Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A new blog

I have thought often- weekly about continuing to write in this blog. I wonder what the content would be about? I really wanted to show raw feelings, show the hard reality of weight loss and the bright-as-the-sun happiness from attaining such a hard goal.  But now I have gained weight back.  What does that mean? Does that mean I'm a failure? Does that mean I'm weak, lazy, or that I didn't try hard enough? Does that weight gain revoke my right to talk about weight loss or my opinions? I will say no, absolutely not. But I'm desperately afraid that anyone who reads this will think otherwise. The internet- and society is largely cruel to fat people. The same people also praise and almost worship massive weight loss. Never have I felt more loved and admired than when I lost weight and that admiration is easily lost. Gain a pound, or a handful and it's okay. Gain 20, 50, or more and my character comes into question. Somehow I'm flawed.

That still doesn't answer the question, what would I write about? I want to write about my life. I want to write about Binge eating disorder(BED) with all it's complexities. I have learned a lot about myself since I have relapsed, it was a gift in a way. After my relapse I entered eating disorder therapy and ever since my emotional self has been largely raw and large wounds have been left open to heal properly. It's uncomfortable, and confusing. But slowly I am healing and understanding more and more as to the why of my life. Why I am the way I am. And that's what I want to write about. What makes me me. What makes an eating disorder. But I also want to talk about much more than that. Eating disorders encompass every aspect of your life. 

I will be starting a new blog. It will be separate from this one for the simple fact that I want it to be more private. If you want the address to my new blog feel free to ask, I may however decline to add readers. I'm uncertain yet about who I want it open to.

With all that said I will now close this chapter of my life.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

"Don't let them do anything to you"

That's the last thing I heard the Rheumatologist say to me as I left his office in tears.  The last thing we talked about was going to see a Neurologist in Edmonton.

The Rheumatologist  looked at my feet, held them, had me point my toes and wiggle them.  Asked about my symptoms with a confused look on my face.  Then started asking about my weight.

I was taken aback.  What would my weight have to do with the spasms in my feet?  I told him about my weight loss history and that this started happening while I was exercising and eating right.  It never happened when I was at my heaviest and eating the worst.  I told him I had gained weight since I had my son, but it had only been a few months since I had him.  He continued on about how I should eat right and exercise and perhaps swimming would be good for me.  "But don't worry about what others think about you in a swim suit."  He said.  He went on and on about how I need to eat right and exercise. It was so condescending, it was like he was angry at me for not losing weight immediately after birth.

I couldn't even respond I was confused.  Why was he saying this?  I had body issues, but I never mentioned them to him.  Why is he commenting on my looks?  Why is he talking about my weight?  Isn't it reasonable that I have gained weight and haven't lost it all just a few months after I had given birth?  Especially considering I can't exercise while my feet are spasming.

He continued on in a condescending tone. "Of course" I could exercise he had said.  He looked flabbergasted when I told him it was difficult.  It was like he was saying "well duh, of course you can! You fat lout."

I tried smiling and agreeing with him and I said, "I guess I'm just always so anxious, I'm scared to exercise."

"I don't care." he retorted.

I quit listening.  My brain was reeling, was I being fat shamed? Because I sure felt ashamed.  I felt stupid that I couldn't lose weight just a short time after giving birth and while I was house bound.  He told me he didn't care, that asshole!

"There's nothing wrong with you."  He said with a sour expression.  I nodded and tried to smile, holding back tears.  This man was condescending and didn't believe a word I said.

"I'm from Africa, wintertime is cold for me too.  I just wear two pairs of socks."  I started to ignore him again, but instead he stood up, shook my hand and said good luck at the Neurologist.  "Don't let them do anything to you."  He turned around and said to me as he was leaving the office.  He said it like an after thought.

I left his office with tears falling down my face.  Another doctor didn't believe me.  Maybe I was being stupid.  Maybe it was all in my head, these spasms.  I must be overreacting.  Not a single doctor, specialist or test had shown anything.  Not even a hint of anything.

In the weeks after this appointment I had so much doubt.  I could feel the spasms come, but maybe it was just in my head? Maybe I just need to "calm down."  That had been suggested to me over and over again.  I had told a loved one about what the Rheumatologist said and they hinted that he was right.  Maybe it was in my head?  Nobody believes me.  Nobody.

A few months later Dan and I traveled to Edmonton to see the Neurologist.  This time I asked Dan to be in the room with me.  I  needed emotional support, and someone to defend me.

This time the appointment seemed to happen around me.  The Neurologist talked to Dan almost more than me.  Asking Dan questions about my body.  Was this happening again?  Was the doctor seeing if Dan believed me?  Or was the doctor asking Dan because he was a man?  The majority of the appointment Dan received the doctors attention, it was bizarre.  But for the first time, a doctor believed what was happening was real and not in my head.  Was this because Dan was there?

"Don't let them do anything to you."  Kept ringing through my head the entire appointment.  I knew they where going to do nerve tests, but I didn't know what exactly.

First I had to put on a gown and lay on my side on the table while the Neurologist slid long thin needles with wires attatched into the muscles in my legs and feet. He would pick a muscle and slide the needle in and wiggle it around.  The machine he was using was making a staticky noise.  He would then ask me to move my leg and flex the muscle.  The static coming from the machine would get noisier the more I moved the muscle, then it would be quiet when I lay still.  It was painful and uncomfortable.  Then he used the needles in my left leg and the pain was almost crippling.  He would slide the needle into my calf and ask me to bring my toes up but I was scared to.  It hurt and it felt like it was going to cramp.  The noises coming from the machine where much different than from the other leg.  There was a consistent "kish kish kish" noise coming through the static when my leg was at rest.  The Neurologist explained that the nerves in my left leg where firing even though there was no need.  He said, "there is a definite nerve issue there."

"I'm not crazy!"  I thought.  Finally some evidence! Someone believes me!

The next test I had to lay on my back.  A woman came in with another machine and a wand that looked like a miniature cattle prod.  She would start with small shocks on my hand which would tickle, then slowly amp up the shocks until it was a painful zap and my arm would bounce around the table.  She shocked up from my hand up my arm starting with small shocks and going up to bigger zaps along the way.  Then she did my leg.  The worst was when she zapped behind my knee.  I told her I hated her and to please bring back the man with the needles.

At the end of the appointment the Neurologist was confused and not sure what was going on.  He gave me medication that was used in patients with Parkinson's, ordered blood tests and a Spinal MRI and sent me on my way.  I tried the medication for a few months but it made the left side of my body twitch when I was at rest.  It was so bad that I sometimes had trouble grabbing things and I was afraid I would accidentally jerk the wheel while driving.  It made everything worse so I stopped it.

On the drive home from Edmonton I sat in the passenger seat and cried.  Did nobody have an answer?  Why wasn't I being treated with compassion?  Why didn't anyone have any empathy?  This was difficult dammit!  I listed in my head all of the doctors, specialists and tests I had had.  They meant nothing.  I had been looking for an answer for over a year and nobody takes me seriously unless my husband is in the room with me.

My appointment was in March and my family doctor still hasn't received the consult letter from the Neurologist so I can't get my spinal MRI until that happens.

All of this leaves me to wonder.  Would I get better care, or more sympathy if I was thin?  Or a man?