Monday, May 31, 2010
So here's my personal drama/awkward situation from this weekend: one of Kevin's (my sister's boyfriend) in-laws (who was there this weekend) is a staffperson at the UIHC eating disorders program!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You know, the place I was hospitalised at 5 times, where I was drug in twice in handcuffs (once still drunk from the escapade I chronicled in my previous post, once kicking and screaming like a lunatic)! The place I escaped from in '98, only to end up back 3 months later. The place that still gives me nightmares. Yeah, that place.
When I looked up and saw Staffperson there I felt like the universe had shifted, or I was in some weird time/place warp, or possibly I was hallucinating. What was Staffperson doing on a campout with my sister? I think it was a little suprising for Staffperson to see me there as well, but they handled it well (yes, I'm being specifically vague and not even revealing the gender of staffperson, because maybe someone who reads this might end up in UIHC sometime, and if it got back to Staffperson that I blogged about them I would just die).
Fortunately, this Staffperson was one of the few people in that program who was nice to me and who I didn't have a problem with. So that was good. We actually got along really well this weekend. It did get a little weird once when we were alone and Staffperson said "so, how have things been going? Things going ok?" I felt really uncomfortable and wished that it hadn't been brought up, but fortunately I was have been doing ok in the ED department so I was able to answer truthfully "Good! Things are going really good!". Staffperson has a little boy who is Annie's age and they played together alot and sometimes I felt a little funny, like if you would have told me 8 years ago that we would be camping together and our kids would play together and I would be helping Staff's son catch fireflies, I wouldn't have believed you.
I know I will see staffperson again because Jessica and Kevin's relationship is serious; they just bought a house together and I wouldn't be suprised if they get married. Jessica hang's out with Kevin's family alot (including Staffperson) and so I will probably see Staffperson at barbeques/camping/ect. But I think after this weekend I can handle it.
One thing, though. Staffperson has kind of a unique voice. Not really a lisp, but there is something about it that is just different. It is definitely a voice I only associate with being at UIHC. So once in awhile this weekend, Staffperson would say something and I would be caught off guard hearing the voice and have this weird fight or flight response, the one I get when I am in Iowa City, or hear of someone going into treatment at UIHC, or spend time in therapy talking about my experiences there. So yeah, there was some some anxiety this weekend. But I handled it well.
Other things crossed my mind this weekend. Like, if Staff sees me drinking Diet Coke with breakfast, will they think I am still sick? If I have to go to the bathroom right after a meal, will they think I am purging? You know, stuff like that. I had to take a deep breath and remind myself that the world does not revolve around me. Contrary to my paranoia, other people are not thinking about me all the time. Other people are thinking about their own lives! Duh! People have better things to think about than how much food is on my plate or how often I go to the bathroom. It was very helpful to remind myself of this.
Mostly, I just had a really good time this weekend and did some really healthy things. Things you can't really do well with an eating disorder, like swimming and boating and climbing a really tall observation tower and roasting marshmallows (and eating them). I had a blast!
Friday, May 28, 2010
I found myself one Sunday afternoon on the inpatient psych ward at St. Lukes hospital, facing a commitment hearing the following morning, which I was sure to lose. About a week prior to this I arrived to the hospital by ambulance from my sister's house, where I passed out (sort of, I was concious but could not get off the floor and my heart was doing crazy things). Several days of IV fluids had me feeling better, but now the plan was to send me to the eating disorders treatment center at UIHC (evil hell) against my will. I didn't have much hope of getting out of it because I had lost committment hearings in the past, when I was in much better shape.
Alone, depressed, powerless, future uncertain. What's a girl to do? Getting wasted seemed like a fabulous idea.
I started calling everyone I knew who might bring me alcohol. Oddly enough, I kept getting shot down. It seemed nobody wanted get wasted with me on the psych ward on a Sunday night? Just when visiting hours were about over and I had all but given up I got ahold of my friend Liz, who was happy to hear from me and delighted to smuggle in some contraband.
Liz showed up within 20 minutes and we both went straight to my room and closed the door. I was on a mission :get wasted, eff it, who cares. I drank till my head spun, then hid the rest of the vodka in my hospital issued mouthwash bottle (after pouring the mouthwash out under the bed, since my bathroom was locked). Then visiting hours were over and Liz had to go, and I weaved my way down to the dayroom.
From here on out it's kind of a blur. there are some things I remember very clearly, and some things that I did I do not remember at all, but were told to me by other patients the next day. Apparently I got up on the pool table and started giving a speech about freedom to the other patients. I remember the speech, vaguely, but I do not remember the pool table. I remember hearing my name on the loudspeaker, asking me to report to the nurses station immediately. I remember to long walk down the hall to the nurses station, the way the walls were swaying as I tried to make it there without falling down. I don't remember if I was successful or not.
The next memory, I am in my room, and one staff is searching the room and another one is sort of frisking me and shaking me at the same time and saying "what did you take? What did she give you?".
Me (slurring): "kiss my ass!"
Me again:"But first you'd have to shave it! Haha!"
Yes, in my drunken stupidity I had insulted myself. Classy. But if you need any more evidence as to why I shouldn't drink, read on.
They left and I was alone sitting on my bed, with a staff person sitting in a chair outside my room keeping an eye on me. I remember falling out of my bed and landing on my head, but it didn't hurt, just sort of felt like I was floating down. Staff helps me back into my bed. I don't remember much after that.
Here's where the other patients fill in the blanks. They weren't supposed to go down the hall where my room was because of the "crisis", but several of them kept finding excuses to walk by and get a glimpse of the drama. Apparently at some point I crawled out of my room and partway down the hall. When staff asked my where I thought I was going I replied "I'm going to f-ing Pizza Hut". Also I threw up all over my room and the nurse was overheard saying "well, at least we know she ate dinner!".
But I guess things got a little crazy when the lab showed up to draw my blood. I totally flipped out, which is why I woke up the next morning in the seclusion room in restraints.
I drank so much that when I woke up monday morning I was still a little drunk. So I was not alarmed to find myself strapped down in the seclusion room. Maybe I was a little amused? You have to remember, at this point in my life I was quite dysfunctional and didn't care about much. Anyways, as I lay there surveying my situation, it dawned on me that I was wearing scrubs. I realized that at some point while I was unconscious (or semi-conscious) someone had stripped me and changed my clothes. Things seemed less funny after that.
After being checked on several times, a nurse came in and unstrapped me. She brought me out of the seclusion room and over to a chair in front of the nurses station and said "SIT". So I sat there. I'm not sure how much time passed, but eventually my doctor came on the unit, walked right over to me, and said "I can't believe I had to get a phone call at 10:30 last night for an order to put you in restraints! There is no longer any doubt in my mind that you need to be committed, only now I am rethinking my recommendation on where they send you after discharge!" Then he huffed away.
Next my court-appointed lawyer shows up. "Lisa, it doesn't look good."
"I know." I say.
When it is time, the nurse takes me from my chair to the room where the committment hearing takes place. I sit silently through the whole thing and don't say much. There's no point.
After the hearing, the nurse asks me if I want to go to the bathroom and get cleaned up. I shuffle into the bathroom, look in the mirror, and find that my hair is wild and crazy and I have dried puke on my face.
I just sat through my hearing with dried puke on my face.
I will end this story here. It just goes on and on and gets more painful and embarrassing. For years. Until eventually, remarkably, against all odds and predictions, I start to come out of it. I think maybe getting pregnant with Emma was what jumpstarted it. I started eating, quit drinking, started going to church. I did these things, not because I was sure that "health" was what I wanted, but because of my deep "mother's love" for my daughter. I had to take care of myself, to take care of her. A few more years would pass, bringing marriage and another baby along the way, before I really began to see that life without the eating disorder was possible, and worth fighting for.
I guess I'm still fighting. I have my ups and downs, but when I think back to where I used to be I realize how far I've come. It's like looking at a completely different person. When I look back I see a sad, desperate girl, acting out because she is afraid to face her feelings, desperately wanting help but unwilling to accept it, spinning her wheels in the mud that is the life that she created for herself.
I'm so glad I'm not her anymore.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Ok, now on to the ramdom and comletely unrelated things that are on my mind today.
I got my hair cut again yesterday...what do you think?
When I was at the salon I saw a sign posted that said that getting my hair cut there was a good choice for the environment, because they send the hair cliipings to this company that makes huge mats out of it that they put in the ocean to soak up oil spills. Whaaaa? Has anyone else heard of this? I am all for the environment and everything, but the idea of huge hair mats floating around out there really grosses me out. Ewww.
Something else gross...last night Baby (my rabbit) totally tried to hump my hand. I was laying on the couch and he was just hopping around and I dangled my hand down to pet him. He started going crazy and nudging my hand and then he grabbed it and went to town! Of course I jerked my hand away but I felt a little violated. I feel kind of bad for him...he must be really frustrated because my hand is a poor substitute for a lady bunny. I wish I had some extra cash, I would get him fixed just to put him out of his misery. I probably will do it one of these days.
The missionaries from my husband's church are coming over for dinner tonight. You know, the LDS missionaries? There's usually two of them, and they wear white shirts and ties and nametags, and sometimes they ride bikes? Yeah, those guys. They dont have a huge budget for food and they are miles away from their families, so people from the congregation are supposed to have them over for dinner, and Chris is kind of overdue. I am not super excited to have them over, but when I went my own way religiously I made a decision to support my husband as he practices his beliefs, as I hope he would support me. So we are having company tonight. It's ok, really. They are nice boys. We are grilling teryaki turkey burgers. I have this awesome recipie for them that involves pressing a ring of pineapple into each patty, and they sooo good!
These days I can handle a burger ok. It's the bun that is hard for me. I have some carb issues. I am going back and forth on whether I will have the bun. We'll see.
An aquaintence of mine has been posting some rather cryptic statuses on facebook that lead me to think that she is going into the UIHC ED program this week. You know, that treatment program I love so much that I refer to it as "evil hell"? Just being reminded of that plce evoked some pretty stong emotions in me. I wanted to tell her "run! run away! There are other programs! You don't have to do this!". But I don't know, maybe it is her only option, financially, logistically, whatever. And she knows what she is getting herself into; she has been to this program before. Who knows, she could have had a totally different experience there than I did. All I know is, I have spent hours of therapy recently trying to recover from the "treatment" I recieved in that place (incidently my therapist thinks I have c-ptsd from it). Maybe I will blog more about that onther time. I don't know, but I wish her luck.
Well I have to go make some watermelon salad for tonight. I will have to tell you about my watermelon salad before I go....all you do is cut the watermelon into cubes and sprinkle on some fresh lime juice and some mint leaves (fresh or dried). It is soooo good!
Monday, May 24, 2010
After we got home from the park Annie wanted to play with the ice in the cooler, so I dragged it out back for her. I got her a pitcher of warm water and she started doing "experiments. She was putting ice cubes in the warm water to see how they melted, and to see how many ice cubes it would take to turn the warm water cold. She also put ice on the sidewalk to see how long it would take to melt, and eventually how long it took for the water left behind to dry up.
Emma is starting to feel the effects of the brain freeze, and Annie is just trying to get the last bits of her ice.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I don't give myself a break anywhere. When I am not criticizing my body, I am judging my life. My failures, shortcomings, mistakes I have made. Loser...failure...embarassment...shame...shame...shame.
There is no refuge for me anywhere. No feelings of kindness of love towards my body or my self. It's wearing me down.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Inside of me there is a well of pain and shame and self loathing so deep that I'm afraid I might never find the bottom. How did I get this way?
Today a voice whispered in my ear "Lisa, just stop. Just stop hating yourself. Just stop.".
How do I stop?
Friday, May 21, 2010
I am trying to start walking regularly again, but the past two nights I have gotten barely two miles from my house before I have to pee. If Chris was with me I would just duck into the woods while he stands lookout, but by myself I am not going to chance it on such a well-run trail. Getting arrested for public urination would put a dent in my efforts to build my reputation as a sane person. So I end up just having to cut my walk short and the walk home is very uncomfortable. Maybe I should choose a different time to walk, but after dinner really is the best time for me, and it also helps diffuse the anxiety I feel after eating.
Oh, and I want to point out that the evening walks have NOTHING to do with what Dr. Goat said to me the other day. In fact, I had been planning to start excercising again before I saw him.
I was going to start Wed, but after my meeting with Dr. Goat I decided to postpone it until thurs, because I wanted to absolutely clear to myself that I was NOT taking the doctor's advice. I purposefully did NOT excercise on Wed just because Dr. Goat told me to.
Yes, I really am that mature.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Ok, now that I sound like a shallow biatch, let me get to our conversation. He asked me the the basic questions about my symptoms, family history, medications, ect. I tried to emphasise how depressed and anxious I have been, that I don't think my current meds are doing the job, also my extreme fatigue and not sleeping well. I also mentioned that I have struggled with "eating disorders" but am "doing ok".
Dr. Goat seemed very bored and rather unimpressed with my plight. He said that he thought my medications were "appropriate" and that what I needed to do was excercise every day. He started to drone on about the benefits of excercise and I immediately began to tune him out, until I heard him say "it even helps with weight!". What???? Then he looked me up and down and said "but that doesn't seem to be a problem for you" and I felt....relieved? Irritated? I don't know. By that point I was pretty much done anyways, the smiling and nodding had commenced.
I know about the benefits of regular excercise. I mean, duh! But come on, I think that expecting me to get up early and excercise every morning (which was his suggestion for my insomnia) is a bit ambitious, considering that I feel so fatigued in the morning that i get sick to my stomach, and it's a huge accomplishment if I am in the shower by 10. He also completely overlooked the fact that excercise is generally not helpful to people with chronic fatigue. The last time I tried regular, formal excercise it left me so wiped out that getting through the rest of the day was nearly impossible. But I hadn't put "chronic fatigue syndrome" on my history form, and I wasn't inclined to bring it up when he started going on about the excercise, so I guess that's not his fault. But I'm just guessing he is one of those who think that CFS isn't a "real" disease and could probably be cured by a little willpower and gumption. Whatever.
Finally, he asked me if I had any questions for him. I couldn't think of any, so there was a bit of an akward silence, after which I meekly said "so are you going to change any of my meds?". I guess that was a question. He said no.
Then he said he wanted to see me back in a month. Yeah, like that is going to happen.
I don't know what to do now. I guess I will go on taking these meds until I run out, then use the refills Dr. Goat gave me, and when those run out I will go back to Dr. Sean. IF things get worse or I have a crisis I suppose I will call Dr. Sean. He did say that if it didn't work out with the new doctor he would see me.
I'm not sure this post adequately describes how misunderstood I felt today. I just recently got out of the hospital (hospitalisation #21), am severely depressed and anxious, and it seems I have gotten a pat on the head and a "just take a walk and everything will be ok". Maybe I should have gone in unshowered, with my hair messed up and a booger in my nose.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
But seriously, I have been getting bites all over my body for the past 3 days. At first I susspected bedbugs or something like that in the couch, but I have also been getting the bites when I am in the kitchen and even when I am out of the house. I haven't been in any seedy motels lately, the only way I think they would have gotten into the house would be some clothes I got at the Goodwill. I have looked and looked but haven't seen any offending insects or anything like that. Which leads me to believe that they might not be bites but in fact may be hives.
Some of the "bites" do look like hives, in that they are irregularly shaped, and also when I have scratched my skin it gets raised and itchy. It reminds me alot of the unexplained hives I had when I was pregnant.
Of course, it could be a combination. I could be being bitten by something, and also having hives in reaction to it. I don't know. It sucks. I go back and forth between thinking that its bedbugs and we are going to have to replace our matresses and furniture (which we cant afford), and thinking I have some autoimmune disease and I'm going to die.
And here's the best part: because of my anxiety disorder, sometimes when I start to itch I imagine that I am going into anaphylactic shock and am dying, then I have a panic attack, which feels like shock (throat closes up, head goes numb and floats away from my body), and is utterly terrifying. This happened today while I was in the shower. I started to itch and then I imagined that I was having a life threatening reaction to my Oil of Olay body wash, and I started panicking and the first thing I thought was "oh no, I'm home alone with Annie and I'm going to die right here in this shower!". Obviously I did not die but the experience certainly sucked.
So I am an itchy nervous wreck and I don't know whether to call a doctor or an exterminator.
Oh, tomorrow is my first appointment with the new psychiatrist. Hope it goes well.
I'm off to take some Benadryl. 'Night.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
So I need to pass the awards on and here is the akward part........I don't know how to "copy and paste" or "post a link". I know...lame! Remember, I spent much of my young adulthood in hospitals and psych wards, and while alot of people my age were awarded college diplomas, I was awarded Social Security. It wasn't until after I was married that I learned how to turn on a computer. Learning how to go online all by myself was a huge accomplishment. Have you ever watched your mom try to teach your grandpa how to do something on the computer? That's pretty much what it is like when Chris is helping me figure something out.
Indcidently, this is why, whenever I post a picture, the text always comes after the picture. Once I post a picture on my blog, I can never figure out how to get the text above it. But hey, I'm just glad I figured out how to post pictures (after about 6 months of blogging)! But if you have the answer to that one, let me know.
So anyways, I'm not sure how to really pass these awards on. Is it ok if I just name people? And some of you may have already gotten these awards. But I just want to thank you all for your support and let you know that you are all beautiful (or handsome, as the case may be).
Kara at "Sunday Confessional"- thank you for supporting me when I first got started int the blog world. I know you are having a hard time right now and I hope you are getting the support you need and I look forward to updates!
Tara at "the struggle within"- you are a true friend. My heart aches for you at what you have been going through, but I am so proud of the strength you have shown to keep fighting!
David at "Eat for Fun"- I love your honesty and sense of humor, and I also think you are very courageous to put yourself out there and remind us that men struggle with ED's too.
Tia at "Addicted to Aspartame"- I know you feel like you are "just a disease", but you are so much more than that! You are an educated woman, a talented baker, a loving mother, and a caring friend. I wish you could look in the mirror and see that!
Jana Bananas at "Playing with Numbers"- I love reading your blog. I am , like, addicted to it! I can totally relate to most of what you write. I wish you lived closer, I would totally stalk you in a non-creepy, will you be my friend sort of way.
LouLou at "Jumping Cups"- you are always full of positive encouragement! I love your free spirit and creativity, just reading about your travels inspires me to have more adventure in my life!
Angela at "Leaving Ed"- you are such a talented writer. You have a gift portraying life with an eating disorder and the pain and suffering it causes. I am so excited that you have found a way to get the treatment you need and I hope soon to read your writing on recovery and life without ED!
Keely at "a day in the life of an unaverage girl"- my best friend, I miss you so much!!!!!!
Also Laura, Jenn, Jennifer, Sairs, Kristen, Cammy, Brie (even though she doesn't blog anymore), Jodi, Alex, Lisa, Sarah, and everyone else I know and have met on here. I don't think that awards should be limited; everyone who puts there heart out there and reaches out in love and support deserves recognition!
Friday, May 14, 2010
I have decided to cut therapy back to one session a week. Not that I am doing much better. I just seem to be unable to come up with much to talk about to fill up the hour. This depression, or fatigue, or whatever it is, has just sort of turned my brain all squishy and kind of useless.
Eating is going ok.
That's about it.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Ironically, I am the least drugged that I have been in years. Down to just 2 meds. So what gives? I should be thinking clearly, ideas flowing, you get the picture. But it's just the opposite.
It's like this in therapy right now, too. I just sit there and cant think of anything to say. Feels like I am just wasting everybody's time. I hope this is just a "phase".
Can't believe I am writing about having nothing to write about. Ok I am done now.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Us in a tree.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
But the really big fun of the day is that Emma has strep throat. Chris and I both went to the doctor too, since we are feeling sick. Turns out Chris has an ear infection and I have a sinus infection. So all three of us are on antibiotics. At least Annie is healthy, though!
Since we are all laying low today i rented a few movies. The girls watched "Alvin and the Chipmunks", and right now we are watching "Oceans". Chris and I are going to watch "Men Who Stare at Goats" tonight.
I am feeling pretty ugly today. I look SO OLD without makeup, and even with makeup on, it settles into my lines after only about 15 minutes. I'm tired of looking at my stupid face. I'm obsessed with it. I wish I could afford that StriVectin cream but it is way too expensive. Oh well.
I keep trying to remind myself that I should be greatful, that at least I dont have some kind of facial disfigurement, and that if I did end up with a disfigurement I would be sorry I didn't enjoy what I have right now. I don't know why I am so negative and critical of myself.
That's about it.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Not because I think I'm fat (which I do ). But just so people will see. They will see that i am in the midst of a five alarm mental emergency. That I am anxious and depressed and everything is excrutiating and I'm not effing fine! I'm tired of looking so great. I hate it when I see people and they tell me how great I look! I dont feel great! I'm dying inside, and looking great isn't really paying off for me.
I just want my outsides to match my insides. I want people to see how much I am hurting. As I said to my therapist, there is no medical test or measurement of emotional pain. They cant draw my blood and look at it and say "gee, this kid is really losing it. Maybe we should try to get her in a little sooner." But if I quit eating....if I quit eating....that's a measurable and visible decline in health. Then suddenly, you are an urgent case. People move schedules around, they fit you in somehow.
My husband Chris is really the only one who knows how bad i am doing right now. Ironically, he is the one who I want NOT to know! It worries him so bad, and he has enough stress already. I hate to add to his burden.
This evening I made dinner for my family, then told Chris I wasn't up to eating and went in my room and laid down. As I lay there, I could hear Chris and the girls eating and the guilt began to gnaw at me and I asked myself "is this really what i want? Do I want my girls to have memories of dinnertimes where Mom wasn't there? Do I want Chris to sit at the table as the sole parent, his stomach churning with anxiety as he worries about his wife?". I told myself that this was not acceptable behavior, that I just needed to get my ass in gear and go into the kitchen and join them. So I went in and sat down and ate a little dinner. And purged afterwards.
I don't know how I got to the place where i am right now. I so desperately want to be the HEALTHY wife and mother that my family deserves! I can't "quit" eating. It would only make things worse. What do I do?
It occurs to me that I am not a bad person. I am just a person who is struggling with severe and persistent mental illness, who has been through some pretty drastic med shifts lately, who is currently between doctors right now, and who is not handling it very well. I am suffering. this is not my fault. I do, however, have a choice in how I will deal with things. Today I did not make good choices in regards to self care. I did, however, make other notable good choices. I emailed my daughter's teacher and volunteered to drive for a field trip. I took Annie to the park. I did 2 loads of laundry. I gave Emma an extra long backscratch because she is not feeling well.
See, I am hanging in there. By a thread.
Monday, May 3, 2010
I'm obsessed with this thing. It's always there, I like FEEL it constantly. Every day I have to figure out how to dress to camouflage it (layers seem to work best). I hate the way the "roll" kind of sits on the seat belt when I am driving. I just want to take a big pair of GARDEN SHEARS and cut the damned thing off!!!!
Sometimes I cant stop squeezing it and squishing it. It's like dough. Gross, right? But sometimes when I am squeezing it I just can't stop. It's like a bad car wreck; you just cant look away.
The rest of me isn't half bad. I have an ok face, smallish arms and legs (ham thighs, but that's another post), you can even see my collarbones a little bit, even at a healthy weight. But I just can't come to terms with that roll.
I hate that fat roll.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Here we are riding a camel. I am afraid that Emma will be super jealous. She was at her dad's house this weekend. But we have a family pass to the zoo, so we will go over and over, and she will have plenty of chances to ride the camel.