Even more about therapy

Okay, say you are really desperate and you’ve tried everything else and by the time you finally end up in one of these people’s offices you are truly at the end of your rope.  I guess a lot of people find themselves in this situation.

Chances are, the therapist will want to know some background information about you.  Some therapists spend an entire session on this information-gathering.  Save a bit of time and get the insurance numbers and data like that done over the phone, so that the time isn’t wasted doing this in the session.  It’s coming out of your pocket, after all.

So right now I see a problem because a desperate person has walked into an office and has spent 50 minutes talking about some dead aunt’s history of heart trouble, while nothing helpful has happened, and the desperate person needs to wait yet another week to…

Cry.  This is what most people tell me they do when they start therapy for the first time. They let it all out.  Finally there is someone to talk to.

Often, this is all a person needs.  Just to let it all out, and move on. Crisis over.  Therapy ended.  Actually, this was what I expected 32 years ago when I walked into my first therapy session.  Guess what?

Maybe this was where all the family history, etc paperwork came in handy.  It gives them a chance to size you up in a legal and practical sense.  I’m sure that when I first filled out these papers, they were filed away and never looked at even by a secretary.  When you go to a doctor’s office, someone who doesn’t already know you, you get three pages at least of papers to fill out.   Does anyone look at theses papers?  Probably not.  But your therapist will dig up the forms real fast when something legal has to be done, so be careful what you write and what you sign.  Think about what it means for your therapist to talk to your other providers and your family members.  You may or may not want this.

When I first started therapy, what did the therapist see?  What did the agency see?

I think these are two separate things, though I am clueless as to how this agency worked back then.  My therapist was rather open-minded and listened well.  I am wondering if the agency saw some kind of contradiction with the fact that I was a Bennington College student and had come to the county clinic instead of going to the school’s student mental health services.  I didn’t fit in with their clientele, according to the stereotype.  I was a Bennington Girl, and therefore rich, and on top of that, Jewish.  I had gone to the clinic stating that I had no income and very little money to live on.  Undoubtedly, they were thinking that if I stuck around, they’d rope my wealthy and unsuspecting parents into the situation.

They tried to do this later on.  I left town and came back and returned to the same therapist.  Then they switched me to another.  This guy was abusive.   I wrote about him before on here.  He was the one who smoked during our sessions non-stop and belittled me.  It was horrible.  He insisted that my family drive three hours to have family therapy with him.  With this guy?  I knew I didn’t feel good about my family, but I wasn’t going to punish them by subjecting them to this guy.  My brother is allergic to smoke besides.  Also, I was embarrassed to admit to my family that I’d fallen for spending even one session with him because he was clearly incompetent.

So, yeah, the papers.  He kicked me out of therapy saying if he couldn’t help me, no one could.  Maybe I didn’t need therapy, he said, but he said if I was not willing to get my family involved, forget it.  I got worse and worse and ended up at the hospital, more desperate than ever, at the end of my rope.  Guess what this agency did?  They called my parents, blew my confidentiality and told them I had shown up at the emergency room, and told them to “come bring her home to mommy and daddy where she belongs.”  I had not given them permission to contact my parents, nor did they tell me they were going to do this.  Actually, I let them know right away that I didn’t want my parents called.  I finally managed to fire these people, pointing out that they had broken the law.  I believe it was the head doctor who had made the actual call, and he was the one whom I confronted.  He admitted fault.  They had gotten my parents’ number off of the form I filled out way back when.   Emergency contact, I guess.

Of course, the hospital didn’t want to give me free care, which was my right, and so they wanted me out of there, but legally, they had to treat me.  I was in pretty bad shape.  This was why they played the parents card.  Bring her to another hospital, not ours.  Some hospital for rich Jewish girls.

And so on.

It’s sad that the health care industry has to size you up in terms of money.  This seems to take precedence over getting actual treatment from them.

Another example of this is when I went to a dentist about a year ago.  I put on the form that I could get my family to help pay what Medicaid didn’t cover.  Huge mistake.  I went in to be examined and they said it would be a kazillion dollars, which I said I didn’t have.  They said, “Go home and ask your mommy.”  This was in 2011 and I was 53 years old.  I was pissed.

I phoned back and said I had no intentions of asking my deaf and elderly mother, whom by the way I did not live with, for money like that.  I said that I meant “within reason,” like under fifty bucks.  These people wanted thousands.  I said I would prefer to have the tooth pulled, which is covered under Medicaid.  Turns out they had assigned me to the non-Medicaid dentist.  Huh?

Be careful what you tell people about family and money because if if they think there is any money lurking around, you will be treated differently and offered a different fee scale and charged differently.

See, this is half the reason I bopped around the mental health system for 32 years.  If I’d told them I was an orphan, they would have had me into that first session, and I would have cried, and I would have done that a bunch of times, and maybe all this would be behind me now and forgotten.

And if all that was forgotten, I wouldn’t be here writing this, would I?  Wow, we are blessed.

 

What's on my Post-Its

I get all these writing ideas.  Too many of them.  It’s a curse.  I live in a shoe-sized apartment and these Post-Its are going to fill and overflow my two rooms very soon.  It will be so crowded with Post-Its in here that Puzzle will have to eat her way out.  Puzzle sometimes eats paper.  She’s funny that way.

So I have been home for a few days with this headache and generally feeling very yucky and sick.  I have never had headaches, migraines, or chronic pain in any part of my body and I’m not one to run around complaining about this sort of stuff and go from doctor to doctor about it either.  So I have been spared that.  This with the exception of the Mysterious Unexplained Knee Injury of 2005.

Let me insert a bit of an aside here.  There is this weird association with chronic pain.  Or shall I say covert assumption in the medical profession and maybe in society that maybe it happens to hysterical females.  Have you noticed this?  Have you noticed that doctors tend to dismiss women’s complaints of pain more quickly as “attention-seeking” or “medication-seeking” or “marital problems” or “needs therapy” or “midlife crisis”?  Let me go a step further.  When an overweight person is in pain, it is up to, say, a competent specialist in body structure (such as orthopedist) and the patient together to determine if the pain is caused by stress on the joints due to excess weight.  It is not up to a person on the street to look upon this person, judge this person, and without even asking, state that this person suffers pain because he or she is overweight and “it’s his/her own fault.”

Let me go a step further (off-topic?  Heck, it’s a topic, isn’t it?) and say that when a person who is on public assistance or impoverished seeks medical or dental attention for pain, often the professional assumes that the patient is lying about the degree of pain just to leave with a prescription.  For myself, I have not lied to doctors.  I can see how a person on Medicaid might, in desperation, lie about pain to get to see a dentist.  Why?  In some situations, you don’t get covered by Medicaid unless you are in pain.  If you have an abscess, and you don’t get something done about it, you can die.  There have been cases of people, children even, who have died because of non-coverage.

I don’t really remember.  It has been a long time since I read the article about this kid.  Did he know he might die of this infection?  He looked and looked for a dentist that would take him.  They couldn’t interview the kid after he died.  They never found out.  It is a lost story.

Many of us get lost.  Many of us get forgotten.  There are people in the state hospitals right now that have been forgotten by their families.  Even people with eating disorders.  There are people with eating disorders who have died in state hospitals.  There are people with eating disorders who never got treatment and died and were forgotten.

There are people with eating disorders who kept these disorders secret all their lives.  Are you one of these people?  Are you reading this right now?  I am writing this for you.  I am thinking of you.   Tonight when I go to sleep I will remember writing this for you and you are not forgotten today.  You are not forgotten today or tomorrow and you can walk proud today and tomorrow and always knowing that I am right here.

I was one of you.  I kept it secret for a while.  A year, actually.  I went into therapy.  I told my therapist.  For a long time, therapists were the only ones that knew.  I would say it was only recently that I have “come out” very, very publicly as a person with an eating disorder.  I’d say four years ago, only a few people knew, though many, many people knew I had a “mental illness.”

The heck with it.  Come out, come out, wherever you are.

Anyway, my Post-Its are coming out of the woodwork here.

I have some kind of note about “Throwing the first stone” but I don’t understand the note.  It’s too vague so I don’t remember what the idea was.

I am going to write a brief fiction piece, meant to be spoken aloud, about a person with an ED.  That’s all I’ll say about that because I plan to use this piece as introductory at a reading if it comes out the way I want it to.

I want to do a piece on publishing, whether to seek publication, reasons for publication, ins and outs, and a new view on it (or so I’d like to think), and things I’ve done.

A piece on body acceptance

A piece on what I have seen of the body acceptance movement.  These last two may be combined, but they are on separate Post-Its right now.  Both Post-Its are blue, for what it’s worth.  The packet of blue Post-Its happened to be on the top of the pile.

A piece on money and downsizing

I wrote a piece called “Poops and Roses” the other day that I want to copy over and put in here.  It’s about dog poop.  I like the piece.

Oh yes, I want to write a piece about getting rid of my breasts.  I Googled “Breast Donation” and ended up with Breast Cancer Donation” and where to donate money.  Not quite.  Then I found “Breast Tissue Donation” but I meant the entire breast, not a teensy piece.  I Googled “Breast Transplant” and found out about how they take a piece of hip tissue and make breast tissue out of it.  Nope.  I want to give these to someone else.  I never wanted them in the first place.  I guess they don’t do this.  Well, I’m starting to write the piece now, which was not my intention, just wanted to say what it was about, just a hint of what I will write.

Is there no end to the Post-Its?  Is there no end to the posts?  Will I ever get around to doing something useful, like feeding the dog, or will she resort to eating my words?  Or, as I mentioned previously, will she eat the Post-Its themselves?  Will I end up eating the Post-Its, too?  How will I ever burn off the calories?  Can you burn a Post-It at both ends?

The End.

On our walk: January 13, 2011, midday

Last night I  joked with myself, figuring that
If I live another month
Within that month
Surely I’ll lose a tooth.
It’ll come out by itself
And hopefully this won’t happen in church.
Maybe more than one tooth.  Maybe several.

I felt each of my teeth, wiggling each
With my fingers, trying to guess
Which one of them would come out
But none seemed to give me any answer
Any peek into the future.

I bent over and picked up Puzzle’s poops
With a flip-top Baggie.
This I did twice on our walk.
I am thankful for such simple tasks.

Where does this surge of energy come from?
Not a calorie in sight.
But today
The sky, the moment.

This morning, I know
I must try to keep my mind sane.
My insanity protects me.
But today I am going to send an e-mail
To my favorite undergrad instructor
Whom I went to hear read
Not long ago.

I’ll tell him how much I cherish his words
The influence he had on me
Just thank him
And tell him that whatever happens
Well, you know, mixed
There will always be mixed
But basically I am okay with it.

Before leaving on our walk
I checked weather dot com
Power lines may be down
Well, so be it.
I brushed her teeth.
I brush her teeth every day.

I hooked up her leash.
I had a thought.  A fleeting notion.  I knew
There doesn’t need to be any logic to it
It doesn’t need to make intellectual sense.

I put on my headphones.
Just for old times’ sake, Bruce Springsteen
Louder than I could stand.

Down the hallway.
Puzzle is eager to get out and sniff.
She tugs on the leash.
The front door opens and I pass through.
I step into the strong, strong wind
And at that moment I know for certain
That my feet still carry me
That although I thought that I had lost my faith
God has been in my heart
And held me tightly
All along.

 

Milk and bones, part four

Now sometimes, it gets strange.

I mean sad.  I did say sometimes I do eat.  Usually, well, I don’t know.  A bit of vegetable.  I do count calories.

One evening, not too late, I had an unusual meal.  I was in a trance and ate a box of Milk Bones.  Milk Bones are dog biscuits.  You can buy them at the supermarket.  They are a common brand.  You may have tried to eat them, perhaps when you were a child.  Maybe, you were curious about how they tasted.

Recently, Milk Bones Brand Dog Biscuits celebrated its 100th year anniversary.  It said so on the box.  I stared at this written statement while I consumed the entire box of Milk Bones.

I have missing molars that make it impossible for me to eat hard or crunchy food.  If I try to eat extremely hard food by chewing it with the teeth I have left, I get huge gashes in my gums and all over my mouth.  Milk Bones are extremely hard food designed to be that way for dogs.  These biscuits are not intended for human consumption.  It even says so on the box.

I have an eating disorder and had the sick desire to consume the contents of the box of Milk Bones.  The flour in the biscuits is uncooked.  I cooked the biscuits in the microwave.  I boiled them.  I was able to soften them but not as much as my teeth required.  They were still crunchy.

I ate them.  I ate every single one.  If you have never been there you don’t know.  It took fucking hours.

I want to tell you something.  Those biscuits aren’t flour and cornmeal and chicken.  They have these teensy bones in them, these sharp thingies.  Every time I bit, every chew, little needles poked and scraped into my gums, between my teeth, into my cheeks.  I ate the whole box.  My mouth is a fucking mess right now.  It’s on fire.

But you know, eating Milk Bones is not life-threatening.  Mouths heal quickly.  I have this experience as a painful sad memory that I can soften with laughter and keep vivid only here in writing, then in my mind allow to fade along with the injury in my mouth.

And yes, I  observe, very carefully, the information provided on the side of the box.  The Milk Bones company is very specific.  One Milk Bones biscuit, of the size pictured on the box, contains 20 calories.

I took note of it.

 

My second 5k–reflections on a race not run

I woke up this morning, race day, to face a record-low temperature of 44 degrees here in Boston, meaning perfect weather for the Larry Kessler 5k race for AIDS at 9:50 at the Hatch Shell.  My alarm had sounded at 4am.  I was getting ready.  I had everything planned out for today, everything written down.  I dressed, laced up my running shoes, and got ready to walk Puzzle, my dog.  Surely, this was her day, too.  We would take one of her usual routes, though.  I didn’t want to disturb her routine too much, even though today was different.

Yes, today was different.  Every day had been different for the past several weeks–since the injury.  As we rounded White Street, passing the condo complex, and headed up Main Street, I began to weep.  I was walking with a cane, barely able to sustain a half mile’s distance before experiencing problems with my injured knee.  I placed the cane carefully along with my right leg, to ensure that I kept weight off of the problem side.  I wondered if anyone would pass by and see me crying.  But no one did, not even anyone in a car, because it was so early.

Not only was I sidelined with an injury, but I was suffering from infected sores in my mouth, edema, and morning vertigo.  All of these medical problems had appeared over the past month or so.  Surely, I was not in good shape to be running a race.  This was compounded by the fact that I had taken time off over the winter, slowing my pace considerably.  I had expected, after the first of these medical problems–edema–appeared, to finish this race in 38 minutes.  I finished my first 5k in 34.

The edema I have is called “refeeding edema.”  It results from long-term self-starvation from my eating disorder.  While my first 5k was a celebration of feeding myself, my second 5k–or, rather, not running my second 5k–is the acknowledgement that I am not feeding myself or treating my body with the love and healthy respect it deserves.  Yes, I am abusing my body.  Yes, I starve myself.   I still have this edema.  I starved it away, but it came back after two binges.  I am currently starving it away again.  Yes, I have an eating disorder.

The sores in my mouth come from cuts in my gums.  The cuts come from bingeing on raw vegetables.  I can’t eat raw vegetables really fast, because I have missing molars.  If I do eat raw veggies fast, my gums get cut up.  They even bleed in my mouth.  One of my molars is missing because I split it in half bingeing on dog food last winter.  It had to get pulled as a result.   Yes, I have an eating disorder.

I get morning vertigo after I eat the first bite of food, or sustenance, in the morning.  I go brush my teeth and 1o minutes after I’ve eaten, or had a bit of milk, I have the vertigo.  It lasts several hours.  Several hours of my head spinning.  The vertigo following eating is most likely from malnutrition.  Yes, I have an eating disorder.

My knee injury is an overuse injury.  I used to run and walk a total of 10 miles a day, and I did this for a month.  Fine.  Then, I increased to 14.  Not fine.  My body gave out.  Hence, this injury.  And every time I think I’ve licked it, I overdo it, and pain and regression in healing result.   I tend to overexercise.  Why?  Don’t let me fool myself.  I do it to lose weight.

Yes, I have an eating disorder.  I have anorexia nervosa.  I was eating okay since I got off the psychiatric unit in March, but started actively starving myself again May 1st.  I have not eaten normally for one day since then.  I have generally restricted, but have binge/fasted a bunch of times as well.  I am in no shape to be running this race.

And now I sit here, hungry.  What am I hungry for?  What is missing in my life?  What are my desires, hopes, wishes, and dreams?  Do I even know?  Am I so starved that I have lost touch with what my body and soul need?

What did I dream of when I signed up for this 5k?  Did I dream of strength, power, and speed?  Did I dream of winning, in my own way?  Did I dream of feeling proud of myself for accomplishing yet another goal among the many I have accomplished over the past few years in spite of my eating disorder–graduation, National Novel Writing Month (twice), getting published, and my first 5k?  Or did I dream of the race process itself, of concentrating on the road, keeping my eyes ahead, pushing myself, pushing myself, pushing onward, onward, onward, thinking of nothing else?

Perhaps it is in my resignation that I am not running this race that I acknowledge that I am indeed smothered by my anorexia symptoms right now, pulled under, defeated.  I cannot run 5k.  I cannot even run.  I am only now beginning to walk without a mobility aid such as a cane or crutches.  But eventually, I will be able to walk a mile again, then a mile and a half, then two–without setting myself back–because I will be healed.  Eventually, I will be running.  But it will take time.  A long time.  I know now that I must not attempt to do what I am not ready to do until I am fully healed.

And that goes for my anorexia itself right now, too.  I cannot even begin to be expected to gain weight until, in my mind, I am ready to do so–otherwise it will backfire.  This has happened time and time again.  It is happening now.  This is why I am restricting–because I was expected to gain weight way, way before I was ready.  Yes, it backfired.  I must be ready.

Maybe this analogy won’t work.  I know my injury will heal.  Of this, I am certain.  But I am not certain that my anorexia will heal.  Sure, I go up and down in mind and weight, but overall, I am not really getting better.  To add insult to injury (sorry!) I had this same injury in 2005, and it improves when I lose weight!  So there is a problem here.

Maybe my attitude will change, though.  I cannot predict the future.  There are other races, lots of them, coming up.   November, December…maybe I’ll be running by then.  Maybe I’ll be fit enough to race then, which means eating right, taking care of myself, and treating my body lovingly and with respect.  That is the key.

So today, as I sit here and write these words, and gaze over at my dog, sleeping beside me, I wonder what she is thinking, her mama laid up…probably nothing at all.  Because to Puzzle, it doesn’t matter if Mama raced or not.  What matters is that Mama is staying alive to be Puzzle’s mama.  Well, I plan to do just that.  Not only that, but I’ll sign up for my next 5k as soon as I’m completely ready to race–and not sooner.  Promise.

Day Five on Antibiotics Following a Tooth Extraction and….

…finally, finally, I am feeling better.  The cold symptoms seem to be clearing up.  I didn’t wake up with the usual flaming sore throat and mouth, just a little bit of one.  I have a cough and sniffles, but that, too, seems to be improved.  I am a still concerned about the adjacent tooth, which doesn’t seem to be completely infection-free.  But it is vastly improved from before.  I have a much cleaner set of teeth and mouth than I have had in several years.  I am proud of the teeth I have that remain.

I think tomorrow I’ll go running.

Lentils…how to cook…single serving, and more

I thought I’d share my recent experiences with lentils:

I researched lentils, and every source says to cook lentils one part lentils to one and a half parts water or broth.  The amount of time needed to cook the lentils varies, I’ve found.  Green lentils are the most common kind, and the ones I buy in bulk take about 45-50 minutes to cook.   Some types of green lentils take somewhat less.   I guess it depends on the source.    Boil the lentils and water together, then lower the heat and cook.  Watch the lentils and “test” them to see if they’re to your liking.  Make sure you don’t cook them more than you want.  Add water if needed.

If you buy lentils in bulk they are cheaper than if you buy them packaged.  Either way, they say it’s a good idea to wash and sort your lentils before cooking.  This is because they may contain stones.  I don’t do this because I’m just plain lazy or stupid; however, I have yet to encounter a stone.

Lentils are high in fiber and protein, and another nice thing about lentils is that they take much less time to cook than dry beans.  Also, they are versatile, and have a nice flavor.  They are fun, too.  You can season them a different way every time you eat them.  You can add different veggies, or even fruit, believe it or not.   You can make them into soup or stew.  You can eat them hot or cold.  You can probably eat them in a sandwich, though I have yet to try this.

Here’s something I have for lunch frequently.  This dish serves one:

RICE AND LENTILS FOR ONE

1/4c lentils
1/4c brown rice (I use medium grain)
Maybe 1/2t curry
A dash of Mrs. Dash Table Blend (optional–I always include this)
1 bay leaf (optional–I generally don’t include this, but every time I have, I have used a bay leaf that has accidentally broken in half, so I have used only half of a bay leaf)
1t garlic-flavored olive oil
6-7oz water or more–experiment and you will know exactly how much you will need for your lentils, rice, cooking method, and taste

Cook the rice and lentils with the bay leaf for 45-50 minutes.   Keep an eye on the mixture and add water as needed.  You will notice that when these are cooked, the lentils have floated to the top.  Add the curry, stir and allow to sit for a bit.  Then add Mrs. Dash and oil.  If the dish is a little cooler than you’d like, cover and pop it in the microwave for a very short time and then stir.  Enjoy.

This mixture will easily fit into a 10-oz thermos, but no matter what I have done, I haven’t been able to keep the mixture piping hot in the thermos even for two hours.

TMI MAYBE: Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that last Wednesday I had a molar extracted and I have been very limited as to what foods I can eat.  I have to be very careful that nothing ends up in the “hole” left by the tooth (and gets stuck there).  Regular cooked lentils are out of the question.  Also, hot foods are not allowed for the first week or so following a tooth extraction.  So if I’m going to eat lentils, I have to overcook them to the extreme and then cool them.  This means preparing them way, way ahead of time.  I use two parts water to one part lentils, cook them forever until the water absorbs and the lentils are without a doubt mushy, stir them well to ensure that this is the case, and then allow them to cool.  I took a giant leap and added thinly sliced banana this morning.  Yes, banana.  It was morning, after all.  It was time to have banana on my cereal.  I didn’t know how to season this mixture, so I didn’t.   You know, it wasn’t bad.  As you regular readers know, I am a very weird person.  Aren’t we all a little strange, in our own ways?

Have a nice day.

My third full day on antibiotics and….

I still feel just as sick as when I started the antibiotics on Saturday.  I guess I should give this a chance.  I have a headache, sore throat, cough, swollen glands, and runny nose, and there is still swelling around my mouth area where the tooth was extracted.  I keep wondering if maybe that adjacent tooth is still infected.  The doctor said the infection had spread to that tooth, and that it would clear up once the bad tooth was out of there…well, maybe it hasn’t.  I’m no dentist.  But it’s my mouth and my whole mouth seems to be on fire.

I feel lousy

I started on antibiotics yesterday and should feel better tomorrow or the next day.  Meanwhile, I feel pretty sick.  I didn’t know tooth extractions could do this to you!  My tooth was quite infected, and the infection was spreading to the other tooth.  Yesterday, my whole mouth felt like it was a sore throat.  Not really pain per se, that you would take anything for, but sore and inflamed.  The extraction area was inflamed.  My throat felt sore.  This morning, I had a headache, and I took Tylenol and a caffeine pill, and eventually the headache went away.  I sort of had chills yesterday and had to bundle up when I went out to the convenience store to buy a few things.  Today, I’m okay in this warm weather we’re having.  I am also fortunate that my voice has returned; however, my voice seems to be a couple of octaves lower than usual.

My mood seems to be better today than yesterday.  Yesterday, when I woke up, I was strongly affected by this sickness.  I didn’t want to move around or do anything.  I questioned my usefulness in the universe.  I didn’t have any motivation to do anything.  I wanted to crawl into a hole and stay there.  I also hadn’t slept well at all the night before.  I went to bed at 8pm last night. I was exhausted.

When the body is thrown off, our moods are affected as well.  This is well-known.  One must take care of one’s body to keep on top of one’s mood and other mental states.  I am always thrown off when my body is out of whack.  This was the case when I had to stay up all night for the EEG (brain wave test) I had a couple of weeks ago.  My body wasn’t right after losing a night of sleep.  It took a couple of days to even out.  Imagine what I did to myself over the months and years of starvation I put my body through (1980-81, 1986-87, other years I can’t recall, and 1995 until around 2000) and also the years I spent binge-fasting.  Imagine what I did to myself gaining and losing about 110 pounds of weight between the end of 2000 and mid-2009.  Imagine what I did to my body when I was on Seroquel, during which, while I was not allowing my body adequate fuel, I was still gaining weight!  Seroquel caused not only blood sugar issues and binge-fasting, but caused me–believe it or not–despite the devastation I felt about my body size, to give up on my weight for about six months.  All these–extreme weight gain and loss, starvation, extreme eating, low weight, and blood sugar issues–are taxing on the body, to say the least…and as a result, taxing on the mind.  Let us not forget the mind!  Our brains cannot operate without adequate–or with too much–fuel!  (Let us not also forget extremely low self-esteem as a result of weight gain–we ED’s feel this more than most people.)

So now I am sick.  My body is way, way off.  I feel slowed down.  I feel distracted by how crappy my throat and mouth feel.  I feel distracted by congestion in my head and chest.  I feel distracted by swelling around the extraction area.   And of course, as always, I feel distracted by my eating disorder.  At this exact moment, I don’t know what’s worse.  Believe it or not, this physical illness MIGHT actually be more powerful than my ED.

Maybe I should get sick more often?

Naw.

Tooth extraction update

Given that the tooth I had removed was abscessed, it’s a good thing I had it out when I did.  An abscessed tooth is very serious.  I have heard a story about someone who died of an abscessed tooth because they couldn’t find a dentist who took Medicaid who could extract it for him.  I was fortunate to find the wonderful dental surgeon in Medford who could take me right away.  He is so nice that I want to marry him.

I had the tooth extracted Wednesday.  Thursday night someone called me, and I noticed I was losing my voice!  Was this due to lack of a tooth?  No, I don’t think so.  I was coming down with something.  Friday I woke up with a sore throat and feeling generally miserable.  Still, I went to the gym and walked two miles on the treadmill.  I deliberately didn’t walk too fast because I knew that if I did, the tooth opening might start to bleed.  That plus I felt kinda tired.  Walking home from the gym, I felt completely wiped.  Absolutely.  Last night, I had trouble sleeping because I felt so crappy.  This morning I felt depressed, slowed down, miserable, and headachey.  I took Tylenol, as I did yesterday, and took a shower, and felt a little better, but I have phoned the dentist, and they have called in an antibiotic for me.  I am completely thrown off by this.  I am no longer afraid that the tooth will bleed again, and I have never had pain from the extraction–why, I don’t know–but the infection from the abscess has exhausted me.

I am doing fairly well with eating.  Yesterday, I ate a potato for breakfast, tuna on a roll for lunch, and sardines for dinner.  I had a potato with broccoli for a bedtime snack.  I also had some Cheerios alongside my sardines, which I softened in the microwave.  No, I did not mix the sardines with the Cheerios.  I had a banana and a very nice navel orange with my meals.  I had to soften the roll for the tuna in the microwave a little.  I had OJ and milk.  I use powdered skim milk.  I buy the 8 quart box of powdered milk and mix it all at once in two gallon containers, and use it all before it goes bad.  Actually, it keeps a long, long time in the fridge.  These meals were very, very inexpensive, and were okay given I had a sensitive hole in my mouth.  I cooked everything very well.  I rinsed well with warm salt water after eating, as instructed.

What happened when I woke up this morning?  I said to myself, “I want to go running.”  How silly.  Reality set in.  I’m not going running for a while now.  The hole isn’t going to bleed; of this I am certain now.  But I have absolutely no energy, and won’t for a little while.  I doubt I can run for any further than a mile without becoming exhausted.

It’s something to look forward to, though.  I will feel better.  Someday, I will run a 10-minute mile.  Someday, when I feed myself well, gain a little weight…I am hoping to race again..down the road…I will tell you more about my NEXT 5k………soon.