Bustle for muscle

by Brennen Reeves

A mom who played college basketball. A dad who entered the army at eighteen. A brother who received a football scholarship after high school. That’s my family.
Me, I like theatre and acting.

I like to workout. I can do most anything, though I tire when I run. Running, not a daunting task for anyone else in my family- nor was the ability to put on weight or the ability to gain muscles. Both were and still remain a struggle of mine today. I understand the weight section- I have CF, my heart beats faster than other hearts, my digestive tract is not on track and diabetes is well, diabetes. Sadly, I cannot understand why I cannot gain muscle. Or turn the muscle that now exists to a lean quality.
I exercise just as much as the next person.

My parents and brother, they’re athletes. Sure, being athletic doesn’t necessarily mean you possess muscle, but my family did. I retained some of those genes. I played baseball, I owned a lacrosse stick, I love to golf. I count that as a sport (so what if I ride in the cart?).
I have coordination.

I received a bilateral lung transplant over 7 years ago. Within that gap, and day by day I become more flexible, stronger, newly energized, with no luck of further muscle growth. The weight is there. Up about thirty-five pounds. But how come there is no significant muscle gain, or the leanness to which I work for? Could it be a diet issue? Because the thirty, sixty, ninety day routine after these 7 years has been ineffective. I still come up short and this lets me down, my physical appearance.

I’m 5’6” and weigh around 120lbs. My body is symmetrically balanced. I have new lungs. There’s the determination- so why this outcome or lack of?
This is not a lecturer post but more a collaborative question- what is your secret? Do you have a secret? Is it a secret?

Sure, I still have CF, yes, my heart still beats faster than other hearts, yes, my digestive tract needs aligning, and well, diabetes still remains diabetes. Just about every other facet since my surgery has changed, emotionally, physically, etc., and my body is still present just with a little more weight with nowhere to go.

I challenge this. Could it be the severed nerves under my breast plate have yet to heal or reconnect, making it harder to attract muscle in this area? The numbness from my shoulders on down through the wrists lose feelings during most points of the day, is that a sign indicating powerless limbs?

“7years. Brennen your body needs more time to heal”
Ok.
—–
Wait,
or could it just be my body?

Only I Can Look Into My Mirror

Guest Blog By: Brennen Reeves

If I were to count all of the scars on my body, the ones visible to a bystander at the beach, I’d need your fingers and toes, plus mine. And someone to mark the tallies. Thirty-eight. I’ve counted. From my chest, to my stomach, up to my neck, and down to my ankles the grooves are endless it seems. I don’t think I have any on my back but then again I cannot see my back and I still have trouble with sensation from the bilateral lung transplant I received in 2011, so I wouldn’t be able to feel them either. Continue reading Only I Can Look Into My Mirror

Making it Matter Ep. 16

Making it Matter Ep. 16 – Football and Cystic Fibrosis

Making it Matter this week is Matt Mitchell, a freshman in college with cystic fibrosis, who joins the podcast today to talk about his career as a football player. Matt was a stand out player in high school at Joy Christian Continue reading Making it Matter Ep. 16

Gastroparesis and Cystic Fibrosis – By Meranda Sue Honaker

By Meranda Sue Honaker

Gastroparesis (delayed gastric emptying) is a common complication for many with CF; however, the condition is exceptionally hard to treat due to lack of promotility agents in the United States. In my early 20’s I began to experience Continue reading Gastroparesis and Cystic Fibrosis – By Meranda Sue Honaker

Making it Matter Podcast – CF Nutrition

Making it Matter Podcast Ep. 10 – CF Nutrition

Nutrition is something I love to talk about (well…. ever since I got my feeding tube placed in 2011). It is a vital part of CF care, something that Julia and I approach differently. While my pancreas doesn’t seem to work, Julia knows she is Continue reading Making it Matter Podcast – CF Nutrition

OWN IT: Bulking Up – A Few Recipes That I Use

I received a bunch of awesome responses to my Vitamix blog, with most asking about what I actually put into the Vitamix.

So, I’d like to share a few recipes with everyone.

Now remember, I am a cystic fibrosis patient with a feeding tube, so here are Continue reading OWN IT: Bulking Up – A Few Recipes That I Use

UDCA Supplementation Enhances Lipid Digestion and Absorption in Pancreatic Insufficient Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

http://www.hcplive.com/

Results from a trial involving 23 cystic fibrosis patients with pancreatic insufficiency and mild liver involvement indicate that supplementation with ursodeoxycholic acid can increase the digestion and absorption of fat. Continue reading UDCA Supplementation Enhances Lipid Digestion and Absorption in Pancreatic Insufficient Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

Nutritional Status Shown To Predict Changes in Key Lung Test For Cystic Fibrosis Patients

http://cysticfibrosisnewstoday.com/2015/09/01/nutritional-status-shown-predict-changes-key-lung-test-cystic-fibrosis-patients/
By Maureen Newman
Reprinted from Cystic Fibrosis News Today

In both adolescents and adults, nutritional status can play a major role in the rate of disease progression. Individuals with poor nutritional status and low weight retention are at a higher risk for worsening lung function and increased Continue reading Nutritional Status Shown To Predict Changes in Key Lung Test For Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Own Your Feeding Tube with Gunnar Esiason: Episode 4

Comfort with Your Feeding Tube

The fourth episode of the Own Your Feeding Tube video podcast series discusses some of the social questions that tube feeders, or potential tube feeders, may have when it comes to a new feeding tube. Obviously, it’s a Continue reading Own Your Feeding Tube with Gunnar Esiason: Episode 4

Own Your Feeding Tube with Gunnar Esiason: Episode 3

Normalcy with a Feeding Tube

In the third episode of the Own Your Feeding Tube video podcast series, you will see how I have been able to maintain my physically active lifestyle. Prior to getting my feeding tube placed, I had a fear that my life would change drastically. It did, but for the better. My Continue reading Own Your Feeding Tube with Gunnar Esiason: Episode 3