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Good News. I'm a Fatty.

So let’s see, what’s today? May 14? Well, of course, new week, new problems. As you know, I had to have emergency surgery two weeks ago to replace my feeding tube. After a stellar job of surviving that, I thought I was in the clear for a while. Nope.
Yesterday, I could feel something was wrong with this  new feeding tube. So we call the nurse and she stops by the apartment to take a look. Yep, it’s very red, she agrees. She decides to take a photo and email it to my doctor. The doctor replies that the tube needs to be looked at so he will stop by my apartment “most likely the following day.” First of all, “most likely?” What kind of commitment is that? Secondly, “my apartment?” What planet am I on? Doctors don’t come to your apartment! That would just make too much sense.

 So, I decided not to get all stressed out about it as I usually like to do. I decided to go to dinner with my friends and my daughter. We went to a cool lower East side of New York kind of restaurant in the seventh arrondissement. Caesar salad, French onion soup, escargot, omelettes, etc. We were having a great time. I casually told them that my feeding tube was bothering me a bit, and I showed them the picture. Everyone looked at the picture. My friend Debbie, her daughter and her parents. The consensus was that I needed to go to the hospital immediately. But wait! I am enjoying my after dinner drink and dessert and looking at the Eiffel Tower and laughing with my friends. When your friend’s mother tells you that you need to go to the hospital, you don’t disagree. So off we all go to the hospital. I made a quick call to the voice of reason in my family, and he immediately called my doctor on his cell phone!  The doctor informed us that it was useless to go to the hospital this late and he was not available right now. He told us to go back to my apartment and wait for him to arrive in the morning. OMG.
Here comes the best part… So, I am still floored that a surgeon will be arriving to my apartment. How do you receive your doctor? Should I have tea and macaroons ready? What should I wear? Should I wear makeup because the last time he saw me I was a disaster and I don’t want him to think I always look like that. At about 5 o’clock in the afternoon, Mr. Wonderful, as I like to call my doctor, arrives at my door. He was no more than three steps inside my bedroom when I burst out crying. He said, “Every time you see me, you cry.” He’s right, I do. I immediately dive into basketcase mode. He has brought a nurse with him and she starts to push and poke and I am fiercely trying to remember how to say in French, “Stop touching me!” I am on the verge of fainting and before he could announce his prognosis, I say, “Am I going to die again?” He informs me that I am not going to die, but I do need another new feeding tube. WTF! I just went through that surgery two weeks ago! “Why! Why! Why!” I say, through buckets of tears. He looks at me and I could tell he was searching for the right words, trying to get his English together. He looks at me with a perfectly calm face and says, “Because you’ re fat.”

 I looked at him and burst out laughing through my tears. Then, he said, “I’m sorry, but you are. We have to replace the tube because you’ve gained weight and it is pushing the tube. I’m going to put in another tube with some slack in case you get fatter.” My laughter is uncontrollable at this point. The only only only good part about this whole ordeal is that I’m fat. Do you know why? Because fat people don’t get ALS. It means that I could be getting better. Here’s why… No one gains weight with ALS. It’s a slow demise over a couple of years where you literally turn into a skeleton. Not me. My husband and my caregivers make it the utmost importance that I eat and gain weight. In addition to my specialized super healthy feeding tube formula, I eat every fatty thing a girl can imagine. Beef bourguignon, cheese, butter, éclairs, crème fraîche, potato Dauphinoise, Indian butter chicken, lasagna, enchiladas, ice cream, sauces, Nutella crepes, cheese crepes, foie gras, and every evening I have about 400 gummy bears. Every doctor that I’ve been to has stressed that gaining weight is the key to survival. For the past three years, it’s been difficult, but since I’ve been living in Paris, my weight has skyrocketed. Don’t get the wrong picture though… I am still a size 2, thank you very much. It’s just that my weight gain is a dramatic improvement from a size -0.

 So, good news, bad news, right? Now I have two days to stress out about my upcoming tube replacement. Mr. Wonderful said he will do the procedure in my apartment with his nurse. What? You might be taking this in-house service a little too far, Doctor. Don’t I need to go to a hospital for this? “Mais,non,” he says. It can be done easily, quickly and without pain. Yeah, right, that’s what they all say… Stay tuned.


  1. I think that it is impossible to live in France and not gain weight unless you are either a) French or b) one of those sad ladies who look longingly at everything without ever giving in. I never thought that I would be so happy for someone being "a fatty" but I certainly am for you!

  2. I think that might be one of your gray sweaters? Paying attention:-)))

  3. Ellie, reading this old post, I don't know whether you'll actually see my comment, but still I needed to respond because you had me in stitches laughing. I love, love, love your "so real" blog, the bad, the good, and the hilarious. Wishing that you become even "fatter" still, perhaps even a size 4 or 6.