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Skin and Bones

Author's note: I wrote this mostly as a coping method, and to get it out of my soul. Most people don't know...  Show full author's note »
Author's note: I wrote this mostly as a coping method, and to get it out of my soul. Most people don't know about this part of my life, but I shouldn't be ashamed of it. I should share it. So I am.  « Hide author's note
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After my first appointment, I had many more. The second time I went to the clinic, I met with a nutritionist, and a psychologist as well as with the nurse. This would be my "team". They all seemed to ask me the same questions as the first time, and after that, I went home again...wondering what the heck I was doing. The next few times I went I would be put on antidepressants, and talk to the nutritionist about what was an appropriate amount to be eating. I had to start building up slow, otherwise there was a good chance my body would start to shut down because it wouldn't be able to handle the amount of food I was consuming. The first thing we did was add snacks to my "diet". What the nutritionist wanted to see me do was drink Carnation Breakfast drinks or Ensure. She gave me two white lunch sacks, each with a different flavor of the protein drinks in them. This might sound very odd, but I was so starved, those energy drinks and the permission I knew I had to be able to drink one made me so excited and scared at the same time. On the way home, my mom told me to try one. I tried a can of the ensure. I popped the tab and took a small sip. By the time we were on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids, I was crying. "Mom, I can't do this!" I exclaimed. "Why not? What do you mean?" She inquired. "It's so gross!" She coaxed me into gulping the rest of it down. I can only imagine the small comfort it was to her to know that I was getting those few calories into my body.

Over the next several months I slowly added to what I was eating. This included the protein drinks. I could handle the Carnation ones. Actually, if I was honest with myself, I liked them. Especially the chocolate ones. If my mom asked me though, I'd say they were a hardship for me to get down. I'd jump at the chance to be "busy" during the time when I was supposed to have one, just so I could get out of those extra calories. I just wasn't gaining weight like I needed to be though. My nutritionist had me writing down what I ate, and how I felt when I was eating it. most of the time I didn't really have a feeling...okay, yeah. I had a feeling that I shouldn't be eating! But...nothing else. Sometimes I could talk myself into feeling okay though. Until my eating had to be added to...again and again. To the point where I literally got sick. And couldn't stop barfing, even after I had nothing to barf up.
As I started eating more, I told myself that I needed to exercise more. To be "healthy". I started walking our dog at least 4 times a day. In between I'd eat, read, or work at my job. But otherwise I was always on the move. My mom would tell me that I needed to stop being so active, I had to stop walking so much. I didn't listen though. I just tried to sneak a little more activity in. I started walking early in the morning before breakfast and before anyone was up, and late at night when my mom was getting ready for bed. My weight stayed the same, or even dipped lower at times. I didn't care though. Sometimes my mom would bring up the fact that my heart could be in severe danger, but I just told myself that nothing would ever happen to ME. I was superhuman. After all, I had lived this long on hardly any food. I took to drinking a lot of water. Which, in some ways may have been good for me, but it also filled my small tummy up with lots of zero calorie water...and I needed calories. The last time I had gone to an appointment at the clinic, they had told me I needed to see someone to monitor any medicine I was on, and talk to me about how I was feeling. I started going to see a doctor Claudia at a different clinic. I didn't know what to expect really, but after going to her several times, I started to wonder why we were spending hundreds of dollars just so she could ask me the same questions over and over. Pretty soon after that we stopped seeing her. After I ended up in the hospital.
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