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 »
Living HellMy nutritionist, Casey, started me out at a reasonable pace. She added a little here, and a little there. I was up to 3 protein drinks a day, and it didn't make my stomach hurt or feel uncomfortable. I had several appointments with her that seemed to go very well. I admired Casey, she was young and at a weight that I saw as healthy, and she didn't seem to judge me. She seemed to understand me. Then one day she said that she thought for now I was doing well enough for her to stop seeing me. I couldn't very well beg her to keep working with me, so even though I didn't want to see her go, I agreed with her that I thought with some guidance form my mom, she and I could do this without Casey. Casey talked to my mom about what she thought could be expected as far as how much I should be adding. I overheard her say some pretty extreme amounts, but I knew that I trusted her, and didn't have much say in any of this since obviously I would try to eat as little as possible. My mom and I went home with the hope that I wouldn't fight her too much on the new amounts, and that everything would be fine. Far from it.
The next morning I woke up to the smell of pancakes permeating the house. I knew today was special, it was my sisters birthday. My stomach, expanding at a slow pace, but getting larger nonetheless, growled in anticipation of that morning's breakfast. I was frightened by the thought of what I would eat, but food also brought me a new excitement that it hadn't before. I was being forced to eat, so I thought I might as well make the most of it. I wandered out to the kitchen, and my mom greeted me good morning. She brought over a plate with three pancakes on it, and a small glass of orange juice. So. This was the "new diet". I ate the pancakes and glugged down the juice. I knew that in an hour I'd have to drink my protein shake. I did my schoolwork during my breakfast, and then fit in a shorter walk before my snack. When I got home from the walk, my mom was waiting and she quietly told me that I needed to add something to my snack this morning. I groaned inwardly...I hated adding. She always gave me choices, and then my brain would work as fast as it could to calculate how many calories were in a bowl of Cheerios with whole milk, versus two slices of toast with butter. I went with the cereal. Before I knew it, it was time for lunch. I made a cheese and turkey pita with mayo, had applesauce, and a granola bar. And then added some cheese and crackers to that. Then at 3 came my snack, which was an apple and peanut butter, and another protein shake. Keep in mind that for the past week, I'd only been having the protein shakes and nothing else for my snacks. Today, I was trying to be polite and eat everything set before me, so as not to make a scene on my sister's birthday. We went to Dairy Queen for supper, and I got a cheeseburger kids meal, with fries, and milk. My stomach was so full! When I got into the car to leave, I noticed that it was taut as I buckled the seat belt. and I still had to have a piece of cake, and some candy that my mom had written down that I needed to eat. It was already 7, and my snacks were usually had around 8. I still had a lot of calories to cram in before bed. We all settled down around the kitchen table and sang the birthday song to my sister, and then the cake was served. I ate my piece, and we all sat around and chatted for a while. Then, it was time for the grandma's to leave. It was 8, so as they were leaving and everyone was saying goodbye, I prepared myself a strawberry protein shake. I was so full. But, I knew what I had to do. I started to drink it with a straw...slowly making progress. Then the phone rang, and I had to get it. I took one more slurp, my stomach tightening and starting to cramp. I picked up the phone and painfully said "Hello?" It was my best friend, the one whose mom had told my mom about how concerned she was. My friend asked how I was, and I pretended I was fine and that my stomach wasn't trying to tell me that it couldn't take anymore. Finally she asked for my sister. By this time, my stomach hurt so much, I was crying. It felt like I was full to the brim, and my food was about ready to explode out of my stomach. I stopped drinking my shake and sat on a wooden stool in the kitchen, groaning. My mom finally came in from outdoors, where she was saying goodbyes (she is known for lengthy ones)."Mom, I don't feel good at all" I said in a hoarse whisper. "What do you mean?" she inquired. "I feel like I'm going to barf!" I exclaimed. "Okay, why don't you go lay down for a little while on your bed. See if that helps." I set my glass down on the kitchen table, and went down the hall to my bedroom. Laying down on my bed, I let out a sigh. I felt horrible. My stomach clenched and cramped. It hurt so bad! Of course this would have to happen on one of my sisters birthdays, I would have to ruin it for them. I whimpered as a burst of pain came over me in a wave. My mom came into my bedroom. " How are you feeling now?" she asked. "It hurts!" I replied impatiently. "What's gonna happen?" I'll call up to the hospital, my mom told me calmly. She left to make the call, and I heard one of my sisters whisper worriedly to her, asking what was going on. About ten minutes later, my mom came to my room and told me that dad had gone out to Wal-Mart to get some laxatives for me, and that most likely my problem was indigestion from all of the food I had eaten that day. "What's going to happen though?" I asked worriedly. "You'll take the laxatives every fifteen minutes or so, and hope it works".
An hour later, I was still taking it. It wasn't working the way it should be, obviously. In fact I had started to throw up in addition to my stomach pain. I would wretch, think I was done. Repeat...repeat...repeat. My mom called the hospital again, and they told her she should drive me to see a particular nurse that had been dealing with my situation. This nurse happened to be in a town that was about twenty minutes away. I was too weak to walk to the van myself, so my dad carried me out and got me situated in the seat, handing me an old ice cream bucket to hurl into when I needed it. "Dad." I said. "What Lyd?" He asked. "I can't do this" I said, tears in my eyes. "I'm so sick". I kept repeating this like a mantra throughout the drive, and pretty much the whole night. The drive to the clinic was mostly a blur or me barfing and my mom trying to console me. When we neared the clinic, I asked my mom how I had anything left to barf up.
I don't know why we were told to drive twenty minutes out of our way, but when we saw the nurse, she took a look at me, tried to get me to look her in the eyes, and promptly said I needed to go to the Emergency Room back in Manchester. I turned to look at my mom, my eyes pleading. I could NOT do this much longer. I was miserable, and felt like just giving up, but I was so sick, I couldn't sleep or relax. On the drive back to town, my mom tried to keep her right arm available to steady the barf bucket as even my arms were growing exhausted. "We're going to get you better, Lydia" She soothed. "I'm gonna die." I said. That was the first time I voiced that particular fear out loud. I literally felt like I was going to die, but at this point, I couldn't care less. Anything had to be better than this hell.