Posts Tagged ‘Anorexia’

I ate two pieces of chocolate. True, I had not had lunch, or supper, or any snacks, but my mother had made me eat a bagel with peanut butter before I left their house this morning. And the bagel + the peanut butter + the chocolate was too much.

I purged.

That makes the total count 2 since moving into my condo. I didn’t want this place to have those memories. But it seems the building is less the memory than Zefir is. He watched me and sat in his customary position. He never sits that way for anything else, only when I purge. And he watches me, with his beautiful, expressive eyes, and I imagine him wondering what I am doing to myself.

And it makes me sad.

And I hate myself for what would happen to him if I become ill or (as my therapist so kindly reminds me) die.

But the feeling of fullness, and the pull of ED, makes me ignore all that and I stay there until I am empty. Clean. Pure.

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I suspected it would happen eventually. And it did. Two weeks ago.

I got pulled to the eating disorder unit.

I don’t even have that much to say about it. But apparently it affected me.

They were all so thin. Much thinner than I am (or so I tell myself). A couple had had seizures from electrolyte imbalances. Many were committed.

Part of my job was “Eating Disorder Observation.” All eating disorder patients are automatically required to be on “standard” observation…which means that they must spend all of their waking time in the unit dayroom (or in groups when those are occurring).  After reaching a certain behavior level they may be considered for a different observation (meals + 2 hours or meals + 1 hour). A nursing assistant is required to be in the dayroom with them at all times–to “redirect.” Basically make sure they sit down at all times (and tell them to sit if they attempt to stand, walk, stretch, etc), don’t talk about food or weight, don’t jiggle their legs, sit on prescribed cushions/recliners if they have them.

I got to be that NA for a while. Oh joy. How can I stop them from jiggling their legs when I never stop it myself? How can I force them to sit down if I can’t do it myself?

But first let me say that on my unit, although it is a psych unit we also have very medically sick people, and I spend most of my shift in constant motion. So being pulled after 4 hours of that was a cataclysmic change. I sat on a 1:1 and read my book for a while, then sat on observation. And after 10 minutes or so I found myself reading the bulletin boards, wandering the halls within eyesight of the dayroom, looking at the whiteboard, re-reading all the bulletin boards, and generally just standing/pacing the whole time. damn. So I sat back down. And 5 minutes later was back at it. Even after all the patients had gone to bed I stood while I talked with the other NAs. One even told me to “sit down, relax a bit!” Was it that obvious?

I didn’t think it affected me. And while I was working it didn’t really sink it because my head was in “work” mode. I work from my doctor brain.

And then I left work. And immediately I was analyzing all the foods in my fridge. Why do I enjoy eating greek yogurt? It has so much fat and protein. And the peanut butter and nutella in my cupboard….It doesn’t matter that I don’t touch the jars, just the fact that I have such foods is a disgrace.

And it gave me a chance to tell myself that I don’t really have a problem. I’m not thin enough to be committed. It doesn’t matter that I’ve lost x lbs in the past year. It doesn’t matter that I have an actual-active-diagnosis of anorexia. My blood labs are always fine, I won’t have a seizure. Look at me, in grad school and working a full-time job, if I were really sick I wouldn’t be able to do that.

And it made me sad. I’m so miserable. I want help but I’m too afraid to ask because I’m afraid that I’m not “sick enough” to need it and I will be rejected. And now that I work in the psych department it makes the patient/provider roles all confusing. I’ve managed them very well up until now, because in the beginning I convinced most of them that I was doing better. But yesterday I saw K—- in the cafeteria during lunch time. I was doing schoolwork and not eating. She usually will talk to me a bit, but today was a stiff hello and a sad look. She can see it–the weight loss and skipping lunch.

I’m afraid that everyone will know that I have an eating disorder. I’m afraid my competency at work will be questioned.

I’m afraid someone will force me into treatment.

I’m afraid that no one will convince me to get treatment.

I am afraid of living like this forever.

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“…very-thin female patient in no apparent distress…”

“…weight loss of more than x-lbs since previous clinic visit two weeks prior…”

“…reluctant to change behaviors because of fear of gaining weight…”

“…orthostatic hypotension…”

“…Thoughts: tangential, Judgment: good, Insight: poor…”

“…concerning signs and symptoms were discussed…”

“…patient has little insight into the severity of her illness…”

There must be a mistake. Surely these phrases aren’t from clinic notes about me…

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