Archive for August, 2012

Still a student…although not the type I want to be right now.  I didn’t get into medical school off the waitlist. In fact, I never moved from 5. Instead I’m still an MPH student because I managed to screw up my graduation.

In my last post I was given relatively few options. Four days after that I was at student health for an follow-up appointment for my IUD. I hadn’t been there for an appointment in a long time and my weight was significantly down. The nurse (who sees me much too frequently) noticed the weight and mentioned it to the doctor. Who freaked out and, because my regular eating disorder doctor was out of town, took bloodwork and contacted my doctor the next day. I went to see my doctor the next day (Tuesday) who told me I needed treatment. Then on Wednesday I went to see E and she told me that I would be going inpatient–no questions, no excuses, no delays. I cried all evening and spent all of Thursday trying to figure out how to get out of it. Unfortunately, the only treatment program my insurance would cover is at the hospital I work at. Friday I took a genetics exam in the morning and was admitted on the inpatient unit that afternoon.

On the unit with people I work with. My resident doctor had worked with me when she rotated through my unit. My nurses had floated through my unit. The aides either floated through my unit or went to “violent patient” incidents with me when called. I had taken care of several other patients. This hospital has a very strict eating disorder program. My days were nearly all the same and went something like this:

6:30 a.m.–get woken up for daily weights

7:30 a.m.–breakfast in the dining room

9 a.m.–activity

10:30 a.m.–psych ed group with a nurse

11:30 a.m.–lunch

1:30 p.m.–activity

2:45 p.m.–afternoon snack

3 p.m.–group with a therapist

5:30 p.m.–supper

8 p.m.–evening snack

10 p.m.–bedtime

As part of the eating disorder protocol we are required to be supervised continually from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. This means when we aren’t at activity or in groups we have to stay in the dayroom with a staff member dedicated solely to watching us (up to 8 patients, although no more than 5 when I was there). We are not allowed to go to the bathroom on our own. We have to show the toilet to a staff member before flushing. We are “redirected” for standing, walking, crossing our legs, or jiggling our feet. We are not to discuss food, calories, weight, exercise, or other potentially triggering topics. Because it is a general psychiatry unit with non-eating disorder patients we cannot have anything with metal and our makeup/personal care items must be checked out from the nurse’s station. We cannot have cell phones or laptops.

26 days and too many pounds later, I discharged to the partial program. Where I’ve been for the past 4 weeks. Gaining more weight. Weight that makes me sick at the sight of my own body. Weight I can feel every night when I walk my dog.

But I’m done with the partial next Friday. Done whether I’m at target or not (and I am fervently hoping that I will not be there yet). I haven’t set up any follow-up therapy appointments. I’m hoping that no one will notice and I can go through the rest of my life without people bothering me about my weight and wielding the threat of inpatient or partial over my head.

The only requirements I have to finish for my MPH degree are 60 hours of work on my practicum, a paper on what I did, and a poster presentation. The work will in less than 3 weeks. The paper and presentation can’t be done until December, unfortunately so I cannot get my diploma until then.

However, student health has offered me a part-time (20 hours/week) position to do one-on-one counseling with students who are at risk for problems with alcohol. I will begin that the week after I finish partial and continue working my 20 hour weekend job at the hospital.

And because I didn’t get into medical school I have to begin forcing myself through that laborious process yet again and now I am also considering PhD programs in clinical psychology.

I don’t know how many more rejections I can take.

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