Monday, June 15, 2009

The Appointment.

So. This morning was my doctor's appointment. I'll be honest - I was afraid. I have had so many things wrong with me over the years, and really wouldn't be surprised if even just one of those many things became a permanent dysfunction.
So, this morning I had a bowl of comfort for breakfast, just becaues you know - that's what I do.

In ze bowl: 1 serving of Kashi Autumn Wheat plus some Bear Naked fruit&nut granola (nuked up in vanilla soymilk), almonds, sliced banana, a scoop each of WCW and creamy peanut butters. This was so good. As nervous as I was, I still got to enjoy breakfast.


So now I know y'all want the scoop.

Well. I saw the APRN today, instead of the usual doctor. She saw me just before I entered LIJ in January 2008. So, I had to give my little shpeel about coming home from inpatient last spring, dropping down to XX pounds (at 5'8.5" - this was a very dangerous weight), being denied treatment, so on and so forth. First of all, her draw dropped at the words "denied treatment by my insurance company." Then telling her the awful things they said to my mother ("We'll call in a few weeks to see if she's still alive.") - woman was in shock.
Then she said to me "You have done this all on your own?" "Just with some support from my mom and therapist. I plan out all of my meals and everything, and I make sure I'm eating XXXX calories everyday." "Wow. You have done an amazing job."

I am going to be OK.
She ran a blood panel to test for deficienices. My anemia has cleared up. I no longer have folate or iron deficiences, and my hemoglobin and hematacrit (red blood/baby red blood cell) levels are in the normal zone. In the past, I have been frightfully low in all of those things - to the point where I almost needed a transfusion and have had to be hospitalized.

The only abnormalities were with my thyroid and :sigh: heart. Apparently, my thyroid is functioning on the higher end of normal. But the APRN told me that it just meant my body is processing food more in attempt to get the most out of what I was eating that it could, and since I don't show any of the other symptoms of thyroid disorders, I'm probably fine. My heart rate is pretty low - blood pressure is 90/60 when stressed and I smoke (shame on me), which does also raise your heart rate/BP and my pulse is kind of weak. That could be attributed to having been a runner, or it could be weakening of my heart muscles. She said overall though, everything seemed normal and that I was 100% healthy.

In a way, this frightens me. Its like all traces of the anorexia are gone now, and its all inside my head. I almost feel like none of it was even real now - like all the memories I have are just made up little stories and works of fiction.
My mom was a bit upset because aforementioned nurse also said she was very pleased with my weight and felt that if I could maintain where I am right now, I'd be in great shape. This is really hard, because I do feel like I am OK at this weight and that I look good, I can eat what I want, and this is generally the weight I've always been at when healthy. My mother wants me to put on another 10+ pounds. I feel tremendously guilty for not even wanting to think about that right now. I suppose this is where my issue with that "anorexic magical thinking" still comes in. I still believe in my mind that if I am meant to weigh a cetain weight, I will eventually get to it. I suppose with a normal person, that would be true. But I have to consistently remind myself that I do have an eating disorder that may very well prevent me from continuing to get to that healthy place if I don't push for it.

Edited: An annonymous poster noted that I mentioned my former weight. I am SO sorry I did that and it was entirely on accident. I was just thinking about the conversation had between me and the doc, and I guess I typed it out without even thinking instead of doing my usual "bleeping". I am SO SO sorry if anyone else read that and it triggered them.

16 comments:

  1. Hi Tori,
    I just wanted to encourage you not to let ED twist this great turnaround you have made against you.
    I've been there--the [wonderful!] place of wowing the Dr. [he asked me "what did it"] of turning things around, gaining 20+ lbs on my own, restoring blood levels and all that. I even returned to competitive athletics strong and solid.

    It seemed like I was good, despite my weight still being underweight, because now I had my 'health" back....but I think in some cases your body gives you that back quickly with the idea that "oh okay now i'm being given what I need to gain so I can get all the way healthy."
    What happened with me, was that despite maintaining my new eating habits and weight, I wound up about a year later with more problems than ever!

    I'm not saying this to scare you, but just in hopes of preventing ED from destroying everything you have done in his nasty deceit, by now convincing you to "stay put."

    Take it all the way--your body is starting to believe you, and it will give you more than you can imagine if you both take it to it's full potential AND by doing so, allow it to KEEP what great results you've already had!

    Rock on--takeover to the complete, because it's real now [much as ED would like to make it not].

    -nell

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  2. hey, i am so happy how far you have come. but i dont think it is approproate to mention your lowest weight on a recovery blog. i mean, its wonderful how honest you are, but it just makes other girls compare themselves and their lowest etc..to your. i dont know i was just a bit set back that you mentioned #s...take care. i hope you understand where i am coming from. idk..just maybe be more carful what you put on ur blog, you dont know who will be reading it, but it is YOUR blog..and you have the right.

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  3. It sounds like you've made it through an emotionally tumultuous day today. I really couldn't be more thrilled that most of your tests came out healthfully. When I read the words "I'm going to be okay" I sighed with relief. :) You saved yourself, all on your own.

    Even though the doctor thinks you'd be fine at your current weight, which it sounds like you would be fine, it might be a good thing to see if you'd be better at a higher weight. Not that this applies to you, but it makes me sad when I see recovering people stop at the minimum, always on that edge. Just my opinion, dear. Regardless, you're an inspiration to us all.

    Much love,
    Rachel

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  4. Hi Tori,

    I've been reading your blog for a while now (I even followed you back when you were on Xanga) and wanted to let you know how much I enjoy it...and how pleased I am to see you doing so well. I generally don't leave comments (and I don't have a blog of my own), but as a recovered anorexic (recovered now for almost seven years after being sick for eight), I wanted to share a few thoughts regarding your APRN's opinion that you don't need to gain more weight:

    1) Not to discount your APRN's knowledge, but I have had doctors give me incorrect/questionable advice. I know that her saying you don't need to gain more weight probably set off a torrent of thoughts in your head, but please trust your body and hunger signals. If you want to TRULY recover (...and what I mean by "truly" is recover in ever sense of the word...not just enough to be at a minimally "healthy" weight but still dealing with disordered thoughts and behaviors), you need to continue gaining weight until you feel healthy and are no longer voraciously hungry [I'm not sure whether you are dealing with this, but when I was able to be honest with myself during my recovery, I had to admit that I was almost always hungry...and the enormity of my hunger scared the hell out of my. I thought it would never end...but it does :-) ]

    2) In looking at recent pictures you have posted of yourself, you are still extremely thin (though beautiful!) and I suspect you're probably still under a BMI of 18. Even if you are beyond a BMI of 18, remember that this is the MINIMUM. Your set point may be above this ...and it's worth having a little safety cushion in the event that you get sick and lose weight. Also, see point 1 :-)

    I hope some of this makes sense :-) Keep up the awesome work!

    Elizabeth

    On an unrelated note, I'm not sure if you'd be interested in this blog, but I think it has some great information on healthy eating and weights:

    http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/

    For example, see these posts:

    http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2009/06/paradoxes-compel-us-to-think.html

    http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2007/03/junkfood-science-special-anti-aging.html

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  5. hey love,
    i am so glad to hear to your anemia is gone now and your red blood count have finally returned to normal. now i know it is very very easy to let anorexia tell you now 'oh look you are healthy? so why bother with eating so well and gaining more weight?' i mean even the nurse said you are okay. but tori listen to your heart. you know deep doen inside this is not right for you. you know how much control anorexia still holds over us when we stay at a 'safe' weight. dont let this happen to you. and as you said the chances of relapse are so much great. i guess we both know this otherwise we wouldn't be here after 6 years right? i know you can do this and make it right once and for all. i also believed that after reaching my 'save weight' i'd be fine, but now i have really come to realise that in order to get out of this i need to get to a level where i have a buffer. something that will protect me from ever loosing all the weight again.
    i hope this helps a little to get your head clear and focused hun and you know that i never say these things becasue i think i am some smart ass to tel you better. no hun we are in the same boat here. i am dealing with the same thing. so all i am giving is my greatest support and advice.
    you mean a lot to me tori so take good care of yourself
    xxx

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  6. Girl, I am SO happy for you! That your body is starting to return to its healthy state...but DON'T just fight half-way! I think your mom should know whether you need a few more pounds or not. A lot of times, many ED patients just gain to the bare minimum, but because their mental state is not totally recovered yet, they relapse easily. Wouldn't you like to get rid of ED once and for all? Then you need to still fight it and step out of what is "safe" and "comfortable." Shake ED off like a dirty rag! Go over and BEYOND in your battle against ED!
    Keep on the good fight, Tori! You're doing well!

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  7. That's awesome that you are healthy! It's always a relief to know that your levels are in the normal range and it's one less thing you've got to worry about :) Keep your head up, girl! You're so strong

    -Katharina

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  8. Hey girl! This is just a little encouragement from a lurker. :) Go all the way, baby! Get those last 10 pounds—I swear to you they will be worth it. No matter what ED says, you have to ditch it completely in order to be free. I read somewhere (no lie!) that the difference between recovering anorexics who reached 99% ideal body weight and 102% ideal body weight was completely astonishing. The 99% group—the ones who made it so far but not all the way, thinking they were okay—had a tremendous rate of relapse and an extremely low rate of getting their periods back. The 102% group—those who truly pushed past ED and even allowed themselves a cushion in case of illness or what have you—had a significantly less percentage of relapse and a significantly greater percentage of overall health and getting their periods back. For you, the difference between 99 and 102 could be those last 10 pounds. I'd like to encourage you to go all the way, no matter what ED is saying and doing to rationalize "staying put" in your mind. You can do this! You are so strong and have come so far—now finish a job well done! :) It is so worth it!
    xoxoxo
    Okie

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  9. Oh, and I forgot to add how much I admire you. :) I just launched into what was in my brain right at the moment! You are such a strong girl—I truly look up to you for doing all of this on your own! Congratulations on getting healthy all on your own! You are amazing. :)
    xoxoxo
    Okie

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  10. Hi there,
    I've been a reader of your blog for some months now
    and well,
    I just wanted to say your an inspiration really. To see how far you've come despite such awful circumstances.

    I hope you don't mind me saying that,
    I've been putting off commenting for so long
    but some things just need to be said.

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  11. Tori, I admire you so much for your honesty and bravery, not to mention all the amazing advice and support you give. I know it must be an unbearable dilemma - there's the rational voice, which is chanelled by the wonderful replies you've had to this post.. and then there's the 'butidon'twanttttto!' voice that's maybe ED and maybe a tiny bit you, you saying 'I'm tired, I've worked so hard, I just want to rest now.' It's such a tough one - but I believe that you will come to the right decision yourself and do what's best for your body, so that amazing mind can thrive in the best possible environment. You are so beautiful <3 Oh and just for giggles: totally just took Piglet for a walk, picked up what I thought was a stick to throw for her. Note to self: Wear glasses when walking dog. It wasn't a stick. My hands have been in a bowl of disinfectant for 15 minutes.

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  12. Oh I am so glad that your anemia is gone and things have returned back to normal!
    But I believe that your mom is right and it would be best for you to step out of your comfort zone and gain a few more pounds to shake off that ED. You don't want to be at the weight that your ED is comfortable with, you want to be at the weight that TORI is comfortable with. Think about it and see who really is the one comfortable with that weight and follow your heart and good judgement.

    You are still a very thin (beautiful, though) girl and a few more pounds would only make you healthier. You look like you are at the VERY VERY low end of a healthy weight (perhaps even underweight), and a relapse would be too easy at this stage.
    You don't want to go down hill, Tori, not after all the amazing progress you have made.

    Like you said, yes, your body has returned to normal but your mind hasn't. You need to kick that ED out once and for all, and the only way to weaken it is to take those risks and step out of that comfort zone!
    Like Sophia said, "go above and beyond"!

    Sending hugs your way,
    Karina

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  13. Hi Tori!
    I'm so glad to hear that you are 100% healthy! I honestly want to come and just give you a hug and tell you how proud I am of you even though I've never even met you! I am currently in your exact same place and "look" and feel completely healthy but after reading all these comments, I really think pushing forward is the best thing. You've come so far and I know you can do this.
    xooxo!

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  14. Hi Tori!!
    Girl, you are SO STRONG. it seriously blows my mind. you are unbeleivable.. and I truely think you should write a book.. or something spectacular! you are an inspiration.

    Dont let ED twist YOUR WAY of thinking around. BE YOU. LOVE WHO YOU ARE. EMBRACE CHANGE. NEW LOVES. EXPERIENCES. and so forth..
    <3

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  15. hi doll!
    You are so brave and courageous and amazing. First off, be so proud of yourself for doing this all on your own! You have come leaps and bounds from where you were and you should be beaming because quite frankly I think this whole community admires you more than you could ever know. I am so incredibly happy and relieved to know that you are doing well and that the blood tests are proving how much healthier you are. I'm sorry that your heart and thyroid aren't up to par but I think that with that extra mile you have to go, the rest of your health will fall into place.

    Ughh and I know how hard it is to have someone tell you that you look "fine" especially when you think that you do to. Everything feels so comfortable and you don't deem it necessary to make any more changes. But the reality is that things aren't fine. That nurse, while she is trained in medicine, is not a trained professional in eating disorders. She probably didn't realize that you needed to keep gaining. I didn't see what the numbers you originally posted were so I don't know how much you've gained or where you are now and where you need to gain to, but I think somewhere deep inside you know that you aren't done yet. Your mom loves you more than anything and would never give you guidelines unless she truly believed that was best for you. I have all the faith in the world that you can get through this little struggle and keep pushing. Maybe your body isn't as demonstrative as it used to be, but the reality is that ED still exists. Don't let him ruin everything you have accomplished. You are incredible in a thousand ways and I cannot wait for you to reach that point where you can see all the magnificence that is Tori. You can do it babe...we're here to help you through.

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  16. Tori, you are nothing short of amazing. You're so incredibly strong to do this all on your own, and I've absoulutely loved watching all the progress you've made on this blog!

    I'm so glad all of your deficiencies are cleared up. But like everyone else has said, gaining those last few pounds would make a world of difference in beating ED for good. I know how tremendously hard that is to do when people are telling you that you look 'normal', but gaining those 10 pounds would really prove to ED that you're in charge of your own life. That you can stretch your limits and come out stronger than ever before.

    I know you'll do the write thing. Much love!

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