Sunday, 10 April 2011

A Day in Life at The Unit. Part 1

Thank you all for continuing to support my journey on the roller. I guess it's quiet right now.
Or rather, the screams are stifled much of the time.

I'm very tired and lacking in energy.

Re-feeding is an incredibly upsetting experience and I'm already dreading tomorrow (a 'weigh' day in case I haven't put on enough weight and have to face the prospect of even more food being added to my meals or snack times in the unit.
In keeping with the desperately 'split' nature of Anorexia, I am equally dreading the possibility that I may have put weight ON.
However, I write this after a day where I feel as though I have barely had a moment without stuffing some artificially sweetened / low fat / low - as - I - can - get - away - with foodstuff down my gullet. (And yes, technically speaking my meal plan is supposed to exclude all such products but hey, it's the weekend.)

I have actually put on a few pounds. This, a response to last week's blood results indicating the fact that my liver, heart and kidneys are struggling; my white blood cells are decreasing and my protein intake is way too low.

How this should be happening now, at a point where my diet is more varied than it has been for months, seems to beggar belief but my doctor explained that there is often a bit of a 'lag' with these things.
The guy who runs the program we follow at the unit (who, for reasons I will explain at some point, I will henceforth refer to as 'The Godfather') offered me the option of potassium supplements or 2 bananas a day.
Needless to say, the bananas are not a feature of my new heart-sustaining regime.

Tomorrow is tough before it has begun.
Although that's not exactly positive thinking and I understand that I should possibly reframe that thought in a CBTish kind of way.
Here's how it's going to look on a purely practical level.

I'll get up early, shower and make myself look as 'well' as I possibly can without looking like one of those orange make up ladies behind the Max Factor / Elizabeth Arden counters at Debenhams.
I'll chop an apple or small pear into small slices and eat it painstakingly slowly regardless of whether I am early or late (and despite panicking that I am, in fact, the latter).

I'll blare my way through the beautiful countryside at a speed which is as far above the limit as the car in front will allow (OK... so I know this is not a good way of doing things but I have a weird obsession with never allowing myself to be too late), twitching and 'dancing' as much as I can to burn off calories.

Arriving on time, or even half an hour early, I'll drive around looking for a non existent parking space until I am about 5 minutes late.
Getting into the unit, I'll sign in and go through to find the girls I've grown to love so much.
It's Monday and the anxiety of the weigh in is thickly palpable. I'll dig out 'Sticker of the Week' and they'll all choose a cute, puffy animal sticker which they will either wear or stick on the new week's food diary. Some of us crowd around two clipboards, one of which contains a table headed 'Lunch' and the other 'Snacks'. We have a selection to choose from for the day. Girls will wander in and out as we take it in turns to go to the weighing room where one of the lovelier clinicians awaits our blustered, flustered entrance.

Once this procedure is over, The Godfather calls us to sit around in the circle and we check in and talk about our weight. No specifics. Just whether it's up or down and our feelings around it.
The group are then invited to feedback.

This goes on all morning until snack time at 10.30 and continues until lunchtime at 12.15.

Sitting around 2 tables, each with a hawk eyed member of staff, we swallow our food with varying degrees of cheer.
We are well bonded.
We are there because we want to get better. Sort of.
But there is rarely a meal where someone doesn't sit, tears running down tortured face, as the sandwich appears to be more threatening than usual.

I'll stop here because I'm so tired and I haven't been sleeping too well lately.