Archives For anorexia

The 10th of October. 

I live on the floor now. 

Nights are the same, coughing until I fall asleep, then in the morning I’m okay until it starts again. Today, I got a blog post written up, but not posted before it was necessary to lie down. 

Rosemary came for lunch and she arrived to find me on the ground, which is always fun to explain. I got up to eat, but the rest of the afternoon has been face down. I watched an episode of How to Get Away with Murder on my phone, and listened to James Arthur speak very eloquently about mental health on Radio 5. 

It is something I have long struggled with, having been diagnosed with depression at fourteen, and it has varied in severity over time. I have been medicated since I was eighteen, which helps for the most part. I still have days under the heavy cloud, sometimes they stretch into weeks, months, but they end. I know they end. And I’m forever going to deal with the demon that is anorexia which really took hold when I got “better” from cancer. I was in treatment for over a year before I decided I wanted to change. You can have all the support in the world but if you’re not ready to stop self-destructing, you won’t. I still deal with its voice, I worry about my body, how I look. But I know that is not who I am. I am the sky.

The 11th of October. 

I am so tired. I had about three hours of sleep because I was just constantly coughing, and I had to get up at seven because I had to be at hospital at nine. 

It was for my lymphoscintigram in nuclear medicine so we could finally find out if my lymphatic system is the problem in my right arm. I got called through about half nine, having alienated everyone in the waiting room with my cough. I had two injections of radioactive dye in the webbed spaces of each hand, then I had a series of x-rays to see how quickly the lymphatic system would dispose of it. Each scan took five minutes in which I had to be completely still, with my arms stretched out in front of me on the bed. I had six in total, twenty minutes after the first, forty minutes after that, an hour after that, and an hour and ten minutes after that. The final one was me standing up with the machine moved to scan my body. We were able to discern that the right side is not functioning properly, because the dye was long gone from my left arm, but had got stuck in the lymph nodes near the elbow on the right. So now I’ll see Andrew again, and we’ll make another new plan. 

We finally got home at two, had lunch, and now I’m on oxygen because I’m so drained, my sats are dipping. 

What is this rib doing? It digs into the floor and it HURTS.

As some of you know, I’ve had an eating disorder in some form or another for almost ten years now. I was formally diagnosed as anorexic in 2009, after I had a minor breakdown when being asked repeatedly to gain weight post-liver transplant discharge. After several years of outpatient appointments at The Barberry, which is the QE’s eating disorders/mental health/mother and baby (it covers an odd spectrum of things) unit, with a doctor, a dietitian and a nutritionist/therapist (the therapy lasted the longest), I was finally discharged last year.

I don’t talk about it a huge amount, because it is not such a threatening issue for me any more, but I am having rumblings and if I write about it, I need to explain why. I only really started recovery after being in treatment for several months, possibly even a year, when I just decided that I didn’t want to be sick anymore. It really was almost an overnight decision. I was in hospital with the flu, and I had been weighing myself every day until then but in hospital it seemed pointless as it wasn’t consistent. When I was better from the flu, I went home and actually started to actively try and get better. I started eating three meals a day and telling my dietitian and nutritionist the truth about what I was eating and doing, and started gaining weight and feeling okay about it.

Anyway. I have been constant at around eight stone for over a year now (I have purposely not mentioned my lowest weight or put up any pictures because I know how anorexics who might come across this think) and while I was poorly in September/October, I lost about ten pounds, and have been struggling to regain it since. Over Christmas, I have managed it and more, and now I am in a very weird mental place of trying not to gain any more weight, without consciously restricting my intake and denying myself things, because as soon as that starts happening, the whole anorexic mental processes will begin again.

So I may start mentioning food or weight worries, and this is why. I’m trying to lose a couple of Christmas pounds without losing my mind. And it’s not going to be easy.