Sunday, 28 December 2014

Christmas 2014

So, Christmas is finally over.

I was up as early as usual on Christmas Day. We were cooking a whole leg of lamb as well as the chicken, and someone had to get it in the slow cooker at 5am so it'd be falling apart by 1pm. The lamb was kept simple, while the the chicken was done up with homemade stuffing and seasoned with fresh thyme and garlic. I also made duck fat potatoes and from-scratch gravies, both chicken and lamb.

The day itself was stressful. A lot of cooking and feeling exhausted. My brother's fiance came over, which was the first time we've had people in the house for a long time. There are a lot of contributing factors, but I just feel too vulnerable when there's so little safe space left in my world.

We had these new Christmas crackers this year, and as it turns out they're quite tough to break. Mum and I were holding hers, and I was like 'okay, just hold it still, pulling it will only lead to disaster'. But of course it led to disaster anyway.
When it did snap, my wrist flew back, whacked down on the wine glass on the table, sending the glass flying to the fate of smashing and spilling all over the carpet.
...and I never even got to open my cracker.

For the last week I've been falling asleep sitting up, unable to stay away for the duration of the day. I've only been getting on average 5 hours sleep the past few weeks, so I guess it's catching up.

The last few days have been pretty flat. I'm just too exhausted to do much at all. Time has come to mean nothing for the week surrounding Christmas. No meal times, no bed times, too many missed meds, cleaning at 5am, wrapping presents at midnight... no routine at all. 

I didn't end up doing as much baking as I'd planned. I skipped the sponge and cookies, and just made the two chocolate cakes, a triple batch of chocolate truffles, and a quadruple batch of caramel slice. We've also had so much chocolate around these past few weeks, it's unbelievable. We still have a lot left, but there's been 2kg of choc-coated peanuts, 2kg of Maltesers, 1kg of peppermint creams, a box of Favourites and a box of Roses, not to mention the chocolate for baking (the cakes alone had 1kg of chocolate between them)... so baking more wasn't a huge necessity.

I spent the day jingling as I walked, which is apparently nothing unusual on Christmas Day, as it was several hours before anyone noticed. I had a belt hidden under my cardigan, which I used to wear as a kid. At some point I put all these Christmas bells on it, and so it became my Christmas belt. My jingle belt.

Yesterday I looked through our old photo albums to find a photo of me wearing it as a kid. After much searching, I was starting to think that maybe there just wasn't a photo of me wearing it. Then I started looking earlier, and lo and behold, the very first photo in the album marked "1996-1997" shows me and my brother standing in the backyard of our old house, me wearing my red belt and him wearing a matching yellow belt, aged 3 and 5.

I gave my brother a Game of Thrones letter opener, but it makes the perfect sword for Sir Mini Milo


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Final Countdown

Tomorrow's the day. It's Christmas Eve, and today has been a mad dash to make sure everything is organized. I don't really want to talk about it much right now. I just hate this time of year. I feel so... empty, so filled with regret.

It's been a busy week. On Sunday night I went out again. When I went out to dinner with my mum, brother, and his fiance a few months ago, it was decided we should do it again, next time with the addition of her parents.

I was stressing about it all week, but in the end I would've felt too guilty if I bailed out again. I won't go into detail, but they've been together for a few years now, and Sunday was the... third time I've seen her in that time. Yes, I'm a horrible person, I know, but such is anxiety. I hadn't seen her parents in even longer, maybe six or seven years.

I panicked when we got there. My brother was going to take us in first, before his fiance's family got there, but they were already seated when we arrived. It was okay, just not the Optimal Situation for Anxiety Minimization that I always like to plan for.
The idea of being in a group of more than 3-4 people is still just terrifying. How long's it been since I've sat in a group of six people?! Ugh. Five years, at least.

I felt pretty awkward for the first part of the night, but alcohol always helps, and boy did I have a lot of 'help'. I had a lot of trouble following conversations, too distracted estimating, sizing up, counting, and stressing about the food that comes without nutritional information.

Overall, I ate a pappadam, 1/4 naan bread, 3 spoonfuls of rice and 5 pieces of diced lamb from the rogan josh. I had maybe 600 calories plus the wine. I never eat that much in a sitting. I tasted a bite of the biryani and a different type of naan, but I wasn't feeling too adventurous at all, avoiding the 'new' dishes. We ordered a Nutella naan to share for dessert, and it was around then that everything went black.

I woke up at 4am the next morning, still dressed, wrapped in three blankets, covered in sweat. I went to have a shower, and the first thing I noticed was that I wasn't bloated. I was empty. That was the first sign I was sick the night before. Physically, I felt fine. My mum and brother kindly filled in the gaps over the course of the morning.

I told them I remembered having a glass more than half a bottle of wine (his fiance shared), then one extra glass...
"One glass?! More like three!"
What? No! Yes. I ordered an extra glass while the fiance finished her last glass, then we both had one each, and then I ordered a third one...
"So when did the Nutella naan come in?"
"After the second, during the third glass"

Thank you all for your feedback on my last post. I really do appreciate your support and care, more than I could ever express. I know a few of you mentioned supplements. My GP said to talk to the dietician about it, which I did yesterday. She hadn't received the news yet, and her face dropped when I told her my T-Scores.
"What does the GP want you to do with supplements?"
"...she said to talk to you."

After thinking about it for a while, she said she wants Jo to advise on calcium and vitamin D dosages because they'll be quite high. I still haven't been able to take the pills, and I'm not certain I'll be able to take the powders in my coffee with my Fibersure either, but we'll see what happens. She's going to call one of the ED psychs for advice, without mentioning my name, since he'd see it more often than my GP. She said some of her other patients with EDs and osteoporosis are on hormonal therapy, which was one of the 'recommended treatments' on the printout, but again my GP didn't really talk to me about it much at all.

I stacked her cheeses in a gift bag with a souveniour tea towel and fridge magnet draped over. She gave me the biggest hug.
"See, when I first met you, there's no way you'd have let me do that. I'm gonna enjoy it while I can." as she gave me another

And I actually went back a few hours later to deliver a chocolate cake a Christmas gift for the clinic. Over two days, I made two triple layer chocolate cakes, sandwiched with homemade buttercream and coated with semisweet ganache. It's a long story, but basically last year I took in a slice to give to my dietician, and in the process accidently crashed their Christmas party, so I decided I'd make them a whole one this year.

The whole week has been pretty busy and stressful. I'm losing entire days to panic attacks and breakdowns. I'm so overwhelmed, I don't have time to breakdown. I'm just exhausted. I want to crash so badly. After tomorrow I think I need to have at least one day of doing absolutely nothing and just hibernating.

I got all frocked up for dinner, and even wore my hair down since it wouldn't be getting blown around or messed up.


Friday, 19 December 2014

Osteoporosis and Failed Outings

I saw my GP this morning. Among other things, she had the results of my bone density scan.

I have severe osteoporosis in my left femur, moderate in my right, and mild osteoporosis in my spine.*

We didn't talk much about it. The dietician is the better person to talk to about supplements and nutrition and exercise, obviously, but she wanted to give me the news first.

It's been a long time between scans for me. It didn't help that I had this referral sitting on the fridge for a year before I made the appointment. The last scan I has was in early 2011 in ED inpatient, just after I was diagnosed with Anorexia, at which point I hadn't been sick for even a full year. No one ever told me the results, and I don't think my GP even has a copy either, so I assume it was fine back then. 

It wasn't long until I was cracking jokes about hip replacements and fall risks. I said to mum, that at least now I have an excuse for my shamefully dwindling posture. Let's just hope I don't start losing my height.

*(According to the printout, a 'T-Score' below -1.0 is Osteopenia, and below -2.5 is Osteoporosis. My T-Scores were -3.7, -2.9 and -2.5)

Then there was the whole shopping trip fiasco on Sunday.

To be honest, I don't remember much of the day. I didn't realize until a couple of days later how little I remembered. It was shitty and full of stress, and the only crutch I had for dealing with breakdowns was my lorazepam. I didn't even think about how much it was adding up until I got home and realized I'd had six or seven. Normally I'd only have two, three on a particularly bad day, so I'm pretty sure that's why. It was just those stupid little triggers that seemed to send me spiralling.

The drive itself was nice. It's some two and a half hours each way, but thankfully mum likes driving and I like car trips. The scenery is beautiful. We drive inland (you can go via The Great Ocean Road, but it's a killer for my anxiety), so it's just lots of hills and paddocks and empty space.

I was looking for a gift for my brother, and we drove around for a while looking for different shops to try, but for each shop there was a reason not to go into it.
I did get my cheeses for the dietician though, eight different types of cheddar (photos below). Mum got another 5kg, unsurprisingly, so hopefully we'll be stocked for a while.

And on Tuesday I saw the mental health nurse. She was finding out later this week, but she seemed pretty definite that she'll be leaving in January or February. She thinks the senior doctors at the clinic will throw and uproar about the services being taken away, so they might be able to find a way to keep seeing a select number of patients, but it's all a case of 'wait and see'.

Going somewhere else just isn't an option from me.

It just sucks. For a bit of history, I started seeing the dietician in June 2012. At that point, it'd been nearly two years since I'd seen a doctor. It took me 8 months of her pushing to get me to start seeing a GP. After that, it was another 16 months before I could see the mental health nurse, who I only met this June. Apart from hospital and sections, I hadn't seen anyone from the mental health field for so many years... maybe five? And now it's all going to shit.

Everything just feels hopeless. There is no plan, no path, no one to help.

The whole week's been pretty hard. My mood's been plummeting and I haven't slept much at all the past three nights. Sorry for the disjointed post. Finding words is like pulling teeth. I warned mum last week that I'm liable to cry because of anything and everything right now, and I am.

Boo the Bunny stowing away in my bag

There's three types of plain cheddar - Tasty, Extra Tasty and Vintage. Then there's the flavoured cheddars...

To show you what they look like; left to right, top then bottom, these are Tomato & Chive, Garlic & Pepper, Chilli, Cracked Pepper, and Herbs & Spice cheeses.

This is probably the last I'll post before Christmas, so if I don't have the opportunity otherwise, I'd like to wish you all a safe and happy Christmas, even though I know that's a longshot for a lot of us.

All my love,


Friday, 12 December 2014

'Tis the Season

It's that time of year again. I've been kind of avoiding even talking about it until now. Part of me wishes I could just go to sleep, skip it all and wake up in January.

I finally put up the mini Christmas tree yesterday. Better late than never. I kept Misty with me and teased her with tinsel and baubles to lighten the mood a little.

It just makes me sad, and I don't know why it makes me so sad. It always has. I've sat here for ages trying to write some sort of coherent reasons as to why, but the words aren't coming. I don't know how to explain how I feel.

Seeing all the decorations around when I go out in the car, trees, hearing carols on the radio and the hype on TV for the last month or so,.. it starts to feels like something that happens to the rest of the world but not me. I can only see it through glass. Even with the few half-hearted decorations I put up, it feels empty.
I try to be a part of it, try to find the happiness and joy that's supposed to come alongside the holiday, but each year I just feel sadder and sadder.

On top of it all, I feel so unorganized, so overwhelmed. I'm struggling to write my Christmas cards because I don't want to accept that it's only two weeks away, that the New Year's nearly here.

I don't even know where this post is going.

I'm trying to plan my last outing for the year, sometime in the next week, which is more of a chore than anything else. I've quickly run out of time to reliably order presents online, so mum and I are going on a drive to pick up some things. We were planning to go today but I just didn't feel up to it.

Going out locally is still too terrifying to face, so we're going to go on a bit of a day trip. We're also going to go by the cheese factory so I can get a selection to make a little gift basket for the dietician. She's been so good to me for the past two and a half years, it feels important to give her something, and she loved the wax-coated vintage cheddar I bought her after one of our trips.
And besides, we kinda need more cheese soon anyway.

When I saw the dietician this week she told me she's going to be away for two weeks in January, meaning three weeks between appointments. Part of me is horribly anxious, but part of me is excited, and both for the same reason, because it means three weeks with no one to hold me accountable.
It's been a long time since she's missed an appointment, but I think it's only the second time in the 2.5 years I've been seeing her that she'll have been away for two weeks in a row.


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Easy Come, Easy Go

I know the mental health nurse hasn't been of much help to me lately, but fuck.

When I saw her this week, after six weeks of her absence, she told me that her job mightn't be there next year. It hit me like a bombshell.

After struggling to talk for the first half of the appointment, I just started crying. As much as I don't feel she's helping me much, I've at least had hope that she might be able to. She told me she's got a bad feeling that her job will go, and she'll know in a couple of months, but wondered if I'd like to be introduced to someone new.

"[My GP] said no one was going to leave."

I just don't have the energy to see someone new. My GP had to push so hard to get me to see someone from the mental health field, and it's still so hard to get to each appointment. The thought of having to see someone else, most likely outside of my safe little clinic, is just too much.

After that it seemed like there was even less point in saying "I don't think this is helping me, this is what I need help with", if she's not going to be there.
I did try mentioning my problems with taking supplements again, since I still haven't been able to take the calcium, vitamin D or iron, but the only advice to take away was that 'vitamin D might help with my depression'.

When I left she asked if I wanted her to make another appointment for me or if I could do it myself. I chose the latter, but it just feels pointless when she'll be gone soon. And I know her job isn't officially gone yet, but there's no point in being optimistic. At least this way, I can't be disappointed.

But after another Christmas/New Years-triggered breakdown last night, mum said she thinks I should see the MH nurse at least twice over the next few weeks if I can. I told her it all feels so pointless, but she thinks I could use the extra support to get through the Christmas/New Years depression. I think it gets harder each year.

The rest of the week has passed in the blink of an eye. I'm trying to post more often. Really, I am. I started writing this post two days ago, but everything is just such a push right now. My thoughts are fragmented. The days seem long and sad. I'm tired and I'm afraid and I don't know what to do with myself. I just want to hide away and disappear.

I miss the life I used to have when I was even more isolated, although I know it isn't good for me. I used to be completely isolated, lying in bed all day because my bedroom was safe when I had my ex there, rarely leaving, watching the same stupid movies and playing the same stupid video games, smoking weed, constantly dozing off, not eating, not moving, not doing anything. I never had to do anything and time seemed to not exist. My eternal twilight.

It's the closest to invisible I've ever achieved.

P.S, Thank you all for your responses to 'anaschallenge's comments. They just make me angry, and replying anymore than I already have would just be wasting my energy on someone who doesn't deserve it. All I have to say is that any further comments will be deleted.

Oh, and this.
Fuck it all
Fuck it all
Don't give a shit anymore
Fuck it all
Fuck it all
Flip the table, screw you all
I don't take
This bullshit anymore
I don't give a fuuuuuuck
Your challenge never bothered me anyway


Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Bone Scan and the Horrible Psychiatrist

Yesterday I had to go into the hospital to get a bone density scan done, which I was much overdue for. I'd been anxious about it all week because it was my first time setting foot in the public hospital since my last encounter with the Horrible Psychiatrist* three years ago.

I joked with the dietician that I should wear a disguise.
"If I just wear bright pink, no one will recognize me."
"If you were wearing bright pink, even I'd walk straight past you."
Spoiler alert: I didn't wear bright pink.

She tried to reassure me that it'd be highly unlikely that I'd run into him, until I told her about my last admission to the private hospital this June (for my lungs). They'd just opened their new emergency room that very day. I sat as mum sorted out the paperwork, feeling relieved that I could finally just go to the emergency room when I need to. And then he walked in, the Horrible Psychiatrist. Cue panic. He wasn't even working there! So yes, stranger things have happened.

The lady who did the test was nice. She explained that the scan would check my spine and hips, and fired questions at me. I had to stop and think when she asked how long I've been without a period. I was 16 when I first went on birth control and lost my period completely, so five years. The Implanon lasted for three years, and by the time it was due to be replaced, I'd had anorexia for over two years. It was never replaced, as an 'experiment' to see if I could actually get a period. I still haven't.

She asked if I'd ever had a bone scan before, which I have, when I was in ED inpatient three and a half years ago. She asked if I remembered the results, and was shocked when I said no one ever told me. I just assumed they were perfect (I don't think I'd been sick for a full year at that point).

The scan itself was quick, maybe 20 minutes, and I'll get a copy of my results in about two weeks after the endocrinologists look at it.

The rest of the week has been pretty shit. I had a hard time getting to see the dietician on Tuesday. I don't know. Everything just kept building and I broke down at a not-so-convenient time. Mum cajoled me out the door five minutes late after I gathered myself enough to change my Minnie Mouse pajama pants for some leggings.

I did okay-ish with her goals from last week, I guess. I only ate under 400 cals on two days (although that's about average anyway). I didn't manage to eat by 12, but I ate before 1pm twice.
After weighing me, she said I really need to aim for 600 minimum or else I'm going to run into trouble.

"I need to know that you can do it."
But what if I can't?

And I know that's what she's there for. That's why I first started seeing her - to help me slowly raise my intake to a level that's sustainable for my health so I can avoid certain risks.

But I don't know if I'm ready to start raising my intake again. Now it's 600, but what next?! 800, 1,000, 1,200? I don't know if I can do it. I mean, I eat up to 800 on some days, and can eat over 1,000 on occasion. But it's certainly not an everyday thing, and the thought of it being an everyday thing makes me panic.

*It's a long story that's hard to tell in full, but I posted a little bit about the Horrible Psychiatrist here, but it doesn't include all of the horrible things he said. I'll try to remember to write a proper post about it soon, since his words and actions still effect me so much.

One that really sticks with me was when he was sat opposite my mother and I, and he told me that everyone I love and care about, including my family, would get tired of me and leave me. My mum told him that "no, you don't know me, and I will never leave my daughter". He basically told her that yes, she would.
I still believe every word he said.


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Back Pain and the Breakfast Challenge

I've had a constant pain in my back for a few weeks now. At first it was just a slight twinge when I coughed, and my GP thought it was a pulled muscle. But last week it started aching all the time, and when I cough or bend it feels like my body's about to break in two.

When I saw her this week, she immediately asked if my chest was okay. It's uncanny how she can tell just by looking at me. I told her about the back pain, and after some discussion she thinks it's from some joint in my spine. I can't remember what it was called, but she showed me on the little anatomical model. She said it's 'referred pain' from my lungs, which is why it hurts the most when I breathe deeply or cough.
"Like when your left arm hurts when you're having a heart attack", she said

Painkillers don't help with this sort of thing, but I kinda figured that out when the 60mg codeine + paracetamol she gave me last time didn't make any difference. There's no position I can get in to that makes it hurt any less. So now I'm on an anti-inflammatory and hopefully that'll start helping soon, but for now I'm spending a lot of time horizontal on the couch.

Apparently physiotherapy would help alleviate the pain quicker. I can't stand being touched at the best of times, and to make it even harder, the physio is a man. I could see a woman, but that would involve going somewhere that isn't my safe little clinic, and that's just not an option right now.

She offered to show me where his office was and offered to introduce me, which I panicked at. She does her best to accommodate my anxieties, which means a lot to me. She still lets me wait in an unoccupied office if the waiting room's busy, and she's the only doctor who's never pushed me. She said the physio wouldn't have to touch me at the first appointment, that I'd only have to move my shirt up a few inches, or that it could even be done through a light t-shirt. I said I just wanted to think about it, but the more I think about it, the more impossible it seems.

She wants to leave me on the new antidepressants for a few more months and see if they start to help. I just nodded and said nothing. I'm too tired to care. It's not like they'll try me on anything new until I can get to the psychiatrist anyway. She still thinks I need to work on my 'thought processes' with the mental health nurse, which I don't disagree with, but the MH nurse has been causing more stress than not. She's in the middle of a six week break, so more on that another time.

I wore my Tatters and Rags skirt on Tuesday to show both my dietician and GP, since I first told them about it months ago. I wore a light skirt underneath for when I had to get on the scales. The thought of getting weighed in such a heavy skirt made me panic.

She set me a couple of goals this week. She doesn't want my intake to get below 400 (even though some days I manage as high as 800 cals), and she wants me to eat breakfast or lunch each day, or at least a snack by midday. The earliest I've managed this week is a small snack at 1pm. Most days I haven't been eating before 3pm (I wake up around 5am). It delays one stress in my day, at least.

She asked if it would be easier to eat the same breakfast everyday so I wouldn't have to think about it, and I couldn't help but laugh. She should know how routinely I eat by now. I'd been eating the exact same breakfast everyday for two years, up until about 8 months ago. Every morning I'd have a small (20-25g) slice of wholemeal bread, toasted and spread with Vegemite, and 60g bowl of nonfat strawberry yoghurt for a total of 85-95 cals. Before that, I'd sometimes have oatmeal and/or fruit. Earlier this year I started just having the yoghurt, no toast, but I haven't even had that for months.

The kids skirt I bought in Warrnambool

I got my oximeter in the post on Friday. My GP recommended I get one some months ago but I hadn't gotten around to it. Now I have the full set -  thermometer, blood pressure machine, glucometer and oximeter.
The cuff that came with the BP machine is 9-13".
The bigger one, 13-17", is my brother's.
The smaller one, 7-9", is mine.


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Pick Up the Tatters and Make Something New

This morning I put the finishing touches on my Tatters and Rags skirt. So, naturally, this afternoon I spent some time trying to get some photos of it.

There are 20 rows containing a total of 598 scraps (yes, I counted every single one). The bulk of the skirt is linen, with bits of suiting and polysilk lining for contrast.

Even though it was supposed to be a slack and simple project, it took forever. This was my first time drafting a real pattern (for the actual skirt and waistband) except for simple, purely mathematical things like circle skirts. It's taken a little over two months to complete from the day I started sketching it until now, but considering I haven't been working on it regularly, I'm pretty happy with it.

In other news, my dietician asked the pharmacist about supplements this week. I can get a calcium powder, but she forgot to ask about vitamin D, so I'm still waiting on that. As for the iron, both she and the pharmacist agree that injections would probably be the best option so we can avoid the challenge of oral intake for at least one of them. I'm still uncomfortable with the idea of willingly putting those nutrients into my body, but at least with injections I wouldn't have to swallow it every damn day.

I also caught a cold earlier in the week and have been feeling quite yuck. After much persuasion from my mother, I saw my GP on Friday morning, just to get it checked out. I told her it mostly just feels like a cold, but my breathing is very noisy so she's put me on antibiotics (yes, more) just in case.

Okay, pictures. Sorry for the spam - I can never choose just a couple.

Self-covering buttons are my new love
I had to handsew an extra scrap onto the last row, hence the
awkward '43' and '598'


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Warrnambool and the Cheese Factory

This week, I went on a day trip down the coast to the cheese factory. After my routine appointment with the dietician on Tuesday morning, mum and I set off for the two and a half hour drive to Warrnambool.

It's the fourth or fifth time we've gone to the cheese factory in the last couple of years. They have an amazing range of cheddars, and we usually come away with disgusting amounts of their vintage (this time we got 5kg/11lb) We ran out of our last haul four months ago, but this week was the first time mum could get me to agree to a day trip.

I wore my hair down for once, and everyone at the clinic commented on it. Back in the car, I swept it back up into a comb. Safe.
The dietician hadn't had time to ask the pharmacist about powdered supplements last week. She said she saw a few products online but didn't like the looks of them, so I don't think it's worth checking myself.

After two and a half hours in the car, we reached our destination. We went to Lincraft and I got to look around at all the pretty fabrics. I can't tell you how many years it's been since I've actually been into a fabric store.

We got into town and had lunch. I had quiche lorraine with salad, and the thing was huge (picture below)! I barely made it through half, and picked most of the pastry off because it was soggy and not worth the calories.

Then we looked around Target, with the intention of looking for a Christmas gift for my brother. The only thing I found was for myself, when I was browsing through the clothes section, and a comfy-looking plain black skirt caught my eye. I went over and started shuffling through the hangers for a 4 or 6, and I said to mum "What the hell's a size 9?"

I looked at the tag and realized I'd wandered across to the children's section. I felt like a bit of an idiot, but I picked out a 12, held it up against me, and decided it'd be long enough. Bonus - it was on clearance.
(Fun fact: when I was 12, I was already 5'10"-5'11", and obviously out of children's clothes. I'm 6'1" now)

I never try on clothes anymore. I hated it when I was younger, and when I developed AN I just stopped. I started trying on clothes at home and exchanging or returning them if needed. It's not that I find it overly upsetting, just needlessly tedious and time consuming I guess.

I had a look at the map I'd printed out, with six op shops marked. Even though I only made it to one before I panicked, it was okay. I got a little leather pleated miniskirt (well, fake leather), but that was it.

We had to walk through a small shopping center to get back to the car, and I started panicking. I would freeze for a moment, slowly moving forward again when I realized I could not in fact will myself to disappear. Mum offered to go get the car and pick me up, but the thought of standing there by myself was even more terrifying.

Once we reached the car I started crying and rambling and was a total mess. I spent over an hour in breakdown mode, pulled over on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere. I had an extra lorazepam, making four for the day instead of one or two.

We stopped for the cheese on the way back out of town, but I couldn't bring myself to go in. I curled up with my blankets and counted the minutes until we got home. It was a long day. We ended up getting home at 6pm, after leaving to see the dietician at 8am.

So that's my 7th outing for the year. I figure I might have time for one more before school holidays start, but we'll see.

I didn't take many photos when I was out, but I took some of the (fake) leather skirt yesterday. I was going to take some of the other skirt but I just didn't have the energy. Please excuse my messy study. 

Unfortunately it's a little short to wear without a long coat.
It's okay from the front, but I'm a little... cheeky from the back.

Fishnet, leather and lace. Feeling quite feminine here.


Sunday, 2 November 2014

November. How is it November already?

It's been a week. I don't really know what to say. I don't do much anymore outside of appointments. Everything just feels like too much.

The dietician was lovely this week, as always. She had some sort of a course to teach this week, and despite my repeated telling her not to worry, she insisted on coming by the clinic to see me anyway. It's not the first time she's done it, but it always amazes me that she actually cares enough to go out of her way. She knows I don't have much structure or routine in my days, so appointments are important.
"Well, I had to get in the car and drive past anyway."

We talked a lot about supplements and nutrients. Obviously it's preferable to get what I need through food instead of pills, but as we know that isn't always an option.
"You don't eat much red meat, do you?"
"Even if I ate it every day, I never have more than 50 grams. And most of the time I use veal instead, because it's leaner and more tender, but I found out yesterday that it only has half the iron of beef."

I can't stand the texture of red meat, unless it's slow-cooked and falling apart. Milo is my only real source of iron, but as my dietician pointed out, it's not the 'right' type of iron. Haem-something, I think she said. It was definitely something to do with red meat. She mentioned something about Ensure, and I just blurted out "Ensure doesn't have much iron". She laughed.

She knows about my troubles taking supplements, and I told her I tried talking to the mental health nurse about it and was told it's not important. My GP told me to get Caltrate plus Vitamin D, which I did, but I still haven't taken it yet.

She's going to look into what supplements are available as a powder to mix into your drinks. I don't know if I'll be able to take it, but pills and gummies and liquid supplements are out, and dietary intake is lacking, so I don't have a lot of options. We'll see how it goes. I take a fiber supplement in my coffee each morning, so maybe that's a gateway. Unfortunately, I'll probably be stuck with the vitamin D pills, but she thinks she can get calcium and iron as powders, and she's going to keep an eye on my vitamin C intake.

This morning I got on the elliptical for the first time in two years. It's been sitting gathering dust and cobwebs, a glorified clothes horse in the corner of the lounge room, for two years.

I don't know how or why it happened. I was tidying up my sewing things, thinking about maybe doing some yoga, and I just had the urge to get on. And I did, for about a minute, before grabbing my shoes and socks and actually plugging the damn thing in. I only lasted 15 minutes (I was aiming for 30), but for once I didn't feel like I was wasting time while exercising.

I bought myself another pair of shoes on clearance. I feel a bit guilty, but they were only $40 down from $140, and I hadn't bought myself shoes in so many years. They're my new 'flats'. Super comfy.


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Supplements and the Psychiatrist Countdown

When I saw the dietician this week, I was certain I'd have gained. I could feel the extra weight on my body.
I ate similarly to last week, but I also went out to dinner, and didn't have the fasting days. Plus I was convinced last week's loss was mostly water weight, and so I expected to gain half of it back.
I think I was more shocked this week, when she told me I weighed exactly the same.

Last week, before I was weighed, I felt like I'd lost a little weight. My stomach didn't seem so bloated, my hips less flabby, my arms and thighs a little easier to wrap my hands around.
This week, before I was weighed, I felt like I'd expanded again.

She said she always half expects me to look at the number on the scales, and I just shook my head. Aside from the fact it would be unacceptably inaccurate, I don't want to see the numbers on a weekly basis.
"I tell people all the time that once a month is more than enough."
"The last time I weighed myself properly at home was in January, and I'm planning on doing it again... next January."

And it's true. I may even wait until the same date, the 21st. I keep telling myself that I'm going to weigh at the end of the month, in a couple of months, but I think I'm too afraid to. It can do me no good. There were a few months earlier this year that I was weighing myself daily on the Wii Fit, but I never knew an accurate number - it was just to get an idea of gains and losses. She doesn't know about that though.

When I first stopped weighing myself daily, a few years ago, it was because I had this weird realization that there was no point in doing it. When I stepped on the scale, all it did was make me want even more for the number to be lower. Why? Because it would be lower. I can run through the numbers in my head, all the way down to less than half of my current weight, without having to step on the scale. It will never be low enough.

Then on Thursday I saw my GP, and she had my blood test results. It turns out my dietician was right on the mark with her concerns. Both my iron and vitamin D are low, which were the ones she requested they check. My iron levels have actually been low for quite some time now, but it was never really followed up on by previous doctors, and it hasn't been checked for a while. She wants me to start taking supplements, which I was kinda expecting. She also wants me to get my vitamin C intake higher, to help with absorption and whatnot.

For the vitamin D deficiency, she's recommended a type of calcium + vitamin D supplement that also has a few other minerals added. She didn't want to talk much about the dietary side, but she wants me to talk to my dietician about whether I'm better to increase my iron and vitamin C intake through food or pills. I am not looking forward to either.

Naturally, mum bought a bottle of the calcium + vitamin D later that day. I haven't so much as opened it (although the box would suggest a fabulous shade of purple pill will be brightening up my meds case).

I did try talking to the mental health nurse about my struggles taking supplements after the dietician brought it up (this was before I saw the GP). We were talking about how I tend to forget to take painkillers despite being in pain, and after I thought it'd be a good time to mention the supplements thing. She said it wasn't important, and to just try to take the painkillers. Sometimes I like her, but other times...

Anyway, back to the GP. She was saying that the next person she wants to introduce to my team is the psychiatrist who she's been consulting with about me. She calls her my 'specialist on the side'. Pretty much everything my GP and the mental health nurse do is at her advice, and she already knows my history so I wouldn't have to explain everything from scratch. It's probably a better option than the psychologist they were talking about recently.

She wanted to make me an appointment, since it'll take a few months to get in to see the psychiatrist, but I froze and started to panic. She asked if that was okay, and I said no, not really. I've only been seeing the MH nurse for a few months, and she's the first mental health person I've seen in years, and I don't even trust her yet. It's too soon, and I'm just fucking afraid after past experiences with psychs and the mental health system in general. She understood, and offered to wait until mid-2015 before she starts trying to get me an appointment.

Thank you all for your feedback on my last post. It's always good to know I'm not alone (but I still couldn't succinctly explain why I struggle to take supplements if I tried). You guys are amazing. I don't know where I'd be without this blog and all of you wonderful people. Okay, stopping now before I get all mushy.

We took Billy on one of our 'distraction drives' the other day, because he started whimpering when we went to leave. Cuddling and holding him was the only thing that calmed me down.


Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Nessus

Yesterday I went out for dinner with my family. 
Outing #6 for 2014, complete.

We went to a quiet little Indian place.
I actually quite enjoy going out for dinner, although it's only the third or fourth opportunity I've had in recent years. I don't really have issues with eating in public, beyond the issues with eating in general. Maybe because I've not done it enough to fear it.

Thankfully the restaurant was quiet and not in the busy part of town. I drank a glass more than half a bottle of Shiraz. I forgot to get a photo of the food (it was a majestic spread), but I did get a photo of the wine bottle. 

Between myself, my mum, brother, and his fiance, we shared two curries (rogan josh and chicken aloo), chicken biryani, and masala dosa, alongside rice and naan bread. I had a spoonful of the biryani, three pieces of the rogan josh, rice... I did try the dosa and a bite of the chicken curry but wasn't too keen, and a little of the naan bread. Oh, and we shared a Nutella naan for dessert. I would've been more panicked, but I didn't eat apart from dinner yesterday, and they weren't big portions; I just like to taste a little of everything if I can.

Even though I can do the 'eating in public' thing, I do get anxious about not knowing an accurate calorie count. Usually I measure everything, from instant coffee to fruit to liquids to hot meals, using my trusty kitchen scales for accuracy. But every once a while I can justify estimating one meal, even if it leaves me with a nagging anxiety.

In other news, I saw the dietician on Tuesday. When I got off the scales, she said it had dropped a lot. She looked concerned, and I couldn't resist asking how much. She asked if I wanted to know numbers, and I figured once couldn't hurt if she just told me what I'd lost.

I lost two kilos last week.

I haven't lost that much that quickly in a long time. Not in the two years I've been seeing my dietician, at least. I barely even exercised last week, but my intake has been lower than it's been in a while.

She asked if I could start taking multivitamins again, but I'm not keen. I had a blood test this week though, and she wants me to agree to start taking vitamins again if the results come back low, but I don't know if I can. 
It's hard to explain, but I struggle to take them, knowing I'm doing something beneficial for my health, and just taking extra nutrients... It's challenging in a similar way to drinking supplements like Ensure, but on a much lesser scale.

Please tell me I'm not alone on this one.

Today I have crashed, and just want to hibernate from here throughout eternity.
I just don't know what to do anymore.

"A centaur, a mythical half-horse half-man. Like all centaurs, Nessus
was caught between two natures, the wild beast and the thoughtful
teacher. Most famously, driven by his animal side, he made a
bold play to steal the wife of Hercules. Ultimately, his clever plot
ended tragically, with the death of both Nessus and Hercules."
The first strawberry from my new plants