My thoughts about yesterday's ER experience, on the day before Christmas 2011

Suddenly, I am grieving to the point that I am dizzy.  There is joy and there is sorrow.  I guess the reason for joy was all fantasy on my part.

There are things that I keep secret.  Life happens so quickly when you live on the edge.  I wish I had the energy to write everything down as it happens.

I turned on my computer this morning.  I turn on my computer every morning.  I weighed myself this morning.  I weigh myself just about every morning.  I made coffee this morning.  Now that is a treat.  Sometimes I have coffee and sometimes I don’t.  Today, I am truly savoring it.  I have very little left in this world but I must say this cup of coffee tastes excellent right now.

I need a shower.  I take a shower every morning.  Yesterday, of course, I was taken out by ambulance by fools, and kept at the emergency room, where, in the long run, the emergency room staff treated me for the opposite complaint of the one I reported to them.  This “treatment” consisted of leaving me in the room for two and a half hours unattended and allowing me to drift in and out of sleep.  I was hooked up to all kinds of gizmos.  I am surprised that I slept with the automatic blood pressure cuff squeezing my arm every now and then.  They did not offer me water or juice during this time or ask me how I was feeling, or even enter the room.  I would have jerked awake.  I woke up twice when the housekeeping person came in to replace the latex gloves and other necessities.  My mouth was dry.  I was cold.  I needed water and more blankets.  I also wanted to know what the heck was causing the delay, and what the results of the tests had been.

When I first arrived, the attending nurse, who apparently hadn’t heard the report from the EMT’s, asked me about the reasons why I had called 911, and what my symptoms were.  I told her.  She then asked, “So you aren’t hungry.  Is that the problem?”

What a freaking idiot.

I replied, “No.  That is not the why I am here.  Not feeling hunger is not a reason to call 911!”  I add an exclamation point here, but the truth is, I was rather out of it.

This was the night nurse.  Thankfully, she was quickly replaced by another nurse.  I saw her twice while I was there.  The first time I saw her, she inserted the IV.  The second time I saw her, she removed it.  I was never actually given fluids.  When I pressed the call bell (once to ask what the heck was going on, and the second time to ask someone to pass me my belongings, as I couldn’t reach them, being hooked up) a guy came who was not a nurse, but some kind of other ER person lower on the totem pole.  I also asked for water.

They said all my lab tests and EKG (heart test) results, etc were fine.  In the same breath, my nurse mumbled something about dehydration, and told me to drink more water and that this was why I was experiencing the symptom that I hadn’t reported to them.

At this very moment, I removed my ER papers from my knapsack.  I was given a “psychiatric discharge.”  My diagnosis: generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD.  My instructions:  “Take it easy.”

Well, fuck.

I looked over the symptoms that people who have GAD experience, according to the sheet they gave me.  With the exception of feeling like you are going to pass out, I did not have any of the symptoms.

They noted that my heart rate was a bit elevated.  They told me that this was a symptom of anxiety.  This was when the nurse told me that dehydration can also raise one’s heartbeat, and told me to drink more.

Actually, my elevated heart rate is a side effect of the antidepressant, Imipramine, that I started taking last month.  Since I started the medication, my pulse has run about 94 beats per minute.  There is nothing dangerous about this.  It is simply something to take note of.

For the past couple of weeks, it has dropped into the 60’s.  There is a reason for this and I know the reason.  Normal heart rate for a woman is 70 to 80, and a heart rate in the 60’s is perfectly fine.

I reported to the doctor that for three nights this week, it got so low that it was scary.  Yesterday morning when I woke up, it was even scarier.

On Tuesday, that is, Tuesday of this week, I got it into my head this fantasy, and I guess I had hung onto this fallacy enough to want to go on with it all.  Yesterday, when I felt that I would pass out, I drank a bit of juice, and some water, and lived.

I feel really, really shitty right now.  My coffee is finished.  I have a bit of water left in my cup which I will finish in a bit.  A shower will surely help.  I do a lot of constructive thinking in the shower.  I will get dressed.  I will give Puzzle a terrific walk.  It is cold out, but otherwise is a lovely day.  Tonight I will go to church.

I have a sad life.  The past year has been the worst of it.  There is no reason for this.

Praise God.

 

 

Back from the ER and totally lost

I don’t know where these people get their training.  They know nothing about eating disorders.  They treated me despicably and with utter disrespect.  I am overwhelmed.  They didn’t even listen to me.

Believe me, I was embarrassed just to call 911.  It took a lot of courage to pick up the phone and dial.

I told myself that I had two choices: I could die, or I could face extreme embarrassment and ridicule, and possible psychiatric hospitalization.

Well, I should have stayed home.  Because it turned out that it was the swig of apple juice that I drank, and 14 calories of mashed potato I that ate that saved me, not the EMT’s.  A bit later I had 63 calories of Odwalla Superfruit juice and several glasses of water.

You see, I actually measured the juice before drinking it to make sure I knew the calories.  Even though I was drinking this juice to save my life.  That’s how crazy I am.  When I got home from the emergency room, I wrote down all my calories.

Trust me, these people–EMT’s, emergency room nurses, doctors, all of them–know nothing about eating disorders.  There really needs to be some education.  This is despicable.  On Monday I plan to call a local eating disorders organization to see what is being done in this area.  Something needs to be done about this.  This is the same time something like this has happened to me at the same hospital (near Boston and local to me).

I am wondering if there is anyone I can trust.  I am wondering if this boils down to survival.  Just Puzzle and me.  Do I want to live or die?  I guess it’s really up to me.  I guess there is no one else I can ask.  I certainly can’t trust anyone or rely on anyone for answers.  I don’t even know what to ask.  I didn’t want to pray all this time because I was afraid that God would tell me to eat.  I don’t want to be told to eat.  On Tuesday I decided not to let myself die so I drank a few spoonfuls of juice.  But it’s all conditional.  This is so fucked up.

Winter Solstice Morning 2011

It is morning and I am awake and alive.  In my dream, I was in a cloud, floating.  I felt no pain.  I was lying on my back.  When I awoke, I sprung up.  I had strength, enough to know that I am okay.

I recall now that I prepared for bed very early.  I was tired.  I remembered to take my meds as usual.  Puzzle was confused that my schedule was altered.

I awoke at 12:30, peed, and went back to bed.  I recall saying to myself that I felt back to normal.  Or at least on my way to back to normal.  It felt like it does on many nights when I awake in the night to pee.

I fell asleep immediately.

I awoke at 4.  And now, it is past 6.  I have done a few things, not a lot.  It felt okay to have a cup of coffee today.  I savored it.

I am thinking about my body, each part.  God gave me so much strength.

Good morning

Good morning.

Today I have the day free of appointments, etc, but I realize now that everything I do matters.  I must think things out.  Brush Puzzle’s teeth.  Brush my own teeth.  Shower.  Take the trash out.  But…do I take out the kitchen trash, or the bathroom trash?  Which one do I take out first?

I also realize that I have some decisions to make.  Every day, I have chosen to be lazy and do nothing and not decide.  I put it off.  And this means that every day, I have decided.  Because not acting is a decision, too.  Keeping it to myself is a decision as well.

This morning when I awoke, I felt cold.  I did my usual trick of putting ice on the thermostat.  I put on a hat and drank hot tea.  Still, I felt cold.  I lay back down under the covers for a bit.  I don’t know if I slept or not.  I got up.  I asked myself if today would be different from yesterday and the day before and the day before that.  It feels a little different.  I asked myself some other questions as well.  These questions did not get answers.

If I speak aloud, I wonder what my voice will sound like.  I wonder how I appear to others.  I tried to avoid the neighbors.  I always avoid the neighbors.

Signing off.

My last therapy session…for a little while

My T is going on a vacation.  Never mind where she is going but I will tell you that she is looking forward to it.  I could tell.  She is leaving tomorrow and I think today’s Boston weather had her convinced that she needed a vacation.  This morning was even colder than yesterday morning.

I am cold.  I just finished a hot cup of Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice herbal tea.  I have never had Bengal Spice before.  It’s rather good, and it helped warm me up.  I am wearing my Winter Classic 5k hat that I got exactly a year ago when I ran the race in Cambridge, MA.  This year, the race was held December 11th.

When I told my T that the race was exactly a year ago, that is, December 19th, that started her on this whole, “What have you accomplished in this past year?” rampage.  Which was fine with me because I didn’t want to talk about certain other things.

So a lot of bullshit got discussed.  She seems to think I have accomplished so many things.  I let her think this because it’s a nice way for her to start off her vacation.  Honestly, it’s been one fucked-up year.  It’s been the worst year of my life.  I kind of said this and shrugged off the “accomplishment” part.

I did tell her this:

I AM OKAY JUST THE WAY I AM.

That was all I said about that.

I told her I felt pretty good, that I was glad to be over that yucky virus I had.  I spoke a bit about the virus and the impact it had on me.

Change of subject: I told a lie last night and it is weighing heavily on my mind.  It is the lie I tell more than any other lie.  This is the lie:

“Julie, you’ve had something to eat, haven’t you?”

“Oh yes, I’ve had something.”

Of course, I hadn’t had anything.  I felt especially bad lying to this person last night.  It is really bothering me now, just getting on my conscience.  I made excuse after excuse not to have the pizza, saying that I had just gotten over a bug.  But there was other food there, too.  I made an excuse to have just water.  I saw water in a pitcher, and knowing it was just water, I asked if there was any alcohol in it.  I wanted to appear to be making sure that it was alcohol-free.  That way, it would look more “okay” to have just water.  Just more anorexic bullshit paranoia.

I smiled and had a good time and put the food and the lie out of my mind.

I smiled and had a good time in therapy, too.

I hope my T smiles and has a good time on her vacation.

I am having a vacation….

After my nap and before leaving the house to go caroling

I have noticed that human beings break promises, and I am no different.  I broke the promise I made to myself that I would not have caffeine today.  I didn’t have morning coffee.  I often don’t have coffee in the morning simply because I forget to make it or I make it and forget it’s there, and find it hours later still sitting on the counter waiting for me, stone cold.  I spooned down a cup of Roastaroma right before leaving for church this morning.  At church social hour, I drank herbal tea.  That’s a first because I always have the coffee there and I always pick the largest mug and feel that surely I am being selfish for doing so.  I came home and slept for two hours and then got up and felt groggy and headachy.  I took two aspirin and gave in and had my coffee.  I feel better.  Improved.  Not great though.

That’s not really what I wanted to talk about.  I was just at church as I usually am on Sundays.  I am going back in a bit and then a bunch of us are carpooling over to this place and then we are caroling there and then going back to the music director’s place for a get-together.  I am a busy girl.  But I felt it was important to write in here with the little time I have in-between.

You just don’t know anything about the future.  You can’t predict New England weather.  It is cold outside today.  I am cold, very cold sometimes.

After church–well, let me just say that church is different each time I go.  Each time is special.  We had the Christmas pageant today.

When the kids were up there singing, I thought I was going to start crying.  There I was, sitting in the second row.  I was scared the kids would see my crying, and not understand my tears.  Does anyone understand my tears?  No one really needs to understand them.  Many people cry at church for their own reasons and it’s none of my business why they do.  I put a smile on my face and held the liquid tears inside my eyes and did not let them fall.  I willed my nose not to run.

Bodily fluids.  Water.

I have decided that it is no longer a good idea to drink really fast or a whole lot at once.

I don’t have much time, because

I am leaving in a bit.

At 4:45, I have to be at church for carpooling.  But I am getting there early.  My mom taught me to be early.  She was notoriously late.  For everything.  Actually, it was a horrible thing that she was late.  This was one way that she neglected us kids.  It was gross neglect because her tardiness often put us in dangerous situations.  Or she would forget us entirely and not show.  By being chronically late, I learned.  I learned to be early.  Because it is better to be early, or to plan to be early just in case there are delays.  I am always on time.  Or sooner than expected.

Why am I poisoning this entry with talk of my mother?  I was just in a deep sleep.  I slept for nearly two hours.  I woke up and the edema was gone.  I asked myself if all the fluid had gone into my head and that’s why I had a headache.

I have been Doctor Greene all weekend.  Survival.

I have just peeked.  My legs are gross again.  When I left the house this morning I thought about how this really does a number on my self-esteem.  Actually, I read on a website that the common denominator among people with eating disorders is low self-esteem.

Imagine that.

I could use a shower after that two-hour nap.

Step by Step on Saturday Night

Weird things are happening that I’m not sure I want to get into.  I’ve been looking up my meds and side effects and such and will soon make a decision about tonight…which ones I will leave out…it’s not like I want to stop meds altogether but being on meds is scary to me right now….

I am finally free of the sickness I had.  Or at least I don’t seem to have a fever anymore or diarrhea.  But the edema remains.  My legs look awful.  My ankles are round and my legs are stocky but my stomach is a little flatter.   No one has to see my ugly legs.  I keep them covered.  Still, they make me feel horrible about myself.

I stopped diet soda days ago.  Tomorrow, no caffeine.   I wrote that down.

I read today about the impact of Karen Carpenter’s death.  Just a short article.  What struck me was that the article mentioned that when Karen was found dead, she was lying naked right next to her clothes wardrobe.

I have been reading one heck of a lot about dead bodies and ways that people die lately.  Unusual deaths and controversial deaths.  Suicides and why people commit suicide.  Lotsa You-Tubes.  There are whole websites on the topic of death and its varieties.

Humans disappoint me.  It has been one thing after another.

On Thursday, my publisher wrote that he is going to contact me this coming week regarding my paperback, and we will be getting it out in the new year.  That is not too long away.

That is not too long away.  It will be cold tonight.  Tomorrow is Sunday.