What. In the hell. Is going on.
I haven't blogged in a few weeks. 4 1/2 to be exact. A lot has happened since then. Bear with me as my brain is not functioning at its usual .....?......can't think of the word. Dear god. Well, that is number one on the list to discuss! Here we go!
- My brain has been on the fritz due to an overload of anxiety and stress and a lot of swapping in an out of meds while increasing and decreasing of dosages. (Capacity!!! That was the word I was thinking of before!!!) I stepped down from the residential level of treatment about 4 weeks ago and started to attend their partial program. Partial consisted of sleeping in my own bed at my own house (YAY!!) and then taking the train in every morning for a 9am arrival at the center. We would do a morning snack, groups, supervised lunch, groups, and then afternoon snack followed by a wrap up group until 3:30pm where I would get back on the train and head home. This was Monday - Saturday. Pretty intense, but less involved that residential. I definitely felt ready for the transition before I moved down to that level, but I had no idea what it was going to entail. The first week home was a tsunami of feelings. It was like being a teenager again with random emotions flaring up about inconsequential things and being on the verge of tears over the type of rice my poor husband had cooked. Every day I was just shoveling piles of anxiety on top of anxiety on top of anxiety until one day whatever I was storing it in just....SHUT DOWN. Literally. Lights out. No one's home! No thoughts. No words. Go away. This shop's closed for service. I went to partial one day and couldn't formulate a complete sentence. I tried for fill out the morning check-in sheet and wrote two words and then sat there and stared at the paper until I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head but I COULD NOT THINK OF ANY MORE WORDS (or how to write). When I had to meet with my case manager later that day, I would start verbalizing a thought and then stop halfway through, staring at her like I expected her to finish it for me. This went on for a few days before it started to ease up bit by bit. In those few days, I learned that I cannot force my body to do anything that it is not capable of doing. I can want it to do something, I can will it do do something, but it is going to do what it is going to do when it is able to do it. BAM! Radical acceptance. Gold star for me that day!
- My entire outpatient treatment team dropped me like it's hot when I left residential. Surprise! You're ready to move down to the next step! At least you have a great outpatient team! ....except for your therapist and your nutritionist. They said they don't feel comfortable meeting with you anymore. But here is a list of names you can call to try to set up appointments with ASAP! And you still have your PCP and your NP to prescribe for you! *fast forward 3 weeks* PCP: "Yeah, so, I was speaking with your NP this morning and she and I both agreed that we are not the right people to be treating you at this point, but here is the name of someone SUPER FAR AWAY for you to call and hopefully she can fit you in with her MILLION other clients at this GIANT HOSPITAL! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!" *Cut to me curled up in a corner all alone sobbing because I have zero outpatient treaters and am stepping down to outpatient treatment IN LESS THAN A WEEK but who will be treating me BECAUSE I HAVE NO TREATMENT TEAM?!!?!?! GAHHH!!!! (Stay tuned for the next episode.)
- My husband is going back to work in a week. Now that I have almost made it through the Partial Program part of this journey, it's time to take the next leap of faith and jump into IOP land. My husband needs to return to the job that he knows and loves, we need a steady income, and one of us needs to maintain our sanity. (As mine is on hiatus anyway, he won that coin toss.) I will be spending my days taking care of our son and trying to get a handle on this whole "food is fuel" thing. Once my husband returns from the real world, I will jump on that train again and head off to either treatment or to one of my many, many outpatient appointments. (This is assuming we find someone who hasn't noticed I have obviously been blacklisted in the entire ED community. Shhh.....) I can't wait for the day that I am able to rejoin my work-family and get back to my roots. If I push myself too fast too soon, I'll just get derailed and I'll be back at step 1. Radical acceptance, right people? It will go however it is going to go whenever it wants to freaking go. Ugh.
- Last but not least one more short medical drama for the finale.....HYPOTENSION FOR THE WIN! Last Friday I ended up leaving the program early with the worst migraine I have had since I was 10. I spent the entire afternoon curled up in a ball, blocking out all light and sounds and tried to sleep it off. Come Saturday morning my head felt much better. Unfortunately, I woke up in a fun house! The walls were spinning! Not the fun kind of spinning with clowns and balloon animals and the smell of popcorn and cotton candy in the air. More the kind where you wonder who the hell slipped something in your drink and start doing the checklist for symptoms for stroke/seizures. But wait! There's more! Dizziness! Nausea! Jelly legs! Weird blurry tunnel vision! (Creepy circus music is playing in my head at this point. Feel free to visualize with me.) We took my vitals a few times and the blood pressure seemed pretty low. I went to program on Monday. Same symptoms. I reported them to my team. They did my vitals. Still same vitals! Low BP! Don't worry! I had my PCP appointment. I was sure she could figure it out and fix it. I did not know she was going to hand me a Dear John letter and send me on my way. Anyways, come Tuesday night I gave in and had my husband call the Medical Director at the treatment center where I have been getting all of my treatment since June. I informed him that all of my blood pressures that day had been very low, and the last one had been 80/50. I typically run 120/80. I think everyone from my house to Jersey could hear his giant sigh through the receiver as he patiently asked me why I hadn't called him sooner. I fell over myself apologized and pleaded with him to fix me and informed him that I felt like I was dying and omg did he think I was dying?!! He calmly and rationally told me to stop taking my blood pressure medication. (Oh. Right. Should have thought of that one.) He then suggested I cut back on my other medication that lowers my blood pressure. (Probably should have thought of that as well.) He told me to do that and to call him back then next day.
So, you know. Here I am, not dying after all. (Who knew?) Overly stressed, incredibly anxious, blindly walking forward through this uncharted territory that people call "eating like a normal human being should." Fighting for my life, yadda yadda yadda. A few tip toes back, but mostly strides forward. Props to my rebels who have been with me every step of the way. Thank you so much to all of my friends and family who have continued to shower me with support and kind words and gestures. Nothing goes unnoticed and everything has been greatly appreciated. My family could not do any of this without you. I love you all.
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