Dear Ed, You. Were. Wrong. (Telling dr #2)

Yesterday I was worried, immensely worried, about telling my podiatrist about my eating disorder (I feel so old having a podiatrist hahah). I am still really, REALLY uncomfortable saying it out loud to people who don’t already know- probably has something to do with the perfectionist part of me which also helped ingrain this beast in the fibers of my being. But, I had to tell him because my feet are almost always numb, my injuries have been less than healing and I get oddly injured a lot. (Part of getting injured a lot is just the real me, I don’t really always stop and think when I am deep into my bazillion of activities but not all the injuries are accountable from that).

Fact: I told him.
Fact: I was nervous as all hell
Fact: The nurse said my drop in weight was “definitely drastic and noticeable”
         (all I thought was “well, to one of us it is”)
Fact: Dr. C (we will call him) was really concerned when I told him I had to stop running because of “other things”
Fact: Dr. C was even more concerned when I was quiet and nervous (two things I am never when I am there)

Fact: When I told Dr. C, he looked at me and said “you know, that’s actually a LOT more common than you think” and told me if he knows anyone who can beat this and get better it’s me.

Hey, ED: YOU WERE WRONG. He didn’t judge me, he didn’t even flinch, he cared, he showed compassion, he didn’t think I was crazy, he didn’t treat me differently, he didn’t do anything other than be immensely supportive. He told me to call if I needed anything even if it wasn’t related to my feet, he told me that if the treatment center needed anything to just call and he will get it done, he told me I CAN SURVIVE THIS. He joked with me, he made me feel comfortable and you know what, ED, YOU WERE WRONG ABOUT IT ALL.ALL of it, ED, because you know what? HE PROMISED HE WOULD STILL FIX MY FEET SO I CAN RUN.

Although he said I need to continue to take the time off that I’ve been doing, especially when he realized how sick I am and when I told him the complications I am having. But he promised he would still get me back to my marathons. And I trust him. I trust him more than any other doctor (although my Nurse Practitioner is an angel and I trust her too now, Dr. C was the only doctor I trusted for a very very very long time).

Deep down I knew he would be supportive, I mean only a Grinch would be rude to your face. Plus, seriously, Dr. C has known me before I was skinny, before I started running, before a lot of things. He has never once made me feel crazy (and seriously, I have had crazy injuries), stupid, ridiculous, or anything negative. He fixes the issues, he jokes with me, he thinks my running is amazing and he said “You run more than any person I have ever met”– BEST. RUNNER. COMPLIMENT!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

So moral of the story: My ED is NOT always right, and I’m starting to think maybe it’s wrong more than right (?) Dr. C and my Nurse Practitioner are medical professionals and neither have taken my fears and dismissed me or them, they’ve done the opposite and have both showed genuine human concern, not just the your-my-patient-I-have-to-“care” disposition. And telling Dr. C was a HUGE relief, I trust him enough to know that no matter what I can count on him to support me, get me back running and to not treat me differently (my biggest fear). Also, My mom and sister were right (PS. Totally making a post later about my AMAZING little sister, we are best friends and she was texting me when I was nervous yesterday and made me feel infinitely better).

Still, you never know how people will respond but what I am starting to learn is the people you have in your life that are worth telling also think you are worth enough to be alive, happy and healthy and when they realize you need help and support it is instinctive for them to stand beside you and help you get there.

So, Dr. C. if you ever read this: Thank you. You put the awesome in awesomesauce and are perhaps the best doctor I have come to know. Best runner compliment ever: made. my. day. but your reaction to my eating disorder was exactly what I needed and for that there are no words that can express my gratitude. PS. When I make my running comeback: get ready because I am aiming for… an ULTRA and a Triathlon!!!!

And mom and little sis: *mumbles* Youwereright. SSsshhhhhhhh. πŸ™‚ ❀

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Grapes & Gratitude

I made it through my doctor’s appointment and survived the encounter with… The Scale. Seriously, words cannot express my anxiety around scales and knowing my weight. On one hand, I want to know (but really, I think it’s the ED part of me that wants to know because I want the number to be lower); on the other hand, I don’t want to know (this part I think is the real me because it is the part that is scared of the self-hatred and self-harm thoughts if the number goes up). So yeah, it’s a complicated relationship and it won’t end well either way because either the ED part of me gets stronger and more satisfied or the real me gets beat up and bullied by it.

Today my ED was happy. VERY happy. I, however, was more than a bit ashamed of the happy thoughts flooding my body after seeing the drop in weight again. I could soon reach underweight status, my potassium is so low my doctor looked me in the eye and said “you are at risk of heart failure”, I can’t run off my anxiety, frustration or fear, I am too tired and disoriented to carry on conversation after a few hours of being awake. I am dying and yet, I feel happiness for losing weight but I also feel guilt for feeling the happiness. I am infinitely messed up, trapped and terrified.

However, I did actually have some REAL ME happiness today too. The kind that makes the ED part of me angry, loud and mad but only because it means that part of me is slowly being attacked by the old, happy, me. Today, I experienced two things: Grapes and Gratitude. Let’s start with gratitude.

I have from the get-go had so much respect and gratitude for my Nurse Practitioner at the doctor’s office. I always see her and have since I started going to this practice and she managed to get my trust (something that is very hard for medical professionals to do since my whole stomach debacle) enough to make me feel like I could trust her with my deep dark ED secret. And when I did go and tell her about it, she was nothing short of absolutely amazing, caring, concerned, trusting and non-judgmental. As I progress toward getting into treatment she has been so supportive and continues to be both honest but caring at the same time, never blaming me but instead working with me to try and figure out a solution for now until I can get to the psychologist, psychiatrists and other therapists. And perhaps what I am the MOST grateful for, she has never once made me feel like I did this to myself, never once made me feel like anything she said was condescending and never once made me feel like I am not sick. So yeah, complete and utter gratitude for her. I am, however, petrified because next time I go… I have to see the Physician Asst. instead because my amazing NP is going on maternity leave. She promises to be back soon and that the PA is stellar (she said this at two different appts so I am taking comfort in that she reiterated it) and said that she really likes her, herself. I, however, am scared to death. But still, I am so gracious for my NP and grateful that she warned me and talked to me about it before it happens so that I am not overwhelmed with surprise next time and she let me know she would talk to the PA about everything before she leaves too. Woo!

Also at the appointment she scared me to death when the ER, hospital and my horrifyingly low potassium levels were brought up. I don’t want a heart attack or to go into heart failure. I don’t want to die, that’s why I asked for help. Yet, I am on the verge of death. We had a very critical and terrifying conversation about eating more. I explained all my fears and we decided that trying to getΒ  more fruit and veggies would be easier (she said she prefers fruits because I need more nutrients they offer and my 1 safe food is a veggie πŸ˜‰ ) Until about 4 months ago there was one other vegetable and one fruit that was “semi-safe” but only in very limited quantities to ED. Today, I promised I would try and eat more and I am so gracious for all my NP’s help and support (in addition to my family) that I really did want to try and overcome my horrid ED thoughts which brings me to: grapes.

Seriously, I have been CRAVINGGGGGG grapes for weeks now. So after my appointment I went to Publix (best grocery store ever!) and the anxiety was so bad I had to call my mom on the way in and ask if grapes really were healthy and okay to eat. After she confirmed that and we talked about the appointment I knew the anxiety was only going to get worse. It’s kinda like when you skydive, the longer you sit on the edge of the plane the harder it is to convince yourself to jump so I went in, got a small produce bag (buying the whole thing of grapes like my mom suggested made me cry just thinking about it) and I just opened one of the bags and took a stem of the grapes and put it in the produce bag and tied it shut. I think I only tied it so I couldn’t put them back haha.

I am sure I looked like a crazy person, I called my mom and asked if grapes were healthy. I am a twenty-something grown-up lol I should know this; but when your brain lies to you for so long it gets to the point you don’t know what’s real and what’s not. Then I got in the car with my “unsafe” grapes. I knew I couldn’t just go home and eat the grapes because I knew my ED would get the best of me so I took a handful and as I drove I ate the first one. It was SO. DARN. GOOD. Cold and crisp on the outside and juicy and delish on the inside! The taste was seriously the best grape I have probably ever had! ED me was having a FIT and berating me but I ate a second one and eventually finished the whole handful! It’s not a lot- I know- but I was feeling full and didn’t want to make it worse. Also, I had arrived at my location– the make up store. I needed some new make up so I went in, went to the lady and asked her to demo the kind I wanted to try and it worked. Omgosh at first I could barely hear her over the ED thoughts but after a bit ED me gave up on getting me to purge the grapes AND I bought some new make up after I had a fabulous make over.

And that, even though it’s not a lot,Β  is my first REAL RECOVERY WIN!!!!

But seriously, my NP is the bomb dot com. LOVE her and I am still freaking out over her leave of absence but she hasn’t led me astray yet and I have toΒ  believe the PA will be just as good.

Eating Out…

(Trigger warning: eating disorder; specific mentioning of foods)

Freaking Out!!! I am at Panera with my mom and sister. I am so nauseous today and don’t want to eat (moreso than my normal desire to not eat) but really can’t stomach the thought of cauliflower which is my only food normally. My mom said to get soup. I can reason chicken broth and I love Panera but I am so scared of the noodles and chicken being in the soup and I am so so so so so scared. I HATE eating out but Panera soup is only 80 calories so it’s a little better but still I am anxious over the bad parts. My mom said she’d ask for it to be mostly broth (thankfully) so we will see. Plus it is REALLY REALLY BUSY. Lots of people and that makes everything worse but I’m glad we got a table near the back where there’s less people. 

I’m waiting at the table while my mom and sister order. I can do this. I think. Ugh the anxiety is NOT helping my nausea and everything smells delicious. I used to study here daily and now I am on the verge of panic attack. I can’t believe this. I can’t believe I am scared of frickin soup. 

Oh well, I am just going to make this as big of a #recoverywin as possible considering I wouldn’t have dared come unless my mom and sister convinced me and they only did that knowing about my ED so they were super supportive.

Post-meal update: I survived. I only drank the chicken broth but still I haven’t had anything other than my one safe food in months and I didn’t cry or freak out. Still, I wish I could enjoy the food and being at a restaurant.