Audio Post February 16, some big questions, and an awesome journal entry

Am I gaining strength because I am eating?  Eating nothing is beyond seeing in black and white only.  It is seeing in nothing.  Now, can I keep the energy going?  Do I need big reasons to eat?

The journal entry speaks for itself.  Enjoy.

Audio Post from February 13 has been deleted, but here is the summary

I deleted this audio post after much soul-searching.  It is true that I never name names in my posts.  But I am uncomfortable with the fact that I spoke perhaps too judgmentally and spoke a bit too specifically about individual people and perhaps someone might figure out whom I am describing.  I also describe the incident with the three nurses as described in my entry that I believe is dated March 4, 2012 regarding the Five Fundamental Rights.  This incident had occurred Feb 12 on evening shift, so it was fresh in my mind Feb 13 when I made this post.  You can read about it in the March 4 post in detail.  I feel that there was nothing wrong with my having described this incident, but it was on the same post, so it got deleted along with everything else

Another thing I state in this post is that “Food is in the background now, and I am focusing on other things…instead of being in survival mode.”  I had woken up with self-doubt and a headache.  I felt that people were telling me different things, my body telling me things, different messages, headache, feverish…I can only follow my heart and believe in myself.

Audio Post February 12

I briefly described the admissions process.  This might be of use to anyone who is going to be coming to Alcott or any of the eating disorders programs at Walden.  Many people go through this same admissions office on the third floor of 20 Hope Ave that I went through.  It is standard procedure, no surprises, lots of forms to fill out of course.

I didn’t mention the blood test.  This is a big deal and not a big deal.  Not a big deal if you’re used to having blood drawn and have no problem with it and have “good veins” and aren’t squeamish or anything.  But there are nine or so tubes.  Yes, nine.  Even the best and nicest and friendliest of veins might have a word to say about nine tubes.  My veins are a phlebotomist’s dream, but for whatever reason, my #1 favorite vein was not being my #1 favorite that day.  I had a word or two to say to it afterward about “good citizenship” and “love thy neighbor.”  It is a good thing that I always make a point of bringing my veins with me to church.  I hope they soak up a thing or two.  I’d send them downstairs to Religious Education, but I’m afraid that might cause the rest of me a bit of difficulty.

I describe my initial impression of Alcott as being warmer than the typical psych unit, no loud TV, yes, there were patients my age, and nice staff.

I describe my initial efforts to eat.

Audio Post Feb 9, my first full day on Alcott

This is the first audio post in a series of the ones I made while on Alcott.  This one was done on a hall phone, as I state initially.  Note that I am immediately aware of lack of privacy on hall phones.

I find the following line particularly interesting. “Please don’t make an issue of it.  I just did it (eating) and got it out of the way.  I made a choice.”

I am really out of it in this post.  I have already eaten.  I can only imagine what I was like when I showed up at the office on the 8th, with no nourishment in me.

EATING DISORDERS ARE SERIOUS.  IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE AN EATING DISORDER, GET HELP.

News about me

I guess it’s afternoon now. I have just heard that I will initially be placed on Alcott, the eating disorders unit, then possibly transfered over to Thoreau, the psych side. The reason for this is because they feel I am seriously in need of nutritional restoration due to low weight and the fact that I am not mentally clear. I agree that this is the case and am okay with the whole deal. They claim that the current population on Alcott is not all children and that there are many adults there. I hope that the adults are not all discharged tomorrow morning and that they don’t admit a bunch of screaming 14-year-olds. And I hope they have improved their showers, because when I was there in 2010 the showers there were unacceptable. Just a tiny trickle of cold water. We were required to finish our showers in ten minutes. It takes me more like twenty-five if I wash my hair, longer if all it is is a tiny trickle. I am going to have to finish this entry very shortly. The nurse, whom I happen to recall from a previous admission, is going to do some paperwork with me shortly, and then I will be going to the unit and signing myself in. Eeeks!

You guys take good care of yourselves.

I am at the admissions office

I am currently at the admissions office at Walden Behavioral Care. It looks like there will be beds on the Thoreau unit because there will be discharges there today. I was fortunate to hVe interviewed with someone who remembered me (favorably, it seemed) from my previous admission, and this, I think, was helpful in getting me into Thoreau, if in fact I do end up there…another thing is insurance, so we’ll see. I have contacted a couple of people and a number of “loose ends” are tied up. I feel decent about all this I feel glad to be alive today.

I want to wish everyone a joyful day.

My mind is made up…a promise I am making to myself

Okay…

If because of “insurance” and “policy” and “availability of beds” I end up on the eating disorders side, that is, Alcott, where all they do is fatten you up, where the patients are much, much younger than me and I don’t stand a chance at getting better…

instead of “faking it” and lying in order to get out of there faster (so that they won’t make me gain any more weight, in other words)

every day, I will put in a request to get on the psych side, that is, Thoreau.  I will state my reasons for this request in writing clearly, until I get my needs met.

Because really, I do want to save my own life.  Dying is wearing me out.

Plodding along today

I have really had a positive day so far considering it’s the day before I’m to show up at the hospital.  I didn’t make a list of everything I needed to do, but so far, I’ve done a fair amount, and I’ve gotten the daytime stuff done.  My brain is working better than it was earlier, surprisingly.

Puzzle had a nice walk this morning.  It was warm out.  She was especially energetic and ill-mannered, which was fine with me.  I listened to Phil Carrack on our walk.  Or is it Paul Carrack?  I forget.   I guess it’s the last time I’ll be listening to headphones for a while.  They don’t allow them at the hospital.

Last night I e-mailed the crisis team and told them they should educate their people about eating disorders.  I wasn’t sure the e-mail got through.  It did!  I got a call this morning from one of the higher-ups.  We spoke for a while and I was satisfied with our conversation.  We decided that we should work out some sort of plan for me.  Maybe work it out at the hospital with the social worker.  I thought this was a good idea.  I told this person that the current company that runs the crisis team is much, much better than the previous company.  So it was a productive conversation.

Pooch Palace called this morning, returning my call from last night, and I made arrangements for Puzzle.  She is now safely at Pooch Palace.  We arrived on time for her appointment, bringing her food and bowl.  Puzzle was very well-behaved in the cab.  The cab driver was impressed with her, and said he liked her name.  He said he’d never forget that Puzzle lives in my building, because he likes her name so much.  He asked if she was going to get groomed while she was visiting Pooch Palace, and I said yes, she is certainly due for a groom!  The timing seems to be just right.

I ran a few errands as well.  Given that this hospital doesn’t allow spiral notebooks, I had to replace a small notebook I use with one that wasn’t spiral.  This was easy enough.  I purchased some erasers and sample size shampoo and toothpaste.  Suddenly, I felt the need to leave the place.  I needed a regular-sized toothpaste as well, but got flustered trying to find the right kind.  So many different types…different brands…I paid for my stuff I already had and bolted out of there without the toothpaste.  I can get it some other time.

A dear friend called.  I suddenly realized that this friend was overly enmneshed in my medical affairs.  I decided that this obsession was her problem and that she needs to work it out on her own.  I need to focus on my own needs right now.

I decided to “fire” my DMH person and the entire program I’m in.  That is, I do not want to see her again.  She does not do her job and never has.   I am tired of wasting my Saturday mornings.  I will discuss this with the  people at the hospital.

I did a little reading on aftercare, that is, what I would be doing after I get out of the hospital, that is, what they would expect me to do.  I have very few options that would be covered by my insurance.  Correction: one option.  A “partial” in a nearby location accessible by local bus, kind of a pain in the ass commute, though.  I wasn’t fond of the program.  I went for one day.  If you don’t show up, they call your emergency contact, or the police, I am not kidding you!  This is fucked.

I do not like such programs, as a general rule.  You sit around all day in groups with people you can’t relate to talking about your problems and feeling sorry for yourself.  I have always found that this makes me feel worse, especially if the people surrounding me feel more sorry for themselves than I do of myself, and whine even more loudly than I do.  It gets especially boring, as it did the day I was at that program, when one person goes on and on about something, and you have no clue what they’re talking about, and everyone else is saying, “Oh, I feel for you, how simply awful that must be!” and then there’s this metaphorical group hug, meaning that touching, of course, in any form, is not allowed, so there’s this pretend group hug, and everyone gives support to each other.

In the words of an ex-friend, whom I deeply admired, SUPPORT IS OVERRATED.  Or at least that kind is.

Anyway, I would rather talk to a complete stranger at a bus stop than sit in a group for forty-five minutes any day.  At least, after I talk to the stranger, the bus comes, I get on the bus, sit for only twenty minutes, and get someplace.

On the other hand, the hospital may want me to shell out bucks for “residential” treatment.   In other words, they would expect my family to pay for this treatment but my mom won’t and she’s sick besides, and my brothers are putting their kids through college and don’t have a dime to spare.  You have to be like in the One Percent to pay for those residential programs, that plus pay for Puzzle’s boarding.

What is this “residential” treatment?  It means living in a house with other people and having meals together, I guess you prepare the meals and shop for these meals and go on “group outings.”  It sounds like a nightmare to me, especially considering that a lot of these “residents” would be a fraction of my age, just giggly, gossiping girls.  Ugh.  I suppose the TV would be blasting night and day, or the stereo, some teen rock group or something.  Painting their toes, make-up and jewelry, screaming all the time….No thanks.

Really, there have got to be better answers than what they have offered me so far.

Treatment….

I do not want to go in there and get fattened up and feel like shit.  I remember the first couple of times I was there when that happened.  I went in and they made me eat, eat, eat.  It was like ridiculous.  All I did was fart 24/7 and feel miserable physically and emotionally.   All I could think of was how badly I wanted to lose the weight as soon as I got out of there.  This was anti-recovery.  And I’m not kidding about the farting.  So you can imagine how miserable I was.  After I lost the weight, I was worse off than before.

The other time I was there, in September, it wasn’t like that.  The focus was different.  I refused to follow their meal plan and fart all day.  They took an addictions approach because I was on the psych side and a lot of the patients, who were closer to my age, were alcoholics.  The staff were gentle with me and let me take my time.  I actually wanted to get better, for maybe the first time.  I actually stood a chance.  I went through an incredible transformation.  When something like this happens to you, you don’t forget it.

Maybe…maybe…maybe….

Tuesday morning

Hello!  I seem to have done okay last night and am awake and alive.  I slept okay for the first part of the night but during the second part I did a fair amount of tossing and turning, and in the long run had bad sleep.  I awoke with a headache.  I took aspirin and am having a cup of coffee, my usual cure.  It generally works, but so far, hasn’t completely stopped the headache.  Emotionally I feel okay so far.  Smooth sailing.  My T wrote to me and again offered the appointment at 3.  I turned her down.  What the heck to I want an appointment for?  I need this time to prepare, you know, run last-minute errands, get Puzzle to Pooch Palace, and reconsider what I’ve packed.  Different places allow different stuff.  This place doesn’t allow spiral-bound notebooks so I’ve got to take those out, for instance.

The pencil situation is an issue.  They don’t allow mechanical pencils and provide wood ones.  The wood ones don’t sharpen properly.  They sharpen crooked so when you write with them, you write half with the wood and the pencil is useless.  When I was there last, I somehow got away with keeping my mechanical pencils, but get this: they stupidly thought that I might stab myself with the pencil leads.  Like they thought these things are made of metal or whatever.  Much as I tried to tell them that these are fragile, extremely delicate objects, half the staff, who are generally above bachelor degree educated, wouldn’t accept my statement.  This was an ongoing issue for the entire time I was there.  Eventually, I ran out of pencil leads and had to resort to one of their useless wood pencils, and go back and forth to the desk and use their barely-functioning pencil sharpener every ten minutes or so.  I peeled back the wood adjacent to the tip of the pencil after sharpening it so that the pencil would function.   It got very, very frustrating.  I have packed my own erasers, two of them, very nice ones that actually work, but they may take these away as well.  I’m not sure what they provide, but as most of you know, most erasers suck.  They smudge and make a permanent mess, not fully erase, or dig into the paper or wrinkle or rip it.  I’m sure those of you who are writers, and even those of you who aren’t writers can identify with this situation.  Maybe I should just talk to them beforehand.

Since beginning this entry I have done a bit of spacing out and getting distracted.  Pooch Palace called and Puzzle will go in at 2:45.  I am pleased with what I have worked out with them regarding extra food for Puzzle should she need it.  I am having trouble thinking clearly.  As you know, this has been an ongoing problem since the beginning of 2012.

While at Walden, I will be able to do audio posts but not text posts.  I know a lot of you don’t bother with the audio posts that I put up.  Whatever.  If I am on the Alcott side, I will be limited in what I can say.  Unless they have changed their phone setup, their phones are out in the open with no enclosures, and anyone (other patients, staff) can hear me, so I will be limited in what I can say.  (We are not allowed to discuss our “treatment” in the presence of other patients, believe it or not!)  Should this telephone situation indeed be the case, I will challenge this and request a private place…but this is all further down the line.  Patient Bill of Rights, etc…I have the right to privacy on the phone.  The Thoreau side provides adequate privacy according to law.  I had no problem last time.  Unless you step outside the enclosure or shout, no one can hear you, that plus the TV is always blaring.  I will attempt to update daily.

My progress writing this entry has been extremely slow.  I finished my coffee quite some time ago.  I need to take a shower.  One of my first thoughts this morning was that perhaps one of the few, if only advantages to being in the hospital will be that I will get away from my next-door neighbor who sneezes so loudly that I hear her through the walls.  That was the first sound I heard upon waking this morning, and I have heard it continuously ever since.  How disgusting.  It is 2012 and I have now put up with this for three and a half years.  People tell me I should have empathy for this woman.  I’ve tried.  I’m sick of listening to it day in and day out.