I get it through my thick head that I'm not has lost as I think I am, and that ultimately there are no "sure things". 

I'll let you in on a secret:: I am told that I am insightful. But I don't even know my own insight into a matter without writing down what my hands have to say. Each time I write a post, I literally have no real agenda. Whatever falls out is what I publish.

I'm as curious as you are as to what this mini series has to say.


  1. I love reading your posts. While I am not in any way even close to your situation I am a community services person and have been through much in the last twelve months that I have worked hard to survive. This blog serves to provide me with both perspective on my own life and strength to know that we can all achieve no matter the struggle. Good luck with the nest few months acceptance is the hardest thing to do and I am sure when you come out the other end you will look back and question why you found it so hard.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind feedback. It really means a lot to me, and trust one's struggles are greater or lesser than any one else's. My own mother doesn't struggle with her health, but she's been through more than I could ever imagine raising three kids with a 9-5 retail job and her HMO meant all my childhood medical bills put the family into bankruptcy, yet somehow she still was able to give me the things I needed as well as a lot of expensive wants.

      I commend you for your work in community services. Without people like you many would be lost and with no direction. I really hope things start going in a more positive fashion.

      <3 Danielle Nicole

  2. Hey there Danielle!
    Liked the UNIverse. that was clever. i am not usually clever like that when I write. Wishing a hug for you and others who deal with such stuff that is their normal everyday. At least at this point my daughter seems quite happy even tho she can not sit up anymore or run on a playground ever. (meaning up to this point) Like Elph. your grass makes mine look greener. (sorry) my current frustration was taking a can of sardines to make into two blended meals... that ended up as.... wait for it ELEVEN! It is frusatrating. I guess we all look for greener grass, but then I wonder about those other folks whose grass isn't very green to our eyes. My friend the other day said to me, as I was saying, "I tell my son every Mass to look for God in our world, and to see his hand in our life." "Why?" You live with him every single day! He is incarnate in Christianna!" Then she was able to quote Matthew 25:40 which I had to just look up to type here. the one about whoever does for the least..., does for me. And in the grand scheme of things she is right. You are one here to teach us about love. Your lives are not easy, normal, go lucky. it sucks! But WE are supposed to love one another. I think that is it. But oh how fun it is to be caught up in life and food. I did not take my son to get a root beer float after his first tee-ball game tonight like I first thought of. Instead he wanted to visit his two cousins he loves. And that was good. Of course having a food sensitivity person in my life this is something I think about and appreciate more than before. Wish I had more uplifting life changing thoughts for you, but alas I just offer my heart and ear and long distant shoulder.
    Love, Lin