Tag Archives: doctor

A kick in the face

Today I am reminded that I am an alcoholic, that I am a bulimic, that I am very fucking far from cured of any of the self-destructive behaviors that I am so undeniably addicted to. I can walk around with my rotundly pregnant belly and want a drink just as badly as the drunkard falling over in his seat on the bus. I can feel my baby squirming around inside of me and want to binge on junk food for hours just for the sake of purging, the wonderful empty high of bulimia. I can imagine holding my Son in a few months as vividly and yearningly as I can imagine smoking an entire pack of cigarettes in one afternoon.

Annoyance, simple everyday annoyance brings this shit on. Not life shattering events, not horrific news of some tragedy, not a fight amongst lovers or friends, not even slightly more complicated feelings like anger or stress, just plain old annoyance.

I had an appointment today, I contemplated not going, I always do, and I always go. I seem to have a busy calendar as of late with appointments at the Doctor, the Dentist, the Therapist (sort of, not really an actual therapist.) You see, when you go to the OB/GYN and are honest about your shit they will refer you to a counselor type person to assist you through your pregnancy. The woman I was assigned to happened to be an addiction and eating disorder specialist, so she will obviously know everything there is to know about me. It actually isn’t all that bad. I talk incessantly and answer questions before she can ask them and leave her pretty much speechless except to schedule our next appointment.

The annoyance began on my walk to the train station. The sun was absolutely blinding, the wind blowing my hair into my face, wisps sticking to my lip gloss slathered mouth. My feet already blistered, begin to throb within minutes. I don’t want to be outside today, the traffic too loud, the streets too crowded. Waiting for the train, I shift my increasing weight from foot to foot and try to avoid eye contact with some creepy asshole staring at me. Already I am done with this day. I want to escape, I want to scream, I want to fall down on the ground and throw a tantrum like a child.

Trudging my way up the long ass hill to the Hospital I almost take off my heels because who gives a fuck anymore, barefoot and pregnant, embrace it.

My annoyance turns me into an uppity ass bitch, click clacking in my heels down the hospital halls. What a scene I am, in my dress and coat, my bouffant and my eyebrows. I heave my bright red leather luggage I haul around as my purse, up and onto the reception desk, rummaging for my ID.

“Yes, I am her, can’t you tell? Are there others?”

Losing track of what’s real I want only to sit and write, to ignore the day that surrounds me, engulfs me.

The hour goes by in the usual fashion, my prattling on about healthy meal consumption and yes, of course I intend on attending meetings more regularly.

I leave and face the harsh assault of sunlight, traffic and obnoxious ass people crowding around me on the train.

Why did I leave the house today?

Hauling my ass home, completely aggravated with every living thing from the green grass and bright flowers to the singing birds in the trees. I don’t even wave back to the friendly neighbor who chirps hello from her porch, I just want to go home and crawl into bed. No, what I really want is to go home, open a bottle of wine and light a cigarette. My brain doesn’t give a shit that I am pregnant, it wants what it wants and it is screaming it loud and clear.

Well fuck you brain, fuck you Regina, you selfish goddamn brat. You don’t get what you want anymore.

Home. I write. I eat frozen yogurt. I watch my dogs play. I take a nap. I am ok.

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Meds untouched

I feel like I just performed a magical wonder of the eating disorder variety. Two weeks ago I took a blood test at the Doctors and received a call the next day regarding my thyroid. The nurse was rambling on about the results and further tests while I waited impatiently to ask the big question, “Was it high or low?” For an eating disordered girl this is a seriously fucked up phone call. Could anything be worse than a hypo-thyroid?! And then she said it, “it’s low.” FUCK!! Seriously? So many thoughts spun through my head. What if it stays this way forever? What if I can never lose weight again? And most importantly, what can I do to fix it?

She then told me that a prescription had already been mailed to me but I, get this, was NOT to take it until a second blood test was performed in 2 weeks! I sounded like a completely normal, rational person as I amicably agreed to the Doctor’s orders and calmly hung up the phone while I silently screamed on the inside.

I went immediately to my computer where I searched “hypo-thyroid” for hours. It was then that I realized the possible implications of this disorder on my unborn child. I felt like a shit head, I felt unworthy of motherhood, I felt like a selfish fucking child. So, I did something that I did not think I was capable of. I said “fuck it, don’t think about it”.

When the medication arrived later that evening I opened the bag, examined the contents and placed the bottle on a shelf. It has remained there until today, undisturbed. Does this mean that I am cured? That ED has moved on to a more receptive host? Or has my Motherly side truly taken over my dark side? Do I want to lose all of ED quite yet, if ever? Or maybe, I just took one good step in my recovery, a leap of sorts.

Today, I decided to write about this little accomplishment of mine and as I was taking a picture of the thyroid medication, the phone rang. I recognized the number as that of the prenatal clinic. I froze, thinking, “am I in trouble, how did they know?” I answered and the nurse told me that she spoke with the Doctor and I was to begin taking the medication today. I held the bottle in my hand as she spoke, examining the contents curiously. I hung up the phone and quickly swallowed a pill.

Tomorrow I will take one pill exactly as directed and the day after that as well. I will not obsessively search for thyroid information on the internet, I will not dare weigh myself, I will continue to eat healthy meals as often as I can, I will not stare at my thighs waiting for the slightest change in shape and I will continue to move forward on my path of recovery.

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Leap Day – 1996 (a long walk home)

I wrote this on February 29, 1996  (I was 16)

Today is Leap Day, whatever that really means
I am completely ashamed and embarrassed
To never show my face again would be completely fine with me
I’ve let myself down
I am so foolish and so easily persuaded
I have no control
My heart aches and my mind bleeds
Desolate and empty with a fake smile and hello
They say today’s the day to take a chance
I only wish that it were yesterday
to start all over again
What a feeling, I cannot express
I’m becoming who I always feared
The one who has no control
I’ve let everything slip away
let my mind drift and sway
My eyeliner smeared and my hair is a mess
Why do I talk so, just to like myself less?
And today is Leap Day whatever that really means
 

    I remember that day, every awful minute of it. I was in the harsh grip of bulimia and my body was shutting down on me. I couldn’t make it through one day at school without being sent to the nurse’s office for falling asleep at my desk. I was passing out pretty frequently but managed to hide it from friends and family. Most of the people at my high school thought I was on drugs and I just found it easier to let them believe that. My throat was so raw from constant vomiting that my voice had a raspiness to it that I rather liked. I didn’t much care for the intense indigestion and constant taste of bile in the back of my throat but I accepted it as a punishment of sorts. Punishment for having splurged at dinner with an extra helping of casserole, for having attempted to digest a meal, for having the insane idea of eating in the first place.

    February 29 could have been like any other day except maybe I was feeling a little vulnerable or possibly I was looking for help, for someone to understand. I still cringe at the thought of what I did that day. It still makes me feel weak and pathetic. I decided to talk to the one person who was aware that I was ill in one way or another because she had been forced to watch me sleep on a cot in her office for months. During my daily visit to the Nurse’s office I told her what was really  going on with me. It felt good to have finally said it out loud but then before I had even finished talking she had the phone in her hand and was telling me that she had to call my Mother. I begged and pleaded with her, told her I wished I hadn’t said anything, that I made it all up. But she would not be deterred. The call was short and she sent me home.

    It took me hours to walk the half mile home. I stopped for coffee at a 7-11. I sat on a wall and smoked cigarettes watching the traffic, wondering what it would be like to walk blindly into the middle of the street. I felt disconnected while the world moved around me in slow motion. When I finally arrived home my Mother was in her bedroom with the door closed. I could hear her crying. That really pissed me off. Why the fuck did she get to cry? I was a good 5 solid years into my relationship with eating disorders, this really shouldn’t have shocked her. She never did come out of her room that day. We never actually spoke about it at all. However, she did go with me to a Doctors appointment where I first met a Doctor I will refer to as Dr.Croak. He came to be a very generous man who for many years supplied me with all the vicodin a girl could want for.

    I was then sent to a Psychiatrist who wanted to hear in graphic detail every sexual encounter of mine and when I refused we simply sat in uncomfortable silence interrupted only by his heavy mouth breathing and occasional “hmmmmm”. I was prescribed Prozac and that was it. My mood improved thanks to the pills but my eating disorder never left me, not for one second. Oh, it changed over time, got better in hiding behind things like stress or casual dieting. I became an amazing liar, a truly great fucking liar. I had been lying for so long I didn’t even realize I was doing it. Everything was a lie and my Family bought into it because they were damn good liars themselves. They chose not to see or acknowledge in any way that something was wrong with me or themselves.

    I can still relate to every word of what I wrote 16 years ago, I can still feel the despair and anguish of that day as if I were still on that long walk home.

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Awfully Human

I have no choice in the matter, I have to get a tooth extracted. The risk of infection is too great for the well being of my child. So, I must start an antibiotic regimen today which I am strongly opposed to as well. I haven’t taken antibiotics in years. I don’t know all the facts and whatnot but I know they kill good and bad bacteria. I don’t want something killing off my good bacteria but I have to listen to the Doctor for once and trust that it is the right thing to do. It’s pretty strange how my mind has worked all these years. While I filled my body with toxins and starved it of basic nutrients I always did my best to drink as much water as possible, took plenty of vitamins and minerals and made fresh juices. I drank chlorophyll water while smoking a cigarette and put vodka in my fresh vegetable juice. I received regular colon hydrotherapy treatments while constipating myself with vicodin and worked my ass off at the gym after drinking all night. I am in pretty good health so I guess I maintained a fair balance of good habits and bad vices.

I guess I am just vain, superficial and disgustingly vain. It’s just a back molar but I am pretty sure it will show when I smile. I laugh loud and smile big, it’s who I am. I am not poor white trash, I should have all of my teeth. I am not a crack whore, I shouldn’t be losing teeth at 31. What I am however is a bulimic of almost 20 years. It’s actually amazing that I haven’t lost a few teeth by now. I am a “recovering” bulimic at this point but I will always have the voice of anorexia/bulimia in my head. And now I will have a hole in my smile to remind me of this as well. Remind me that what I have done to my body is not without consequence. Once I get used to the hole and what it represents maybe I will be able to learn from it. I have found that I figure shit out easier once I am forced to do without, like the understanding I receive from silence. Once a thing becomes a void it is easier to fully see it. Maybe I will learn to forgive myself one day, forgive myself for not being perfect, for never living up to my expectations and for being so goddamn awfully human.

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Soberly Suffering

I awoke on Friday knowing something was wrong. This wasn’t just allergies, I was sick as shit. My head told a story that didn’t need a fairytale dose of caffeine to create a happy ending. My throat felt hot and sticky and the ache of my ears reverberated through each cavity filled tooth. My Lungs gave a muffled scream of, “Help, we’ve been taken captive. We tried to stop him but he was bigger and stronger”. Hello bronchitis, it’s been a while. At least I can escape for a few days with my books and some Robitussin DM. Wait, No I can’t….. Fuck! I am sober and pregnant, dextromethorphan is a no-no, as is Nyquil and every other happytime 10% alcohol filled medicine. Those would all be much too enjoyable for anyone in my situation. This will be an interesting week or two, my first experience with sober bronchitis.

I have had bouts with bronchitis on a semi-annual basis since I was about 9 years old when my bronchitis became full on pneumonia. I spent over a month in bed high on dextromethorphan and experiencing my first joyous bout with anorexia. My fever got so high I experienced hallucinations and I remember having the distinct thought, “I am dying, and it’s OK.” I was too ill to eat and lost about 20 pounds. I hadn’t thought much about my weight before that point in my life but as soon as I began to lose weight I became obsessed with the feel of my bones appearing through my childish flesh. I became so accustomed to the light-headed feeling when I stood up that I wanted to feel that way all the time. Tylenol with codeine, Nyquil, cough syrup and my new friend starvation made this possible. Laying in bed with a stack of books felt like a perfect way to spend the rest of my life. I didn’t miss school, friends or the outside world. I had all I needed in my room, in my bed, within arms reach. When the bronchial grip began to lessen, the phlegm that had settled comfortably in my lungs really let loose. In an attempt to get me to cough up the offending phlegm my Mother told me,” you know, phlegm is fattening.” I then kept a bowl next to my bed; happily coughing, spitting and counting my calories. Ironically, years later I kept a bowl under my bed into which I retched and vomited after each meal waiting patiently for the house to be empty so that I might empty the foul-smelling bowl of puke into the toilet. Often times the bowl would sit; filled to the rim, rotting under my bed for days before I could empty it. The smell would fill my bedroom with disgust, shame and self-hatred. Now when I think about my days spent in bed sick, my nights spent awake and unsettled with fevered confusion, my days spent starving and uneasy on my feet, wavering in and out of consciousness, they all seem to remind me of one thing: control. My body becoming out of control with sickness and my own attempt at taking control by starving myself, by purging myself, by hurting myself.

I exist in a much different reality now. That is not to say that my mind works much differently than it did before, but I have a better filtration system now. Being pregnant has forced me to care for myself in a way that I never imagined I could. Eating proper meals is a big fucking step for me. And I don’t mean eating one wholesome meal with multiple food groups and obsessing over it for weeks by bringing it up whenever possible, “But I do eat, remember the chicken, rice and vegetables meal, I ate that!” Well, fuck you eating disorder, I am eating a couple healthy meals a day, maybe not three but definitely two. Oh, you want me to jam my fingers down my throat…NO. Just that fucking easy, no. I never thought that no was an option when it came to my eating disorder or even to alcohol for that matter. Pregnancy has given me two wonderfully empowering letters, NO.

So, as I soberly suffer through this bout with bronchitis I am getting plenty of fluids, experimenting in the kitchen with homemade spicy soups and getting a healthy amount of rest. Who knew being sick could feel so good.

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Root canals and Tijuana cab rides

I haven’t been to the dentist in over 5 years. This isn’t something I am proud of or even something I was consciously aware of until recently. I had many strange experiences at the Dentist over the years. When I was about 6, I was at a Children’s Dental center where they gave all the kids this purple drink that was supposed to make them calm and woozy (drunk, they were getting us drunk). Being the future alcoholic, I probably asked for seconds. After the initial intoxication I was led into an open room with about 6 dental chairs and one Dentist who popped around to each one. An assistant prepped me and wandered away while I became increasingly agitated. When the Dentist came to me and began prodding around in my mouth I apparently bit him. I remember being confused and scared and this must have been my natural reaction when having a strange man put his fingers in my mouth. His reaction however was a very unnatural one since he was a children’s Dentist and all. The motherfucker slapped me, hard. I have felt extremely vulnerable at the Dentist ever since then. But that never encouraged me to take care of my teeth as a preventative measure against having strange men’s  fingers in my mouth.

I have had more than my fair share of filings, root canals and fancy gold crowns. Skittles and bulimia tend to have that effect. To mellow my mood before such an appointment I would often take a few; vicodin, somas, valium…whatever, you get the idea. (I thought about the purple drink but didn’t want alcohol on my breath). One time I was getting a root canal and was actually feeling quite cozy and warm and I must have dozed off a bit. I awoke to my mouth filling up with hot blood and the Dentist exclaiming “oh, shit!” Definitely not something you want to hear while you have your mouth pried open with metal devices and a suction tube is stabbing the back of your throat. I leaned forward and blood poured out of my mouth and all down the front of my bib and puddled in my crotch. The Dentist told me that the drill had “nicked” the underside of my tongue. She said this was due to the fact that I had apparently fallen asleep and had begun to snore. She wasn’t stupid and told me, “next time, try not to be so high.”

My most pleasant Dental experience was surprisingly enough when I had my wisdom teeth removed in Tijuana. I was in and out in less than half an hour and eating street tacos within the hour. I was calmed by the silence of the Dentist (he didn’t speak a word of English) and efficiency of the staff (they had at least 20 patients waiting). A classic TJ cab ride made for a death defying experience and really fulfilled all of my expectations.

Well, today is the day. I have a Dentist appointment. The only reason I am not putting it off is because apparently  you have to get a check up while you are pregnant to make sure you don’t have any infections or some shit. Fuck, I am seriously procrastinating right now. I suppose I can only hope for another interesting story.

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