Stumped By Growing Stumps

Asleep on the bed

Within a few days after my trip to the hospital, I woke up and discovered why most of the doctor’s tests were inconclusive.

Shocked awakening, sitting up sideways on the bed

I couldn’t believe my own eyes. The stumps had grown to a much larger size, almost completely overnight. Last night they barely extended a couple centimeters from my pelvis, but now they were almost twenty centimeters long! They had grown a rounded point on the end, and seemed to be mostly conical in form.

I fondled them for a long time, trying to figure out exactly what they were. It seemed that they didn’t have any skeletal structure, and, contrary to Dr. Wavoff’s hypothesis, mostly had muscles rather than fat (excluding the dermis). The lack of bones suggested they were similar to a snake’s tail, but their muscular composition (as opposed to collagen) suggested they were more similar to an octopus’s tentacles.

For the first time, about twenty minutes after waking up and observing them, I tried moving them… and could! They felt weird, but then again I’d never experienced anything remotely like normal legs, so what would I know? Very few people would understand if I said it felt like I had spontaneously grown new extremities without even hints of them being there for the first twenty three years of my life, and all of a sudden could spontaneously move around. It would be like a person that was blind her entire life suddenly being able to see one morning.

Either way, so far they seemed to not be a burden, and might actually prove useful somehow. If I wore a long enough skirt, I could hide them on the street while I rolled around in my wheelchair as I always had, no one the wiser.

Sitting on the couch, feeling newly-grown right appendage

Two things I knew straightaway about my two new extremities: First: not only were they fairly prominent as they were, they were still growing. As in: quickly. To be more specific, within the next two days, they had doubled their size. Doubled! In 2 days!

Next, they seemed to only be growing at night. Mysterious and inexplicable, yet less problematic than an inverse pattern. I don’t think I could have stood it if they had spontaneously grown in the middle of the day, out in the open. I was grateful that whatever force of nature or chance cursed me to be this way was that magnanimous, to allow the overnight pattern. But being able to hide two forty centimeter “tentacles” or whatever I could have called them was literally growing into a bigger challenge every day—I was quickly running out of skirts long enough to hide them.

By this point, it was abundantly clear that my former poor diet had little to do with the ongoing changes, if anything. Eating better was in my long-term best interest no matter what, and my intuition strongly told me that nothing about the changes I’d made in what I consumed was in any way enhancing, accelerating, or preferentially enabling my further growth.

Speaking of food, here’s some food for thought: before the Growth (as I called it in my mind at the time), I had been able to sit straight up, and barely reach about eighty centimeters in height. I had, later that same week, been able to reach about one hundred and twenty centimeters, briefly standing on the tips of my leg-tentacle-things. In no way was that comfortable nor stable, though it assuredly was possible when I leaned against a wall for support and ease of measurement.

Three days after my tippy cone measuring adventure, something even weirder had happened.

Sitting up in bed with a new third tentacle

I woke up in the morning, and looked at my two tentacles. At this point, I called them tentacles—there wasn’t really a point in calling them anything else. They had reached a meter in length(!). If I could have stood on the tip of my tentacles, I would have been taller than most women, and even some men. I didn’t know if I should have been proud or even more scared.

Along with taking in the latest changes with my existing tentacle things, I discovered another large growth coming from my pelvis. I first felt it as a small bulge in my underwear. I was scared it was a penis; I would have been even more of a freak than I was now. Obviously I checked, carefully. Fortunately: no penis, nor anything close. Unfortunately: it was another growth, similar to my other two tentacles. It was about fifteen centimeters in length. I was anxious (and at the same time curious) to see if it would grow to be the same length as the other two tentacles.

This was the day I took the risk: I stood and walked about on my longer two tentacles. At first it was kind of difficult—I fell a few times—but I eventually got the hang of it. Amazingly freeing and exciting to finally be able to do more or less what most people had done since their toddler years! Sure, I wasn’t anywhere near as smooth moving as most adults, but for the first few moments of walking in my entire life, I was doing great! This was exciting!

Sudden realization of a harsh reality threw a wet blanket on my joy: even if I could walk around and not have any problem like this in public life, as nice as the mobility would be, the shape and motion of my tentacles would be shocking. Tennis shoes weren’t tent-a-shoes, nor were any other shoes I’d ever seen. Even with custom footwear, the motion of these new appendages looked nothing like human legs. {Hyper-mobility cubed, at least!} I thought back then. People would stare. I would be ridiculed, and called a freak.

Fear and paranoia sunk in. I concluded that I shouldn’t leave the apartment, for my own well-being. Seemed like a great idea at the time, but now I would just say that I lacked foresight. I’ll come to why later.

As I suspected (or feared?), all three of my tentacles continued to grow. My outer two began surpassing their one meter length.

“Kneeling” at the foot of the bed, trying to get panties on

About four days after I discovered my third tentacle, my first two were about one hundred and forty centimeters long. On that same day, my new third tentacle no longer fit in my still-new mail-order-delivered boxers. At that point it was about half the length of my first two: right about 70 cm.

Bizarre as they were, somehow I’d become oddly fond of my tentacles. In my mind I called my outer two my “legs”, since that’s what I used them as. Likely only because it wasn’t actually, I took to calling my pelvic tentacle my “penis”. Similar to how my outer two had practical application as pseudo-legs, I found this third tentacle to be a fairly helpful third arm, which I used to grab things as a supplement to my life-long standard arms.

Awful as it was to feel stuck at home, I continued to like the greater mobility of being able to move on my own, without having to rely on my wheelchair all the time. I felt freer in some ways, less free than I’d been in others.

Seated on the floor contemplatively, leaning against the couch

One full week after it had appeared, my third tentacle had grown to the same size as my other two. At this point, if I wanted to, I could stand on all three tentacles, and be a stable tripod. With ongoing practice I was eventually able to walk on three tentacles as capably as I was on two, and could easily switch between walking on three and walking on two if I needed to pick something up with one of my tentacles. Strange as it was to think much less say, I had actually gotten used to the things.

For the next few days, it seemed that all my tentacles had essentially ceased growing. Beyond the basic functions of living, I spent most of my time seeking a way to resume functioning in the outer world without making people’s heads figuratively explode.

{Uh oh!}

I knew something was different the moment I awoke, solely from new sensations I felt on my backside.

Sensing new fourth tentacle

Another tentacle had started growing between my buttocks. It made me more deeply cognizant of how much I had changed. If I had gone outside at that time, I would definitely have been considered a freak.

Completely overwhelmed with this sudden new development, I laid back down on my bed and closed my eyes, thinking about what had happened, was happening, and could still happen to me, what would happen to me out and about in the world, and if there were a way to fix any of it. Making not even a scintilla of progress towards any sort of useful conclusion, I eventually started crying.

Standing almost like a normal person at the kitchen sink, washing dishes, looking bewildered

I managed to cope mostly by sticking to my existing daily routine. My fourth tentacle quickly grew to the same size as the other three.

A whole other form of stress came in the form of a call from my parents, Saturday morning around 9:30 as usual.

“Hi Mom. Hi Daddy.”

Yes, I’m a 23 year old young woman: a full adult. But I haven’t been one all that many years yet, and I’m still Daddy’s little girl. Don’t judge, please.

“Hi sweetie.”

“What, no video today?” asked my father. “Camera broken or something?”

“It’s not always a tech issue, hun” Mom presciently noted.

“I’m not camera-ready this morning.”

“Oh—we’re not interrupting anything are we? ’Cause if you have a gentleman friend over or anything, we’ll chat another time.”

Mom wants to be a grandma, already. I am so not ready for that!

“No no, it’s just… I…. See, I had some soft areas on my body I hadn’t had before which worried me, so I checked into the hospital here on campus to find out what it was.”

“The hospital?!” my budget-conscious father moaned. “Wouldn’t a basic clinic or urgent care or a doctor’s office been more appropriate?!”

“Daddy, it’s a teaching hospital! They want us to go in there, because since this is a medical university and we’re all full med students—not pre-med—it’s basically the student health clinic for us. Lest you forget, I am an adult now, and it’s my health insurance taking the hit. And so far I’ve not heard from them.”

“I’m sorry hun. You’re correct, as usual: you’re doing so well, and you’ve grown up so fast, and I forget.”

“So what did they—or you, doctor daughter—determine?”

“Still years away from that degree, Mom. Definitely not cancer, or at least super super low probability. All evidence pointed to fat accumulation, unusual in position due to my life-long lack of legs. Was referred to a dietician, and you’ll be glad to hear I’m eating better.”

“Good.” “Excellent.”

“But I’m still not comfortable with my body right now, so no cam today.”

“You’re still and forever you, thus always camera-ready.”

“It’s different for we wimmins” Mom made clear, very likely jabbing Daddy with her elbow. “Body image is a sensitive area.”

“Not even a headshot?”

I have trouble saying no to Daddy, at least for things like this. “OK; hold on.”

Very carefully, I angled my screen and moved the computer closer so that only my head and shoulders would be in-frame. Checking the preview window thrice and finding it OK, after a deep breath I activated video.

There you are!”

Especially after all I’d been through recently, their smiles made it worth it to do video. Only problem was keeping myself from bursting into tears and blurting out my whole new current reality—what little I even knew!

“New pillows? Looks like you’re sitting up higher.”

Leave it to Mom, the especially observant one, to notice a change I hadn’t even considered and have me stressing anew, again on the spot. My tentacles most definitely raised me up higher off the couch cushions. “No, it’s just ones from the bed. I wanted to get a slightly different perspective on life.” This wasn’t a total lie: when I relax my tentacles they’re somewhat pillowy, and without question they formed and grew in bed. Most of the lie was suggesting that I had a choice in the matter of my above-couch elevation.

Thankfully the rest of the chat went without issue, nor additional major stressors. While in this moment I wished to be back to my former self so I’d have nothing to hide and could resume living a full life, it was kind of relaxing mindlessly flicking my various tentacle ends around.

The healing human interactions chatting with my parents then later that weekend messaging with friends from undergrad university now scattered about the globe (as was I relative to them) motivated me to remain positive and make the best of my situation. I realized that I had to be more of an active thinker, and use my tentacles to my advantage.

For example, I’d already figured out that my new tentacles made me very proficient at doing household chores, such as cooking and cleaning: I could stand on two of my tentacles, and essentially have four hands to work with. So now I had to level that up: thinking of practical disadvantages in my life, and sussing out ways to cope at a minimum, or turn seeming disadvantage into advantage.

Seated on a kitchen stool at the kitchen island, tentacle wrapped around stool leg for stability. Hands holding handheld as another tentacle pours a beverage and yet another holds her mug. 4th. tentacle rests on the countertop.

Soon enough, I thought of one: I had no way of sitting on a stool, which was the extent of seating in my kitchen, with no real space for alternatives such as full chairs. I’d learned the slippery crash-to-floor way that if I sat on a stool with four tentacles, I would sooner than later slide off in whichever direction bore the brunt of my spine’s weight. The solution: wrap my back tentacle on one of the legs of the stool, so that I don’t fall while sitting.

I tried to work all the negative thoughts out of my head, and, for the most part, succeeded. The one thing I still couldn’t resolve at all was how to rejoin society in what is sometimes referred to as meatspace.

Waking-up stretch, newly big boobs falling out bottom of camisole

Weeelllllllll… positive thinking only gets you so far when your body is constantly changing. After about another week, I woke up feeling a large pressure on my chest.

Shocked, handling suddenly-huge left boob

I didn’t need anything more than a functioning brain (most people don’t have one of those so soon after waking up, so it did take a moment or two, along with nearly ripping off my camisole top) to realize that my breasts had grown overnight. To say that they’d just “grown” would be an understatement; a more accurate statement would be that within the span of eight hours of sleep, my breasts—almost the size of tangerines when I last checked—managed to grow to a size that would force a pair of (American) footballs (prolate spheroids rather than truncated icosahedrons for the sport I prefer, that we Americans call soccer) to make a run for their money… or hide behind the goalposts.

Sitting up there in bed handling and staring at my suddenly-giant glands had me in moderately deep shock for what was likely at least 10 minutes if not a quarter hour.

I looked in my bedroom mirror, on the wall opposite the head of my bed. There wasn’t a person there… just a monster. When I looked at it in disgust, the monster looked straight back at me, exactly as disgusted as I was.

“All bodies are good bodies” I said aloud, for myself within and the monster I’d become without to hear. “All bodies are good bodies. All bodies are good bodies. All… bodies are… good bodies. All bodies… all bodies… all bodies… are…… waaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

This was very much not a good morning for me, requiring as it did a long sobbing session then some more sleep. You will hopefully be pleased to read that by afternoon I pushed myself to get up and get some nutritious food in me, which definitely helped stabilize my mood and biochemically power me onward. Critical as it was to try to understand what was happening to me to help me come to terms with it (whatever “it” truly was), today I had to take the rest of the day off from that. As a self-improvement exercise I started composing an article I entitled 4 Wonderful Things To Do With Tentacles (one Wonderful Thing for each of my tentacles), then spent the evening online seeking odes to big boobs and related forms of big breast positivity.

The following day I became fixated on getting into clothing, despite having no intention of going outside and truly no urgent need—at least not any newly-urgent need beyond turning into a super-busty land-based sea monster! {Thank goodness at least my skin’s still all human!} Probably what it was was a struggle to feel more human, since squid don’t wear clothes and people do.

Into my changing room/walk-in closet I headed, a woman (or something resembling one) on a mission.

Unhappy trying to get dressed

I doubted any of my previous clothes could fit me, especially considering they were made for a girl without legs. Garment after garment after garment I tried. Thankfully for my sanity (if not my self-image), the scientific method was on my side, and proved my hypothesis correct: nothing fit properly. Yay science.

The struggle was real: {Feel like a human? Or give up on clothing altogether?} It was summer, I’d done well so far avoiding leaving my home, and I doubted I would be needing to go outside anytime soon. On this particular day ill-fitting clothing won, with my favorite belted pleated skirt still fitting me as a miniskirt (now), and a bra which was comfortable but already wearing out barely able to hold my suddenly bodacious boobage being the entirety of my outfit of the day.

On this day my spoken-aloud mantra became “Everyone loves big boobs. Everyone loves big boobs. Everyone loves big swaying, wobbly, unbelievably heavy, spine-torturing boobs.” PPPPFFFBBPPPTTTTT! I ended with a loud, long blowfish directly into my own now-cavernous cleavage, bemused, annoyed, and frustrated with all these mystifying changes of unknown origin.

Eventually, grant money arrived to save the day, in terms of clothing. I was able to order some gigantic t-shirts and skirts off of the Internet. Only after doing so I began to wonder if the government and scholarship group were recording my expenditures. It would be an inconvenient truth indeed to find out that they were. It would be even more so to find out if they were going to do something with these data.