Tuesday, 30 July 2013

It's Tuesday. Again.

I saw the dietician this morning, though it was one of those weeks where I just wanted to stay home and not engage with the world. The past week hasn't been great, and my intake reflected that. Each day has been anywhere between 550-930 calories, with most days around 700.

She weighed me early on in the appointment, whereas normally it's left until last. As she typed the numbers into the computer, she said she's "not a happy camper". My weight dropped again. Mum cringed. I felt nothing. I tried to make light of things, saying it must be the extra calorie burn from the crutches. 

We talked quickly about my foot after she read the notes left by my GP. I only made it off the crutches yesterday, determined not to need them for my appointment this morning. It still aches and twinges and has limited mobility, but it's a lot better than it was a week ago. 
That said, I have a huge black bruise on the underside of my foot that I noticed for the first time this afternoon. Combined with the fact I'm still having trouble bending my toes, it might be time to go back to the GP. 

Anyway, the dietician said I'm not to have a single day under 1,000 calories this week, that it's increasingly important to start raising my intake. I'm also supposed to rest and stay off my feet as much as I can, but honestly, I don't think it's possible to be less active than I already am. I spend most of my day sitting, it's not like I go running about the house. In the kitchen I sit at the bench to prepare food, or just to make a cup of coffee, even when my foot isn't injured. I told her this. She suggested I start asking mum to make my coffees.

I know what I need to do to raise my intake, it's just a matter of convincing myself to actually do it. I can plan my days to eat 1,000 calories, I just don't eat it all. I'm wondering if it's time to enlist Ensures, but I think I'll give it another week.

As I mentioned, the past week has been pretty intense and crappy, hence the lack of posting. I can't even explain.
Mum called my GP yesterday, told her I was still manic, and she upped my Seroquel to 400mg. The GP said she was going to be asking another professional for advice regarding my medication, which makes me nervous as hell, but apparently that's happening in the next few weeks. Hopefully it'll lead to some form of stability. 

Here's to a better week ahead. 


Friday, 26 July 2013

Crutches are my Cardio

I was at my GP on Wednesday morning, still unable to use my right foot. She said it was sprained, strapped it, and said that I shouldn't need an x-ray. Apparently I should be able to put weight on it in a few days, but I can't just yet. 

Mum went to the pharmacy late on Tuesday and bought a pair of crutches (it would've been the same price to hire them for just five days; by tomorrow they'll have paid for themselves), as I simply couldn't walk unassisted. Now, that was fun - hobbling around on crutches for the first time in my life, after two generous glasses of wine. Frankly it's a miracle I didn't injure myself further.

We rescheduled my appointment with the thoracic physician (again) for in two weeks' time. Moving around on crutches is exhausting, and has left me with bruised hands and underarms, not to mention the aching muscles. It's enough to help distract from the pain in my foot. I'm stuck in my armchair for most of the day, which is driving me nuts. I can't just move about the house because it takes so much strength to move myself around, I'm exhausted after walking 10 meters. 
But that's enough complaining from me. I've learnt my lesson about banging my foot on the ground.

Fun fact: according to MyFitnessPal, it burns twice the calories to walk using crutches compared to my usual slow stroll. That might explain the exhaustion.

Intake-wise, I haven't reached the 1,000 minimum calorie goal yet. I've been floating between 838-937, similar to last week, and that's far too much as it is. My head is struggling to cope with any of it. Today will end up around 700. I skipped lunch due to a meltdown, followed by a sudden bout of nausea, resulting in throwing up the morning's Coke Zero. So I didn't exactly feel like eating lunch.

Last night I sat at the kitchen bench to prepare a curry for mum and I, but most nights I've still been sticking with my safe options. I just can't face a proper family-type dinner every night. It's all too much. Tonight I'm making another big batch of my beef & veggie stew so I have a safe, easy and balanced dinner option. 

And again, I've spent too many hours (too many days) writing and re-writing this, frustrated that I can't keep my thoughts straight or express myself properly. Mum's pushing for me to see a psych to have my meds re-assessed, but more on that another time.


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Appointments and Injury

Today seemed busy, though it was really more stress than anything else. I started the day with two appointments in my calendar, which always seems to overwhelm me. 

This morning I saw the dietician, usual Tuesday routine. My anxiety levels were high after a week of eating 700-1,000 calories, and as always I was prepared for a gain. But amazingly enough, my metabolism played nicely, and my weight stayed exactly the same. I love the way she says "exactly the same". 
She asked what changes I've been making on the days I get closer to 1,000, and I told her about my lunch and dinner goals. Now she wants me to aim for a minimum of 1,000 every day this week. Cringe.

I have to keep reminding myself why I'm doing this, why I started working with the dietician in the first place. Rightly or wrongly, I don't want to end up in inpatient (or outpatient) treatment again and have to gain weight. I can either work towards eating a little more on my own terms, or be forced to eat a lot more. I don't want to land myself in A&E with the horrible psychiatrist, I need to keep myself as stable as I can.

Then I was supposed to see the thoracic physician for my check-up this afternoon, but didn't quite make it there.

Around midday I banged my foot, and it sent me keeling over in a world of pain. I got dizzy, nauseous, lost my vision; the whole shebang. Mum helped me to a chair, and I fell straight off again, so it was to the couch to lie down. She took my blood pressure and it'd dropped to 90/46 and my pulse 66. It came back up to 107/61 after 20 minutes and a cold drink, but now I'm just hoping I haven't broken something. 

I thought I'd be okay, but I couldn't make it out to the car, let alone into the appointment. My foot's aching constantly, starting to swell, and I can't move or put pressure on it without feeling like I'm about to pass out in pain. 

The physician appointment's been rescheduled for the same time tomorrow (thank god for cancellations), and hopefully I'll be in less pain by then. If not, I'll probably be at the GP in the morning. 

It's been a long and stressful day, so I'm about to retreat to the couch, put my feet up, and have a few glasses of wine (which seems to be becoming a weekly ritual again).


Friday, 19 July 2013


Since seeing the dietician on Tuesday, I've been working to add an extra 200 calories or so into my daily intake.

I've been having a little serve of fruit with my lunch every day, which has so far been either watermelon, cantaloupe or apple. My sandwich fillings are branching out too. Instead of just a low-fat cheese slice, I might add a little lean ham, or have a mashed boiled egg instead (though I'm still stuck on my 50-cal bread). 

I've also been attempting more substantial dinners, with mixed success. Last night I cooked a chicken, rice and peas dish for my family and I. I served my usual sized bowlful, though it was twice the calories of my standby soups & stews, and a lot more filling (which shouldn't surprise me, but it always does). I felt bloated before I'd even finished eating, so I ended up weighing the leftovers and donating them to my dog. Even still, it's always nice to cook and share a meal with my family.
Tonight I'm just reheating some stew to have with a slice of toast. Thankfully I still have a backup supply of soup and stew in the freezer for days where I just can't deal with a 'proper dinner'.

With the changes, I've been eating between 800-1,000 calories each day. The changes are small on paper, but in my stomach and mind they're huge, and I don't like it. I'm still standing at the crossroads, leaning in the right direction, but not yet comfortable with the idea of eating more and maintaining my weight. Everything about it is overwhelming. The more I eat, the more stressed and unstable I feel.

Mood-wise not a lot's changed. I slept for 7 hours last night though, so hopefully the Seroquel is starting to help in some way, but the daytimes are still a manic hell. 
I haven't been posting as much lately because trying to get my thoughts and feelings out works me into the same frenzied state it did over the New Year. I spend hours writing and checking and re-writing, and I can never express myself properly anyway, so forgive me if I'm a little vague. 

I'm still sewing every day, working on that vintage dress. It's one of the few things I can really focus on at the moment, and time disappears. It's taking me stupidly long to make any progress, my perfectionism is driving me crazy, but hopefully it'll be worth it and I'll have an end result that I'm proud of. 

Oh, and I wore my coat to see the dietician the other day, and mum snapped some pics. The light drowned out my coat completely, so I had to mess around with the brightness etc. a little, though it's still pretty crappy.


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Turning Point

Current Weight: 42.4kg (BMI 12.4)

I was terrified of stepping on the scales today, but after three weeks away, it was a huge relief to see my dietician.

I've been eating much the same as I was before she went on holiday, though I've been trying to keep it a little on the higher side. Nothing drastic, but fewer 400-500 calorie days and more 700-800 days. It's been enough to keep me out of hospital at least, which seemed to be a looming concern for a while there. 
She asked if I think I'm in a place where I can start working to raise my intake again, which I do. I don't think I have much choice. For now, she wants me to get as close to 1,000 calories as I can, and go from there. 
Finally; a step in the right direction.

Then the conversation turned to weight. Unsurprisingly, she said my weight was 'quite different' when my GP had weighed me. But when I got on the scales this morning, I was back down to the same weight I was pre-holiday.
Then I asked how much I'd lost overall. Curiosity killed the cat.
She pulled up the numbers from last June, when I started seeing her and stopped weighing myself at 47.4kg, compared to now.
I've lost 5kg. Last time I asked, it was 3kg. 
For one reason or another, knowing my weight was the first step back towards maintaining it, and I hope the same logic holds this time. 

The GP had left notes for her about my blood pressure, blood tests, medication and the like. She asked how I was going since having my Seroquel dosage upped, and if the mania had effected my eating at all.
I haven't felt a difference yet, not like I did when I first started taking them. I still feel manic. Taking them of a morning has no impact either, I still run at 110%. It doesn't effect my eating too much, so long as I have someone around to keep me in line.
That said, Mum was out for a day over the weekend, and I was so worked up sewing and unpicking and re-stitching my dress, trying to get everything perfect, that I just forgot to eat between breakfast and dinner. But the sewing keeps my mind occupied and the breakdowns to a minimum. I just feel horribly awake and buzzed all the time. I'm so edgy and jittery it's unbelievable. 
But I digress.

As for raising my intake, I'm starting small and keeping it safe, as always. A serve of fruit with lunch. More calorie-dense dinners than soup and stew; like rice, potato or lean meat based dishes. I think I'll give it a week or two before I start looking at Ensures to make up for missed calories again, but I think I'm starting back on the right path. 


Saturday, 13 July 2013

The GP & Mania

I've been struggling to find the right words lately. The more I try to explain how I'm feeling, the more distressed I become. It's like I keep missing something, and I can't explain myself properly.

I'm edgy, overwhelmed, frantic, restless, constantly trying to keep myself busy, going a mile-a-minute until I hit a speedbump and crash. There's a ball of nervous energy bouncing around my stomach, shooting out to my limbs.
But none of that explains it either.

I saw the GP yesterday. She asked me how I'd been, and I just shrugged and mumbled "I don't know", fidgeting and staring at the floor. Through more questions and broken sentences I told her about some of the feelings in the last paragraph, that I didn't feel stable, and in the past week or so I've felt like I'm in a manic episode. 

I'd spoken with mum about it a few days prior. She'd noticed the changes in my behavior too, and helped fill in the blanks with the GP. It feels impossible to explain what's going on when I feel like this, and it frustrates the hell out of me.
The GP congratulated me on my awareness, and upped my Seroquel from 100mg at night to 200mg, plus starting on 100mg in the morning. So, a total increase from 100mg to 300mg.

Then she asked about my lungs. Overall I'm in a lot less pain than I was pre-diagnosis, though I still have a lot of problems with coughing/phlegm/breathing in general. She kept using words that made me cringe, like 'lung disease' and 'acute infection'. It's all slipped to the back of my mind so easily recently. I'm smoking about 10-15% of what I was though, which is huge, and I have my check up with the respiratory physician in two weeks. The GP warned me that he will growl since I haven't quit smoking completely. Sigh, oh well. 

Right at the end of the appointment, she said she had to weigh me again on the way out. I grumbled that I'm seeing the dietician in four days, and was it really necessary? Apparently so. This week I again wore heavier/warmer clothes and drank extra coffee beforehand, which I purposely avoid when I'm seeing the dietician, so she'll really not have much of a clue what my weight's been doing over the past fortnight.
Three more days until routine sets back in, and I'll be weighed at the right time of day, wearing the right clothes, by the right person.

I've spent too many hours writing and checking and re-writing this, and I'll never get it 'right' anyway. It feels like my head's about to explode, so I'll just leave it here. Time to pass what's left of the day at my sewing machine. 


Tuesday, 9 July 2013


There's one week to go until I see the dietician, and panic has set in. Panic about not knowing what my weight's been doing for three weeks. Panic about what the scales will say when I do see the dietician. Up? Down? I don't know which is better and which is worse. Could I be lucky enough that I'll weigh exactly the same? No matter what, I know I'll be left with that horrible sinking feeling in my stomach. 

The past week can be described as nothing but stressful. I feel incredibly anxious, edgy all the time. I know I need to start eating more and stop losing weight, but trying to do it without any guidance isn't working. I start the day with the best intentions, telling myself that I can eat an extra hundred calories, or that I can join in on a family dinner. But when the time comes to actually eat, fear and guilt take over, and what I'd planned to eat suddenly seems excessive. By the end of the day, I'm back to square one.
Best laid plans of mice and men. 

The anxiety that comes with choosing how many calories and what foods to eat is overwhelming, and I end up sticking with what's safe. That's why I need the dietician; because I have no idea what I'm doing. I know I can't afford to lose more weight, but the prospect of gaining terrifies me, and it seems an impossible balance to find maintenance on my own. It's the same spot I always find myself in.

My head's running a mile a minute, and it's all in circles. I can't seem to focus in any one direction.

I feel like I have to keep myself busy, probably because I don't want to stop and think too much. So, it's time for me to whip up a fresh batch of stew for the week ahead (lean beef, carrot, potato, onion, tomato, stock, flour & seasonings), then I'm getting stuck into a new sewing project. I've started working on a dress... a cute little 1952 summer number. I don't know if I'll ever wear it, but it's something fun to distract myself with. After that, I'll be making a full-length super warm wool coat, though for now I'd like a break from the pattern.

Thank you to everyone for the marvelous feedback on my coat. It really helped quieten all those niggling doubts I had about it. 


(It'll be black, of course.)

Saturday, 6 July 2013

A Fancy New Coat

I finished sewing my coat today. For my first sewing project in over three years, I'm pretty happy with the result. It was also my first time sewing a coat, and I was totally unfamiliar with a lot of steps. My favorite thing about it? It fits! Extra tall, extra small. I'm in love. I can't not keep sewing after wrapping it around my waist. This one's made out of gabardine, and I'll definitely be making a full-length Winter one in wool.

I did stress out pretty badly at several (many) points, and I was eternally frustrated at having to unpick and restitch so many things, though that can only be blamed on being a perfectionist. I can pick out a lot of things I haven't done quite right, but overall it's a good result.

On the food/weight side of things, my intake hasn't changed much, but the fear is immense when I don't have my dietician monitoring my weight and intake. I knew these few weeks with her away would be hard regardless, but especially now when I'm walking such a fine line and I need to make a change. For now I'm aiming for little goals, like not skipping meals entirely, and making sure I eat enough carbs each day to avoid blood sugar drops.

I want to work towards maintaining my weight again, though I admit it's for all the wrong reasons. I want everyone to stop watching me. At the moment I want nothing more than to run, hide, starve. But it's either eat a little more to maintain on my own terms, or be forced to eat a lot more to gain. I've dodged that bullet for two years now; I won't end up there again. I've gotta tap out, quit while I'm ahead, for lack of a better expression.

My next appointment with the dietician is going to be talking calorie goals and working in the right direction again. Now I just need to get through the GP appointment next week first, and I have no idea what I'm going to say. 


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Walking a Fine Line

I had my suddenly-urgent appointment with the GP yesterday. She called my name and apologized for dragging me in, but felt it was necessary to see me ASAP. She started talking about my weight, which we never talk about, saying it was dropping to a point where I'd soon need to be hospitalized. She said she thought I should be under an endocrinology team; medical, not psych, thank god. Still, I disputed.

She took my blood pressure, sitting and standing, which was fine. Then a few vials of blood, and thankfully no nurse grabbed my shoulders this time. 
Then she said she had to weigh me. 
Ambushed. I listed a thousand reasons why she couldn't, why there'd be no point to weigh me. 
"I don't feel comfortable with someone else weighing me."
"I didn't know I had to be weighed today."
"I've already had breakfast."
"I'm wearing heavier clothes."

Then she said those three little words. That she has a 'duty of care' to watch my weight while the dietician's away. My jaw clenches. I stop rattling off excuses. She says that she won't tell me what it is, and I can leave straight after if I want. I'm left with nothing to say. I fly out of my chair, swing open the door, and march out to the scales, followed by the GP.

I stood on the scales, backwards of course, just long enough for the GP to read them and say 'okay'. Then I continued out through the waiting room in tears, as is scarily usual. Mum stayed and kept talking to her while I sat in the car, knees pulled up, smoking yet another cigarette that I probably shouldn't be.

She said she didn't push hospital yesterday because my blood pressure was fine, no postural drop or anything, but that we'd have to call the next day for my blood test results. They were "okay, but borderline" as she succinctly put it over the phone this morning. So I've avoided hospital, until our next appointment in week at least. She told mum not to hesitate in calling an ambulance if she has "any concerns about my weakness", though I think we'll be avoiding that.

And then there was panic, combined with a sudden urge to bury my head in the sand.
I know I need to get my butt into gear with maintaining/stopping losing weight, but at the moment everything's too much. They're actually watching my weight though, I don't know if I can afford to lose any more.

That's all from me for now. With any luck my next post will have pictures of my coat, as I'm still slugging away hemming it at the moment. 


Tuesday, 2 July 2013


My GP rang yesterday. The dietician had apparently left a note with her, regarding her 'concern' for my 'physical state'. So she squeezed me in for an appointment first thing Wednesday morning before she officially clocks on, instead of waiting for the one I had booked in a few weeks. Blood pressure, more blood tests, things like that.

Part of me is relieved to have a break in the three week appointment gap. But another part of me is brimming with anxiety over this 'concern', and wants to hide under blankets and not go; though admittedly it's not hard for me to become overwhelmed with irrational anxiety. 
Why the rush? Why the note? Why this 'concern' that wasn't there a month ago? Whywhywhywhywhy?
Or maybe I should just stop over-thinking things.

Yesterday I spent, maybe... 5 hours sewing? Something like that. It was great. Anyway, my coat is nearly done. I did a couple more hours today, and it'll be finished in a day or two. I'm pretty stoked. There's been a few hiccups but I've kept going at it, and hopefully I'll have a good end result. I've been really worried that it'd turn out horribly since I haven't sewn in so long, but so far so good. 

Today's been strange; a Tuesday without an 8am appointment. It's kinda sad how appointments form so much of my weekly routine, but few other things set the days apart. My intake's still been between 400-800 calories this past week, so no change there. Tonight I'll be having a boost with a few little glasses of wine. I realized earlier that I haven't had a drink since I was in hospital (yes, that still sounds bizarre to me too), nearly two months ago. I've planned to, but haven't gotten around to it. With any luck, it'll ease some of the stress.

GP in the morning, which I will drag my butt to as much as I don't want to. Then I can look forward to finishing my coat, and taking pretty pictures to show you all.