Triple Decker Day and March Journaling

Yesterday was super busy…One of those triple decker appointment days.

My primary doc ran an EKG and was very happy with how it looked.  And we talked about the fact that I no longer am having heart palpitations and my tachycardia is better (still there, but better) and that an abnormality they noticed at Renfrew has resolved.   All in all, I am quite relieved.  Evidently, your heart really, really likes to be fed.  Who knew?

I saw the Nutritionist and that appointment went well.  She was sooo glad to see me, and glad to see me looking well.  I showed her a bunch of nutrition paperwork from Renfrew and talked to her about the exchange program.  I also told her about my strong ED urges.  Oh…and my obsession with knowing my weight.

And the AT…My hour of safety…It went well as well.  We are having some very frank discussions about my ED, which is just what I need right now.  And the AT called me out on some restricting I have been doing and he said that he was seeing some red flags.  I contend that I am being compliant with my meal plan…But he called me out for not eating when I am hungry, either by not snacking or waiting too long between meals.  These were both things that I wrote about in the ED messages post a couple of days ago.

I see the AT again today.  As a matter of fact, I have an appointment with Team Heidi people every day this week except Friday.  Yesterday was the triple decker day, today the AT, tomorrow my PNP and Thurs the AT.  Hopefully, that all will help me stay accountable and on track.

Okay…Now more entries from my Renfrew journal.

March Journaling:

3-11-16

Goals: Eat all of breakfast. No Ensure

Eat all of lunch. No Ensure.

3-12-16

I ate all 3 meals yesterday and so this morning I graduated to “trays” or what I like to call, the “Big Girl” dining room.  I don’t say this out loud as it is a bit of a slight if someone doesn’t know my sense of humor.

Last night was mandatory attendance MFG (Multi-Family Group).  It is a support group for friends/family and residents.  Family gets to talk about thoughts/feelings about living with someone with an E.D.  Residents get to share their thoughts/feelings about living with an E.D.

I sat down for group and the families started coming.  I started missing dh. But not like I was homesick for him—More that I knew that if we lived closer, he would have been there. He wants to help, he would gladly participate and he would have wanted to be there.  I just lost it and started crying.  And I couldn’t stop.  I left the room and a counselor followed.  She tried to be supportive, and I tried to let her, but I was just broken.  I had to attend the meeting, so I quietly sobbed for the first 15 minutes (or not even so quietly).  Then I just cried through the rest. It was interminable.  All I wanted to do was self-harm or die.  Anything to turn off the feelings.  The counselor did sit next to me for most of the meeting and occasionally rubbed my arm.  I appreciated it.  I was afraid to tell anyone about wanting to self-harm because I was afraid I would get in trouble.

Today is Saturday with extended visitor hours.  Tomorrow is Family Day. I think this whole weekend is going to suck. I just feel so sad that dh can’t be here when I know he would be if he could. It just kind of kills me inside.

Parts of being here are unmanageably hard.

*I sent a postcard to the AT today.*

Sewing and The Phone Call(s)

Sewing

I spent the bulk of yesterday sewing while I waited for the phone call from my PNP.  Not only did I finish the little dog’s coat but I had enough fleece to make her a second coat.  The first coat is a double layer, warmer coat.  The second coat is a single layer, with a thick fleece for those cool spring days.  I am delighted with how they came out.  I love the flower print and the blue will look fantastic on the little dog’s white fur . Her gotcha day is the 27th, so I will have pics of her in the coats then.

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The Phone Call(s)

When my PNP finally got a hold of me, she had a lot to say.  She had talked to my Primary Physician and my doctor had charged my PNP and I to researching inpatient/residential eating disorder facilities.  I am kind of curious as how it fell to my PNP to be the one to help me with the research, however, I am fine with it.  I adore my PNP and I know she will do a good job helping me.

I had dug out the letter and business card of my Blue Cross case manager (yup, I have one) and after I talked to my PNP, I called my case manager.  She was incredibly helpful and kind.  (I feel kind of embarrassed calling a total stranger and telling her I have an eating disorder and I need help finding more intensive treatment.)  She did some legwork on her part and verified my insurance coverage for such care.  It turns out I have damn good insurance and as long as I stay “in network” I have 100% coverage and no copay/deductible for both inpatient and residential treatment!  This is such a relief to me because with me completely out of work right now, and me having spent the last year minimally working, we kind of have no money.  Not having to pay anything out of pocket for treatment is a blessing.

My Case Manager sent me a list of in network facilities, most of them within driving distance of my home.  I started cranking my way through the list and alternated feelings of panic, despair and relief as I investigated them.  It was exhausting. 😦

I also forwarded the list to my PNP and I sent her an email later with my current top choices.  I need more info about all of them, so I will have to spend some time contacting places and getting my questions answered.  At the end of the week, my Case Manager is calling me back to see if I need more choices and to see how I am doing with the process.

I had a kind of anxiety/panic melt-down after contacting my Case Manager and I sent a panicked email to the AT asking if I could come see him today so we can talk about all of this.  I see him later this morning.  I did feel calmer last evening, but then last night, the dogs woke me up at 2 and I was feeling stressed and anxious and could not fall back asleep. Finally after an hour and a half, I took a lorazepam and then settled down pretty quickly and fell back asleep.

So…I am stressed and overwhelmed, full of questions (I have a huge list of questions to take to the AT) and honestly, a little bit relieved that I have some treatment options. I don’t know how close I am to my doc putting her foot down and saying it is time for the higher lever of treatment…But at least I will be prepared if/when it happens.

 

 

 

Stressful and Knitting With L.

Stressful

I started with Art Therapy yesterday.  I did some painting, which felt really good. We talked about my eating and at the end of the appointment, I left with this summary of what we had covered.

  • My eating disorder is rampant right now
  • It is directly related to my sexual trauma
  • I don’t have any control over the eating disorder right now

As well as Art Therapy, I had an appointment with my Primary Physician yesterday.  My doctor’s appointment was pretty stressful. First of all, I had to share with her my therapy summary.  Then my doctor began talking more seriously about inpatient/residential treatment for my eating disorder (which I will admit has gotten more restrictive over time, especially in the past week or so)  She was going to call and consult with Team Heidi, namely the AT and my PNP.  I left the doctor’s office at about 10 and already had a call back from my PNP at 10:50, so evidently my doctor got right on her phone calls.  (Though I never connected with my PNP yesterday, I will do so today.)

I don’t know if my doctor got hold of the AT yet.

I left my doctor’s office nearly in tears.  The idea of inpatient/residential treatment is really stressful to me…For lots of reasons, but the  one that really scares me is that I would have to go far away to get such treatment.  As a matter of fact, what my doctor said she really wants for treatment for me is Intensive Outpatient (IOP) treatment.  That’s when you just do a day day program of several hours for treatment while still living at home.  The problem is, my state doesn’t have any eating disorder treatment centers.  None. Zip. Zero.  No place for IOP, no place for inpatient.  Thus, if I had to go for inpatient treatment, it would have to be some place far away.

My doctor did mention the hospital as an option, but not one that she is at all in favor of. She said she doesn’t think hospitals do a good job treating eating disorders.  As a matter of fact, I think (if it comes down to inpatient treatment) she is going to be somewhat fussy as to where I would go.  And I mean fussy in a good way….She acknowledged that for a couple of reasons (my age being one) it would really be important to find a place that would be prepared to work with me/a good fit for me.

The whole conversation had me kind of reeling.  However, my doctor is doing an amazing job working with me right now.  She is sooo understanding and supportive and genuine in her concern. It’s almost like I matter!

In the evening, I talked with dh about my appointment and the idea of inpatient treatment somewhere.  His response was basically, “Whatever it takes to get you better. We will make it work.”  He also asked me what I felt about the idea….But I didn’t have an answer.  I am soo lost about the eating disorder right now….I don’t know what the right thing is to do.

I don’t have very many options given the lack of resources in my state.  I already see the AT twice a week…Would it matter if I went three times a week? Would I get better faster? Would I be able to do harder work?  Would he even consider the possibility?  Other than increasing frequency with him, I don’t see any options for additional support.

It all boils down to this, and I know I have said it before….Will I be able to get my psych shit together (and thus put the eating disorder to rest or at least loosen the strangle-hold it has on me) before my body gives out?  And yesterday was a crappy body-day for me.  I felt really awful in the morning and then just crummy the rest of the day.  Today, so far, I just feel kind of crummy.

Knitting with L

The good thing about yesterday was that after my morning appointments, I went over to my friend, L’s house for a few hours and we knitted and chatted.  I really like L and enjoyed getting together with her.  We chatted a lot about my doctor appointment as well as about our kids and of course, about knitting. 🙂

I got a few more stripes done on the blanket square (I am still undecided about that new baby sweater, so I am ignoring it at the moment) but I was moving really slowly and my brain was not at all cooperating to be productive.  I also tried to repair a project her daughter had done that had a couple of places where she had dropped stitches.  Now, I have dropped many stitches in my years knitting and I know exactly how to ladder them up to the edge to be fixed.  But yesterday?  It was just baffling to me. I kept doing it wrong and then redoing it wrong and redoing it wrong.  I just could not get my brain to work and I could not get my problem solving skills kicked into gear to see what I was doing wrong. Eventually, I just gave up.

L, on the other hand, made some real progress with finishing a sweater she is making for her daughter.  It is gorgeous. The yarn she chose is beautiful, the pattern on the chest is beautiful…The whole thing is just gorgeous! She has been working on it for years and now all she has to do is set in the sleeves and seam them up.  She’s nearly done!

Today, I will knit some, but I have declared it a sewing day and I am going to start (and hopefully finish) the little dog’s coat.

 

 

Sometimes It Catches Up With Me and The Appointment and Knitting

Sometimes It Catches Up With Me

I was sailing through triple deck appointment day yesterday…Things were going well and I seemed totally under control.  But when I was driving home after appointment #3, my fingers were hurting me.  One of my Heidi-habits is that when I get really stressed/anxious/nervous I pick at skin around my fingernails…Any little bit of hangnail becomes a victim of me picking at it (shredding it) until it is really sore and/or bleeding.  Sooo…I had peeled back hang nails on three fingers.  I know I did one during the Nutritionist appointment, and one during my PNP appointment…Not sure about the third. I realized that I was more stressed than I had thought.

When I got home from my appointments, I lasted about five minutes before I crashed.   Basically, I collected the eggs, let the dogs out, had a drink of water and then was overwhelmed from all the emotions from all my appointments.  I resorted to one of my more benign coping methods…I collected the dogs and went to bed and took a nap.  I haven’t taken a “stress nap” in quite a while.  But I needed to escape from the feelings.

The Appointments  

Art Therapy was really good.  He pushed me super hard and that was okay.  Sometimes, I need super hard pushing….Not necessarily every time I go, but sometimes it is good.  He did something pesky though….When talking about people from whom I got negative messages as a child, he used the term, “abuser.”  Using the term “abuser” acknowledges things that I would rather just ignore and not feel anything about.  That word makes it too real and I don’t like it.  I can’t go there….I feel too much like I will fall apart.

My PNP appointment was good.  She did something unexpected…She apologized for missing the significance of something I said to her years ago.  I appreciated her apology, but more than that, I appreciated her making the observation that led her to her conclusion and that she was in tune with what was happening and then was able to reflect on it.  To me, that is an example of a good provider.  We also discussed why I said in my blog that my PNP appointments are “easy.”  The word “easy” does not imply simplicity or lack of meaning to my appointments, but more that her appointments are the least painful of my other appointments.  Plus, I know I am 100% safe with her…That makes seeing her “easy.”

The Nutritionist appointment was NOT easy.  I don’t need to go into too much detail as you have heard it all before.  What I will say is that I am sooo sick of being told, “It is up to you” that I could scream.  The next person who says it to me may get an unfiltered-Heidi response.  It’s like my N (and my Primary Physician, she has said it too) thinks I can just magically snap out of it…that it is easy to quiet the eating disorder and lay it to rest.  Only…It doesn’t really work that way.  And then when she says “It is up to you.” I feel this intense pressure, like I have to change and do it immediately….but it’s just not happening and then I feel like a failure.  Ugh.

Knitting

I didn’t get done as much waiting room knitting as I expected to yesterday.  I ran two quick errands between appointments and both happened to be in stores with the sssllllooowwweeessttt checkout lines on the planet.  A run-in-and-out purchase should not include 15 minutes of standing in line. <eye roll>  And as much I appreciate a personable cashier, the cashier should not be having long conversations with patrons when there are five people waiting in line.  <double eye roll>  However, I did have a lovely chat in one of the stores with another lady standing in line to buy some yarn. We discussed chocolate (we were standing in front of a chocolate display), the yarn we were purchasing, dye lots, our projects, and she shared that just that morning, she became a great-grandmother for the second time.  (Yes…for someone who has social anxiety, I am pretty friendly when I feel safe.)  It did help pass the time.

Despite the errands, I got a chunk more done on the green kimono sweater.  I am loving the yarn and how the sweater is knitting up.  I showed my PNP how you fold it into a kimono and let her admire it. 🙂  I should be done with it by the end of today (the knitting part, then I have to seam it and do the finishing work on it.)

Doctor Appointment and Knitting

Doctor Appointment

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday.  I guess it went okay.  I mean, the doctor was fine, but I am getting the message, “It’s up to you” a lot about my eating.  And I get it, it is up to me…But when people say that (the Nutritionist has said it too) I feel a lot of pressure.  I don’t think it is meant as pressure, but I internalize it as such.  And when I feel pressure about my eating, it makes the hyper-focus worse.

I actually find the “It’s up to you” stance to be very disheartening.  It kind of threw the rest of my day….I just feel discouraged and hopeless when people say that.  If it was that easy, if I could just wake up one day and start eating normally, I think I would have…But it is so much more complicated than that.  Yes, it’s up to me…But I don’t know how to do it.

And I had more blood work done yesterday.  My liver enzymes have dropped quite a bit, one being back in the normal range and the other being elevated still, but much better.  Of course, another part of the blood work had dropped…I will have to wait and see what my doc has to say about it before I worry. A couple of results aren’t back yet…One being my vitamin D.

I also had an unexpected surprise at the doctor’s office.  The psych meds fairy appeared and gave me a bunch more sample packets of my medication.  Since this particular med is my most expensive med, I truly appreciate all the help I have been getting with it.

Art Therapy

At this point, I am simply trying to not think about Monday’s appointment.  Really, what I want is to follow-up on something he said…But I have to wait until Thursday to do so.  Basically, I am impatiently patiently biding my time to follow-up and then figure out what I am thinking/feeling.  Tomorrow will not come soon enough!

Knitting

More work on the kimono baby sweater. I have knit this pattern a few times before and it always seems to come out wider than I want.  Next time I knit it, I am going to cast on with ten fewer stitches. I think that will trim up the width nicely.

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And starting on a basic baby blanket. The yarn is so lush and plush, I don’t want to make a fancy blanket…The yarn is the star of this blanket.  I started it on knitting needles, but the yarn is sticky and doesn’t slide nicely.  It was making me grumpy and hurting my hands.  However, I am prepared to implement any yarn related contingency plan and thus took the project off the needle and put it on a knitting loom.  It is going much better this way.

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And here’s my last knitting pic…Okay, okay…It’s not knitting. 🙂  But it is an adorably cute dog! Gotta stick in a puppy picture every now and then!  As you can see, she was having a rough day.

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Waiting and Pottery Class

Waiting

Yesterday morning, I got up and started some turkey stock both on the stove and in the crockpot.  Ds made stock earlier this month and it was well-liked in the soups/stews I have made recently but there is only a pint of his stock left.  After the stock cooks, I put it into canning jars and freeze it up.  Luckily, the weather this time of year cooperates with the cooling and freezing of the stock on the deck.  I won’t ever eat anything made from the stock, as it is meat based, but I am glad to make it and know that dh and ds are eating healthy homemade food.

I did some hand sewing for quite a while in the morning.  It was just the right kind of activity because I was super low energy and just finding it hard to move much.  I had planned on walking the dogs, but it was cold and snowing and I just didn’t feel up to it.  (I have been really cold lately.)  It was a quiet kind of morning.

Mostly though, I was waiting.  My bloodwork came back from Tuesday’s blood draw and I took a look at it first thing in the morning.  (There is a website through the hospital that posts labs and stuff, the info show up there fast and I can check it before my doctor even sees it.)  A couple of my lab values were off…This is the first time that has happened.  So, I was waiting for an email from my doctor to see what she thought.  Here is the message she put on the bottom of my lab results, “Heidi, Your liver enzymes (AST and ALT) are now elevated and this may be due to the stress on your liver due to inadequate calorie intake.  We should recheck this at your next visit. Please let me know if you have questions. Best wishes, [Your Doctor]”  I am not sure how worried I should be about this…I guess the next bloodwork check will let me know.

Pottery Class

In the evening I had pottery class.  Despite just wanting to curl up in bed to stay warm and rest, I pulled myself together and went to pottery.  It’s kind of like yoga in that I love it so much that I will get there come Hell or high water.  I threw my pot lid on the wheel, though I don’t have much hope that it will fire to the right size.  But it was my first lid and I did my best…Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised!  I also started glazing my tiles.  I am painting in the glaze to color the pictures I drew…Technically, this might not work as the glaze colors may just run together when it is fired.  Honestly, I am okay with that, as painting the tiles is kind of an experiment and I am not feeling like they have to come out perfect.

Here are the tiles during the glazing process.  The colors of the glaze are not at all accurate, they fire and change color/darken significantly. For example the trees will fire to a dark green even though the glaze is so light.

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To Work Or Not To Work? and Having The Driveway Sanded

To Work Or Not To Work?

It has been decided.

I saw my Primary Physician yesterday.  It was a good appointment, meaning I felt like she really was taking the time to talk to me and listen to me and I felt good about it.  I also got bloodwork done, I wasn’t feeling as good about that—ouch! And evidently, she loves my heart so much that she did another EKG.  (Which was fine.)  Heck…she even gave me a nice hug (after asking permission first.)

And I waited until the very end to ask her the question.  Should I go back to work? (Partly, this was prompted by a text from my boss that was already a few days old, asking about me working on Saturday.)

My PP said, “I don’t think you should go back to work. I think you should take the time and focus on yourself.”

So…It has been decided. And I am relieved.

And then after I got home, I made a phone call and I got a forbearance on my student loans.

And now, I need to re-run budget numbers without the hefty student loan payment.  As family CFO, it is my job to make sure all the bills get paid.  It was going to be super tight, but the forbearance will give us some breathing room.

Having The Driveway Sanded

You know…I appreciate the simple things.

So, our driveway goes up a hill…Not a crazy bad kind of hill, but enough that sometimes cars can’t get up it in the winter.  When we moved here, my car wouldn’t go up. Lemme tell ya, that car got traded in lickety-split. Parking at the bottom of the driveway and hiking up in the freezing cold is not fun.

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In the winter, the UPS man doesn’t drive up at all and drops our packages at the bottom of the driveway.  We get better service from FedEx, who will drive up most of the time, but if he elects not too, he walks up with our packages.

But…The fuel oil delivery folks are fussy.  They won’t even bother to come up, and forget them trying to use those handy chains hanging off the bottom of the truck, it isn’t happening!  So, now they call the day before they deliver to give us a heads-up. Then I can call the plow guy and have him come sand.

This all happened yesterday.  The fuel oil company called to check on the status of the driveway…Packed snow over ice, not good for the heavy fuel oil truck to back up (did I mention they back up the driveway as there is no spot for a truck to turn around at the top?)  I called my plow guy and asked if he could come sand.  Within ten minutes he was here and sanding.

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And not only did he sand, but he drove really slowly to get a good layer of sand down.  And he knows the tricky spots in the driveway and went extra slowly over them to get a really heavy coat of sand.

And I watched him do it and felt a lot of gratitude for his diligence.