Friday, August 29, 2008

getting ready to meet emily

yesterday morning i wasn't feeling well when i woke up, so i emailed my team at work & told them i'd be a bit late & then let the kids run while i tried to get control of my nausea & start feeling well enough to actually get on the road & get to work. i hate getting to work late. i really like getting in by 7am so that i can get my evaluations done early when the call center is still quiet. i'm not typically someone that needs silence to work. all through high school & college i needed some music on, or the tv in the background, to work. i couldn't have dead silence. & even when i'm working on my novel i'll put movies in my dvd player & let them run, but when working on call evaluations i need less distractions. i will put my ipod in my player & have it going on low, but there's something about the buzz of the call center that just drives me crazy when i'm trying to do evals, which isn't fair to the reps.

anyway. so i was sitting on my couch chatting on ichat with my friend jonathan & contemplating dry heaving when my phone rang. it was the emily program. so while i hate going in late because then i stay late & i feel like i'm letting someone down (even though my work is really understanding about my health issues & required dr appointments) it was sorta divine providence that i was at home. as soon as i saw the number show on my phone i knew it was the emily program. i'm not sure how i knew that, but i did. if i was at work i would've probably ignored the call. that is NOT a call i wanted to take at work, even if i would've been able to pop into an enclave (we have all these small rooms that can be used for impromptu small meetings or if you need to make a personal call).

because i was sick i was able to talk to a very nice lady from the emily program, i *think* her name was jesse, or lesley, or something like that. i didn't write it down & i forgot to ask. but she did kind of an informal intake over the phone to find out which location i wanted to go to & what some of my specific needs may be so they could match me with the right person. luckily there's a location in st. louis park which isn't too far from my work or my apartment, & they do have someone there that specializes in bariatric patients. they also are contracted with my mental health vendor, which is nice.

my appointment is in a week & a half. in the mean time i'm going to do my best every day to handle things. i was texting steph tonight & telling her that i'm working on taking better care of myself. jenn busted me out earlier this week on the fact that now that i'm able to drink bubbles all she ever sees me with is a bottle of coke zero, which is true. she also asked me how often i'm eating out. & i knew i was eating out a lot, but it's one thing to know it & it's another to have someone else point it out to you. jenn has known quite a few people who have had bariatric surgery & she's also holding me accountable to the fact that i swore, & i mean by god SWORE i would not allow myself to gain the weight back....which does involve behavior changes. & i've been slipping on those. & as an aside, no wonder i've been so fucking nauseous, i haven't been getting enough water. hello mcfly? is anybody in there. think mcfly. THINK.

it all seems a bit like a dream kind of. it's unreal in a way. to think that i'm now, after having gastric bypass & losing this much weight, seeking treatment for an issue with food. although, to be completely honest with myself this is something i should've done ten years ago, or fifteen or more years ago. my problems with food started when i was very young. i was seven & i started secret eating. i would take the things that no one would miss. the things without wrappers. i'd make myself peanut butter & jelly sandwiches just coating the bread with much more of each than i needed.

seven is so young. i have a friend who has a daughter that is that age & i look at her & i can't believe that when i was that young i was starting down a very bad path. i know the question comes up, how can a seven year old steal food & eat it behind her parents' back? how is that possible? i can't speak to every child with a binge disorder, or every adult who previously suffered from one, but for me it was very easy. too fucking easy. my dad has always worked evenings mondays through wednesdays ever since i can remember & then during the day on the weekends. & my mom was in college & since my brother & sister & i were well behaved we were often left alone to play. my mom was always home, so we weren't neglected, but she would study upstairs & it was easy to get into the kitchen & take what i wanted without being observed.

things got even easier once we moved to our new house. i was in middle school & got home earlier than everyone, so i was left alone in the house. then when i was 15 or 16 i moved to the basement which was basically like giving a drug addict the keys to the narcotics cupboard. my parents have a shelf in the basement that holds the "extra" food. things like jam, jelly, crackers, frosting, soup, basically all of those non perishables. & because i lived down there i was often in charge of bringing the extras upstairs. i routinely kept food squirrelled away in the basement that no one knew about. my drug of choice for a while was jars of frosting & graham crackers. i don't think my parents ever realized how much of that food i personally consumed. & i lied to everyone.

when i was a teenager my doctor made me go to a program at the como health partners (group health at the time). it was a "comprehensive" program to help teens lose weight. i had to see a physical therapist, dietitian, & a psychologist. at the time i was very depressed, almost to the point of wanting to kill myself. i'd actually tried once before that & was considering a second attempt. but when they came on strong & tried to scare me into losing weight, i lied. i told the physical therapist i was doing more activity than i was. i told the dietitian what she wanted to hear. & the psychologist gave me some kind of assessment that was so easy to read through that i lied completely & no one ever challenged me on it.

there is a part of me that wishes my parents would have been more observant when i was young. i mean. for christ's sake, i was seven & i was binge eating. what the fuck?! all of this has been on my mind lately after looking at the emily program website. there's a link about identifying eating disorders; the list of things to look for if you suspect a loved one has a problem. & basically every single thing listed under binge disorder fit me to a T until i was in my early to mid 20's. after that i stopped binging. i never officially dealt with my issues, i just stopped binging.

where does that leave me? not a clue. i recognize i had a binging problem for many many years. & now, it's nearly the opposite. i'm not starving myself. but i really honestly would prefer to not deal with food. someone compared this to breaking up with someone i've been dating for 31 years. food used to be my friend, my comfort,the thing that gave me solace. & now it doesn't. i have difficulty eating. some things make me sick, or uncomfortable. things don't taste the same. it's like the betrayal of a long time lover.

but this time, when i'm asked. i will tell the truth. maybe part of growing up is allowing yourself to be vulnerable? i also have something now that i didn't have when i was 15 & going through all this. i have confidence in myself, i love myself now, i know that i have people that love me (i HAD people that loved me when i was 15, but i didn't believe it). i have a very strong support system right now, which is going to be invaluable to me as i deal with this.

i've also decided that i refuse to be ashamed or secretive about this (pretty sure i said this last time i blogged about this). so here it is, on my blog. i'm going to tell my mom this weekend. & my dad too....well, i think i am. it's hard to tell my parents my problems. i won't be using my blog to unload emotional baggage, but i'm going to be as upfront & honest about this as i have about every other thing in my life when putting it on my blog.

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